Organizing for our Energy Future — the ISEIF Surge Summit

ISEIF Surge Summit 2017

We’re buzzing with excitement about the upcoming Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) Surge Summit — a chance for folks working in energy efficiency in Illinois to come together and spend a day talking about organizing. So, we wanted to share some of what’s in store for the September 27th convening — RSVP now to make sure you don’t miss the action!

Behavioral Economist Lynne Kiesling

Professor Kiesling of Purdue University is one of the foremost experts on “smart grid economics,” covering topics as diverse as government regulation, digital innovation, the power of choice, and why we make the sometimes confusing economic decisions that we do. She’ll open up our summit with a talk about the behaviors driving our energy choices.

Professor Kiesling is a prolific and fascinating writer — we recommend checking out her blog The Knowledge Problem for her thoughts on topics ranging from electricity to monopolies to knitting. Her wealth of knowledge, not only about what drives human behavior, but also how we got to this point in electric history, lays a strong foundation for where we go from here as smart grid advocates.

Take a look at this video featuring Kiesling’s breakdown of why Americans, until recently, had so little choice when it comes to their energy consumption.


Midwest Academy

The Midwest Academy was founded in 1973, on the heels of the civil rights era, training activists from labor, environmental, feminist, and racial justice groups on how to move from protest tactics to strategic movements. Since then they’ve trained over 25,000 campaigners, including folks from, Food and Water Watch, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and the Sierra Club. On 9/27, Academy trainers will share how to conduct a community assessment in crafting your organizing strategy — and how to use this tool for building a bigger base of energy-literate consumers.

You might not consider yourself an organizer in the traditional sense. But the truth is, each one of us is organizing Illinoisans to change their habits, become energy efficiency advocates, and to ensure a greener future for our state. And it’s going to take a stubborn and steadfast organizer’s mindset to get us there.

If you’re curious about what’s in store, check out this inside look at an Academy workshop from Chicago Tonight. 

Hope to see you there!