If there is a single lesson that can be drawn from the most successful deployments and pilots, it is that when utilities collaborate with stakeholders and the communities they serve, everyone wins.
The Green Today, Growth Tomorrow Community Summit was a two-day Appreciative Inquiry Summit led by Dr. David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve on behalf of National Grid and the City of Worcester, MA. To the Point was a key player on the steering committee, designing the momentum building communication campaign for the event, moderating the innovation panel at the Summit, and overseeing the initiative website. Our team produced multiple videos created for and after the event.
The Summit provided an exceptional opportunity to apply human-centered design principles to an initiative that linked sustainability with economic viability. The quality of local participation was deliberate: a carefully selected Steering Committee successfully brought together civic leaders, representatives from community-based organizations (CBOs), utility employees, other stakeholders, and youth.
Through this initiative, smart grid became a means to enable the community’s goals rather than promotion of a technology solution. The Appreciative Inquiry methodology proved to be truly magical. It was amazing to see what hundreds of people could accomplish together in just a few days. The process set the stage for approval and acceptance of a 15,000 household pilot as well as continued community collaboration beyond the summit event itself.