Virtual Event Program

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7:45 am - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 8:45 am

Plenary

Welcome

GreenBiz welcomes everyone to the event, with opening remarks by Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower.

Presented by:

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

Plenary

VERGE Accelerate: Startup Showcase

A pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs in energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, and cities the opportunity to present to the diverse VERGE community: executives from the world's largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists, and others.

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

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.

Presented by:

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 strengthem 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 - 11:10 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:

11:45 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

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

Plenary

VERGE Talk: Ensuring Cleantech for All

Bringing profitable clean technology investments and services to communities that have been left behind can present challenges to business as usual, but also huge opportunities.

Presented by:

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

Plenary

VERGE Accelerate: Startup Showcase

A pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs in energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, and cities the opportunity to present to the diverse VERGE community: executives from the world's largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists, and others.

10:30 am - 11:00 am

11:00 am - 11:20 am

Plenary

The Power of Platforms

A conversation with the founder of Twitter, Medium and Obvious Ventures about building platforms that transform storytelling and public understanding of climate change and other critical issues.
In conversation with:

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