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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Energy Conversations

Imagine its the future, and somehow we've managed to avoid eco-catastrophe or the complete depletion of our planet's energy resources. If we've arrived here, it must mean that somehow "green" concerns at some point came in from the cold and the fringe and found a home among mainstream decision makers. How did that happen? How did the concern for these issues move beyond the community where they first emerged to become a concern of both major parties, of government, of the financial sector, of industry, and even of the military?

Maybe it started through efforts like Energy Conversations. Midwifed by Mitzi Wertheim at the CNA Corporation, a federally-funded non-profit research center in the located D.C. burbs, this project is bringing movers and shakers from the executive branch, the military, and the private sector together to think innovatively about energy issues. A monthly program features a diverse list of speakers tackling energy concerns from different perspectives; recent programs have been headed by policy pundit Jeremy Rifkin, green entrepreneur Brian Appel of Changing World Technologies, and free-market theoretician Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Complementing these face-to-face events is the Drupal-based website, which hopefully will encourage ongoing conversation and collaboration among participants.

Indeed the entire project is based on the idea of social networking, on encouraging collaboration and discussion. It's no accident that the word Conversation is used in the title - because that is what is sought here, not high-pitched advocacy of one view or another.

We've been involved ever since Mitzi walked into our office one morning to talk about our events-management software, and there's no doubt its one of the more exciting things we're working on.

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