Energy use is the foundation of our standard of living and also Earth’s greatest environmental challenge. Moreover, our dependence on fossil fuels is one of the most significant shapers of domestic, foreign and environmental policies. We depend critically on these energy-dense but increasingly scarce resources, and our continued prosperity may depend crucially on the development of substitutes. Further, their burning generates the most abundant greenhouse gas, which could ultimately destroy major ecosystems. Our response to this challenge will determine what kind of world posterity will inherit.
This development of tomorrow’s energy sector is a major growth opportunity. As made clear at the recent 2009 UN Copenhagen Climate Summit, there is increasing global interest in alternative energy sources, and those who develop them will emerge as leaders in this critical industry. This development will require the appropriate regulatory and economic structures. Our conference features speakers from a wide range of expertise who will discuss their views and practices on energy policy, technology and economics. There will also be ample time for questions from the audience. This discussion is designed to promote understanding of the issues, which will be required to produce the most effective policies, and to stimulate entrepreneurial activities in our local and broader communities.
Session topics and speakers were chosen to provide discussion on all of the critical aspects of the energy technology, business and policy. Audience participants may chose to attend only a few select sessions or, as we recommend, attend all of them. We suggest that the broad view that the conference offers can best prepare students and the public for effective action.
Visit the Energizing the Future website for the agenda and speaker biographies.