Is the Grinch Green?


Boy, I feel like the grinch but it is not lost on me that the latest email has both “Five tips for embedding sustainability into your practice …” and “Announcing: 3D Basecamp 2022! In Vancouver, BC”

Surely I’m not the only one experiencing cognitive dissonance. Perhaps the most sustainable thing Trimble and your firm can do is to not participate in an event that requires hundreds if not thousands of people to fly to an event, one that could help a lot more people by being online and be green, helping to save the planet and your money at the same time?

Really, if nothing else, did we not just learn we can be just as productive, if not more so, working (and learning) from home? Can we stop with the needless events that require or expect folks to travel hundreds or thousands of miles for marketing and entertainment events? I’m sure Basecamp is fun, but at what expense?


Basecamp will be stimulating the economy by helping to kick start the travel and tourism industry. A great many people that have nothing to do with Sketchup will benefit from it. I say hats off to any company that is willing to get out and get amongst it.


Just think how much carbon monoxide could be reduced if all spectator sport was simply televised. Think how many cars wouldn’t be belching out their fumes on the way to all those pointless football, baseball, basketball. Everyone should be happy to stay home and watch it on the TV. No point visiting friends, stay home and save gas. What’s that Bruce Willis movie where everyone has replaced themselves with simulants and they just stay in bed all day getting old and fat while controlling them with their minds. Whoo hoo I’m in.


Let’s not be extreme in response. No one said stay home. I can travel within a 10 mile radius and get most anything I need. 20-30 miles, a lifetime of exploring and people I’ll never know. The point is green, being selective, sustainable. There are lots of ways of supporting the economy without needing to travel thousands of miles for entertainment. Companies can lead the way.


Pointless pastimes anyway. Probably better to eliminate it all and keep the Super Bowl halftime show (i like to go out days when the streets are empty.)

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Just from reading your post, I can clearly guess that you’ve never been at a 3D basecamp, right?


Personally I don’t feel bad about going. I can’t remember when I last traveled by automobile and my last flight was over 2 years ago (and across a sea where the train wasn’t an alternative).

The pandemic has taught us that everyday work works just as good, if not better, remotely, bad that meeting physical flesh people every now and then is amazing.

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I think Trimble does a pretty good job already for their employees and the industry:

Basecamp is not about

per se, only.



I have never been, but I can’t imagine there is anything there that can’t be done better in a pre-edited presentation, other than drinks afterward.

Never been to a conference that wasn’t a waste of time and money. Of course I wouldn’t go to Disneyland either.

There are thousands of people I’ve never met within 10 miles. I don’t need to go to Vancouver to meet people in the flesh.

Apple Developers Conference comes to mind. Before the pandemic just a small percentage of developers could get in, if they could go at all. Since the Pandemic, everyone can attend for free, no expense account needed.

Surely I’m not the only one to notice the mixed message of the emailed newsletter. There’s only one earth, and we can’t keep ignoring the problem. And there isn’t a soul here that can do enough, probably not enough to offset the “contributions” we’ve each already made to the mess, never mind reverse the greater problem. But, we can do more if we are willing to give up the more extreme activities and not ridicule or dismiss those who challenge us to do so. Otherwise, isn’t it all just green washing?



If you really listen to Painter, he is (perhaps inadvertently) supporting my case. If a project manager doesn’t have to show up to a construction site, why does a SketchUp user need to go to Vancouver, from 1/2 way around the world.

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It’s the “drinks afterwards” you go to a conference for, not the presentation. It’s to bump into people in the hallways, find you work on the same problem but attack it from two different angels. It’s about sharing experience and knowledge. It’s about making new friends and business partners. I think I only attended one or two presentations at my last Basecamp.


No doubt that it took the SketchUp team some convincing higher up the chain to organize this basecamp. As a Distributor, we also organize local basecamps, btw, and a virtual BingeCamp this november:

(Dutch language)

Each of us can take their own responsibility, global problems require joint efforts from around the world and awareness, who knows what will happen after the event?
I have never been to Disneyland either, but I have been to conferences. Sometimes, or I should say most of the times, the money and time spent doesn’t have direct influence that can be seen in a sales report, but we are all just dripping little drops of water to get the bucket filled in the end.
A small talk with a student about the use of SketchUp could eventually turn out to be a large account when that someone has moved up in the chain of a company or organisation.
The same applies for ideas!


I am sure it crossed your mind when posting this on a ‘fanboy’ forum it could give some ‘they took our jobs’ reactions.
Southpark - They Took Our Jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - YouTube

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It’s the “drinks afterwards” you go to a conference for, not the presentation. It’s to bump into people in the hallways, find you work on the same problem but attack it from two different angels. It’s about sharing experience and knowledge. It’s about making new friends and business partners. I think I only attended one or two presentations at my last Basecamp.

Why not organize a relatively local gatherings of SU users closer to home? The numbers of potential partners could more easily be met online. Some partners never meet in person these days. Flying 1/2 way around the world for drinks? The grinch is green? :money_mouth_face:

Indeed, and indeed. :wink:
But that doesn’t stop me.

I’d suggest there is always the potential to meet that someone, but at what cost? You can meet them at the “Corner Bar” online or the local campus, but what matter does it make if we live in denial or for the moment the planet burns? You can meet many more here can you not?

And can we not fan from a distance? Can we fan together locally if we want live? Or are the locals seen as less worthy, unworldly, or worst, competitors?

There are such events already. Going to such event however does let you meet the those who are not in your own area.

In some industries it’s good to have business partners nearby but in others it’s irrelevant if you hire someone in Canada or Sweden, as long as they have the right competence.

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Agree with all you say, but going to Vancouver let’s you meet a handful that matter maybe, but only a few of the many that might matter, and at great expense.

Good of you to acknowledge the real reason for going. The cost is too steep, and I don’t mean just money.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Full disclosure; I have nothing to gain by going to Basecamp (started long before Trimble BTW).

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You just like to pee in other people’s Cheerios don’t you? I get the impression you aren’t much fun to meet in person so it’s probably a good thing you won’t be attending Basecamp, anyway. You are entitled to your opinions but there’s no need to inflict them on others.


What DaveR said :+1:


I do understand how one could come to that conclusion, but if you zoom out a little, you would see that this is the only event the SketchUp Team had put on in the last three years. Since Basecamp in 2018, we have put on dozens of virtual events attended by tens of thousands.

The venue we chose prides itself on its “greenness” and has multiple systems in place to give back to the earth throughout their property (far beyond energy efficiency and recycling).

To add to that (and I have said this many time before), if you have not been to 3D Basecamp, you cannot possibly understand everything that it is. I, myself, have been to dozens of conferences in my life and there is not a single one that touches the experience of attending Basecamp. It’s not just fun and educational, but an opportunity to connect with others that you cannot meet anywhere else in the world.

Yeah, it will be a lot of people traveling, but I like to think that the difference that those people will end up making on the world will more than offset a round trip flight to this amazing event.

I know… I am a staff member and everything that I say will be viewed as biased… but those who know me know that I would be attending this event even if I was not employed by Trimble. The fact is, I would find a way to pay to get there even if I was not working for an employer who would send me. I, personally, have made friendships that have lasted for years, now and gained knowledge that I could never have picked up from a video.


Yep. Sure. I know. I won’t debate the “experience.”
Someone from the team needed to reply.
But anyone (including you) could and should come to that conclusion, unless they happen to be within maybe 50 miles of Vancouver on those dates, and even then…
Can we not admit it’s a marketing love fest with hobnobbing and partying thrown in??

But don’t imagine folks need to go to Vancouver to learn, have fun, see sustainable architecture and certainly not to go home and “make a difference”. Nor that somehow that expense to the planet is going to be offset by the knowledge only to be gained by traveling and spending. Magical thinking and denial does not a better planet make.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but maybe enough already?? You all can do better, much better.

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