Blog

Mobilizing Change: The Future of Energy

This Earth Day was a unique one. 

Not only were we marking 50 years of advocating for the environment, but we were also tasked with analyzing how we need to take action for the climate in our evolving world. At The GREEN Program, we gathered a group of global change-makers to discuss how we can all mobilize for the environment. In our 4-day Earth Week panel series, we uncovered how these change-makers were making strides for sustainability in organizations, such as NASA, NREL, Arup, Nike, ExxonMobil and more.

Throughout the week, the GREEN community asked ourselves… 

How can we take action for the climate today?


The Future of Energy

Learn about the changing landscape of energy in our evolving world with speakers from Independent Power Systems (IPS), National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Momentum: Move Innovation Forward, and ExxonMobil.

A Panel of Global Change-Makers 

ck9nkqvz902jbb6i5fniurani miriam

Miriam Hegglin

Environmental Engineer at ExxonMobil

ck9n6v4zx00e2khi5aiqq6e04 jim r head shot 1

Jim Reilly

Microgrids Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

ck9nkow0102j0b6i54o4qmgsk hannah

Hannah Capshaw

Solar and Storage Consultant at Independent Power Systems (IPS)

ck9nkjrdh02icb6i5rx60drhy 18738468 10208736519001278 7710911360480576373 o 1

Zachariah Rizk

Project Associate at Momentum: Move Innovation Forward

The GREEN Team’s Key Takeaways 

1) There are still major strides needed to live in a 100% clean energy world 

As a general consensus, all of “The Future of Energy” panelists disagreed with the statement “We can live in a 100% clean energy world right now”. Jim Reilly, Microgrids Engineer from NREL,  believes that we are moving in the right direction with renewable portfolio standards, but we still have ways to go!
 

2) The 4D’s of energy systems can transform the future of energy

Project Associate at Momentum: Move Innovation Forward, Zach Rizk, believes the 4D’s of the trends of energy systems, decarbonization, decentralization, democratization, and digitalize, will guide the future of energy in the US. 

Explore the 4D’s transforming the energy market here
 

3) “Bleeding edge” projects can be costly, but can help push innovation within the field

Within her work with solar energy at Independent Power Systems, Hannah has navigated many projects where her company has tried something new or has innovated on existing technologies. These projects can be costly with the innate learning curve involved in project development but have also enabled her organization to become experts on innovations within the solar energy space. Innovation can have upfront costs, but prove to have long term benefits! 


4) Push your comfort zone and interact with people from varied perspectives 

When Miriam, a 22-yead old woman, graduated university with an environmental engineering degree, she found herself on an offshore oil and gas platform surrounded by peers with diverging values and backgrounds as her. Through her work to develop relationships with these colleagues and to uncover the misconceptions she had about them and vice versa,  she honed important communication skills that would help her in future conversations to advocate for the environment within her organization.  

Learn from people with opposing viewpoints as you, so you have a better understanding of their perspectives and have more tools to tackle their objections to your ideas!

ck9nl272y01ogkhi5jbzsiglf callum shaw 7se389kuvgw unsplash

How can you take action for the climate?


After learning from these global change-makers, you may be thinking, “So, what now? How do I get started?”.  Here are a few ways you can get started (or continue) to mobilize for the environment:

“Within your role, challenge yourself to look at what else and what’s next in your job description. Beyond doing your job well, advocate for sustainability initiatives within your company by asking for resources and speaking up. “
Miriam Hegglin

“Talk to your legislators and utility companies to incentivize renewable
energy policy. Elect people with clean energy strategy, and make utilities aware of how they can profit from renewables”

Hannah Capshaw

“Vote!” 
Jim Reilly

“Lobby your state representatives and energy commissions to invest in energy entrepreneurs!”
Zach Rizk


More Mobilizing Change Panels

Engineering for the Environment

Panelists from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority,
NREL,  NASA and Pfizer

Reinforcing Responsible Sourcing

Panelists from Nike, Fitbit, and Ground Upcycling

Consulting for Climate Change

Panelists from Independent Power Systems (IPS),
Arup, and a Graduate Student of Energy Systems
from UC – Davis

Rooting for Global Food Security

Panelists from Florida Impact,
the United States Patent & Trade Office,
Grounded Upcycling, and Louisville Food Pantry

Boots on the Ground: Turning Passion into Action

with featured speaker, influencer, activist, and backpacking queen, Pattie Gonia 

Explore how The GREEN Program is fostering a community of global change-makers, including the GREEN Alumni from the above panel, through our short-term education abroad programs! If you would like to get in touch with our team, please reach out here: [email protected]

Read Another Article

Defending Reproductive Rights in the Battle for Climate Justice

Reproductive Justice is Climate Justice. The GREEN Program stands to defend the reproductive rights of all women and people who give birth to access safe reproductive health care. We must do more to educate others and understand the interconnection between Reproductive Justice and the Climate Crisis. It’s important to draw the connections between climate change, pollution, and reproductive rights.

read more

An International Graduate Student Embraces Nepali Culture by Studying Abroad through Shine On Scholarship

On one hand, I believe that every student should be given a chance to study abroad at least once in their life, because it teaches us things that textbooks cannot: adaptability, resilience, curiosity, empathy, just to name a few. Whether good or bad, bursting our bubble and learning about our world will inspire us and open our minds. On the other hand, the people we interact with benefit from the diversity, because all of us bring unique perspectives to the table. Perhaps we share an idea that no one has thought of but could be key to solving a problem; we fuel the aspirations of someone who is facing similar difficulties; or help take down stereotypes.  

read more

Remembering Juneteenth and the Fight for Environmental Justice

n June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. It is on this day every year since that we celebrate “Juneteenth” as the end of slavery in the United States. It is a day that we celebrate ancestors and leaders who fought to be liberated. We celebrate their power, resiliency, and tenacity. 

read more

LGBTQ+ Leaders and Organizations in Sustainability to Know About this Pride Month

The GREEN Program loves to celebrate love, and there is no better way to do that this month than by recognizing a few LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations that are making a difference not just in their own communities but for our planet altogether. Read below to learn more about some people and spaces that are working together to promote a better world that focuses on inclusion and equality.

read more

Meet 8 AAPI Leaders in Sustainability: Across the Globe and At Home

The month of May is known to many as the end of classes and the start of Summer, but May is also known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Our team at TGP wanted to take a moment to recognize the contributions and influence of AAPI Americans throughout history, culture, and achievements both on a global scale, and from those who are a bit close to home. We also encourage you to learn more about AAPI Heritage Month and get involved through additional resources.

read more

From a Start Up to a Sustainability Study Abroad Program: How Patrick Applied his Passion for Renewable Energy in Iceland

When Fall 2021 rolled around and I saw the TGP scholarship opportunity, I thought I’d apply not expecting much. When I found out that I actually got it, I was like “I guess I’m actually doing this!”. I was a little nervous and anxious but also so excited for the opportunity! I was also grateful that the enrollment process was very smooth for me with no significant challenges along the way.

read more

Boston University Student Gains a Unique Perspective for Renewable Energy & Sustainability by Studying Abroad in Iceland

Global experiences have definitely shaped me into the person I am today through increased cultural awareness and sensitivity. Getting to really know a great group of diverse individuals from all over the world has not only shaped my perspective on current world issues, but has also allowed me to take a glance at certain topics from another angle and point of view.

read more

A Construction Science Major Turns Lessons into Opportunity after a Sustainability Study Abroad Program 

AJ Ewing spent his past Winter Break a little bit differently than most students, by studying abroad on our GREEN Nepal program. As a Construction Science major, AJ notes that he was nervous coming into the study abroad program having no prior experience in sustainability or electrical/solar grids, but he was excited and eager to learn. As soon as he arrived, all his nerves were gone as he was welcomed by our team and ready to dive in. Now, he can honestly say that when he thinks of The GREEN Program, he thinks of “family away from home.”

read more

How a Geologist Made His Sustainability Dream in Iceland a Reality through a Study Abroad Scholarship

As someone who is in a field with a limited representation of ethnic minorities, TGP created a neutral ground where there was a range of diversity on different levels. My GREEN Program experience in Iceland wasn’t just about the adventures and cultural immersion, but about the education too. I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures because I saw how passionate the different lecturers were about their work and research which is truly inspiring. As a geologist, learning more about the wonder that is Iceland in Iceland was definitely a dream come true.

read more

Get to Know GREENie: Maryam Aida Tidjani

Maryam Aida Tidjani got to experience a brand new kind of GREEN Program during the hard times the world was facing, a 100% Virtual and Online experience. Initially planning on traveling to Peru in 2021, the global pandemic continued to shift things around and we had to pivot all travel programs to Online experiences.

read more

Get to Know GREENie: Emma Pederson

Maryam Aida Tidjani got to experience a brand new kind of GREEN Program during the hard times the world was facing, a 100% Virtual and Online experience. Initially planning on traveling to Peru in 2021, the global pandemic continued to shift things around and we had to pivot all travel programs to Online experiences.

read more

Subscribe to The GREEN Program newsletter & updates

Loading...
Skip to content