Content and speakers listed are subject to change. Please check back regularly for updates.

Program

8:15 am - 9:00 am

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Working Session

City Summit: Partnerships and Financing for Resilient Infrastructure

Special daylong, invite-only working session focused on how cities and companies are working together to implement innovative technologies and solutions that support resilience and sustainability, including low-carbon and smart-city infrastructure programs. The goal is to identify replicable models that allow cities to invest in clean and efficient energy, water, and transportation technologies. Learn more and request an invitation.

9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Tutorial

"The Newtonian Shift" Multi-Stakeholder Energy Transformation Game

Experience 15 years of energy transition in one day through this skillfully facilitated role-playing game. Participants take part in future energy scenarios and represent various points of view: private customer, large energy consumer, suppliers, grid operator, investors, government. Business and private clients generate their own energy, supply it to one another and offer products that compete with those from traditional utilities.

Although this day-long game is open to all all-access and Monday one-day pass holders, pre-registration is required since space is limited

Fresh Forces will lead the game, with support from Rocky Mountain Institute. For more information and details about this role-playing game at VERGE, check out this overview document from RMI.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Tutorial

Using Building Data to Achieve Enterprise Sustainability Goals

Many enterprise organizations struggle to make sense of the building data they are collecting. At the same time, they continue to set aggressive sustainability goals that require sophisticated approaches to data management and target measurements.  This interactive workshop is designed for executives challenged with driving energy reductions, operational efficiencies and sustainability achievements across their entire building portfolio. It will feature a panel of industry experts and breakout discussions aimed at identifying practical approaches to effectively using building data to achieve enterprise sustainability goals.

Presented by Siemens Building Technologies.

A workshop with:
Tutorial

Tutorial: Innovation and Electric Power Markets

Peter Kelly-Detwiler will deliver an updated reprise of VERGE's highest-ranked tutorial. It looks at the rationale for competitive power markets, their evolution over the past decade, the rapid growth of new technologies, and some of the key issues on the horizon. Topics include The Origin of The US Grid and Emergence of Monopolies and Utility Holding Companies; The Birth of Competitive Power; The Current Structure: Regulated and Restructured Power Markets and How They Function – A Look at Various US Markets; Resilience and Reliability: A Growing Challenge; and New Technologies, New Models, Smart Grid and Our Energy Future

A workshop with:
Tutorial

Addressing Water as a "Wicked Problem" Through Analytics and Action

This is a reprise of Will Sarni and Lindsay Bass's three-hour water tutorial from last year - and now it seems more relevant than ever.

Get an in-depth understanding of water risk as a business risk. Tools to quantify business value at risk and “managed intelligence” along with project examples from the private and public sectors will be presented. “Soft path” solutions to addressing water risks, such as “ecosystems” and “aligned action” will also be presented. A framework for water stewardship and business growth will be presented – “a license to grow strategy.” Data analytics and visualization dashboards will be used to illustrate water risks and mitigation strategies. The workshop is designed for those new to the issue of water risk and the more experienced stakeholder.

Tutorial

Climate Wargaming

This workshop is designed for executives, sustainability and risk professionals, as well as managers with responsibility for aspects of the corporate value chain vulnerable to climate change impacts (i.e. supply chain, operations, facilities etc.) Its objective is to equip participants with tools and techniques to engage their organization on the issue of climate change as a business risk and opportunity.

Through the use of wargaming and role play, participants identify risks and opportunities related to climate change and develop a strategy to communicate critical issues to key stakeholders – executive leadership, peers, and operational staff — and identify how to tie climate adaptation efforts to KPIs.

Presented by Four Twenty Seven.

Breakout

Beyond Buildings, More than LEED: Tools to Transform Communities

If you think USGBC begins with LEED and ends with Greenbuild, think again. USGBC is adding tools and technologies, partners and platforms. LEED Dynamic Plaque, EDGE, WELL, SITES, PEER and GRESB provide a new, global platform to achieve our long-standing mission of green buildings and communities for everyone within this generation. This session looks at what it takes to apply systems thinking at scale and connect it to the future we want. 

7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:45 am

8:45 am - 8:55 am

8:55 am - 9:10 am

9:10 am - 9:35 am

Plenary

The Solar Panel and Beyond: An Integrated Approach to Energy Cost Reduction

A conversation with the CEO of SunPower and the head of architecture and renewables development at Bed Bath & Beyond. Under pressure to reduce energy costs at its stores across the U.S., this ‘big box’ retailer embraced an innovative approach to solar power and energy management. This discussion will explore how to make a multi-facility solar program work, and use sustainability to serve the bottom line.

9:35 am - 9:45 am

Plenary

VERGE Talk: How People & Platforms Are Reinventing Capitalism

A new model of collaboration is creating excess capacity from wasted potential, creating platforms for customer participation and connecting billions of diverse "peers" to create abundance together. Welcome to the world of Peers Inc., a new collaborative economy that can deliver a cleaner and more collaborative world.

Presented by:

9:45 am - 10:10 am

10:10 am - 10:30 am

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:30 am

Plenary

The Trajectory to Sustainable Space Exploration

NASA’s pioneering space effort is working with the private sector to develop sustainable technologies that enable long-distance space travelers to make what they need — from food and water to building supplies — from locally acquired raw materials. What are the opportunities for technology companies — and the implications for sustainability here on Earth? 

11:30 am - 11:35 pm

Plenary

Launch Pad: Smart Buildings, What's the Score?

Humans have IQs, but there’s nothing similar for buildings. That’s unfortunate: facilities are key to getting the best out of human and organizational resources, the cornerstone of a successful business. A new rating system and research initiative aims to change that, helping uncover opportunities to boost sustainability, security and productivity.  

Presented by:

11:35 am - 11:45 am

Plenary

VERGE Talk: How the Web of Data is Changing Business, Government … and Lives

How will we double the size of a city without it breaking, or triple efficiency in agriculture? Where will the next drug breakthrough occur? A generation of network thinkers are finding new ways to tackle the challenges we face today.  We need to understand the benefits and risks of a distributed future: one where everyone has the knowledge to innovate.
Presented by:

11:45 am - 11:55 am

Plenary

VERGE Talk: When Vehicle Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification & Sharing Collide

The automobile industry is being roiled by changing behaviors, urbanization and globalization, oil dynamics, evolution of IoT and sensors, electrification, autonomy, etc. As a result, our transportation system now includes new business models that can transform the industry. And it's only just beginning.

Presented by:

11:55 am - 12:00 pm

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

Ideating with NASA

Following on the plenary panel about sustainable space exploration, representatives from NASA and private-sector companies will address the space program’s technology needs for air, water, food, and waste recycling on the International Space Station, the technologies needed for future long-distance human space exploration, and opportunities for the private sector to engage with the space program.

Breakout

Understanding Mobility's Trifecta: Shared, Autonomous and Electrified

Every full-time shared vehicle replaces 4-6 sales of new cars and delays up to 7 more. With the growing popularity of EVs and ubiquitous presence of autonomous technologies, a new model is emerging that combines all three: carsharing, electrification and autonomy. How will traditional auto companies reinvent themselves? What will this mean for fleet buyers and communities? Featured speakers include execs from Daimler, Nissan, and City CarShare.

Breakout

Solutions at the Groundwater-Ag-Urban Nexus

It takes data to make good decisions about groundwater, and getting groundwater data has always been difficult and expensive. Even when available, data sets are sparse and hard to use. How can governments and businesses access groundwater data and harness it to create cost-effective solutions to groundwater issues? Various stakeholders will address the proven technologies and models and solutions that can be replicated at scale.

Breakout

A Renewable Cloud? How Data Centers are Transforming the Web

Traditional data centers that power the cloud consume a tremendous amount of energy. Tech leaders like Hewlett Packard and organizations like BSR are making big gains in accelerating a cleaner, more efficient cloud, Join the Living Progress Exchange discussion forum as we take a deep dive into how data center buyers and sellers are transforming the way the Internet is powered.

Breakout

Product Transparency - Supply Chain Exposed!

A rare inside look at how one company’s commitment to ingredient transparency forced a change in its supply chain. Mohawk, the world’s largest flooring manufacturer whose portfolio includes a diverse array of products including soft surface (carpet) and resilient flooring products (wood, laminate, LVT, stone and ceramic),  has been transforming its business and the building marketplace by developing products that contribute to a healthy indoor environment. This session will delve into the process of doing this — the business model, economics, and challenges encountered, and how they were overcome. The session includes a leading consultant and a key corporate customer, offering a broad perspective of what it takes to transform a supply chain in the service of developing sustainable product.

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

The Future of Connected Transportation in Cities

How are the public and private sectors working together to evolve from yesterday's transportation system to tomorrow's? This case study of how to keep traffic moving in the car-snarled Bay Area offers insights to the kinds of collaboration needed for next-gen connected transportation systems. 
Breakout

Getting Zero-Net-Energy Buildings to Scale Through Technology

With almost five million commercial buildings in the U.S., the path to zero energy buildings and communities must include approaches that scale across common ownership, physical areas and prototypes. A distinguished panel of experts will address how emerging technologies can be leveraged in districts, building portfolios, and prototypes to get to zero net energy at scale.

Breakout

Beyond Purple Pipes: Innovative Solutions in Water Reuse and Recycling

Modern water systems use clean water both to drink and flush toilets and water plants. But new technologies are enabling the use lower-quality water for non-potable uses, saving potable water for human consumption and bathing. Learn about the water reuse and recycling technologies and programs that are being implemented at scale across communities and the built environment.

Breakout

Scaling Renewables from Both Small & Large Developers

In 2014, companies signed long-term contracts for more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy, more than the previous five years combined, and 2015 is set to surpass 2014 by a significant margin. But the size of these transactions vary significantly, sometimes by an order of magnitude. This workshop, featuring large corporate buyers, will consider the pros and cons of buying renewable power from small and large projects. Featured speakers include execs from Yahoo!, Facebook and Wal-Mart.

Breakout

How Logistics and Supply Chains Change in the On-Demand Economy

We are increasingly accustomed to getting want what we want, where and when we want it. But at what cost? How do same-day delivery and other innovations in a hyper-efficient marketplace transform energy use, congestion and other issues? This session looks at how major cities and logistics providers – both large and small – are addressing the unintended sustainability impacts of the on-demand economy.

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Breakout

New Research Findings: How Corporations Are Tackling Climate Change

As a lead up to the climate talks in Paris, Ingersoll Rand commissioned GreenBiz Group to conduct research to understand corporate approaches to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction initiatives. During this session, research results will be presented with commentary from senior leaders at Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft and Belk.
Breakout

Corporate Strategies for Renewables Procurement: How Complex Deals Get Done

Hear the experiences of some of the world's largest renewable energy buyers on why large offsite purchases made sense for their organization, how they chose to access the market and assess risks, the obstacles they faced and the business case they used to sell it to C-suite executives. 

Breakout

Harnessing Data to Foster Climate-Smart Cities

Cities are tapping data, GIS decision support tools, and other resources to create green infrastructure strategies that reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience. This facilitated table discussions will share ideas about best practices and key gaps for spatial analysis.

Breakout

How EVs are Future-Proofing the Grid

As mobile energy storage devices, electric vehicles have the advantage of operating closer to distributed energy resources such as solar and to the endpoints of power delivery. Learn how utilities and car companies are working together to maximize the potential of EVs and second life batteries as assets to balance the grid. Featured speakers include senior leaders from PG&E, BMW and EV Grid.

Breakout

Solutions in Supply Chain Transparency and Traceability

Transparency and traceability are concerns cutting across industries, calling for cross-industry solutions. From agriculture, to electronics, to heavy industry are all taking fresh approaches to gathering information scalably and affordably from multiple tiers of suppliers. A select group of these experts will share their initiatives, with a focus on stimulating and accelerating sector-wide and multi-sector solutions. Featured speakers include senior leaders from HP, Fiat Chrysler, and Cargill.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:35 am

Plenary

Welcome

GreenBiz Co-founder and President, Pete May, welcomes everyone to Day 2 of VERGE.

8:35 am - 8:45 am

Plenary

VERGE Interconnect Microgrid Demo

The VERGE Microgrid is back, bigger and better than ever, powering our entire event clean energy. The microgrid, built in less than 24 hours, demonstrates what's possible today with off-the-shelf equipment. See first-hand how technologies can work together in a real-world, real-time setting.

Presented by:

8:45 am - 9:00 am

Plenary

Reinventing Computing to Sustainably Meet the Data Needs of the Future

By 2020, 30 billion connected devices will generate unprecedented amounts of data. The infrastructure required to collect, process, store, and analyze this data requires transformational changes in the foundations of computing. Bottom line: current systems can’t handle where we are headed and we need a new solution. HP's CTO explains their solution in "The Machine" and how they are reinventing the fundamental architecture of computers to enable a quantum leap in performance and efficiency, while lowering costs over the long term and improving security.

In conversation with:

9:00 am - 9:25 am

9:25 am - 9:35 am

Plenary

VERGE Talk: The Beef with Modern Food Systems

A book by Earth Day's founder and his wife takes an intellectual and historical journey with cows. It is also a meditation on our relationship with the animals that have played such a key role in the human experience, providing labor, milk, and meat for centuries. It is a powerful call for change in the way cows are raised and how many of them consumers eat.

Presented by:

9:35 am - 10:00 am

10:00 am - 10:05 am

10:05 am - 10:30 am

Plenary

How Smart Cities Create Resilient Communities

Can cities strengthen their innovation capacity to transform the way they solve problems while becoming more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of this century. Three leaders share stories about how communities around the world are achieving these goals, and what other communities can learn from their experiences.

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:20 am

Plenary

Disrupting the Food Supply Chain, One Meal at a Time

What does Google eat and how is it shaping a food system that's ripe for disruption? Sustainable food purchasing for one of the world's largest tech companies has signficant impact, and it helps that the head of Google Food's procurement has developed a framework to help make those decisions. This conversation with one of the country's most dynamic well-respected food experts will include insights and examples on how to accelerate our transition to sustainable food systems.

In conversation with:

11:00 am - 11:10 am

Plenary

Why Hawaii Is Leading Us To 100% Renewable Energy

As an island state heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for its energy needs, Hawaii is uniquely vulnerable to things like volatile electricity prices, rising sea levels and supply chain disruptions. Ending this dependence and achieving greater energy, environmental and economic security is the driving force behind the state's new 100 percent renewable energy target for the electricity sector.  

Presented by:

11:10 am - 11:20 am

11:20 am - 11:35 am

Plenary

VERGE Talk: A New Model to Scale Cleantech in China

Over the past decade, $27 billion went into more than 1,000 U.S. cleantech start-ups, but few found commercial success at home. Meanwhile, across the Pacific, China's urgent energy and environmental needs go unmet in part from a lack of breakthrough technologies. Bridging this divide can unlock both large-scale impact and lucrative cash flows.

11:35 am - 11:40 pm

Plenary

Launch Pad: Healthy Buildings Powered by Data

Today, there is little transparency around what constitutes the most basic building materials and how their massive footprints could be affecting climate change and human health. In this launchpad session, we will introduce a new open data initiative that will help consumers and building industry professionals not only gain clarity on building materials, but will also enable them to take action towards incentivizing a healthier products ecosystem.

Presented by:

12:00 pm - 12:20 pm

Plenary

Democratizing Deep Learning

One of Silicon Valley's most-respected venture capitalists and a founding board member of Tesla and other innovative startups discusses a branch of artificial intelligence called "deep learning" that is pushing the boundaries of what we can do with computing, and the implications for business.

In conversation with:

12:20 pm - 12:30 pm

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

Accelerating Solutions to Food Loss & Waste

According to the United Nations, about a third of all the food grown globally is never consumed. The losses take place across the value chain: at the farm, in storage, during distribution and preparation, and on our plates. Addressing food waste has clear economic, social and environmental benefits. This dialogue about innovations in business, policy and technology will explore the opportunities to make every calorie count. Featured speakers include execs from LeanPath and Safeway.

Breakout

Off the Grid: Microgrid Owner/Operator Perspectives

The operator of the VERGE Interconnect microgrid leads a presentation on how microgrids are being deployed and operated. The session will examine actual results and benefits being realized through the operation of various types of microgrids, including the equipment required to implement a system, power systems control technology, timing and complexity of the build and benefits to both savings and resiliency. Featured speakers include owners and operators from innovative microgrid developments like Borrego Springs and Necker Island.

Breakout

Managing Supply Chain Risks Across Industries

There is no-one-size-fits-all approach to managing supply-chain risks. But when looking across industries, common themes emerge that demonstrate successful frameworks for gathering data, weighing priorities and taking action. Leaders from various industries will discuss how they successfully address supply-chain risks. Featured speakers include leaders from National Grid, EMC and GM.

Breakout

Exploring and Expanding Models for Effective City-Business Collaboration

Leaders and innovators in both government and business see huge opportunities to collaborate to advance urban environments. Too often, though, the mechanisms through which they engage present challenges and barriers. This workshop will explore how public-private partnerships are tackling complex problems and creating transformative solutions, including new and evolving models for collaboration. Featured speakers include execs from the City of LA, Envision Charlotte, Airbnb and Ford.

Breakout

Scaling Corporate Water Solutions

How can businesses scale their water-reduction strategies cost effectively when water is still so inexpensive? This panel features insights from corporate owners working to address water-intensive processes and operations across various industries about the strategies and technologies that are working. Featured speakers include leaders from Google, Dow and Genentech.

Breakout

Put Your Buildings to Work: Taking a Smart Approach to Better Facilities and Business Results

Is your building composed of four walls, concrete and rebar, with a debit in the ledger? Or is it a means to boost your employees’ productivity, enhance travelers’ experiences or improve patients’ outcomes? Facilities can be much more than “dead” or depreciating assets. And a recent study pinpoints ways to bring these resources to life, putting them to work to serve business and organizational missions. Along with an overview of the research and trends it signals, a cross section of industry leaders will discuss the evolution, prospects and value of smart buildings.

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

Beyond the Tipping Point: Making Innovation in Cities a Reality

Many smart-city initiatives focus on new cities developed from the ground up, but what about the opportunities for others — can existing cities leverage these technologies, too? Learn about the new Metro Lab Network, a new White House initiative aimed at accelerating smarter cities by connecting cities and universities to address urban challenges in transportation, communication, water, sewer, buildings and public services.

Breakout

Global Panel: Bridging Cross-Border Divides to Scale Cleantech Solutions

Implementing sustainable technologies and business models across borders requires bridging multiple divides —social, cultural, and political. In this session, participants will share war stories from cross-border partnerships and identify how to reduce the barriers to collaboration. Featured speakers include execs from MNL Partners, Energy Innovation and Autodesk.

Breakout

Owner's Panel: Designing Building Portfolios to Drive Smarter Business Outcomes

How can you scale the design of a "smart building" across a portfolio and come out ahead for your business? From corporate real estate to retail, different owners have different approaches in making their buildings "smarter" at scale. Engage in a lively discussion about the various ways to select and install building technologies (addressing energy, water, waste, comfort), design and construction approaches, operations and maintenance strategies, economic impacts, etc. Featured speakers include execs from Starbucks, BOMA International and Genentech.

Breakout

Financing a New Urban Water Infrastructure

As drought and climate change threaten water supplies, water utilities and their ratepayers are facing increasing challenges. Solutions are available, but because water is inexpensive, solutions aren't cost-efficient. The panel will explore public-private partnerships, innovative financing tools and how to account for the value of water in the future.

Breakout

From Mitigation to Innovation: Using Data to Transform Supply Chains

While business leaders often find themselves swimming in a sea of data, finding actionable information that is global in scope often remains a challenge. To close this gap leading companies are taking advantage of new and evolving online platforms that not only identify value chain risk, but also inform ambitious strategy development. This discussion will explore such tools and how companies are using them.   

Breakout

The Fuse is Lit: Disrupting the Traditional Utility Business Model

How are utilities coping with high high levels of renewables penetration? What are the implications, both for utilities and their customers? Panelists from both the utility and customer side will explore various scenarios and their implications for both energy buyers and sellers. Featured speakers include a California Energy Commissioner, the SVP in Innovation and disruptive thinking within RWE, and energy leaders at Nautilus Solar, Sempra, and Microsoft.

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Breakout

Innovating from the Inside of an Entrenched Industry

Industries, like construction and forestry, have long been synonymous with slow change. And yet globalization and economic pressures require all companies in all industries to continuously innovate. The future of these industries depend on more rapid identification and implementation of new ideas. Increasingly, internal change agents — intrapreneurs — are making waves, and making change. Hear from thought leaders and industry practitioners who recognize the need to embrace this new kind of worker within their organizations.

Breakout

Case Study: How Big Data Transforms Ag Supply Chains

An increasing number of large food companies have set public targets on improved environmental outcomes in their agricultural supply chains. To achieve these goals, companies will need to collaborate at new levels across the value chain. This discussion focuses on the role of big data in delivering sustainable outcomes for agriculture, including how tech is helping companies engage farmers and other supply-chain partners to tackle issues like water quality, greenhouse gas emissions and soil health. Featured perspectives include key leaders across one distinctly innovative supply chain, including Unilever, ADM and a soybean farmer.

Breakout

Open Data, Collaborative Action: The Scalable Approach for Designing Healthier Buildings

Learn about a brand new enterprise powered by four very different organizations (a non-profit, a for-profit, a tech startup and a tech giant), who together are tackling building materials transparency with a truly interdisciplinary approach. Their mission is to characterize the most common building products by their composition, health and environmental impacts, and share their findings to promote awareness and inspire action. Making their debut at VERGE, these companies will unveil their open data approach and discuss opportunities for building owners, designers, builders, public officials -- and everyone in between -- to use this data to help make smarter decisions, improve the healthfulness of buildings, and drive market transformation towards less toxic and lower-impact materials. Featured speakers include senior leaders from Flux, thinkstep, HBN and Google.
Breakout

Beyond RECs: The New Renewable Energy Marketplace

For years, the only affordable option for companies to buy green power was to puchase renewable energy certificates (RECs). But the RECs market has changed significantly, as have companies' options for renewables procurement. The new landscape includes power purchase agreements, community solar and even collaborative clean energy models. How to make sense of it all? Experts share their insights.

Breakout

Traversing the Valley of Death: New Models for Scaling Innovation

How can clean technologies leap across the commercialization "valley of death" in a single creative collaboration? This discussion focuses on innovation models that are working to enable commercial players to deploy a variety of financial instruments and techniques to accelerate the development and market uptake new technologies in the built environment.

Breakout

The Future of Building Management

The commercial building industry is changing, shifting the business models of how buildings are run, the intelligent systems that operate them, and the standards for efficiency, health and amenity. There is an unprecedented opportunity to use new tools and models to operate buildings in a fundamentally better way. What will this future look like? How can we harness data, new technologies and new operational practices elegantly? This panel, featuring portfolio owners, managers and disruptors, will give a vision for this future, as well as examples of how these practices are being utilized by cutting-edge companies today.
Breakout

Global Panel: How Will the Internet of Things Transform the Base-of-the-Pyramid?

How will the technologies and solutions showcased at VERGE address the needs of those at the base of the economic pyramid? What can we learn from community forestry projects in Kenya that use the cloud and handheld devices to make microfinance payments to off-grid smallholders? Why do Guatemalan highland households with mobile phones outnumber those with access to clean water and clean cook-stoves? This session shows how communities are leapfrogging challenges developed countries have yet to solve. 

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

8:00 pm - 1:00 am

Bookend

VERGE After Dark Party

Join your VERGE community of industry leaders and change makers on Wednesday, October 28, for a special evening of connection, decompression and dancing.
This year, we'll be hosting our party at The Continental, located at 349 S 1st St in downtown San Jose, a short three-minute walk from the Fairmont Hotel.
The party will be open to all VERGE attendees - and is included for those with a VERGE Interconnect Expo Pass.

7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:35 am

Plenary

Welcome

GreenBiz Co-founder, Chair and Executive Editor, Joel Makower, welcomes everyone to the final day of VERGE. Get ready to close things out with surprises and inspiration.

Presented by:

8:35 am - 9:00 am

Plenary

People-Powered Places (and the Infrastructure that supports them)

Creating resilient communities takes more than good leaders and the latest technologies. It also takes people power — informed and engaged citizens weighing in on what will make their neighborhoods more healthy, equitable and verdant. This conversation between a federal official and a prominent community leader will demonstrate the opportunities (and challenges) in making resilience a reality.

 

9:00 am - 9:10 am

9:10 am - 9:35 am

9:35 am - 9:40 am

Plenary

The City of Intelligent Machines - The Interplay of AI, Architecture and Urban Design

Imagine a future in which intelligent machines are key building blocks of city life. The work of Future Cities Lab is at the forefront of exploring how advanced technologies, robotics, social media and the internet of things will profoundly transform how we live, work, communicate and play. Installations brought to VERGE will be brought to life, situated within the larger cultural, social and ecological trends that inspired their creation.

Presented by:

9:40 am - 10:05 am

Plenary

How IoT Can Upgrade Our Aging Water Infrastructure

How can companies, utilities and cities collaborate to bring new technical solutions to fix our aging water infrastructure? With trillions of gallons of water a year lost through plumbing that date back more than a century, the crumbling U.S. water infrastructure is in dire need of an upgrade. The cloud, M2M, and IoT technologies can help address these challenges, but what does it take to get the job done?

10:05 am - 10:10 am

Plenary

Launch Pad: Sensor Networks with a Sense of Purpose

Aclima’s sensor networks generate billions of data points to reveal actionable insights about buildings, cities, and communities. In collaboration with partners, Aclima applies these insights to improve human and planetary health. Watch how Aclima's network is brought to life from the VERGE stage.

Presented by:

10:10 am - 10:30 am

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:20 am

11:20 am - 11:30 am

Plenary

VERGE Talk: Cleaning Up Dirty Manufacturing

From brownfield to urban park, an inside look at how Method brought green manufacturing to a Chicago factory. Insights from Method's co-founder on green building, urban ag, community engagement, smart logistics and building a healthy, sustainable business.

Presented by:

11:30 am - 11:35 am

Plenary

Launch Pad: Buildings That Adapt to People

At last, technology is enabling buildings that dynamically adapt to people. Building Robotics, the makers of Comfy, the world’s first intelligent software for on-demand, personalized comfort in commercial buildings, will announce a new technology ecosystem in collaboration with cutting-edge technology companies. It puts people at the center of integrated, intelligent buildings.
 

Presented by:

11:35 am - 11:45 am

11:45 am - 11:55 pm

Plenary

VERGE Talk: The (R)evolution of the Car Company

With the rise of alternative powertrains, autonomous and connected technologies, and various carsharing models, traditional car companies are being forced to reinvent themselves. The old business model transformation is under attack. How will the auto industry respond?

Presented by:

11:55 am - 12:20 pm

Plenary

Parsing the Hype Behind the Hyperloop

A conversation with the CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a conceptual high-speed system put forward by Elon Musk. It rockets passengers in capsules through tubes riding on air cushions — Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes! Already, 420+ people are working on the project, including from Boeing, NASA, Airbus and SpaceX. AECOM, a global engineering firm, has signed on, as has Oerlikon, a company that has been in the vacuum business for more than a century. Is it a pipe dream or the next disruptive transportation technology?

12:20 pm - 12:30 pm

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Breakout

Harnessing Data for Smarter Buildings and Cities

Obtaining accurate building energy use data is a prerequisite to improving performance, but various barriers limit access. Market participants and policy experts will present new technological and system advancements in data access and explore how it is changing our processes and opening new opportunities for improvement. Featured speakers include leaders from the IMT, City of LA, Mission:Data and Kilroy Realty.
Breakout

Privacy, Safety and Ownership of Connected Cars

Connected cars can bring environmental improvements, but they also create social challenges and raise significant questions and opportunities regarding privacy, safety, and ownership. Addressing this requires a comprehensive approach to managing information beyond data security. This session will a conversation among experts addressing their experiences, lessons learned, and practical steps they have taken to understand and address these issues.

Breakout

The Growing Promise of Urban Agriculture

It may seem paradoxical or counterintuitive to think that cities may play a key role when it comes to increasing the sustainability and resilience of America’s food system. But the rise of urban ag is not to be brushed off as a passing fad. The growing interest in local food, plus some clever technologies, are enabling city residents across the economic spectrum to grow food at scale. Featured speakers include leaders from Eastern Market in Detroit, MI, Urban Tilth in Richmond, CA and the commercial leader in indoor vertical farms AeroFarms. 

Breakout

Putting Microgrids to Work to Create Resilient Communities

The market for microgrids is evolving on a regional basis in the U.S. — the East Coast is a hotbed for regulatory reforms to enable microgrids in a deregulated policy environment, California is focused on long-term planning for a rich variety of distributed energy resources, and the heartland is aligning microgrids with utility smart grid innovation. What have been the impacts and lessons so far? 

Breakout

Aclima, Google and the U.S. EPA: A Partnership for Planetary Health

A Silicon Valley startup is partnering with Google and the U.S. EPA to change how we view our environment. It brings together a smart sensor network with Google Street View cars and EPA scientific expertise, to visualize city-scale pollution at the street level, in real time. Find out the implications for cities and businesses around the world.

Breakout

Unlocking Assets through Optimized Solar Applications

With more than half of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. now coming from solar, it is clear that the solar market has reached new heights. However, integrated solar solutions remain niche in areas requiring energy optimization, like the building and the greenhouse markets in particular. How will a solar technology like BIPV overcome a reputation of being too expensive and inefficient? This session explores this question and how leading companies in their respective value-chains are now able to unlock energy generating assets and provide high value, end-to-end, bankable and warrantied solutions.

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Breakout

Case Study: Crash-Testing Driverless Cars in a Robot City

Welcome to M City, a 23-acre mini-metropolis in Michigan, where automakers can test autonomous cars to prepare for a driverless future. Seeking to replicate a modern city’s chaos — traffic jams, unpredictable pedestrians, daredevil cyclists — M City has carmakers and tech companies conducting research on its roads. Here's the inside story.

Breakout

Will Water Scarcity Dry Up the Digital Economy?

Much of the media attention on drought has focused on the residential and agricultural users. But industrial users such as data centers have largely been ignored. The reality is that the Internet runs on water to generate power and for cooling data centers. What are industry leaders doing to reduce water use and associated risk? How are data center operators being impacted by regional water shortages, what are the engineering or technology options to address these challenges, and what should buyers of commercial data center services understand about those options? This session focuses on the design tradeoffs or innovations that can improve water efficiency in the IT sector. 
Breakout

The Nudge Factor: Leveraging Data for Behavior Change

From transportation data to litter management to crowdsourced information during an environmental disaster, the collection and dissemination of data is proving to be a powerful way to nudge and empower citizens toward action. Hear how data is being used as a tool for impacting individual decisions on sustainability.

Breakout

Customer-Sited Energy Storage: Inside the New Business Models

Energy storage can come in many forms and serve many purposes. A growing area in this sector is customer-sited storage, and storage technologies are being deployed in various forms in multiple markets. This panel will look at the latest existing and commercially viable applications. It will also highlight the growing opportunities for commercial and industrial customers in the visible future. Featured speakers include execs from Tesla, Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and others.

Breakout

The Carbon re-Balancing Act: Positive Solutions for Negative Emissions

Businesses across a number of industries hold vast potential to not just reduce carbon emissions, but to "reverse climate change” by removing carbon from the atmosphere. This session will explore some of the solutions available today to sequester carbon from the air through both biological practices like regenerative agriculture and forestry and chemical approaches like direct air capture and reactive minerals. In particular, the panel will explore how industry and policy support can enable businesses to turn carbon dioxide emissions into valuable materials that lock carbon in the ground or the built environment with many co-benefits. 

Breakout

Managing Risk and Maximizing Value from Building Performance Upgrades

This session looks at the BOMA Energy Performance Contracting (BEPC) model, designed to manage performance risk, and deliver predictable returns on capital projects that enhance your building’s performance and ultimately improve your building’s competitiveness. It will also feature two organizations using the model: an innovative utility-funded program that helps property owners develop and execute comprehensive building performance upgrades, and a project to retrofit the iconic AT&T Center in downtown Los Angeles.   

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm