Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What does Korean Fried Chicken have to do with the LEED International Program?

Jennivine Kwan
Vice President, International Operations
U.S. Green Building Council

Not only is it crispy, crunchy, deliciously seasoned, and goes great with beer, but it also proves to be a great tool for convening people and engaging LEED professionals.

In June, I visited South Korea. While there, I had the pleasure of sharing beer and - you guessed it - Korean fried chicken with a small group of LEED Professionals after the official LEED Professionals Meet and Greet in Seoul. The event was a wonderful opportunity to answer questions and get to know so many dedicated green building professionals in one place, but the “after-session” was by far the highlight of my trip to Korea. Not only did I get to know these talented LEED Professionals as individuals, but by the light of the flaming chicken (literally – they poured some type of alcohol over it and sent it up in flames at the table), the LEED Professionals themselves had the chance to start building their community.

My flaming fried chicken, after-event drinks with Korea LEED Professionals, Seoul, Korea, June 16, 2011

It is this type of personal interaction that nurtures the grassroots leadership needed to help us collectively move towards our shared mission for a better and greener world. It didn’t have to be fried chicken, it could have been any little mundane thing that brought people together, but I am glad it was. And as I continue my work with USGBC, I hope to have and cherish many more “Korean Fried Chicken” moments.

Moving from the Era of INPUTS to the Ear of Performance, Korea LEED Professional Meet and Greet, Seoul, Korea, June 16, 2011

Wherever you are located, we encourage you to connect with fellow LEED Professionals in your part of the world and form networking and meet-up groups. The first step is to start communicating: Use the LEED Professional Directory to connect with LEED Professionals in your area, or join the USGBC International LinkedIn group and start chatting.

We’re always interested in hearing from LEED Professionals, so feel free to contact us at If you are forming a meet-up group in your region, we’ll reach out to you on future trips, and may be able to introduce you to others who are starting informal networking groups, as well.

What will be your “Korean Fried Chicken” moment?

Follow us on Twitter at @USGBC and join the international conversation using hashtag #USGBCIntl - and join our USGBC International LinkedIn group.

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