We were given the opportunity to speak at the 2012 Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change conference, this week in Sacramento, California. The conference is extremely timely, as recent cases of extreme weather that are now being attributed by many mainstream media sources as possible proof of climate change, such as in Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover article – “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”
Perhaps it was the nice weather in Sacramento, an ideal sunny 60s during the day, but the atmosphere at the conference was much less gloomy than the article, but no less important in the message. Over 700 professionals, scientists from many fields, and even utility companies gathered at the event to discuss new research and practices on energy-savings strategies that involve behavioral change. As our More for the Mission campaign develops, this conference was a great opportunity to hear other case studies, and research on how best to enact lasting change towards energy reductions. In particular, even the panel that we presented and spoke on focused on so many different approaches and scales of energy-efficiency, it was hard not to think of the potential for our organization and the More for the Mission project.
Our session on Management and Business brought together several panelists on the issue of how various scales and scopes of businesses can adopt energy-savings. In particular, our panel included energy-experts from small businesses, governmental agencies, and even utilities. The discussion centered a lot around how organizations of all scales, even the smallest businesses, wish to understand the most impactful energy-savings strategies. It was also enlightening to hear how many of these organizations were not only driven by cost-savings, but by other issues such as pollution, maintenance-savings, and better work-places for staff.
Overall, the conference was a great assembly of disciplines ranging from social scientists, economics, architects, engineers, business managers, marketing specialists, and even neuroscientists! The range of topics was also extremly exciting, from business, sociology, marketing, and design, the approaches ranged from academic studies to practical case-studies and best-practice guides.
Here are some highlights from the conference:
In conclusion, the conference was a great opportunity to discuss emerging issues with a wide, interdisciplinary audience. I hope to see even more variation in fields at the next one, which will take place in November 2013 in Sacramento!
EDIT: See the powerpoint slides from the conference - here!