Amidst the whirlwind of educational chatter at New Noise Santa Barbara conference each year, there exists one of the planet’s only panels focused on the intersection of sustainability and the music industry. This year, the “Flat Earth Society: It’s Not Easy Being Green” panel kicks off the entire conference at the Canary Hotel when it goes down on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

Because this hour-long component may be insightful and entertaining for people who are more passionate about the environment than they are about the music biz, the New Noise organizers are seeking to give away a handful of one-day conference scholarships to Santa Barbarans who’d like to listen to what some of the leading experts in sustainability have to say.

Here’s a snapshot of this year’s panel:

* Chris Baumgartner is a manager at Effect Partners who works to bring a more sustainable approach to marketing and touring. Effect Partners has worked with Jack Johnson, Black Eyed Peas, U2, and other big acts to green their tours by integrating recycling measures, energy saving strategies, and other sustainable practices. See

* Steve Casper is owner of Zero Impact Guitars, which since 1986 has been making “eco-axes” with “Smartwood” as dictated by the guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Council. Casper will also have some of his wares on display in our listening lounge throughout the conference, and will probably play a tune or two himself. See

* Jonathan Gelbard is a sustainability consultant whose company combines his skills as a conservation scientist, sustainability expert, and communication specialist to help businesses become more green. His work involves the entertainment industry, and he produced the Rothbury Think Tank at the Rothbury Festival in Michigan and the eco-component of the Green Apple Festival in D.C. See

* John Lefebvre is an “eco-troubador” who uses his music as a platform for spreading the message of environmentalism. His songs resonate with sustainable notions, and he’s also an active supporter of the David Suzuki Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, both of which are located in Vancouver near his home. See

* Craig Lyons is a virtual performer who makes money doing live concerts for Internet viewers, leaving a much smaller carbon footprint than the typical touring musician. Much of his work has been on — where people live a parallel existence as online avatars who, among other activities, like listening to live music — but he’s also building virtual performances into a variety of platforms. See an L.A. Times article about him here.

* Jacob Tell is the CEO of Oniric Records and Oniracom, the Santa Barbara-based company that’s built Web sites for Jack Johnson, Brushfire Records, Counting Crows, Matisyahu, John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, and others. In addition to his knowledge about new media marketing, Jacob also produces the “Solutions for Dreamers” series of albums; the third season is out now and, among other artists, features the first new song from the Wailers in many years while also raising money for the World Food Programme. See and


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