Monthly Archives: March 2016

Energy Network Weaving

Is this Still a Question?

Vox asks, “Can low-income housing be energy-efficient and affordable?”

Photo of The Rose energy efficient apartments Image Credit Aeon

Photo of The Rose energy efficient apartments, just down the street from my home. Image Credit Aeon

They’re reposting from Ensia. The first sentence answers with an unqualified, “Yes.” Then they get to the interesting bit, asking why it’s so hard and, “How?”

After using Energy Efficiency for All research to lay out the cost-effective opportunity of 15-30% efficiency improvements, they explore financing, scale, policy, and standards.

As I read, I smiled to see my network-oriented colleague Jacob Corvidae quoted, highlighting some of what I’ve been focusing on.

As Coreina Chan and Jacob Corvidae of the energy think tank Rocky Mountain Institute put it, improving energy efficiency in low-income housing is “a wicked problem in a complicated field.” Many stakeholders — tenants, landlords, utility companies, creditors, and more — are involved, each with their own set of goals. The scale and size of properties varies greatly as well, so upgrades that make sense in one building may not in another.

A bit later, I was excited to a shout out to my work of the last 2+ years, I’m guessing from Jacob. Ensia writes,

New business models and strategies for encouraging adoption of energy efficiency-boosting retrofits are beginning to surface, thanks in part to the work of new forums such as the Network for Energy, Water, and Health in Affordable Buildings. In the forums, parties that otherwise might never talk to each other share information and together shape tangible solutions specific to their local context.

“The forums create fertile ground for stronger, unified answers for the energy and affordable housing problem,” Corvidae says.

 

Network Weaving

Network Thinking Partner: In Interview by Beth Tener

This is cross-posted from Beth Tener’s blog.

Since 2014, Beth and I have had the pleasure of working together. She’s my coach/thinking partner supporting me in my role as a Network Weaver for a new national network, called Network for Water, Energy and Health in Affordable Buildings (NEWHAB.) Her consulting practice is New Directions Collaborative. She recently interviewed me as an opportunity to reflect on what I have learned and the value that the thinking partner role has for network leaders. Our work together is done through a video Skype every couple of weeks, plus she reviews documents, and connects me to resources, ideas, or people who could be helpful.

For background, what is the network you are working with and your role?

A lot of work is being done across the country to improve energy and water efficiency and health in existing apartment buildings. Partners involved saw the need for the energy and housing sectors to learn from one another and share learning across geographies to avoid working at cross purposes and to advocate at a larger scale. I was retained early on as a consultant facilitating development of a new national network focused on “collaboration between energy efficiency and affordable housing professionals in existing, multifamily housing occupied by low-income households…” That network has evolved into the Network for Energy, Water, and Health in Affordable Buildings (NEWHAB) and I now serve in the role of Network Weaver, with one other staff person who is a Network Administrator. read more »

Facilitation Network Weaving

Activating Informal Leadership Across a Network

Jessica and I facilitate (Image credit Kristin Johnstad)

Jessica and I facilitate (Image credit Kristin Johnstad)

Yesterday, Jessica Conrad, Community Manager with the RE-AMP Network and I shared some of our experience fostering leadership within RE-AMP and NEWHAB. We facilitated a discussion with a group of Twin Cities network weavers about why emergent, shared leadership is so important for high-performing networks, what conditions foster self-organizing leadership, and how to begin creating those conditions.

One of our activities was to create a Eugene Kim-inspired spectrum showing what success in a network looks like when it:

  • Has failed to create the conditions for informal leadership.
  • Is moderately successful at creating the conditions for informal leadership.
  • Is epic-ly successful at creating the conditions for self-organized leadership.

The failure descriptions started with burnout, festering conflicts, and nobody shows up. The epic success ended with momentum, new resources, inclusion, and sustainability.

Epic Failure

Epic Failure

read more »