Events & Conferences

Engineering Sustainability 2013 – Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line

The Engineering Sustainability 2013 is scheduled to be held from April 7-9, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Engineering Sustainability 2013

Engineering Sustainability 2013 (photo –

It is organized by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh and the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research at Carnegie Mellon University.

The conference brings together engineers and scientists from academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to share results of cutting-edge research and practice directed at development of environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

This is the fifth Engineering Sustainability conference, following the ones held in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. This year’s conference theme is “Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line.”

Plenary speakers for Engineering Sustainability 2013 include:-

Alex Steffen – Green futurist and creator of the Worldchanging and Worldchanging 2.0 series.

Mitchell Joachim – Architect and designer, and Co-President of Terreform ONE.

Dr. Khanjan Mehta – Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program at Penn State University.

The Green Building Alliance will be hosting a panel on “The Future of Healthy and High Performing Places.” The Pennsylvania Environmental Council will be hosting another panel on “Sustainable Water Management- Meeting the Challenge with Green Solutions.”

Sustainable Pittsburgh will be hosting the closing session panel on “Debating the Case for Crafting a Regional Energy Strategy and Plan.”

A string of esteemed speakers will be presenting papers. Dr. Marija D. Ilic, Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, will be speaking about “The Role of IT-Enabled Engineering in Achieving Low-Cost Green Energy Services.”

Dr. Arpad Horvath, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Head of Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate Graduate Program at University of California, Berkeley, will speak about the “Environmental Impacts of Delivering Water.”

What: Engineering Sustainability 2013

When: April 7-9, 2013

Where: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

ASPA Annual Conference – Governance and Sustainability

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) 2013 Annual Conference is scheduled to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 15-19, 2013.

ASPA Annual Conference - Governance and Sustainability

ASPA Annual Conference – Governance and Sustainability (photo –

The conference theme is “Governance and Sustainability: Local Concerns, Global Challenges.”

More than 400 public service experts will be on hand to address concerns encountered in the work place and offer creative solutions.  Last year’s conference in Las Vegas was attended by more than 1,200 public administrators, nonprofit managers and employees, students and scholars.

There will be more than 150 educational options to choose from in a variety of special interest track ranging from sustainable leadership and sustainable cities/communities to emergency and crisis management for sustainability.

One panel on Day 1 will discuss “Gulf Coast sustainability and the Restore Act of 2012.” This panel will address the complexity and challenges of successfully implementing the RESTORE Act which dedicated 80 percent of BP oil spill fines to the Gulf Coast states for restoration.

Another panel on “School Governance: Choice and Design” will discuss recent reform efforts that have attempted to accommodate federal directives such as NCLB and Race to the Top, and local movements to establish neighborhood schools, especially in urban school districts.

The “Leadership and Innovation in Public Administration” panel on March 18 will focus on the interaction between concepts of leadership and innovation. Panelists will discuss how leadership can drive (introduce), guide, manage and nurture innovation in the public sector, and how innovation can change the context, the concept and the future of leadership.

Presenters in this panel will debate the methodological issues of measuring and quantifying innovation and the most suitable structures for producing innovation. The panel will also consider the similarities and differences of private sector innovation practices vs. public sector innovation practices and their inter-applicability.

On Tuesday, March 19, a panel of expert practitioners and academicians on “Louisiana Post-Katrina: What’s Changed?” will discuss where Louisiana stands eight years after Katrina’s devastation. After opening statements, this session will be open to questions from the audience.

Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne will be the keynote speaker. There will be a lecture by Texas A&M University Professor Kenneth J. Meier on March 18. Prof. Meier is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and a former editor of the American Journal of Political Science.

What: ASPA 2013 Annual Conference

When: March 15-19, 2113

Where: Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana

Utility Economic Development Association Winter Forum

The 2013 Utility Economic Development Association (UEDA) Winter Forum will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona from March 4-6, 2013.


UEDA (photo –

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is the host utility, and the event is dedicated to providing ongoing economic development education and networking programs, and serves as an information source and conduit to UEDA members for site selectors.

UEDA forums are recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as professional training, so it counts towards Certified Economic Developers (CEcD) re-certification.

The theme for this particular forum is “Economic Development Opportunities at the Dawn of a New Era.” The general session kicks off on March 4, 2013 with the keynote address by Jeff Guldner, senior vice president, Customers and Regulation, APS.

This will be followed by the first session on Day 1, which is about “Economic Development in Challenging Times.” Jim Rounds, senior vice president and senior economist for Elliott D. Pollack and Company, will provide insight into the current state of the economy and key economic trends that will impact the economic development activities of UEDA members from coast-to-coast.

The second session on Day 1 is about “Site Selection Trends.” Deane Foote, president and CEO of the Phoenix, AZ-based Foote Consulting Group will focus on current location trends and growth industry targets for electric and gas utility economic development activities from a site selectors perspective. The session will highlight growth areas as well as declining sectors, and the role of utilities in the site selection process.

Day 2 sessions include one on creative ways of recruiting and retaining companies, another one on the market drivers and site selection considerations for data centers, and a third one on shale extraction and its impact.

Day 3 has one session where Jim Wilde, director, Resource Planning, APS will speak on how they plan to meet growth in customer energy demand, as well as which electric resources will play key roles in the future. This session will be followed by an open no-holds-barred state-of-the-industry discussion of current IOU economic development issues of interest.

What: 2013 Utility Economic Development Association Winter Forum

When: March 4-6, 2013

Where: Valley Ho hotel, Scottsdale, Arizona

NY Regional Council Awards Presentation on Dec 19

The Second Annual New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards Presentation will be held at 10 a.m. on Dec 19, 2012. A total of $762 million in economic development project grants and tax breaks will be awarded to the ten regional councils.

NY Regional Council awards presentation

NY Regional Council awards presentation (photo –

Same as last year, the event will be held at the Empire State Plaza’s Hart Theatre in Albany, NY. Governor Cuomo will be hosting, with CNBC’s Closing Bell anchor Maria Bartiromo as a special guest.

Each regional council has submitted its list of priority economic development projects that it wants funded. Each regional council also had to make presentations to the Governor and a panel of judges.

The Governor and his entourage have been visiting each region to take a first-hand look at how last year’s projects are progressing. The presentations were made during these in-person visits.

Last year, the 10 regional councils received $785 million, which included $200 million in competitive grant awards. The four winning councils (Central NY, North Country, Long Island, and Western NY) got $40 million apiece, while the other six shared the remaining $40 million.

This year’s awards include $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior tax credits. The total of $220 million in competitive awards has been organized a bit differently, with five $25 million awards are stake.

The aforementioned four winning regional councils will be competing for two $25 million awards.  Last year’s six losers will be duking it out to get three $25 million awards. This year’s losers will share the remaining $25 million in capital funds. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region.

The remaining $542 million that is being allocated will come from state agency programs through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to support regionally-significant economic development projects.

You can read more about the regional councils and see each council’s submitted priority projects at

What: NY Regional Economic Development Council Awards Presentation

When: 10 a.m., Dec 19, 2012

Where: Hart Theatre, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York

Calgary ED Event – New Frontiers in Urban Planning and Design

Calgary Economic Development is hosting the third installment of the Soul of the City speaker series titled “New Frontiers in Urban Planning and Design” on Nov 28, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Calgary Economic Development

Photo – Calgary Economic Development

This event is being presented by the Calgary TELUS Convention Center and M2i Development Corporation.

Speakers Ken Greenberg, Douglas Olson and Marcy McInelly will explore how good planning and design can foster community, increase attachment levels amongst residents, and enhance a city’s appeal.

Ken Greenberg is an architect, urban designer, teacher, writer, former director of Urban Design and Architecture for the city of Toronto and currently Principal, Greenburg Consultants.

Marcy McInelly practiced architecture and urban design for more than 27 years in New York City and Portland, Oregon. She is the founder of Portland-based urban design firm Urbsworks Inc.

Doug Olson is a landscape architect and regional planner with over 25 years experience. He has served as an instructor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary.

The three speakers will be provoking attendees’ thinking on how we can improve the way we plan and build communities. The themes that will be explored at the event include “Landscape and Urbanism: A question of scale and putting the public back in public spaces.”

Four more “Soul of the City” events are scheduled for 2013 on topics including public art and architecture, creativity in Calgary, small plot farming and local breweries, and festivals.

What: Speaker Series – New Frontiers in Urban Planning and Design (hosted by Calgary ED)

When: Nov 28, 2012 (4 pm – 6 pm)

Where: Karo’s Headspace 1817 10 ave S.W Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Geneva College Education and Economic Development Forum

Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania is hosting a forum on the role of education in economic development.


Photo – StartingGate

The event will be held on Nov 19, 2012 at small business incubator StartingGate’s new facility in Beaver Falls, PA.

The forum on “Building the New Beaver County Economy: Higher Education—Partners in Economic Development Forum,” is being organized by Geneva College in partnership with the Community College of Beaver County and Penn State Beaver.

The aim of the forum is to identify ways that local colleges can collaborate with local industries to assist in the economic development of the region.

“We want to discuss how we can leverage current opportunities to build an economy for the future of Beaver County,” explains Geneva president Dr. Kenneth A. Smith. “We’ve already been through a boom and a bust. We want to mitigate the chance of a bust by training skilled individuals for careers, not just for jobs.”

Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of Corporate Relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, will kick off the forum as the moderator of a panel discussion featuring two groups from the educational institutions and industry.

The education group will be comprised of Geneva president Dr. Smith; Community College of Beaver County president Dr. Joe D. Forrester; and chancellor of Penn State Beaver Dr. Gary B. Keefer.

The business group will include Eaton Corporation plant manager Robert Griffin; Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse president and CEO John Manzetti; and Heritage Valley Health System CEO Norm Mitry.

The keynote speaker is Pennsylvania Secretary for the Department of Community and Economic Development Alan Walker, who will engage the audience with a Q&A after his speech.

The incubator where the event is being held focuses primarily on information technology, advanced manufacturing and assembly-oriented business operations, but provides services to all business sectors.

StartingGate can help new business startups as well as existing businesses looking to expand in the Beaver and Lawrence County region in Pennsylvania. They offer business start-up incubator space, start-up loans and business funding guidance, and business plan development assistance.

What: Higher Education—Partners in Economic Development Forum

When: Nov 19, 2012 (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm)

Where: StartingGate – 2835 Darlington Road, Beaver Falls, PA 15010

Economy Was Main Issue In First Debate Between Obama and Romney

President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney had their first debate of the year and the economy was the main issue.

Mitt Romney points out that President Obama has failed in leading the country out of economic turmoil. Romney states that he will propose the proper solutions to ultimately fix the economy.

In contrast, President Obama asked for Americans to be patient as the implementation of the policies is expected to work over time. Obama warns that changing course would be detrimental as economic progress is slowly occurring.

Many critics pinpointed that the policies would improve the middle class but Obama and Romney often times talked over each other. Critics also elaborate on how Obama did not criticize the economic policy that was proposed by Mitt Romney. Many liberals were disappointed with the performance by Obama while conservatives were proud of Romney and his aggressive stance on issues and the debate itself.

Obama did strike back at certain points of the debate as he pinpointed the failure of a top down approach and stated that a thriving economy is due to a vibrant middle class. President Obama focused on how government intervention is essential in ultimately “spurring economic growth”. Mitt Romney wants the government to stay out of the way and wants businesses to create much needed jobs in the U.S. economy.

Mitt Romney stated that many families that are middle income are being crushed as President Obama has failed to assist them. Republican candidate Romney seemed to be methodically critiquing the President and his failed policies while Obama seemed to be addressing reporters at times. Romney finally stated that it is time to follow a new path to economic recovery as President Obama has led Americans astray.

Overall, the debate was heated on both sides but both men agree that the economy needs to be stimulated as Americans struggle.

Read More

Cleanweb Hackathon in New York

As part of Climate Week NYC, the Cleanweb Hackathon will be coming back to New York from Sept 28-30, 2012.

Cleanweb Hackathon, New York

Cleanweb Hackathon, New York (Photo – NYCEDC)

In their own words, “The spirit of the Cleanweb Hackathon is to show what you can create in a weekend; specifically, it is the opportunity to apply web, mobile and social media technologies to resource constraint issues, such as energy, waste, transportation, and water efficiency.”

Participating teams are challenged to build applications that tackle sustainability issues by leveraging web and mobile technologies.

The teams of hackers are equipped with datasets, pizza, and coffee, and have 30 hours to produce working apps, products, and hacks to be presented to a select panel of judges.

The event kicks off Friday evening at AlleyNYC from 7pm to 9pm, where participants can deliver a two-minute pitch of their ideas in an effort to recruit teammates.

Competing teams will return to AlleyNYC, where they will spend the next 30 hours brainstorming and developing cleanweb applications.

Sunday will include a press conference for media to meet and mingle with the organizing sponsors, judges, and competitors, as well as the cleanweb application presentations and award ceremony.

The organizers have tied-up with the Carbon War Room, so you will also have the opportunity to hear research presented by their executives on issues such as energy efficiency, waste management, and transportation.

David Gilford, Assistant Director, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), writes on the C40 Blog that ‚Äúpizza-fueled‚Äù hackers can indeed help solve cities’ sustainability challenges.

“Through hackathons, companies and individuals alike can rapidly build, test and refine approaches to solving some of the largest urban problems. These events offer the chance to quickly immerse oneself in the developing Cleanweb movement, using social, mobile and web technologies to make a positive impact,” says Gilford.

What: Cleanweb Hackathon NYC

When: September 28-30, 2012

Where: AlleyNYC, 500 7th Ave New York, NY 10018

Upstate SC Alliance Hosts Site Selectors Panel

The Upstate SC Alliance is hosting nationally renowned site selection consultants for a three day event in South Carolina this week, including a breakfast and panel discussion on September 21, 2012.

Upstate South Carolina

Upstate South Carolina (Photo –

The consultants who will be part of the group include:-

Р        J. Michael Mullis of J.M. Mullis Inc.;

-         Didi Caldwell of Global Location Strategies;

-         W. Hartley Powell and Michael Huber of KPMG LLP;

-         John Hunter of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP; and

-         Robert E. Leak, Sr. of Leak-Goforth Company, LLC

Combined, this group has the power to direct billions of dollars’ worth of investment annually.

J. Michael Mullis, for example, is the president and CEO of J. M. Mullis, Inc., which typically does more than $1.5 billion annually in major new project establishments on a global basis.

All five consultants put together have a who’s who client list that includes global corporate giants such as Airbus, BMW, Boeing, Caterpillar, Colgate, Conoco, Continental Tires, First Quality Tissue, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kia, Toyota, and Verizon Communications , just to name a few.

The panel discussion will focus on the economic climate and community competitiveness. It will be moderated by Jennifer Noel, director of Global Business Development for the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

The event, sponsored by Alliance Consulting Engineers and Santee Cooper, is open to the public and will be held at the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, SC from 8:00 am -10:00 am. More details here.

In addition to the breakfast panel, the group will also be touring Upstate South Carolina and the Upstate Alliance will make presentations.

“We are excited to have a group of this caliber to tour and enjoy the Upstate. These consultants advise some of the top companies in the world and it is truly vital that they understand all the Upstate has to offer,” said Hal Johnson, president and CEO of the Upstate Alliance.

They will also hear from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Ports Authority and have one-on-one meetings with each of the region’s local developers.

2012 South Carolina Community Economic Development Conference

The 2012 South Carolina Community Economic Development Conference is scheduled to be held on September 13-14, 2012 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

SC Community Economic Development Conference

SC Community Economic Development Conference (Photo – SCACDC)

The theme for this year’s conference is “Building Wealth One Community at a Time.”

Organized by the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations (SCACDC), the annual conference usually attracts national and regional experts on housing development, job creation, entrepreneurship and community-based development.

The intention is to provide CDCs with strategies, programs and resources to support moderate income individuals and families. This year, they are putting a special emphasis on growing economies and creating local jobs in South Carolina.

“With a state unemployment rate above nine percent, South Carolina needs to use new and innovative ways of growing local economies,” said Deborah Livingston, chair of the SCACDC board and director of Community Development for the City of Columbia, SC.

Jeremie Greer, director of Government Affairs at the Washington, DC-based Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) will be kicking off the proceedings with a keynote speech.

Greer’s speech will be followed by breakout sessions in five different and concurrent tracks – CED Compliance, Healthy Food Initiative, Asset Building, Housing & Development, and Energy Efficiency/Clean Energy.

The CED compliance track includes a session on CDC/CDFI Certification by SCACDC’s Kate Pratt, and others that focus on helping CDCs survive, leadership ethics, CIF Grants and financial management.

The Healthy Food track includes a session on public/private solutions to community food access disparities, and another one on the economics of food in South Carolina.

The Asset Building track includes a session on strengthening relationships with credit unions, and another one on providing financial empowerment tools to low wealth families with children.

The Housing track includes sessions on foreclosure prevention, property management, and state tax credits for CDCs.

The energy track includes a session on what other states are doing to support energy efficiency/clean energy, and another one on energy efficiency retrofit programs.

You can read the full agenda on

What: 2012 South Carolina Community Economic Development Conference

When: September 13-14, 2012

Where: Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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