Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Next Big Thing for Pittsburgh - Energy & Environment Week Program Next April Will Draw Foreign Companies and More Global Media

In April 2010, the Energy & Environment Week trade show in Pittsburgh will bring together hundreds of European companies with hundreds more American firms in the fields of bioenergy, waste and recycling, alternative vehicle fuels and energy efficiency, giving Pittsburgh another chance to showcase its strengths to a world audience.

The conference will attract thousands of researchers, entrepreneurs, potential investors, government officials and the international media to see what Pittsburgh has to offer in the fields of clean/green technology and design, energy research and advanced energy-related manufacturing.

Scheduled for April 12-16, 2010 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Energy & Environment Week will help educate a wide range of audiences about the benefits and challenges of clean technologies, including municipalities, the farm economy, the food industry, the manufacturing and processing sector, investors, the media, and more.

“We plan to have five days full of events such as site tours to projects in the Greater Pittsburgh region, the alternative fuel vehicle ride and drive, many interactive conference sessions and workshops, and a large technology exhibition,” planners said.

The conference’s main organizer is German consulting and trade show marketing company Freesen & Partner GmbH.

For Managing Director Ines Freesen, the similarities between Pittsburgh and Germany’s Rhine-Ruhr Valley, where her company is based, are evident and made for a good fit with the trade show’s focus. Both are formerly steel and coal industry heavy regions whose economies took a serious hit in the 1980s.

“Now, Pittsburgh and the Rhine-Ruhr Valley have become leaders in greening the landscape and in creating a renewable energy industry,” Freesen said. “This development plays nicely with the theme of our event as it reflects how the global economy is changing towards a cleaner, greener way of doing business.”

There is an ongoing cooperation between Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh in particular, and the state of North-Rhine Westphalia to foster technology exchange and create business opportunities for companies in both countries, according to Freesen. “The focus of this agreement is on renewables and a number of projects with American-German participation are already underway,” she said.

The trade show itself can serve as an example in efficiency, conservation and recycling. The trade show’s home, Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center, is the first convention center to receive Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. And Freesen’s local partner in Pittsburgh, Stetson Convention Services uses recycled and biodegradable products and even has indoor forklifts powered by natural gas.

Freesen is optimistic that the recently completed Pittsburgh Summit will set the stage for events like Energy & Environment Week. “We certainly hope that the G-20 will set the right mood for a wide-spread discussion on the global energy challenge can be met, and that the world will regard Pittsburgh as a leader in this field. A whole new and still rapidly growing industry has been created in the last decade. This is something we should be proud of and capitalize on.”

More information at www.ee-week.com. READ FULL ARTICLE

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pittsburgh Filmmakers & Robert Morris Host Italian Students Whose School Was Damaged in Earthquake

Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Robert Morris University have welcomed a total of six Italian students whose schools were severely damaged in the recent earthquake that affected the Abruzzo region.

The students at the Filmmakers are Juri Fantigrossi, Michele Giacardi, Antonio Paolucci and Flavia Tiberi. All are from L’Accademia dell’ Immagine in L’Aquila, Italy.

Studying at Robert Morris are Berardo Artieri and Luca Lugini, who were studying engineering and computer science at the University of L'Aquila.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers discounted the students' tuition for the semester, which is being paid by UPMC, which originated this arrangement as part of its ongoing relationship with Italy.

Some scholarship support has also come from the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of the Provost to make this project possible. Additional funds are being raised by local Italians and Italian-Americans to cover board, supplies, travel, and other aspects of the students’ routine expenses.

Robert Morris offered to cover tuition for fall and spring semesters, about $20,000 each. More money was raised to pay for room and board, textbooks, airplane tickets and living expenses. RMU said it plans to continue fundraising efforts this fall with a picnic and golf tournament. Read more about the Italian students at RMU by CLICKING HERE.

The film students have a tentative agreement with RAI, the Italian television network, to broadcast work they will be making here. They were scheduled to meet with RAI’s Piero DiPasquale, in town for the G-20 Summit, for more details and guidance. Each student is enrolled in four classes this fall at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, plus one at Pitt.

See the Pittsburgh Filmmakers October Schedule at www.pghfilmmakers.org/exhibition/film_imgs/oct09cal.pdf READ FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pittsburgh Middle East Institute Program to Highlight Energy, Environment Links with Gulf States Oct. 13-14

A conference hosted Oct. 13-14 by the Pittsburgh Middle East Institute will bring together distinguished guests from the Persian Gulf States and corporate leaders from the Pittsburgh region to discuss innovations in energy sustainability and green technologies.

Titled "Building the Green City: Energy Sustainability and Green Technology," the conference will feature CNN and Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria, and former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, as well as Omani Secretary-General Badr Hamad Hamood Albusaidi.

The conference builds on the momentum achieved by the recent Pittsburgh G-20 Summit in carrying out the PMEI's mission of “forging lasting ties between Pittsburgh and the Middle East" through dynamic business, educational, and cultural exchanges.

"If you’re considering business opportunities in the Middle East or are an avid follower of foreign policy news and events, you won’t want to miss this year’s extraordinary lineup," PMEI boasts.

For more details on the PMEI conference, including schedules and ticket order information, go to http://pittsburghmideastinstitute.org/2009-conference/. READ FULL ARTICLE

Friday, September 25, 2009

President Obama Calls G-20 Big Success; Thanks City for Setting Example for Rest of the World at Close of Summit

President Barack Obama said the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, which concluded this afternoon, was successful in establishing goals to continue the global recovery.

He started his closing press conference (for which GlobalPittsburgh had a front row seat) with a message of thanks to the people of Pittsburgh for being "extraordinary hosts."

Obama said he was told by several of the world leaders who joined him for the two-day meeting that the city had come very far since previous visits, in some cases decades ago.

"They were so impressed with the revitalization of the city," he said. "And a number of them remarked on the fact that it pointed to lessons they could take away in revitalizing manufacturing towns in their own home countries. Thank all of you for your great hospitality."

Obama said Pittsburgh is an example for the world as it recovers from economic hardship.

"Pittsburgh was a perfect venue for this work," he said. "This city has known its share of hard times as older industries like steel could no longer grow. But Pittsburgh picked itself up, dusted itself off and is making the transition to job-creating industries of the future, from biotechnology to clean energy.

"It serves as a model for turning the page to a 21st century economy, and a reminder that the key to our further prosperity lies not just in New York or Los Angeles or Washington, but in places like Pittsburgh."

Asked about protesters outside the Convention Center, Obama had this response:

"Let's keep things in perspective," he said. "For the people of Pittsburgh, if you have looked any of the other of summits that took place: in London, you had hundreds of thousands of people on the streets. In most of these summits there has been a much more tumultuous response. I think the mayor and the county executive and all the people of Pittsburgh deserve extraordinary credit for having managed what is a very tranquil G-20 summit.

"I think that many of the protests are just directed generically at capitalism and they object to the existing global financial system, they object to free markets.

"One of the great things about the United States is you can speak your mind, you can protest. That's part of our tradition.

"But I fundamentally disagree with the view that the free market is the source of all ills. Ironically if they'd been paying attention to what had been taking place inside the summit itself, what they would have heard was a strong recognition from the most diverse collection of leaders in history that that it is important to make sure that the market is working for ordinary people; that government has a role in regulating the market in ways that don't cause the kinds of crisis that we've just been living through; that our emphasis has to be on more balanced growth and that includes making sure that growth is bottom-up, and workers, ordinary people are able to pay the bills, make a decent living send their children to college; and that the more we focus how the least of these are doing, the better off all of us are going to be.

"That principle was embodied in the communiqué that was issued. I would recommend those who were out their protesting if they were really interested in knowing what was taking place in her that they read the communiqué that was issued."

Here's the link to the final communique from the G-20 leaders - http://www.pittsburghsummit.gov/mediacenter/129639.htm

Here's another link to a New York Times article talking about what really happened around that magnificent Summit table: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/world/26summit.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1253966609-o25Y2T6JADZB1a35Fv7TQA READ FULL ARTICLE

S. Korean Automaker CT&T to Establish Assembly & Distribution Operations in Pittsburgh, Create 200 Jobs; Similar Facilities Planned for Philadelphia

One of the world’s leading companies in electric vehicle technologies, CT&T of South Korea, intends to open two production and distribution facilities in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and create up to 400 jobs in the process, Gov. Ed Rendell announced today.

"This is a win-win-win for the commonwealth," Rendell said. "With consumers opting for more fuel efficient vehicles and automobile manufacturers working to meet new fuel economy standards, electric vehicles represent a growing market opportunity."

Rendell made the announcement at Carnegie Mellon University, which is working to develop new technologies that can be used in electric vehicles, such as lithium batteries, fuel cells, electric motors for improved efficiency and output, and fast electric charging stations that can recharge a battery in minutes as opposed to 2 hours.

CT&T makes low- and mid-speed, short-distance “neighborhood electric vehicles” that pass crash tests required for regular passenger cars. The vehicles sell for about $12,000.

"It’s no secret that many of the world’s large automotive manufacturers are developing plug-in electric vehicles, so the fact that CT&T has chosen Pennsylvania is very exciting news for us, because it gives us an early presence in a promising market," Rendell said.

The company’s decision, the Governor noted, was based in no small part on the state’s investments in its economy and its network of advanced technology companies and innovative universities.

"There are other benefits to having a company like CT&T choose Pennsylvania," Rendell added. “CT&T’s electric vehicles will create new employment opportunities and spur the need for new investments in our economy that will upgrade our infrastructure and develop exciting new technologies.”

As the demand for electric vehicles grows, the Governor said, companies and universities like CMU will be called upon to develop more efficient and economical batteries, while the nation’s electrical infrastructure will need to be upgraded to accommodate vehicles in need of a recharge.

The Governor noted that the company’s interest in Pennsylvania resulted from the state’s presence in Seoul, South Korea, which was part of his World Trade PA initiative. He also said that the Governor’s Action Team is working to establish a business assistance package that will help finalize the company’s move to Pennsylvania.

“We are looking forward to becoming a contributing part of Pennsylvania’s bold moves to become a leader in green transportation and the creation of green technology jobs,” said CT&T President Young Gi Lee. “Our plans are to locate the first regional assembly and sales facility in the northeast -- in Pennsylvania. We feel our efforts here will be a showcase for other states and municipalities throughout the United States.”

The company is focusing on sites on the Delaware River in Philadelphia for its initial Pennsylvania location.

Company executives visited five prospective sites in the Pittsburgh region yesterday, including two within the city. While in Pittsburgh, CT&T executives also met with experts in battery and fuel technology from CMU, which is engaged in a range of research initiatives to support the growth and development of electric vehicle technology.

CT&T could open a third assembly and sales facility elsewhere in the state at a future date.

Lee said the company’s long-term business plan calls for 40 regional assembly and sales systems in North America.

CT&T has been exporting to China, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and the United States since 2005. The company says cities with large municipal fleets offer a considerable initial market opportunity, with the electric car as a low-cost option for parking authorities, parks and recreation departments, and similar agencies with short-distance, low-speed vehicle needs. CT&T has a contract to supply 4,000 neighborhood electric vehicles to California police organizations, which will use them as downtown parking supervision vehicles.

For information on the Governor’s Action Team and other Department of Community and Economic Development initiatives, visit www.NewPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972. READ FULL ARTICLE

Pittsburgh G-20 Summit Day Two Starts Off With a Bang - Obama Challenges Iran Over Secret Nuclear Fuel Plant

President Obama launched Day Two of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit by joining the leaders of France and Great Britain in strongly criticizing Iran for building a secret underground plant to produce nuclear fuel and hiding it from international weapons inspectors.

Speaking to reporters in Pittsburgh, Obama said the Iranian nuclear fuel production activity "is inconsistent with a peaceful (nuclear) program. Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow."

French President Nicholas Sarkozy, appearing with the President, said Iran had two months to comply with international demands or face increased sanctions.

"The level of deception by the Iranian government, and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments, will shock and anger the entire international community," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, standing next to Obama. "The international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand."

9:30 a.m. - The Obama-Sarkozy-Brown press conference got the Friday session off to a quick start after a relatively peaceful Day One. The media checkpoint at Mellon Arena was far more crowded this morning, full of international media speaking in many languages. The process took a little longer than Day One, but with equal calm and professionalism.

The atmosphere in the media center is noticeably more lively, as reporters anticipate meetings, briefings and press conferences over the course of the day. President Obama is expected to make his announcement at the close of the plenary session, probably around 3 p.m.

11:15 – Interrupting the low-level chatter in the international media center was a flash of camera lights and a cluster of reporters. Brazil’s Ambassador to the United States Antônio Patriota, and main international advisor for the president of Brazil, Marco Aurelio Garcia, had arrived to answer questions, in Spanish and Portuguese, about the world economy and the breaking story of the Iran nuclear production program.

Members of the world media say they are impressed with what they have seen of Pittsburgh. During this morning's ride to the Convention Center from the media screening area at Mellon Arena, Steve Holland of the Reuters Washington Bureau was engaged in conversation by Andy Masich, Heinz History Center President & CEO.

"It's a really nice town," Holland said. "You've done a really nice job."

Holland's impressions reflect that of many other international reporters in the past few days.

Liu Li of the Shanghai Oriental Morning Post has spent the past week in Pittsburgh, interviewing many companies, organizations and members of the local Chinese community. She said she loves the trees and the parks and the rivers. "And the people are so friendly!" READ FULL ARTICLE

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Inside the Convention Center for Day One of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit - Getting Off to a Slow Start

Here's a running account of today's activities inside (and outside) the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on the first day of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit.

5 p.m. - Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says during a White House G-20 briefing that since economic and environmental challenges know no borders, then solutions must be found through global cooperation. His message reflected President Obama's strong statements about the importance of global cooperation.

"The challenges we face today of course are not confined to our borders - they don't respect national borders," Geithner said. "And nor can the solution come from individual countries acting on their own. Financial risk and leverage is going to flow to where the rules are most lax, but the consequences of failure will be felt globally.

"To achieve a more stable financial system, we need strong reforms here in this country, but in other countries around the world. If we want more rapid growth here and lower unemployment, we need more rapid growth outside the United States. For American companies to be able to be export -- other countries to buy our exports, when our country exports more goods, employment will rise here. We're in this together. And that's why cooperation in the G-20 is so important to the interest of Americans."

Big screens around the international press center continue to show live feeds of visiting dignitaries descending the steps of their official jets and also local news footage of protesters engulfed in tear gas. Yup, it's the G-20.

3:30 p.m. - We're getting word simultaneously (via Twitter) that President Obama has just landed on Air Force One at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, and that protesters marching from Lawrenceville without a permit are being sprayed with tear gas while they turn over dumpsters. This is inside the international media center, where reporters are still watching Bloomberg TV on the big screen.

3 p.m. - The international press corps continues to roll in to the Convention Center, and now far outnumber the locals, but still no sign of the dignitaries. We were told that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the Japanese finance minister were doing photo opps in the house earlier, but only for a selection of pool photographers.

Speaking of media pools, special credentials are required for just about everything - tonight's working dinner at Phipps Conservatory and the group photo of world leaders, all plenary sessions, tomorrow's events for spouses at the Warhol Museum and CAPA, and tomorrow night's gathering at Teresa Heinz Kerry's estate. The good news is that no additional credentials are required for President Obama's press conference scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

The international media center has no windows, so the second level is where many of us have congregated. While there is no internet access, there is a nice view, and many seemed to be enjoying a bit to eat from the swanky (and expensive) concession stand.

11:15 a.m. - Not much of a crowd yet inside the Convention Center. Mayor Ravenstahl gets interviewed by foreign TV station (left). Media center just getting warmed up.

11 a.m. - After clearing media security at Mellon Arena, arrived at the Convention Center with a bus half-full of media types. Judging by overheard accents and conversations, about two-thirds of those on my bus were local, including KDKA's Jon Delano and several camera crews. The driver was not local, and needed directions from the on-board security officer to reach our destination.

Media screening included walking through an airport-like metal detector where the security team joked about keeping my lunch. I was surprised when they allowed me to keep my ham sandwich and two cans of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Unlike a trip through airport security, my backpack was set in a line with everyone else's gear and meticulously searched, item-by-item, by a security officer. It was then set back on the ground and sniffed by a dog that had been sleeping quietly nearby. All very efficient and very professional. Friendly, even. This is not the TSA.

These and other photos can be viewed at the GlobalPittsburgh Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/globalpittsburgh/. READ FULL ARTICLE

The Pittsburgh G-20 Summit - Today's the Day That World Leaders and Media Arrive in the Golden Triangle

After months of preparation and a fair amount of hand-wringing, the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit has arrived in the Golden Triangle, bringing with it thousands of delegates, reporters, activists and security personnel of all stripes.

The world leaders have begun arriving in their official jets at the airport. Two special areas have been set up away from the main terminal where the heads of state and their parties will walk down stairways to their waiting limousines. This will take place under the watchful eye of a subset of the international media assigned to cover the arrivals.

The delegations from Indonesia and Saudi Arabia already have arrived, driving in the Parkway West with police escort (see photo). Delegations from Argentina and the European Union are first on the arrival schedule this morning.

Local news reports slowdowns at checkpoints around the city, which has been mostly closed to vehicle traffic except for people who live in Downtown or those making approved deliveries. It's probably not a good day to get anywhere in a hurry.

Watch for more live blogging here from inside the Convention Center after 10 a.m. READ FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

G-20 Minus One - Downtown Pittsburgh Clearing Out; Delegations, Media & Protesters Arriving in Numbers

Call it the calm before the storm. The streets of Downtown were eerily quiet this morning. Many advance teams, media and protest groups are here, but many of the local residents who usually come Downtown seem to be absent.

At around 11 a.m., a group of protesters on ropes dropped from the West End Bridge to hang a banner calling for reduced CO2 emissions. Other than that, everything seemed pretty quiet.

We are arranging interviews today with BBC Radio, Beijing TV and other international media outlets. This is what we've been waiting for, so we're planning to make the most of it.

A protest march through the streets of Pittsburgh came off without incident. A grand evening celebration at Heinz Field attracted some out of town delegates, along with Gov. Ed Rendell and many other local VIPs. Also a bash at the Warhol.

A free concert across the river featuring Joan Jett, Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Pittsburgh's own Joe Grushecky, seemed to loosen things up a bit, although the city still feels a little bit like a war zone, without the shelling. READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

G-20 Minus Two - Security Measures & Media Preparations Full Steam Ahead in Downtown Pittsburgh

With two days to go before the opening of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, security measures and media preparations are well under way in the Downtown area.

The police presence is definitely more noticeable today. A Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad truck raced up Liberty Avenue with sirens blazing and lights flashing just before noon today, and numerous police cruisers and paddy wagons, also with lights flashing, were visible at many Downtown intersections.

Steel barricades that had been stacked on sidewalks yesterday started to go up at the edge of sidewalks, leaving Penn Avenue storefronts looking like zoo cages.

Traffic conditions don't seem much different Downtown, with the exception of some localized congestion caused by several large trucks unloading what appeared to be more barricades. And plenty of pedestrians are still walking around town.

Also appearing Downtown and on the North Shore were several television satellite trucks. At least three were counted across the Allegheny River from the Convention Center. The Secret Service has limited the space available right next to the Convention Center, but that hasn't stopped news outlets from parking in other locations, apparently for the long haul.

Watch this space for more updates and live blogging from inside the Convention Center during the Summit. READ FULL ARTICLE

Time to Start Preparing for Life After the G-20; This is When the Real Work Begins and Opportunities Arise

Flash Forward to Saturday morning, Sept. 26, 2009 in Downtown Pittsburgh. Most of the heads of state will have flown off in their official jets. Members of the media will be filing their G-20 wrap-up pieces for the Sunday papers and doing their final stand-ups from the Convention Center. Protesters will be packing their bags. City crews will be sweeping up what will surely be a few messes.

Life will start returning to normal in the sense that office workers will be getting ready to report back to work on Monday morning, businesses that closed - voluntarily or otherwise - will start to re-open, barricades will be removed, and everyone will begin reflecting on what will have been a whirlwind of international media attention and unpredictability.

The Pittsburgh G-20 Summit will be over. Many will breath a sigh of relief, and with good reason. Thousands of people have put in thousands of hours to prepare for what has been an historic event. For the first time, a meeting of the world's economic powers is being held in a non-capital city.

The lesson will be that economic revitalization can and will take place not in the world’s capital cities but in the hundreds of smaller cities and thousands of smaller companies where people are working hard every day to bring about positive economic change through innovation, problem-solving and an atmosphere of optimism.
While the Summit itself will be over, the work, and the opportunity, for the Pittsburgh Region will be just beginning.
But while the Summit itself will be over, the work, and the opportunity, for the Pittsburgh Region will be just beginning. Yes, thousands of people will have seen the city for the first time and many will have been pleasantly surprised. Millions of people around the world will have seen footage or read news articles or surf through on-line reports about the new, improved Pittsburgh.

Let's put it this way, if Pittsburgh were a Hollywood star, its publicist would be getting a nice bonus check for all the media placements he or she had lined up.

But now the time comes to roll up our collective sleeves and follow up on all that good media attention - cash in on all that press to bring the rest of the world to Pittsburgh for a visit or a professional conference or a business meeting. We want them to invest here, to go to school here, to bring their entrepreneurial ideas here to create opportunities for everyone.

David Murdoch, a partner at the international law firm of K&L Gates and the Honorary Consul for Germany in Western Pennsylvania, also is telling anybody who will listen that we should work on continuing to focus the world's attention in Pittsburgh.

"It is time for another Pittsburgh Renaissance grounded in world-class thinking and focused on 21st century challenges," he said in remarks this week at the Allegheny HYP Club forum on "After the G20 Summit: What Next?"

"Pittsburgh is no longer one of the world’s best-kept secrets. The time is ripe; the world has noticed, and we need to capture the moment before it passes. This cannot just be Pittsburgh’s fifteen minutes of fame. Even Andy Warhol would give his hometown more time and opportunities."

GlobalPittsburgh has a plan to promote the Pittsburgh region as an internationally connected place to do business, and a great place to live, work and learn. Our promotional materials invite those who have been learning about 21st Century Pittsburgh to come see for themselves why the city was chosen to host the G-20.

We host visiting delegations, groups and individuals in the fields of business & technology, clean/green design, energy & the environment, advanced manufacturing & robotics, life sciences & medicine, education, arts & culture, government & finance, and social services & law.

Most importantly, we facilitate introductions, develop meaningful itineraries, create programs, plan events and coordinate logistics to ensure that future visitors to the region have a valuable experience and a positive outcome.

The goal of GlobalPittsburgh is to create partnerships between companies, organizations and individuals sharing a common vision of advancing the Pittsburgh region as a truly international community. That means we want all the great volunteers who have helped with the G-20 to remain engaged and help welcome the visitors who come to the region for a closer look in the future.

Sure Pittsburgh has its rough spots, including poor neighborhoods and a mass transit system that has, shall we say, not yet achieved its full potential. And many outside the region will be thinking more about televised protests. However, on the whole, most of the coverage of the Pittsburgh region will have been favorable.

Saturday morning is when the real work begins to turn publicity into opportunity for growth and progress for everyone in the Pittsburgh region. That's what we've all be working for.

- Thomas Buell, Jr.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's G-20 Summit Week in Pittsburgh; Excitement is Beginning to Build, So Let's Relax and Make the Most Of It.

I just picked up my media credentials for the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. It's pretty quiet down there still. Mostly local media folks picking up their press passes. A few obvious out-of-towners, which is great to see, but the real rush probably won't start until Wednesday.

With our credentials we received a booklet called "The Inside Story" - complete with environmentally friendly press kit on a flash drive - about positive changes taking place in the region. We also received a "Media Transit Pass" good for free rides on Port Authority buses, the T light rail system and the Monongahela Incline from Sept. 21-27.

Walking along the streets of Pittsburgh outside the Convention Center, one sees stacks of steel grates to be used as barricades around the security perimeter. Some Apache helicopters could be seen circling the area this morning, but not exactly a heavy security presence quite yet.

The people of Pittsburgh seem to be holding their collective breath a little. We're all a bit relieved that the G-20 is finally here, although I know some people are sick of hearing about it. Sorry folks, but we will soon be the center of the world's attention, whether we like it or not, so why not make the most of it?

"While the media throws fat on the fire and ensures that the fear festers, I find myself excited and unafraid," writes my friend Eve Picker in her great blog, Utterly Opinionated. "Here is an opportunity to be seized. While hosting the G-20 Summit may not markedly change Pittsburgh’s slow and steady transformation, it might ignite something. The world will be watching and they will not see what they have been expecting to see."

Another friend, Brian O'Neill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote a nifty column on Sunday about preparations for the big event. He studies the history of big events in Pittsburgh, and points out that, one way or another, we've survived them all. The message I take from his words is simple: Relax.

I had to chuckle when Brian quoted his own financial
adviser, Joe Hadobas, who provided this spin on the upcoming events:

"We have a term for anarchists on Wall Street: investment bankers. Both are defined in this manner: Willful destroyers of other people's property; people acting without regard to their actions; people who serve no obvious social utility; people whose sole focus is self-interest masquerading as serving a greater good; people who scoff at rules and regulations.''

Added Mr. O'Neill (as he would be called in his own publication), "It's a toss-up who's capable of more damage, the folks in suits or the ones in black T-shirts, but both should be well represented this week."

Lots of people and lots of points of view will be represented in Pittsburgh this week. Many of them are here already. Look elsewhere on this blog for links to news media coverage from around the world.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not from Pittsburgh, although my son was born here 20 years ago, which I have been told makes me an honorary citizen. I have lived in several large cities, and I've visited many more in my 53 years, and I tell everyone that Pittsburgh offers nice reminders of all of them, but with less traffic and lower cost of living.

Since we really can't control who will come, or what they will say, it's my opinion that we should just keep an open mind and make the most of what promises to be a lot of attention for this city.

After all, we do have a little control over what people will think of Pittsburgh after they leave. Let's hope they think of us as people who are open to new ideas because new ideas can help make things better for us all. Just my opinion.

- Thomas Buell, Jr.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

China Daily Article Highlights Pittsburgh's Third-Generation Energy Industry; Reaches Millions

A new article in the English-language China Daily, which reaches more than 12 million readers around the world, highlights the Pittsburgh Region's cutting-edge energy industry, and focuses on Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Co. as a world leader in nuclear technology.

Westinghouse PhotoTitled "City of Steel Turns to Nuclear Tech to Boost Economy," the article describes the region's transformation from heavy industry to a more diverse, innovation-based economy.

As an example, it quotes Westinghouse's hiring of thousands of engineers and other staff in spite of the current economic slowdown.

The article also cites Roger Cranville, president of the new Pittsburgh China Center.

“China is a very important market for Pittsburgh, and promises to become even more important in the years ahead,” said Cranville, who is also president of the new GlobalPittsburgh.

"Pittsburgh is a model for economic revitalization, since it has recovered strongly from the collapse of the domestic US steel industry during the 1980s to become a center for medicine, energy research, advanced manufacturing, robotics and technological innovation."

to read the full China Daily article. READ FULL ARTICLE

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Burmese Monks Coming to Pittsburgh to March for Peace and Human Rights During G-20 Summit

At least 20 Burmese monks will arrive in Pittsburgh next week to take their case before the world leaders gathered for the G-20 Economic Summit.

The monks plan to hold a press conference at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, on the roof of the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh project at 330 Sampsonia Way on Pittsburgh's North Side. They then plan to lead a Peace Walk to Point State Park to participate in a rally planned for Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, Sept. 25, the monks plan to join in what is being called the "People's March to the G-20" starting at noon.

Joined by a busload of Burmese expatriates from neighboring states, the saffron-robed monks will commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the 2007 Saffron Revolution in Burma, when 100,000 monks stood up to one of the most repressive regimes in the world, risking their lives in their call for freedom and dignity.

Leading the delegation will be Venerable U Kovida, who marched in Burma's 2007 Saffron Revolution, and is now in exile in the U.S., along with Venerable U Agga Dhamma, who was repeatedly tortured during his five years in Burmese jails.

As one of the leaders of the Saffron Revolution said "We marched because we believe in freedom and democracy and (were) willing to make sacrifices to reach those goals. The Burmese military regime brutally cracked down on the uprising, leaving dozens killed, thousands arrested, and monasteries emptied."

A Human Rights Watch report being released this month chronicles the doubling of the number of political prisoners in Burma to over 2,000 in the last two years, as well as the declining living standards of the monks. Thousands of monks remain unaccounted for, over 200 remain imprisoned, and monks continue to be harassed and arrested. Over 20 monks from the Saffron Revolution are currently living in exile in the U.S.

The monks coming to Pittsburgh are not able to return to Burma and are using their freedom to call the international community to take more decisive action. The monks will appeal to the world leaders to support their call for basic human freedoms in their country.

Other activities related to the monks' visit include:

Wednesday 9/23
• 7 p.m. - Burma VJ film (documentary of Saffron Revolution) sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh at The Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way. Panel discussion and reception after film with monks from Saffron Revolution.

Thursday 9/24
• 9 a.m. - Press conference with testimony from Saffron Revolution on roof of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh 330 Sampsonia Way. Peace Walk from 330 Sampsonia Way to Point State Park Venerable U Kovida to speak at People's Voices/Public Tribunal.

Friday 9/25
• Noon - Monks join in The People's March to the G-20.

More information is available at www.burmesemonks.org. READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Law Firm Hosting Free Lunch Speaker Series Sept. 21-22 Featuring Senior Government Officials from Europe, Canada, Mexico, Asia

In anticipation of the G-20 Summit arriving in Pittsburgh Sept. 24-25, the law firm of Thorp Reed & Armstrong will host a complimentary luncheon speaker series in its offices on Sept. 21-22 featuring four senior government officials representing the European Union and Great Britain, Mexico, Canada and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Korea and Japan.

Attendees will be able to discuss business opportunities between Pittsburgh and each speaker's respective region both during formal comments, as well as by appointment following each session.

In addition, each speaker, an authority in their area of global expertise, will discuss a range of topics relevant to the G-20 Summit, as well as Pittsburgh and its economy and business leaders. Topics of discussion will include the global response to the financial and economic crisis, free trade, Pittsburgh's place in global business, commerce and investment.

"It's a great honor for Pittsburgh to host the G-20 Summit this year," said Kevin Colosimo, partner with Thorp Reed and leader of the firm's International Law Practice Group. "For the region's business leaders, it can be difficult to access the expertise and insight inherent in such an event.

"This speaker series offers an opportunity for attendees to see if and how they can engage in business opportunities in each represented region; Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. It also brings the G-20 directly to the people of Pittsburgh and allows them to benefit from understanding larger global economic issues and how they impact the city and the surrounding region."

Complimentary lunch will be served during both days of the event. The schedule of speakers for the two-day event is as follows:

* Monday, Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m.-Noon - European Union Minister Counselor Anthony Smallwood
Smallwood is the Head of Press and Public Diplomacy for the European Commission Delegation to the United States in Washington D.C. He is also available for private meetings from Noon- 2 p.m.

* Tuesday, September 22, 10:30 a.m.-Noon - U.S. Trade Representative ASIA/APEC Affairs Deputy Assistant Arrow Augerot
Augerot is responsible for developing an implementing U.S. trade policy in the APEC forum. She is also available for private meetings from Noon- 2 p.m.

* Tuesday, September 22, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Enrique Ruiz-Salazar, Consul of Mexico in Philadelphia, and Michael Flaherty, Counsel and Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate General Buffalo
Ruiz-Salazar is the representative of the Mexican government in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey. Flaherty is responsible for the delivery of commercial programming for the Consulate General in Central and Upstate New York, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Both speakers are available for private meetings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those interested in attending the speaker series one or both days should contact Thorp Reed's Director of Marketing, Cynthia Tonet-Stewart, at cstewart@thorpreed.com or by phone at 412-394-7786.

For more information on Thorp Reed & Armstrong, call 1-800-221-7029 or go to www.thorpreed.com.

Read more at www.thorpreed.com/html/pdf/G20_Speaker_Series_PGH.pdf. READ FULL ARTICLE

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pittsburgh Highlighted in Special G-20 Web Feature by German Embassy for Global Media

Pittsburgh and its important, long-standing relationship with Germany are highlighted in a new special feature aimed at the international news media on the website of the German Embassy.

Titled "Meet Germany in Pittsburgh," the package includes links to several positive articles about German companies in Pittsburgh (which represent the largest percentage of foreign-owned businesses in the region), including Lanxess and Flabeg Solar US, and German cultural influences in the region.

"As Pittsburgh prepares to host the summit of G-20 leaders from September 24 to 25, Germany.info takes a closer look at the long-standing and diverse ties that connect Germany to the Pittsburgh region," the site says.

"Take time for this visual, intellectual, and cultural treat, featured on several different pages," wrote David Murdoch, Germany's honorary consul in the Pittsburgh region and a partner at K&L Gates law firm, in announcing the site, which he called "a smorgasbord of German perceptions about Pittsburgh and what it means to them to participate in the G-20 Summit here."

View the full German Embassy package by CLICKING HERE READ FULL ARTICLE

Friday, September 11, 2009

World Media Attention on Pittsburgh Region from G-20 Highlights Economic Turnaround, High Quality of Life

The Pittsburgh Region has been featured extensively in the national and international news media since the announcement of the G-20 Summit on Sept. 24-25, 2009. Many of them visited the region in the weeks leading up to the event, and many stayed after it ended. They continue to publish a wide range of reports.

Here's a list of articles and media packages that have appeared in national and international publications and websites in connection with the Pittsburgh Summit.

Watch this space as the list grows, and please send links to other articles you may find to tcbuell@versopartners.com.

Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader 5-10

Luxe Magazine (France) 11-09

The Economist (UK) – Intelligent Life 10-10-09

China Daily 9-24-09

CNN 9-24-09

Deutsche Welle (German TV) 9-24-09

Host of G-20 Summit Has Evolved
Washington Post 9-24-09

National Public Radio 9-24-09

G-20 summiteers will find cultural cred, natural wonders and one of the 'best views in America'
Toronto Star 9-24-09

China Daily – US Edition 9-20-09

On The Eve Of The G-20 Summit, A Native Son Finds A City Moving Toward The Future But Longing For Its Past
Wall Street Journal 9-18-09

The Economist 9-17-09


Wall Street Journal 9-17-09

Christian Science Monitor 9-14-09

German Embassy 9-11-09

Corriere Della Sera (Milan Evening Courier) 9-10-09

Chicago Tribune 9-10-09
Associated Press 9-9-09 (Distributed worldwide)

China Daily 9-6-09
Taiwan News 9-6-09
(This article by the Associated Press also appeared on websites of the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News, Salon.com, MSNBC, Google and other publications)

Spirit Magazine – Southwest Airlines 9-09

Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News 8-26-09

National Public Radio 8-15-09

The New York Times 7-18-09

New York Post 7-14-09


The Wall Street Journal 5-29-09

Huffington Post 5-28-09
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/28/g20-pittsburgh-us-hosting_n_208735.html READ FULL ARTICLE

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pittsburgh-Based Foundation to Unveil Breakthrough in Low Cost Water Purification Technology at G-20 Summit

A Pittsburgh-based non-profit group called Project Eviive will reveal its plan and technology to alleviate the world’s growing fresh water crisis at the G-20 Summit, to be held Sept. 24-25, in Pittsburgh.

According to reports by the World Health Organization, water scarcity affects one in three people on every continent of the globe and the situation is getting worse as needs for water rise along with population growth and urbanization. Half of all the hospital beds in the world are occupied by people sick from waterborne illness.

Project Eviive’s mission is made possible through the use of a water purification technology developed by Epiphany Solar Water Systems, another Pittsburgh-based company.

Epiphany’s groundbreaking technology utilizes solar energy to distill unclean water in a way that is simple, inexpensive, and sustainable. Tom Joseph, Epiphany's founder and President, has spent more than four years perfecting the technology, with the intention of providing potable water to the poor and underserved around the globe by using natural resources combined with innovative equipment at little or no cost to the end user communities.

As Pittsburgh prepares to welcome the leaders of the world, Project Eviive is preparing to unveil what it believes may be the global clean water solution for which many have been searching.

For more information about Project Eviive or Epiphany’s breakthrough technology, go to www.eviiveproject.org.

Epiphany Solar Water Systems is a solar energy technology company specializing in the design of systems that purify both fresh and salt water using concentrated solar power. Its first line of water purification systems focus on simplicity and portability. Epiphany seeks to provide simple, low cost sustainable water purification to not just the developing world but to any community or organization that has a need to provide clean water without wires. Epiphany is located in New Castle, PA. READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Head of Confederation of British Industry's Washington Office to Speak in Pittsburgh Sept. 10

Rhian Chilcott, head of the Confederation of British Industry office in Washington, D.C., will speak at a breakfast briefing at the Duquesne Club on Sept. 10 from 7:45-9:15 a.m.

Hosted by the international law firm of K&L Gates and the British American Business Council, Pittsburgh Chapter, Chilcott will speak on the topic of "The G-20 - From London to Pittsburgh and Beyond."

She will brief the region’s business leaders on some of the key financial and economic issues on the agenda for discussion at the G-20 Summit and how those issues will impact companies doing business globally.

Often referred to as the "Voice of Business," the CBI is the UK's top business lobby organization. CBI’s specialist services and extensive influence with government, policymakers, legislators and unions are meant to get the best deal for business at home and abroad.

With 13 regional offices around the globe, CBI’s reach is significant. With a focus on important issues relevant to business leaders in today’s market, CBI’s policy work covers everything from climate change to tax reform.

Tickets to the event are $25 per person for BABC Members and their guests; $40 per person for non-members and reservations made after Sept. 7. To register with a credit card on-line, go to www.babc-pittsburgh.org. To register by phone, call Pat Fustich at the BABC 412-392-4555, ext. 4514. READ FULL ARTICLE

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Watch for Real-Time GlobalPittsburgh Blogging from Inside the Convention Center During the Pittsburgh Summit

GlobalPittsburghNEWS will be bringing you real-time blog posts and photos from inside the perimeter during the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit Sept. 24-25, 2009.

GlobalPittsburgh's Communications Chief Thomas Buell, Jr. will be among the 3,000-plus members of the international press corps inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during the G-20 summit.

Starting the morning of Sept. 24 and continuing through Sept. 25, this blog will bring you updates about important developments from the Summit, as well as reports on the process of clearing security and crossing the perimeter into the Convention Center.

Call it a delegates-eye view of the Summit and of Pittsburgh - the angles you might not be getting from other media sources. In many cases, GlobalPittsburghNEWS will be seeing what the media representatives are seeing, and guaging their reactions. This perspective will give readers a chance to know how the city is being viewed during this momentous occasion, and also to learn more about Pittsburgh's many international connections.

We'll also be posting news flashes on Twitter (@GlobalPGH), and on our Facebook and LinkedIn group pages. Users of those services can search for GlobalPittsburgh.

Be sure to watch this space during the weeks leading up to the Summit for important updates about G-20 related activities around the region. You can also watch for GlobalPittsburghNEWS headlines along with the other information at our main website at www.globalpittsburgh.org. READ FULL ARTICLE

Friday, September 4, 2009

Slate of G-20 Related Programs Offered by World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh Starting Sept. 16

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is offering a wide range of educational opportunities related to the G-20 that will benefit local business leaders, community members, high school students and teachers, and young professionals.

Wednesday, Sept. 16: The Pittsburgh G-20: What Should We Expect?
In partnership with Carnegie Bosch Institute, RAND Corporation, and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) at the University of Pittsburgh, the World Affairs Council presents this program featuring local CEOs and international experts on the G-20.

The two morning panels will cover: The G-20: What Is It and Why Does it Matter? and The Issues: Energy, Environment, and Economic Recovery. Local CEOs participating will be J. Christopher Donahue of Federated Investors and Sunil Wadwani of iGATE Corporation.

"RAND is pleased to play a role in helping citizens of the region understand the issues likely to be on the agenda for the Pittsburgh Summit,” said Susan Everingham, director of RAND's Pittsburgh office.

The event will take place at the Heinz History Center. The program will be webcast for those who cannot attend the program in person. A complete list of speakers, the schedule, and registration details can be found at www.worldaffairspittsburgh.org.

Thursday, Sept. 17: The Pittsburgh G-20 Student Summit
More than 1200 high school students will participate in the Pittsburgh G-20 Student Summit, held at Fox Chapel Area High School in collaboration with Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3. Up to 500 students will gather at Fox Chapel Area High School, and more than 700 students and teachers from schools across the globe will “tune in” via interactive webcast or video conference. All participants will hear from a panel of experts about key issues facing G-20 members.

Following the panel presentation, students will break into small groups to analyze these issues from the perspective of a specific G-20 member with the guidance of an expert facilitator. International students in Brazil, Georgia, Italy, South Africa, and other countries will participate via video conference and will consider policy with students attending the program virtually in the Pittsburgh region.

After the small group session, students will regroup to compare and contrast the outcomes of their policy discussion. Educational resources, including G-20-themed lesson plans, are available for all educators who register for this program.

Tuesday, Sept. 22: The Pittsburgh G-20 Beer Summit
On a lighter note, the Council will also be hosting a “G-20 Beer Summit” at the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium on September 22nd. The Beer Summit will offer tastings of six beers from select G-20 member countries.

With this program, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh aims to engage a younger audience – young professionals and graduate students – who are excited to celebrate our city’s selection as the site of the upcoming Summit. This event will provide basic information about the G-20 while giving the participants an opportunity to network and enjoy learning about international beers.

G-20 Information On-line
The web page at www.worldaffairspittsburgh.org/g20.jsp is a comprehensive resource for all the things people need to know about the G-20, its members, and what it means for the region.

Featured on the site is a short original film produced by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh entitled, “G-20: the Basics” and short one-minute podcasts highlighting each of the member states, called the “G-20 Minutes.”

The site also highlights the economic situation in each country as they approach the summit and identifies the local Pittsburgh connections to participating member states.

For more details on the community programs, contact Brandon Wallace at 412-281-7055 or brandon@worldaffairspittsburgh.org. For information about the school programs, contact Christina Unger at 412-281-7027, or christina@worldaffairspittsburgh.org. READ FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pittsburgh Heralded as Economic Powerhouse in Southwest Airlines In-Flight Magazine

Pittsburgh's blossoming identity as an innovation-driven economic powerhouse gets a thorough review in the latest issue of Southwest Airlines' in-flight magazine.

"Take the values of the Midwest and a forward-thinking Eastern spark and you have Pittsburgh, a city that recently celebrated its 250th birthday," reads the article in Spirit magazine.

"But if the only things that spring to mind when it comes to this classic city are Super Bowl rings, the Stanley Cup, soot and a lot of steel, then one thing is certain: You clearly don’t know Pittsburgh."

The 16-page spread highlights Pittsburgh-area companies such as Westinghouse, Bayer, Medrad, GlaxoSmithKline, UPMC and American Eagle Outfitters, and focuses on key strengths in the region - energy, life sciences, education and robotics, to name a few.

The article also shines a spotlight on the region's livability, manageable size, low cost of living and many cultural attractions.