Redesigning Civilization

Redesigning Civilization



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lancaster, PA (Oct. 4, 2016): The Innovator Lecture Series, in partnership with Fine Living Lancaster, presents a lecture on sustainability and environment by Matt Grocoff, titled Redesigning Civilization. This free lecture take place on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 7:00pm, at The Ware Center, 42 N. Prince Street, Lancaster.


In Nature, structurally diverse and complex systems are robust and healthy. Over-simplicity is an indicator of disease, decline and collapse. Yet we continue to design human systems with linear, top-down schemes not found in nature.  What can we learn in the lessons of Nature to develop life-enhancing buildings, more resilient infrastructures and even better democracies?

This talk is a profound look into the design opportunity of transitioning to visible, bottom-up, complex adaptive water, energy and food systems based on local knowledge and simple rules.  This is about asking what true sustainability looks like and how we get there.



Matt Grocoff is the founding principal of the THRIVE Collaborative working to create life-enhancing buildings that harvest their own energy and water, create zero waste, and are beautiful and restorative. 

He was honored as a 2012 Michigan Green Leader by the Detroit Free Press, and called a “proven zero energy master” by Green Building Elements. He is co-founder of Mission Zero Fest and a nationally renowned advocate and thought-leader on net zero energy buildings, Living Buildings, and restorative design. Matt is host of Greenovation.TV, a contributor to the Environment Report on public radio, contributor to FOX2 News EnergyTeam, and the green renovation expert for Old House Web and

Matt has had the honor to speak at Google and TEDx and dozens of prestigious international conferences and events.  He is a Living Future Accredited (LFA) professional having “demonstrated a holistic framing of sustainability and the understanding needed to help lead a transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.”

His home was selected as one of USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” and The Atlantic called it “sustainable perfection.” It is America’s oldest and Michigan’s first net-zero energy building, meaning it annually produces more energy than his family consumes.  His work has been featured in two recent books People Habitat: 20 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities;  No Regrets Remodeling and Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy. Matt is an adviser to the University of Michigan BLUElab team targeting Living Building Certification for his landmark home.

He has been featured in the pages and on the airwaves of hundreds of media outlets including USA TODAYThe AtlanticWashington Post, Detroit Free Press, Fine Homebuilding, Preservation Magazine, Photon International, Solar Today, Fox Business News, This Old House and countless online magazines and blogs.


Our world is in need of innovative thinkers, designers, and imaginers to solve some of our most pressing issues. We are bringing exciting speakers to share their expertise, research, and imagination around environmental sustainability, social justice, and future thinking. In addition, we will showcase the innovators right here in our own community, doing incredible things to move us forward.

TICKETS: Free, tickets are required.



The Ware Center, 42 N. Prince Street, Lancaster. Hours, Monday –  Thursday 10:30 AM – 6:30 PMFriday10:30  AM – 4:30 PM.

Student Memorial Center, Room 103, Millersville University campus. Hours Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.


Call the box office at 717-871-7600.



Millersville University’s Office of Visual and Performing Arts builds upon a long history of supporting the arts, producing a vast array of unique, educational, and exciting events and performances that touch many genres of artistic endeavors. Within our two centers, The Ware Center in downtown Lancaster, and the Charles R. and Anita B. Winter Center on the campus of Millersville University, our office engages both the student and community of Lancaster populations, and brings to its stages creative local artists, as well as renowned artists and performers from around the world. Committed to the ongoing expression of excellence in the arts, the Office of Visual and Performing Arts strives to ensure that the arts in Lancaster County will continue to flourish.


The Millersville University Visual and Performing Arts Season is made possible by support from Season Platinum Partner Rodgers & Associates and Gold Season Sponsors Aussie and The Fox and Hagelgans & Veronis, and Silver Season Sponsors The Hotel Lancaster, 12:34MicroTechnologies, YDOP and Weber Advertising.  This season’s Luminary Donors include Ann Barshinger, John & Susan Garofola, Linda Holman-Marcks, William McIlwaine, Peggy Neff, Mary Kearns & Jon Walker, and Paul & Judy Ware.


Millersville University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. A member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.