Energy is critical to our society, economy and quality of life.  It is also a major source of uncertainty and risk to the environment. This creates an opportunity gap for many businesses: how to effectively provide their communities with environmental stewardship, economic vitality and operational resiliency. The Energy Institute for Societal Outcomes trains leaders to navigate the conundrums created at the intersection of energy, environment and the economy to create successful long-term societal outcomes. 


The Problem

Today, energy is approached as a supply-side issue (i.e. solar), a demand management issue (i.e. energy efficiency) or as an infrastructure issue (i.e. pipelines). Most educational programs aggregate curricular and research activity within a university to accelerate advancements that optimize the utilization of existing infrastructures. Some will stress integrated designs and cross-disciplinary skills required to design future solutions. Few take into consideration the counter voices, such as NGOs, which argue for or against specific energy solutions. What is ultimately lacking is a broader voice, which values societal outcomes of increased convenience, mobility, security, comfort, and resiliency of critical services enabled by access to energy. 


The Solution

The Sustainable Energy Solutions Certificate Program at Presidio Graduate School is the genesis of the proposed Energy Institute for Societal Outcomes (EISO). In four years, the Certificate has trained over 50 students to prioritize societal outcomes in energy while the sector evolves and changes. Our subject matter experts come internationally from fields such as transportation, oil & gas, water, agriculture, financial markets, renewable energy, politics, utilities, agriculture, cybersecurity, and more. They address critical gaps in the energy sector from their sectoral vantage point. Common issues highlighted include:

  • Many companies are struggling to adapt to an uncertain future created by rapidly evolving environmental and energy ecosystems.
  • There is little to no interaction between major infrastructure systems let alone interactions between infrastructure, financial, and societal concerns.
  • Too few leaders understand energy systems complexities enough to lead the nation through the uncertainties facing it.
  • There is an increasing interest in building careers around designing and developing products and systems that will meet future demands while remaining affordable, reliable, and committed to corporate stewardship practices.

Lead, Train and Transform

The Energy Institute uniquely fills the gap between unmet societal demand and available technology solutions. The institute builds upon the certificate program by leveraging our network of connected experts across the affected disciplines to address mutual concerns. Its mission is threefold: (1) to educate leaders in strategies, policies and methods that improve societal outcomes, (2) to train practitioners in best practices for systematic resource management, and (3) to develop insights priorities, and goals, based on ongoing dialogues. The Institute will offer the following programs:

·       Host an Annual Leadership Roundtable: This program is designed to engage experts and executive stakeholders. This roundtable will develop problem statements around the energy challenges and persistent solution gaps.

·       Pioneer Chief Utility Officer (CUO) Training: The CUO is an evolving leadership role, responsible for the strategic alignment of utility consumption with an organization’s goals. An Executive Education program will help leaders identify and address opportunity gaps. A Certified Utility Officer program will train practitioners the financial and analytical skills to effectively integrate these advanced systems into the energy market

·       Publish Reports and Facilitate Research: The problem statements and strategies generated from the Leadership Roundtable will inform publications and research.  The reports will guide the education programs and draw from the latest research in organizational design, technological innovation systems and industry best practices.


How to Participate

Organizations and individuals can participate in the EISO’s programs through:

  • Annual Membership: An organization can participate in the Leadership Roundtable, send select staff to education programs and access research reports.
  • Tuition: Individuals can take classes in the Executive Education or Certified Utility Officer programs.  Members receive a discount.
  • Research: Companies, government agencies and NGOs can hire the institute to design and implement action frameworks. Example topics include carbon management strategies and leadership design for an energy future.

Impact

The Energy Institute for Societal Outcomes supplements existing programs by addressing the drivers of consumption: increased convenience, comfort, security, resiliency, and other societal outcomes. The institute will create a safe place for dialogue and innovation that brings together stakeholders across the supply chain, including public, private and advocacy organizations.  It will help define the context of energy challenges and spur innovations and outcomes to address them. Technology can provide great solutions to well-defined and well-analyzed problems. However, human-centric design is not enough.  To address our most critical problem, we must take a humanity-centric design approach. 


For More Information

The Institute is seeking companies and individuals interested in being members, students, or participating in sponsored research.  We are also recruiting an advisory board. Please contact Jimmy at jimmy@jimmyjia.com for more information.