Chicago–A new event, the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, is set to take place at Columbia College in downtown Chicago this fall.
Slated for Oct. 13 and 14, it will provide education and tools for jewelers, suppliers, educators, students and consumers, teaching attendees how to be more active in ensuring that the jewelry they make, sell and buy meets higher standards for social and ecological well-being across the world.
The conference will be emceed and moderated by Andrea Hill, owner of Hill Management Group.
The speaker lineup includes the following:
–Toby Pomeroy, who helped bring ethical gold to the forefront through his close work with Hoover & Strong;
–Stewart Grice, Hoover & Strong’s vice president of mill and refining and a top material science expert;
–Christina Miller, co-founder of Ethical Metalsmiths;
–Monica Stephenson, owner of Anza Gems and writer and publisher of the jewelry industry blog iDazzle;
–Eric Braunwart, owner of Columbia Gem House and a pioneer in sourcing colored gemstones ethically;
–Elizabeth Orlando with the U.S. Department of State;
–Patricia Syvrud of Jòia Consulting;
–Cristina M. Villegas, senior program officer at Pact World’s Mines to Market; and
–Orin Mazzoni, producer of the mine-to-market documentary “Sharing the Rough.”
In addition to two days of information sessions, the conference will host a screening of Mazzoni’s documentary, open to all conference attendees and members of the public.
Susan Wheeler, of Susan Wheeler Design, initiated The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. She is a member of Ethical Metalsmiths and serves on several committees for the Jewelry Industry Summit, a responsible sourcing conference that’s in its second year.
The Chicago conference is being held in collaboration with Ethical Metalsmiths, which will host an online auction of jewelry on Monday to raise additional funds for the conference.
It also is being sponsored by MJSA, with more sponsorships to come.
Tickets are $200 until Sept. 15 (not including tickets to the film screening). After that, the price increases to $300. Students can get discounted tickets (with a student ID) for $100.