Upcoming Sessions

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Breakout

City Summit

Full-day working session focused on how cities and companies can more effectively work together to achieve deep carbon reductions through smart-city solutions.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Breakout

eLab Ignite: Finding Value at the Distribution Edge

Join executives from the electric utility industry, industry experts, and technology innovators working to support the economic deployment of distributed renewable energy resources for a 4-hour working session to collaboratively envision new solutions for corporate energy consumers to meet their sustainability goals.

In conversation with:

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Breakout

Tutorial: Power Markets 101

Peter Kelly-Detwiler will deliver an updated reprise of last year's highest-ranked tutorial. If you want to better understand how US power markets work, this is a session you don't want to miss!

An Introduction to Energy Markets, A Look At Current Trends, And Some Conjecture About The Future - Looks at the rationale for competitive power markets, their evolution over the past decade, and some of the key issues to be grappled with in the coming decade.

Breakout

Training: EcoDistricts for Practitioners

An ecodistrict is a new model of public-private partnership that emphasizes innovation and deployment of district-scale best practices to create the neighborhoods of the future - resilient, vibrant, resource efficient and just.

The ecodistricts marketplace is rapidly growing with opportunities to change the way we revitalize our cities from the neighborhood up. This engaging half-day training course will introduce participants to the EcoDistricts Framework, a four-step process management tool to guide sustainable neighborhood development projects. Public policymakers, urban designers, developers, and community-based organizations will be equipped with practical governance, engagement, assessment, and project development insights and approaches.

Presented by:
Breakout

Training: Designing Net Zero - Energy, Water, Carbon

Objective: Provide participants with a sound understanding with the common challenges and solutions to building Net Zero Energy, Water and Carbon Buildings. 
Why build to Net Zero? What’s better than a high performance Electric Car? A high performance building that produces all of its own energy. The future is now and we have the capability to design and construct buildings that are protected from escalating energy costs, power failures, and are robust investments. How to deal with severe droughts and significantly reduce potable water usage?  How can your buildings address climate change directly?
Who are we? Integral Group is a collective of high performance building specialists dedicated to creating the next generation of green buildings. 
Outline: 
Introduction.  
Breakout

Training: How to Address Water as a Business & Risk Opportunity

This three hour workshop will provide attendees with an in depth understanding of water risk as a business risk and opportunity. Business value at risk from water risks will be presented, along with practical strategies to mitigate these risks through collective action initiatives and technology solutions. A framework for water stewardship and business growth will be presented – “a license to grow strategy.” Business opportunities from new products and services will also be presented with case studies of “water tech” innovation. The workshop is designed for those new to the issue of water risk and the more experienced stakeholder. Water risk tools, frameworks, best practices and hypothetical companies will be used during the workshop.  

7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:45 am

8:45 am - 9:05 am

Plenary

The Future of Energy Systems

What happens to our energy future when the U.S. pursues an "all of the above" strategy? And how will technology and open data play a role to accelerate sustainability as part of this future? 

9:05 am - 9:15 am

9:15 am - 9:30 am

Plenary

Making Sense of Sensors & Data

Keynote interview with the  global head of ecomagination at GE on how they are helping customers solve their toughest challenges by providing innovative solutions to maximize resource efficiency & productivity, drive economic performance and make the world work better. 

9:30 am - 9:40 am

Plenary

Overcoming Barriers to Technology Integration in Cities

As cities try to become smarter, the process of selecting and integrating technologies can be overwhelming.  But one group of technology providers decided to work together to create an open, vendor-neutral framework that maps the relationship between a city's responsibilities and its seven ICT enablers. How can cities use this framework to address interoperability, choice, and flexibility while remaining technology agnostic and sustainability-focused?

Presented by:

9:40 am - 9:50 am

9:50 am - 10:00 am

Plenary

How a Living Building Comes to Life

"Once somebody proves something is possible, it becomes thinkable." This is the story of how a man who knew nothing about the building industry became the driving force behind the Bullitt Center, a Living Building Challenge certified commercial office building in downtown Seattle named the world's most sustainable building. His dedication to its creation is now only rivaled by his passion to help others learn from it, replicate it, and help transform the way we build around the world.

Presented by:

10:00 am - 10:30 am

Plenary

VERGE Accelerate

VERGE Accelerate is a fast-pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs across the VERGE domains (energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, cities) the opportunity to get in front of the diverse VERGE audience: executives from the world’s largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists and others.

Selected companies give a 2.5-minute pitch from the main stage to an audience of ~1000 attendees. The sessions are also live-streamed to a global audience and video captured for archive on GreenBiz.com. A text-to-vote mechanism allows the audience to decide the winner of each in real-time.

Presented by:

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:25 am

Plenary

Commercializing U.S. Energy Innovation

The US Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office (LPO) is a $30 billion portfolio of clean energy and advanced vehicle loans and loan guarantees, making it the largest project finance organization in the U.S. government. How is the head of the LPO accelerating deployment of innovative clean energy projects and domestic advanced vehicle manufacturing while helping economic growth and reducing greenhouse gas emissions? And what are the lessons for others?

Presented by:

11:25 am - 11:50 am

Plenary

The New Business of Drones

How do open hardware, drones, and the future of robotics merge the Maker community with companies? As businesses start to discover that drones (a.k.a. unmanned aerial vehicles) are no longer toys but tools, what about our privacy and safety? And what does the former editor of Wired, a drones innovator, and a seasoned science journalist from The New York Times think about how all of this can contribute to a sustainable future? 

Presented by:
In conversation with:

11:50 am - 12:00 pm

Plenary

Big Data, Big Context: Visualizing Interconnected Systems

While data may now be ubiquitous, many have not yet figured out how to make it truly useful. Panelists will illustrate how to analyze and visualize large datasets (actual "big data") at different scales for more effective and informed decision-making and create connections to accelerate systems-thinking.

In conversation with:
Presented by:

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Plenary

Running the Industrial Age Backwards

Keynote conversation with the successful entrepreneur who helped introduce the world to natural capitalism and the natural science writer and innovator who introduced the world to biomimicry. Together, they have come up with a provocative idea to "run the Industrial Age backwards" but what does this mean? And how could it help a world where technology and data have become ubiquitous?

Presented by:
In conversation with:

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

Energy Storage for Corporates

Panel session focused on three on-site energy storage solutions to help companies mitigate peak demand changes and integrate storage for more behind-the-meter solar integration from the developer and end-use sides. Will also explore costs, other options, and how various power markets and business models are changing as a result.

Breakout

The Road to Sustainable Freight Transportation: How Business Leaders Cut Carbon & Create a Stronger Supply Chain

How can multinational corporations meet the growing freight transportation demand for while reducing costs, enhancing competitiveness, energy security, economic vitality and addressing risks from climate change? And, as marketplace conditions change, what can business leaders do to balance building efficient supply chains while promoting sustainable transportation practices? Join a panel that includes business leaders in the shipper, logistics, and truck carrier sectors as they share strategies, best practices, and success stories they’ve used to manage their environmental impact, reduce their carbon footprint, and build a more sustainable global freight supply chain in partnership with the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay program. 

Breakout

Making Data Centers Lean & Green: How to Address IT’s Greatest Irony

Distributed Energy Systems IT is the catalyst for revolutionary change across modern industry. IT is an engine for optimization the likes of which the world has never before seen. The great irony is this catalytic industry has itself only modestly been affected by the innovations it enables. Most businesses still produce information services in enterprise data centers that embody decades-old thinking and antiquated institutional arrangements. The doctor has not taken his own medicine and the statistics paint the dim picture. Uptime Institute estimates between 10 and 30% of servers in data centers are comatose, while McKinsey and Company states utilization of servers in enterprise data centers is typically between 5 and 15% (but sometimes much lower). Where is the Lean Data System?

Breakout

How Buildings Can Mitigate Climate Change in Cities

The City Energy Project is a national, joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) to cut energy waste and boost local economies in 10 major American cities through building energy efficiency. In this panel, speakers from IMT and participating cities will explain why efficient buildings are crucial for mitigating the effects of climate change, and describe how cities can develop cost-effective energy efficiency plans that are tailored to local challenges and make the most of local opportunities. 

Breakout

Building Cities of the Future

Imagine: You are flying into a foreign city. It knows when you are arriving, your gate and all other important travel information. It alerts customs officials to be ready for you. It alerts taxis to get in line for you and others on your flight. It even increases cooling in the terminal to accommodate the heat generated by the people de-planing. It coordinates traffic lights to maximize flow on the ride to your hotel. A fantasy? It is happening today in Dubai, a city that thinks for itself.  Learn how Dubai and other cities are using artificial intelligence to tie together over 7 billion sensors and devices to coordinate and manage the city's infrastructure, from airports to water treatments plants to fire stations.

Breakout

Can Conventional Ag Scale Sustainably?

How will we feed 9 billion people? And will conventional agricultural practices get us there? Debates around GMOs and Organics - especially whether they are safe to eat or safe to grow - can get fierce. Isn't it time to have an intelligent, rational, open-minded discussion about the role of biotechnologies in addressing the sustainability of our food, water, and land use? Ultimately, no individual or small group will decide the fate of our arable land and food systems. We’ll have to work through this together, as a society. How we decide to manage our food systems is too important to leave to just one way of thinking. 

In conversation with:
Presented by:

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

Energy Storage at Grid-Scale

With the rise of distributed energy systems and the necessity of more clean energy integration with our existing electricity grid, what are some of the best-in-class grid-scale storage solutions? Join us for a discussion with a saltwater storage provider that has demonstrated success with large-scale wind integration, a visionary that provides the brains that sit on top of different storage technologies, and a provider of reclaimed vanadium electrolyte storage technology that encompasses Cradle-to-Cradle principles in its design, is dirt cheap, and can be placed in the harshest environments in the world.

Breakout

From Neurology to Negawatts: Making the Bullitt Center Scalable

What happens when the owner and designers of a certified Living Building become its tenants? And what are their observations and lessons learned over a year after its opening? Join the architect, engineer, and owner of Seattle's Bullitt Center as they do a deep dive into the design, performance, and operation of what was named the "world's most sustainable building." And learn about the innovative finance models and technologies that were invented as part of this project with the intent to help scale more sustainable solutions for the built environment around the world.

Breakout

Smart City Readiness: Policy, Technology and Financing Guidance

The Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide is the first collaborative and comprehensive framework for a smart city, against which cities can assess their readiness to innovate — identifying a path, taking next steps and measuring their progress. Learn from the lessons of leaders in the space from both cities and companies about how they're working together to finance and implement solutions that work.

In conversation with:
Breakout

Making People-Centric Smart Buildings

While "smart buildings" typically focus on technology, what are the impacts on the people who occupy these buildings and how well can a building adapt to technology changes and occupant needs over time? Panelists will address the emergence of buildings that are finally becoming people-centric rather than technology-centric - from space optimization for employee productivity, "hackable building" design, and app-controlled comfort ruled by tenants not the facilities manager. Learn about new strategies, tools, and technologies to design for evolving space and technology needs as well as improve employee productivity and comfort.

Breakout

Big Data, Big Water

Data analytics are poised to solve some of a $360 billion water industry’s most intractable problems: how to encourage consumers to conserve, and how to continue to make money while doing so. An entrepreneur, utility, and large corporate offer their takes on the best data strategies to address our water challenges while still being able to make money. Topics will include whether we really need real-time data to make decisions, how to deal with compliance issues, and transforming data to action.

Breakout

Solving Big Problems with Big Data

While data may now be ubiquitous, many have not yet figured out how to make it truly useful. Panelists will illustrate how to analyze and visualize large datasets (actual "big data") at different scales for more effective and informed decision-making and create connections to accelerate systems-thinking.

In conversation with:
Presented by:

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Breakout

Distributed Solutions for Manufacturing Facilities

In this session, we will outline how Walmart is driving supply chain energy sustainability through collaborative, web-based approaches that leverage collective insight of a supplier network.  Following an overview of the value at stake and common barriers to capture, we will discuss two specific software solutions we have developed: the Product Stewardship Network, an online community for retailers, product manufacturers and their supply chains to efficiently collect and manage product sustainability data, and RedE, a web-based tool that enables suppliers to identify, prioritize, share, and ultimately drive implementation of energy efficiency projects at scale.

Breakout

Resilience at the City-Scale

Partnership-driven collaborations will be vital for cities to apply green investments at the city scale. The Trust for Public Land has created a comprehensive new strategy to help cities advance a “green infrastructure” approach that enable them to meet the climate challenge — both the potential for cities to lead national carbon reductions and the imperative to keep people safe from climate threats. 

Breakout

The Role of Transparency in Real Estate

As building investors, owners, and service providers are scrambling to create and use transparency, each is facing different drivers and obstacles. Although all of these stakeholders operate at different scales, there are lessons to be learned in overcoming the barriers each are facing.
In conversation with:
Presented by:
Breakout

Getting to Zero: ZNE Building Strategies for the Real World

Ever since California created a goal of having all commercial buildings be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2030, developers, designers, engineers and technology providers have started to step up and find scalable solutions based on this incredible market demand. This session will focus on the specific strategies different stakeholders in the green building industry across California are taking to create ZNE buildings (new and existing) at scale.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:40 am

8:40 am - 8:50 am

8:50 am - 9:00 am

9:00 am - 9:10 am

Plenary

Project 100: Car Sharing for Everyone

How do you build a business to contribute to global happiness and innovation by connecting pople to the meaningful places and experiences they care about? While this idea may seem aspirational for a company based on vehicle-sharing, when you add a significant layer of accontability, the results may surprise you. 

Presented by:

9:10 am - 9:25 am

Plenary

How Design Transforms Lives

Impact design focuses on generating significant, measurable progress toward solving today’s epic challenges — access to healthcare and education; clean energy and water; efficient transportation; or the many other global problems we face. How can businesses support and accelerate the design-led revolution currently underway?

Presented by:
In conversation with:

9:25 am - 9:50 am

Plenary

Hardening the Grid

North America relies heavily on its interconnected power grid. Throughout its history, the grid has provided years of reliable electricity to 300 million people to power home electronics, large industrial motors, critical machines in hospitals (that is, life support systems), among others. However, this reliability is now coming into question. The power grid is aging (electrical equipment is near end-of-life) and increased natural disasters (for example, Hurricane Sandy), have damaged equipment thus increasing the number of power outages. There have even been reported sniper attacks on utility substations. The head of NERC (responsible for our grid reliability) will address what's being done to make our physical grid more resilient and how our grid will need to adapt for a more distributed energy future.

Presented by:
In conversation with:

9:50 am - 10:00 am

Plenary

How Biomimicry Will Shape the Next Industrial Revolution

How can the colors of a butterfly’s wing reduce the world’s lighting energy bill by 80%? Why does a honeybee have better aerodynamics than a 747? What can hurricanes teach us about creating better medical technologies? How can studying seaweed lead to resistance-free antibiotics? How can a seashell keep a microchip from overheating? How does the awful-smelling durian fruit show ways to help humans live on Mars?

Jay Harman will explain how biomimicry may be the key to unlock our next Industrial Revolution.

Presented by:

10:00 am - 10:10 am

Plenary

Securing Water for Food

Water scarcity is one of the most pressing development challenges of the early 21st Century. Between 2000 and 2050 water demand is projected to increase by 55% globally, meaning that the number of people impacted by water scarcity and stress will continue to rise. Most importantly, more than 70% of global water use occurs in the food value chain. But technological and business model innovations could substantially reduce water scarcity and many of these innovation already exist. Find out how US AID is finding and supporting the best science and technology innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses, students, and other organizations that can help solve this Grand Challenge for Development (GCD)

Presented by:

10:10 am - 10:30 am

Plenary

The Future of Connected Cars

Despite recalls and setbacks, General Motors is accelerating its impact vehicle innovation, design and manufacturing operations, smart materials, and vehicle efficiencies and connectivity initiatives. So what does the CTO of GM think about the future of transportation amidst the popularity of car sharing, the rise of self-driving technologies, and the necessity of low-carbon fuels?

Presented by:
In conversation with:

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:20 am

Plenary

Doing Data Differently

The rise of big data has highlighted how different data is today than only a decade ago. There is more of it – 90% in the last three years alone - it’s being generated from a myriad of people, places and sources, and it's being used in a variety of ways, from the production line to the end-user, helping to redefine how business is conducted. As with any type of evolution, great change provides the opportunity for innovation and new, creative ways to solve problems. How are companies innovating in the midst of this big data evolution? This panel will look at three different ways companies are changing how their industries are doing business.

Presented by:
In conversation with:

11:20 am - 11:30 am

Plenary

What Climate Data Means for Business

Weather. Everyone experiences — and has an opinion — but few understand the complexity behind "a 30% chance of rain." The ability to forecast the weather accurately and well in advance will become increasingly important as we move to urban and coastal areas and as our economy continues to be tied to the weather. What are the tools meteorologists use and the challenges that await us in the future? What kinds of changes in the weather can we expect? What changes might we not be able to predict? And what does this all mean for the business community?

Presented by:

11:30 am - 11:55 am

11:55 am - 12:05 pm

Plenary

Smart Cities from the Ground Up

How can community-driven technology enable smart cities of the future? Cities that are smart will only exist if we create shareable cities now—this means we have to develop community driven software solutions and utilize local knowledge in ways that bridge the race, class, gender divide and meaningfully reconnect people to built environments and while reducing carbon emissions. This presentation will examine the kinds of community-driven technologies that cities will need to accelerate sustainable development, green infrastructure, and restore the long-term economic, environmental, and social health. It will also demonstrate how we can solve the world’s biggest challenges - like poverty and global warming - by expanding the roots of collaborative consumption into low-income communities and communities of color.

Presented by:

12:05 pm - 12:30 pm

Plenary

How Data Transforms Cities

Solving city problems using open data is no small feat, but it works when the right resources are in place. How do you encourage and empower citizens to take an active role in their community, facilitate collaboration between government staff and foster forward-thinking approaches to solving problems, and support civic-minded entrepreneurs and startups? This keynote conversation will include two of the most admired thinkers in the open government space.

In conversation with:
Presented by:

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

The Future of Urban Water Systems

Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water and take it away when we’re done with it. To make informed decisions about the future, we need to understand the three revolutions in urban water systems that have occurred over the past 2,500 years and the technologies that will remake the system. And as water scarcity grows around the world, different solutions are emerging. How can big data from our cities play a part to help us address our water woes? And how can businesses and cities catalyze solutions?

Breakout

Government Data for Climate Adaptation and Resilience

At the nexus of climate adaptation, government data innovation and California's pioneering leadership are many lessons to be learned and shared. Governmental case studies on data and tools integration for climate resilience will be featured from the local, regional, state and federal perspectives — what's worked, what hasn't and what's needed to move forward faster.

Breakout

Distributed Generation and the Future of Utilities

It's a perfect storm. Renewables are getting cheaper, natural disasters are causing communities to seek more energy resilience, and our existing grid infrastructure is showing its age. It's no wonder distributed generation is a hot topic, and utilities are being forced to evolve. So how will this affect businesses and comunities in the near future? This panel will provide context for these market shifts and discuss potential strategies and solutions to adapt in this new energy world.

Presented by:
Breakout

Mobility Innovation and Community Revitalization

This panel features innovative mobility projects that are part of larger efforts to revitalize and connect communities, redevelop downtown areas, and help lower income people. They range from bike-sharing to providing electric vehicles to an entire community. Find out how effective these different programs have been for their respective communities and how cities are evolving as a result.

Breakout

How Technology is Accelerating Food-Water-Supply Chain Nexus Solutions

How do leading corporations see technology transforming the food-water nexus in the developing world? And which organizations are helping? US AID and Syngenta use different approaches to address our global water and food system challenges. How are these two programs faring so far, and what are the benefits? How are these approaches different than historic efforts to address water scarcity in developing nations? And what does this all mean for those of us in the developed world?

Breakout

Owner's Panel: Energy Management Tech Preferences Across Facility Types

As the building energy information management systems space grows more and more saturated with "end-to-end solutions," what is an owner or facility manager to do? We think it's time for owners to tell their stories and impart their knowledge and experiences with these technologies without the complication of vendors. Join us as we have an engaging discussion around criteria, lessons learned, data management, and replicable strategies across different facilities types, including commercial offices, corporate buildings, hospitals, and retail portfolios.

Breakout

Practical, Scalable Solar Innovations

We all know about solar photovoltaics on roofs to power buildings, but what about solar panels powering your car? Or using solar to desalinate water in areas where potable water is scarce? This panel will be discuss practical, scalable solar technologies you may have not heard of but are growing in importance as more distributed solutions grow in significance.

In conversation with:
Presented by:

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

Crowning the New Grid: How DER will Create the New Wave Utility

In this panel, leaders from the world’s most innovative utilities will discuss how they are using distributed energy resources (DER) - like solar and wind - to develop new models to create new services and value for their customers, how DER can be used to strengthen and improve the distribution network, and how customers are collaboratively driving change within utilities around the world.

Breakout

Urban Resilience: Innovation in Infrastructure (Part 1)

In partnership with the Sherwood Institute, this 2-hour interactive workshop addresses challenges relative to utilization of ecological infrastructure to address issues of environmental and social justice, public health, livability, new economic models, and place-making in the built environment. The goal is to develop opportunities for policy change, rapid prototyping of new technologies, and consciousness-shifting around transformation in water resource management, ecological regeneration and urban design. 

Breakout

The Power of the Utility-Tech Partnership

What is the benefit of partnering with utilities as a tech company? And how do these partnerships work? One utility will explain its motivations for investing in emerging technology companies and the structure and benefits. Examples will also be provided from the perspective of various energy entrepreneurs as well as the utility.

Breakout

Harvesting Big Data for High-Performance Buildings

When Parkland Hospital embarked on the single largest US hospital construction project it set a vision for true high performance: a technologically advanced, sustainable, patient-centered healing environment and state of the art teaching facility. Embracing "whole building design" entailed new approaches, partnerships, techniques and applications across many stakeholders. This case study will share the lessons learned as the hospital, the electrical controls vendor, and the electrical design-build systems integrator collaborated - and innovated - to deliver results. Learn how novel applications in electrical design and engineering can harness the potential of "big data" to improve building operations and the occupant experience, and how design-build is changing the paradigm for electrical engineering industry.

Breakout

Bringing Better Transportation Fuels to Scale through Collaboration

In order to make transportation fuels more sustainable, new low-carbon options must include fuels, vehicles, and related infrastructure that are available, technically sound, and cost-effective for scalable commercial use. In response, BSR’s Future of Fuels initiative decided to explore challenges standing in the way of scalable solutions for low-carbon fuel, and discuss opportunities for different parts of the value chain to work together to accelerate progress in creative new ways. This panel will include highlights from the discussion, including strategies and solutions offered by major fleet operators, fuel producers, vehicle manufacturers, scientists, civil society, and governments. 

Presented by:
In conversation with:

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Breakout

Dethroning the Grid: How Microgrids are Overthrowing Utilities

This is a complementary viewpoint to (and continuation of) the "Crowning the New Grid" panel discussion in the previous hour.

This panel will discuss how DER-based microgrids are empowering customers, disrupting the electricity value chain, and how scalable microgrid solutions are beginning to displace utilities. Panelists will discuss how microgrids can be tailored to meet a variety of custom end use objectives such as diesel offset in island settings, carbon reduction in the US and Europe, resiliency in storm prone areas, and energy surety for critical infrastructure. In short, DER and renewable microgrids are proving more agile, cost-effective and scalable than conventional utility approaches. 

Breakout

The Self-Aware Car

The concept of an autonomous vehicle has gone from a possibility in the distant future to a near-term reality. And advancements in technology may enable a cost effective and speedy transition to that reality. New vehicle models are increasingly coming equipped with technology that can sense surroundings, adjust speeds in traffic, avoid collisions, and perform automated operations, such as parking. Meanwhile, vehicles are becoming increasingly connected over wifi and cell networks, tapping into the Internet to perform a variety of functions.  Soon, many vehicles may have the ability to communicate with each other and even infrastructure (e.g., stoplights, signs, streetlights). How could vehicle connectivity and autonomous technology converge to spur a rapid transition to the self-driving car? What are the implications for safety, congestion, fuel savings, and the environment?

Presented by:
In conversation with:
Breakout

Visualizing Water Data Across Supply Chains

How can you visualize water and supply chain data to enable better business decision-making across supply chains? For example, when water is a key asset in your supply chain, high quality water data are essential to an effective understanding of water related risks and mitigation strategies. Underpinning any effective strategy is the ability to analyze and visualize these data effectively. This interactive discussion will include a demonstration of Deloitte's HIVE tool (a.k.a., highly immersive visualization environment) to help companies visualize supply chain, water risk and energy data to help people think through their actions and an example how a multinational beverage company leverages data to effectively engage with their supply chain.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

8:00 pm - 12:00 am

7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:35 am

8:35 am - 9:00 am

9:00 am - 9:10 am

9:10 am - 9:20 am

Plenary

Big Data Meets the Small Screen

How can a large company leverage cheap sensors and big data to dramatically reduce energy usage, identifying top (and bottom) performing facilities with dashboard apps driven by real-time data feeds across an 88-acre corporate campus, then scale its solution around the world? The head of Microsoft's facilities wil demonstrate how.

Presented by:

9:20 am - 9:45 am

9:45 am - 10:10 am

Plenary

The Solutions Project: Getting to 100% Renewables

50 states with 50 plans can get us to 100% renewable energy. That's the thesis behind The Solutions Project, the brainchild of an unlikely group - a famous Hollywood actor, a well-respected professor, and a successful investor. But what's holding us back? And how can businesses and communities help accelerate this clean energy future? 

10:10 am - 10:30 am

Plenary

VERGE Accelerate

VERGE Accelerate is a pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs across the VERGE domains (energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, cities) the opportunity to get in front of the diverse VERGE audience: executives from the world’s largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists and others.

Selected companies give a 2.5-minute pitch from the main stage to an audience of ~1000 attendees. The sessions are also live-streamed to a global audience and video captured for archive on GreenBiz.com. A text-to-vote mechanism allows the audience to decide the winner of each in real-time.

In conversation with:

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:25 am

Plenary

The Role of Grid as Integrator

As distributed energy systems and resilience strategies grow in popularity, talk of going "off the grid" is often discussed. But is it realistic to think that we will eventually abandon our electrical grid? Not likely. And while a "utility death spiral" might seem underway, some utilities are starting to evolve and embrace new opportunities where the grid becomes an enabler. This keynote conversation between a utility executive, an active PUC commissioner and a corporate stakeholder will focus on how their roles around the grid are changing and how it will evolve to enable a cleaner, more resilient energy future.

11:25 am - 11:35 am

Plenary

Drones and the New Logistics

Will the next paradigm in transporation involve drones? This is the incredible story of Matternet, a low-cost, small-footprint transportation and logistics system that can work in any environment, no matter how harsh. It's a system that can reach anyone, anywhere. It creates opportunities and unlocks access. Imagine the possibilities.

Presented by:

11:35 am - 12:00 pm

Plenary

How Big Data Saves Species

The foundation of Conservation International is built upon the integration of comprehensive data and responsive science. Those committed to this premise invest in good data and sound measurement tools to understand how nature is changing. These tools must be utilized to investigate whether humanity’s use of nature’s life-supporting services is sustainable or not. Just as regular doctor visits can help keep people healthy, the early detection of planetary problems is crucial to our survival. In a partnership between CI and HP, this is a conversation focused on HP Earth Insights - a program revolutionizing the way we monitor, report and understand the health of ecosystems. 

In conversation with:
Presented by:

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Plenary

Does Efficiency or Innovation Drive Our Energy Future?

Are deep energy retrofits, maximizing energy productivity, and renewables investment going to get us to a sustainable future? Or, do we need radical innovations to create the acceleration and scale that we need? In a lively format, Amory and Matthew will discuss different strategies that will catalyze a cleaner, smarter energy future. 

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

From the Hills to the Hood: Civic Innovation & Equity

What does it take to create physical places that nurture and promote human wellbeing, all while lowering carbon emissions and making cities safer, smarter, and healthier places to live, learn, work and play? This interactive session will feature 3 innovative companies at the forefront of scaling solutions for the built environment and how they're working with cities, business, entrepreneurs and everyday people to do it.

Breakout

Greening the 98%: Scalable Solutions for Existing Buildings

It's become increasingly obvious that we must find scalable solutions to address our existing building stock to create a sustainable future, but approaches vary. This panel represents in-the-trenches perspectives from a REIT portfolio owner, GSA portfolio owner, deep retrofit expert, and a policy expert seeking to accelerate the deep energy retrofit marketplace through programs, policies, and incentives. Come learn their lessons and engage with them around a discussion about effective solutions to overcome financial and technical barriers among other topics.

Breakout

Turning the Tables: How Companies Can Drive a Clean Energy Future (Part 1)

This is a 2-hour, roll-up-your-sleeves strategy workshop focusing on how companies can turn the tables on utilities and come together to do for clean energy what Facebook's Open Compute project did for data centers. The goal is to come up with solutions, not just a great conversation. 

Presented by:
Breakout

Water Technology Solutions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

What is the role of technology in accelerating water sustainability solutions? Promising water technology solutions exist, but how do you assess the different types of technologies and whether any are the best answer to the issues your business or government is trying to address? This discussion will provide four honest and complementary perspectives about water technologies and their impact on pricing, public policy, strategic planning and implementation.

Breakout

The Rise of Nanogrids

Don't look now, but a new type of distributed energy system is entering the scene: it's called "nanogrids" and if you don't know what they are now,  you will soon. Learn how nanogrids are transforming notions of energy, taking the idea of distributed and decentralized energy intelligence to new levels. Whether talking about smart buildings, vehicle-to-home or new ways of organizing diverse small-scale renewables and/or advanced batteries, the nanogrid vision is actually bigger than the microgrid today when one tallies up immediate revenue opportunities.

In conversation with:
Presented by:
Breakout

Optimizing Big Data for Energy Efficiency

With the rise of Big Data, systems are becoming more and more connected. And this is good news for driving energy efficiency at different scales - if you know how to use the data and connected devices effectively and understand how to best engage all involved stakeholders. So how do corporate facilities managers approach this versus stakeholders in a larger, more public community? This panel will include a deep dive into data analytics strategies, effective system management, and data solutions that can be replicated independent of context.

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

The California Energy Storage Mandate in Action

In Oct 2013, California adopted the US's first energy storage mandate, requiring the state's three major power companies to have electricity storage capacity that can output 1325 MW in place by the end of 2020, and 200 MW by the end of this year. The rule issued by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will be key to implementation of the state's ambitious renewable portfolio rules, which calls for 33% of delivered electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 and virtually guarantees that California, along with Germany, will remain in the world vanguard of those aggressively building out wind and solar. So how's it going so far? Engage in a discussion with the CPUC commissioner that authored the state's storage mandate along with other stakeholders hoping to catalyze storage in the state to find out the status, in-the-field details, and replicable strategies and solutions for other states and communities.

Presented by:
In conversation with:
Breakout

Building the EcoDistrict Marketplace

Globally, more people live in cities than ever before, creating one of the great challenges of our time. Urban leaders increasingly see ecodistricts as a way to address pressing urban challenges, from climate change to neighborhood degradation. EcoDistricts CEO Rob Bennett will lead a panel of innovative urban leaders who are helping build the ecodistricts marketplace across North America.

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Break

Networking Break & VERGE Interconnect Open Expo

The final networking break, general session, and closing reception will be open to the public with the VERGE Interconnect Expo pass.  Admission is complimentary - Expo pass registration begins October 1.

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Plenary

General Session & VERGE Interconnect Open Expo

Once again, our closing keynote will include high-profile speakers that you won't want to miss. Stay tuned!

The final networking break, general session, and closing reception will be open to the public with the VERGE Interconnect Expo pass.  Admission is complimentary - Expo pass registration begins October 1.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Bookend

Closing Reception & VERGE Interconnect Open Expo

The final networking break, general session, and closing reception will be open to the public with the VERGE Interconnect Expo pass.  Admission is complimentary - Expo pass registration begins October 1.