When the 78th General Convention meets in 2015 it will welcome laptops, tablets, and smartphones in both houses. The convention will meet June 25-July 3, 2015, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
The Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements and the General Convention Office are striving for a mostly paperless convention. The Rev. David Michaud of the Diocese of Easton, an adviser in the revision of legislative software and systems, calls GC 2015 a “convention of screens.”
Laptops, tablets, smartphones, and video monitors will be the primary media of legislative materials, and for the first time there will be no dedicated print shop. This “convention of screens” will be made possible by a robust WiFi system, which will be available for the first time on the floors of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.
“General Convention 2015 will not be ‘business as usual’ for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and not just because the Church will be selecting a Presiding Bishop and considering what a ‘re-imagined’ Church might be,” said the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, executive officer of General Convention. “It will also be the gathering of a Church dedicated to continuing to reducing its carbon footprint, while using innovative software and technology to streamline its legislative work and improve on its efficiencies.”
Lori Ionnitiu, manager of General Convention, plans to combine local efforts with continuing work towards the “greenest convention ever.”
“There are so many wonderful initiatives occurring in Salt Lake City,” she said. “Last May, the Salt Palace Convention Center completed one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the country, which offsets about 17 percent of the annual electrical needs. In addition to established plans at the center for waste reduction, recycling, and diversion, water quality and consumption, and air quality, Salt Lake County has a ‘One Million Tree Program’ in place to assist in offsetting the carbon footprint of travelers.”