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Ready, Set, Summit: Get inspired for the 2011 Summit

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/03/11 @ 1:47pm

Cleveland Chief of Sustainability Andrew Watterson delivered a pep talk for the fast-approaching third annual '2019' summit at last night's E4S "Ready, Set, Summit!" event.

This year's '2019'summit will feature a line up of speakers representing sustainable business and local green champions. Facilitated once again by Fairmount Minerals Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, David Cooperrider will use his Appreciative Inquiry method in leading 600 attendees to "discover our strengths as a community-instead of focusing on the problems," said Watterson, who's also pursuing a Master's degree at Case in Positive Organization Development, which deploys the AI philosophy.

"How do we leverage those strengths? Then, you dream, and find aspirational moments." This will to lead to action, he said, adding that 350 volunteers and 30 work groups carry forward the work of '2019'.

This year's summit will include 'snapshots' from the 2011 Year of Energy Efficiency, and provide a space for organizing the players who've been active in local food, the 2012 Celebration Year focus. Already, the Year of Local Food is reaping a return-Cleveland beat out Boston and London as the host city for the International Public Markets conference (partially due to the West Side Market celebrating its 100th anniversary next year).

"This is a big deal," Watterson said. "SC2019 is sort of like the soil from which all of these great things grow."

"Ready, Set, Summit!" also featured a panel discussion that kicked off with Rachel Downey, principal of graphic design/branding firm Studio Graphique, explaining the new 2019 logos and brand standards guide.

A striking suite of Celebration Year and 2019 logos are available for download here for companies and individuals who want to align their efforts with Energy Efficiency, Local Food, or any of the upcoming year-long celebrations. The guide, which was created by the Downey, David Jurca and the rest of the 2019 Communication Resources work group, explains their fair use. But, in the spirit of 2019/AI community engagement, Downey said, "use them, own them, spread them around. They're your logos and your brand."

David Beach, director of the GreenCityBlueLake Institute, spoke about why the SmartHome was built. "We need to get beyond incremental change to the orders of magnitude better (building performance). This will get us where we need to be in order to address climate change."

The SmartHome has one-foot-thick insulated walls and high-tech green systems that sip heating and cooling energy ? it is designed to need only 10% of what an average single-family house in America consumes (it is pursuing a new certification with the Passive House Institute). The effort that went into building the house ? with 125 partners donating time and goods ? is inspiring the local green building community to build more of these, Beach said. Detroit-Shoreway CDC toured the home and is exploring what it will take to build a smaller and more affordable house that could meet the standard, he said. (Reportedly, officials from South Euclid were similarly inspired to look into a passive house on an infill lot).

Christina Vernon, who heads up the sustainability efforts at The Cleveland Clinic, said the region's largest employer makes no distinction between its mission of human health and sustainability. They also make a point of co-branding its efforts with the 2019 initiative, she said. For example, they added the 2011 Year of Energy Efficiency logo to their company intranet, which gets 70,000 hits, she said. They've also installed "thousands of LED bulbs in buildings. It helps in diagnosis because of the clarity of light and reduces heat on patients during procedures."

During the audience Q&A, Vernon was asked how The Clinic will engage in the 2012 Year of Local Food?

"Food is the essence of health," she said, citing efforts such as Lutheran Hospital (in the Clinic network) planting food gardens at the CMHA (Riverview Tower) property.

"We think we can connect food access to food desserts. There are lots of ways hospitals can connect to food. We're building metrics around local food." She also cited the Clinic's Wednesday farmer's market.

Beach was asked how the SmartHome was able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, garner so many in-kind gifts and generate excitement.

"Unless you have a really exciting story, people aren't going to want to donate or get involved," he answered. "The bar was raised with the SmartHome and that helped attract funders. They wanted to be part of a quantum leap forward."

One the topic of energy efficient buildings, a Berea resident mentioned a bond issue to retrofit schools failed ? he wanted to know how existing buildings can be retrofitted for super energy efficiency?

Beach replied that Environmental Health Watch is embarking on a pilot of 'deep energy retrofits' of existing homes in Cleveland (the goal is 50-80% reductions in home heating and cooling). Watterson mentioned the retrofit of RPM's Tremco building in Beachwood which is reportedly 40% more efficient.

Beach was asked about the premium to build the SmartHome and whether the response of local production builders?

The 20% premium for the SmartHome is closer to 10% in Europe where the materials are more readily available, he answered. "I think it's a good production model. Already Habitat for Humanity is building passive houses. (The SmartHome's) builder is interested in whether these wall systems can be pre fabricated in a warehouse. He thinks he can do it cost effectively."

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