NYU-SCPS Center for Global Affairs Conference on “The Energy Wise City,” Explores Critical Issues in Urban Sustainability, Feb. 24

Clean-energy expert Jigar Shah, founder and former CEO, SunEdison, is the keynote speaker

NEW YORK, February 10, 2014 – As today’s metropolises increasingly become conscious of the impact of their carbon footprint on the environment, they are developing and implementing new initiatives for urban sustainability – among them, technologies for urban wind and solar farms, compost-to-fuel processes, and urban natural gas electric plants.

“The Energy Wise City,” a one-day conference hosted by the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA), will examine the innovations and technologies that are transforming the world’s urban environments. The conference will take place on Monday, February 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NYU Kimmel Center, Rosenthal Pavilion,10th floor, 60 Washington Square South.

“Urbanization is the opportunity and challenge of the 21st century,” said Carolyn Kissane, clinical associate professor and academic director of CGA. “Cities are able to act as leaders and laboratories of change, and this conference highlights how the urban energy landscape is transforming, and how New York and other global cities are leading the way.”

Among the topics explored will be grid modernization, and commercial and residential efficiency, transportation and urban renewables, as well as the critical issues confronting these sectors in the face of climate change. Jigar Shah, founder of Jigar Shah Consulting; former CEO, Carbon War Room; and founder and former CEO of SunEdison, the largest solar services company worldwide, will present the keynote address.

The registration fee for the conference is $195 for general admission and $100 for NYU community members. A catered networking lunch will be provided, and the closing reception will be hosted by the NYU-SCPS Center for Global Affairs’ graduate energy student group, EPIC. To register, click here.

For more information, please contact Michelle D'Amico at (212) 992-8379 or michelle.damico@nyu.edu.

Topics and speakers

A Conversation on Urban Resiliency
– 9:15 a.m.

John Bradley, associate vice president, Sustainability, Energy, and Technical Services, New York University; Stephen Flynn, professor of Political Science and founding director, Center for Resilience Studies, Northeastern University; director, Master in Security and Resilience Studies Program, Northeastern University; co-director, George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security

Urban Sustainability and Big Data –10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Moderator: Constantine Kontokosta, deputy director, NYU Center for Urban Science + Progress (CUSP); director, NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment; research associate professor, Civil and Urban Engineering, NYU-Poly

Cities are capitals of economic activity and power consumption. How can Big Data inform our policies for creating more sustainable urban areas? How will access to information transform urban planning and the real estate sectors?

Jurij Paraszczak, former director, IBM Research Industry Solutions and leader of the Research Smarter Cities program

The Future of Transportation – 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Moderator: Peter Gardett, founding editor, Breaking Energy

Innovations in the transportation sector have made fuel alternatives such as natural gas and electricity a reality. What are the personal and mass transit vehicle opportunities? How can these fuels be integrated into distribution systems within urban environments?

Patrick Hyndman, director of Communications, Public Affairs, and Government Relations, Québec Government Office in New York; John Markowitz, lead engineer, Clean Energy Technology Group, New York Power Authority (NYPA); and Seth Schultz, director of Research, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group 

Urban Clean Tech and Renewables: The Innovators – 1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

Moderator: Kristin Barbato, deputy commissioner and chief energy management officer, City of New York

Exciting ideas for urban sustainability are being cultivated globally–technologies for urban wind and solar farms, compost to fuel processes, urban natural gas electric plants. What technologies will shape the future of energy in our cities? How do we overcome the obstacles to scaling up these innovative efforts?

Donnel Baird, founder, BlocPower; Cameron Bard, special assistant to the chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State Governor’s Office; and Jackson Lehr, director, Customer & Business Strategy, National Grid

Future Role of Utilities – 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Moderator: Jonathan McClelland, energy economist; director, M.J. Beck Consulting

The electric utility industry is looking more and more at the decline of the fixed line telecommunications business and seeing parallels between wireless telephony and the rise of distributed generation, especially solar photovoltaics. As customers use less and switch to self-generation, what are the implications for the utility business model? When will a utility ‘tipping point’ likely occur? What should be utilities’ response to adapt to this new reality? Do policy makers and regulators need to act to smooth this transition?

Bob Currie, chief technology officer and co-founder, Smarter Grid Solutions; Robert Curry, Jr., commissioner emeritus, NY Public Service Commission; senior advisor, Charles River Associates International

Keynote Address – 4:15 p.m. 

Jigar Shah, founder of Jigar Shah Consulting; former CEO, Carbon War Room; founder and former CEO, SunEdison

Closing Reception, hosted by the NYU-SCPS Center for Global Affairs’ graduate student group, Energy Policy International Club (EPIC)

About the Center for Global Affairs
The Center for Global Affairs (CGA), within the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU‑SCPS), facilitates change by educating and inspiring our community members to become global citizens who are capable of identifying and implementing solutions to pressing global challenges. We believe that the development of solutions to global problems must be informed by an understanding that the world’s challenges are not merely challenges for and among states, but also challenges for and among non-state actors, urban and rural communities, regional organizations, and traditional diplomatic outlets. Through rigorous graduate and continuing education programs and public events, we prepare global citizens who are at home in all of these environments—and thus, who are effective agents of change. For more information, visit: scps/nyu.edu/cga.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies

Established in 1934, the NYU School of Professional Studies (sps.nyu.edu) is one of NYU's several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of the School of Professional Studies arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School's diverse graduate, undergraduate, and Professional Pathways programs in fields such as Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Health; Arts, Design, and Film; Creative Cities and Economic Development; English-Language Learning; Entrepreneurship; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Human Resource Management and Development; Languages and Humanities; Management and Systems; Marketing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Sports Management, Media, and Business; Translation; and Writing.

More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create a vibrant professional and academic environment that educates over 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe each year. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by nearly 28,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses and Diploma Programs. The School's community is enriched by more than 31,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu.