Kelly Jones | November 5, 2014
At the close of last week’s EDF Climate Corps Network Event, Jason Jay, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan, asked everyone to take a few moments to think about our takeaways and jot down our action items coming out of the event. One of the next steps I wrote down for myself was to write a blog summarizing my perspective on the two day conference. This write-up is just what I experienced, so if you attended and want to highlight a different part of the event, I encourage you to share in the comments below.
Reconnecting and Sharing Stories
As I went around and spoke with various attendees, it was clear that what people really wanted was to reconnect with each other and hear about what our fellows worked on this summer. For the alumni fellows, the event functions as a bookend to close out the summer that started with our training in Chicago. This year, we had fellows placed from New York to China, so it was great to have everyone in one room together again. For the host supervisors, the event serves as a way to learn about the new types of projects our fellows are working on and connect with other professionals working in the field.
Because having the chance to chat and network is such a focus, the table discussions, facilitated by MIT’s Jason Jay and Peter Senge, were a highlight for me. It was nice to see attendees reflecting on similar obstacles and strategies for overcoming them, breaking out their calendars to jot down when they might re-connect and chatting in the buffet line about establishing more frequent, regional meet-ups.
An Awards Ceremony, a Career Workshop and a Brewery Tour
This was our fifth annual Network Event, so I wanted to note a few new components that added some spark to the agenda and were different for those of you who might have attended this event in years past.
This year, knowing the good work our fellows do, we took the time to recognize all of our fellows with an evening reception on the spectacular 31st floor of the Federal Reserve Building in Boston. Then, Carl Ferenbach, Chair of the EDF board, and Diane Regas, Senior Vice President for Programs at EDF, announced our first ever Fellowship Award Winners. The winners were Nicholas Zuba, for the Best Business Case Award, Rob Youngs, for the Innovation Award and Fatou Jabbie, for the Collaboration Award. While all 117 of our fellows added value to their organizations, these three were chosen by the EDF Climate Corps team to be recognized for their exceptional contributions.
The Network Event also incorporated a career workshop with Lauren Weinstein from More than Money Careers. In this session, attendees were presented with a framework with which to evaluate their careers and prioritize their passions. Fellows were able to roll play their personal pitches and get feedback from each other. Additionally, Weinstein went over strategies for leveraging LinkedIn and Twitter. Simultaneously, four of our host company participants spoke on a panel about their work on executive engagement and goal setting, employee engagement, renewable energy and facility energy mapping and benchmarking. With both sessions, there was plenty to learn from and take back home.
To “top off” an exceptional but busy two days, my coworker Kate Hanley, the organizer of the event, knew what people would need … a brewery tour. Many of us, suitcases in hand, walked over to the Harpoon Brewery for a tour and tasting before heading back to our hometowns. We heard a little about their brewing, bottling and canning processes and of course the sustainability implications.
From the time I arrived in Boston to the train ride home, I was glad to hear people discussing how we can build upon our sustainability network. I listened to stories being shared about the summer, watched people exchange cards and saw ideas spark in people’s minds. What was your experience at the event last week? Do you have any highlights or something you learned that you’d like to share?
About EDF Climate Corps
EDF Climate Corps (edfclimatecorps.org) taps the talents of tomorrow’s leaders to save energy, money and the environment by placing specially trained EDF fellows in companies, cities and universities as dedicated energy problem solvers. Working with hundreds of leading organizations, EDF Climate Corps has uncovered nearly $1.4 billion in energy savings. For more information, visit edfclimatecorps.org. Read our blog at edfclimatecorps.org/blog. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/edfbiz and on Facebook at facebook.com/EDFClimateCorps.