switch~3 recap

Another successful switch~!

Speakers stepped up and delivered their spiels to a supportive crowd in Boulder Colorado on 11/29/13, challenging perceptions, exposing truths, and importantly delivering comedy.  A big thank you to all the energy professionals out there chasing conservation daily and seeking a more sustainable future.  You show us there is humor in the most mundane activities or frustrating obstacles we run into.. and seeing another angle is likely the key next step.  So until next time, enjoy the recap!

What Do Energy Geeks, Rock Music, and Laptops Have in Common?

by Bill LeBlanc  -  switch~3 MC, amateur comedian, and Chief Instigation Officer           

Image“Smaller trash cans reduce energy use?”
“Lights and Sex?”
“Gamification, Fracking, Butch Cassidy, Waste Heat?”

Sounds like another great evening for switch~3.

I go to about 10 conferences a year, but nothing compares (in a good way) to Boulder’s own switch~. I’ve had the good fortune to MC each of these entertainment/knowledge-sharing/networking/fun events so far, and I’ve never seen people so excited to listen to energy and sustainability nerds talk about their mother’s carbon footprint, their space travel energy savings plans, or their comparing conservation to downhill skiing. You never know what’s going to come next.

The spirit of the event is something you can’t describe well in writing. For example, one brilliant PhD researcher was going through his highly dense graphs, while each slide automatically advanced in 15-second intervals (one of the”charms” of the switch~ format). He realized he was in deep water, but something unexpected happened; instead of the audience writing off the next few minutes and looking at their smart phones, they started cheering him on. “Go for it!”. “Bring in home” yelled the audience. He stopped looking nervous, smiled, and plodded through his amazing yet complex slides to great approval. Now that’s community.

Speakers will challenge you with their new ideas, leaving their “safe” zone, laying it out there, and showing them support is what we do. I can just say, when people go to switch~, they don’t want to miss the next one. You will be inspired. See you on October 29th at the Fox.

Tickets & Speakers

ss-light-bulbsWondering what Lights & Sex is all about?

Want more details about this year’s switch~ presentations?

Need more information before you commit to this year’s event?

Check out our new speakers page which shows presentation descriptions and short bios. 

The night doesn’t stop with the presentations. switch~ will keep the party going with DJ Savior Breath (Eryc Eyl).

 Tickets on sale now from Fox Theatre.  


You voted !

And this is who you chose -

This year, we gave YOU the power to decide who would speak at this year’s switch event on October 29 at The Fox Theater. The result is an impressive and diverse line up of topics.  It should be an inspiring night. As a reminder, the early bird pricing ends 10/14 so make sure to get your tickets before then!

Fox Theatre Ticket Sales

Without further ado, here are our speakers…

  • Lights & Sex – Anders Wood (The Cadmus Group, Inc.)
  • The Role of Renewables in Grid Reliability – Jacob Aho (CU Energy Club)
  • The Solution to All Your Fracking Problems  - Cherlyn Seruto (Nexant)
  • Want to Save Lots of Energy? Get a Smaller Trash Can! – Juri Freeman & Lisa Skumatz (City of Denver & SERA)
  • Your Forecasts Are Wrong – Alexander Lauderbaugh (Ascend Analytics)
  • Waste Heat – Low Hanging Fruit that Can Save the World – Cully Cavness (Echogen Power Systems)
  • What I Learned From Butch Cassidy About Energy Policy – Cameron Brooks (Tolerable Planet Enterprises)
  • Duck Chart: The Doom of 33% Renewables – Karey Christ-Janer
  • There’s More to Life Than Gamification: Fostering Intrinsic Motiviation to Engender Persistent Pro-Environmental Behavior Changes – Jason Zietz (University of Colorado, Boulder and Simple Energy)
  • A Micro Solution to the Macro Challenge of Climate Change – Leia Guccione (Rocky Mountain Institute)

Speaker Submission is Open!

Speaker Submissions are Open!

It’s time to submit your topics for switch~ 2013!

The switch~ team knows it’s been a challenging week for many folks in our switch~ community, and the idea of pulling together a topic submission might be the last thing on your mind. But, we ask you to help us give everyone another great night to look forward to as people finish off the last of the wet carpet, drywall and debris. If you’re interested, just let us know by the weekend that you’d like to submit a topic, and we’ll help out.

This has been an unbelievably difficult time for Colorado and it’s been inspiring to watch and hear about the strength of this community, rising to help each other in the face of danger and unfathomable obstacles. There have been some speculations as to why the floods have happened. Discovery.com has an article that hypothesizes that it’s because the equatorial Pacific is in a state climatologists call, “La Nada” which can be the “most volatile and punishing” (even more than El Niño). The article also conjectures that the floods happened because of global warming: that “the slow-moving or stalled weather patterns fit with some ideas that the ongoing warming of the Arctic can cause the jet stream to get very deep and stubborn loops that then create atmospheric rivers, like that carrying unusual amounts of water north into New Mexico and Colorado.”

It’s all speculation. And who really knows? But it’s hard not to string along some of the crazy severe weather we’ve been having in recent memory (CO fires, VT and Storm Irene, the 2012 NYC snow storm, DC Snowpocalypse, Katrina), watch Hollywood’s latest star-studded action movies (the apocalyptic Elysium with Matt Damon and Oblivion with Tom Cruise), and hear about MARS ONE without thinking about global warming and earth’s dwindling resources. For those of you who haven’t heard, the Mars One Foundation is accepting applications for a ONE-WAY ticket to Mars to set up a permanent human settlement in 2023. Nope. Not kidding. They’re putting together an 8 person crew to be trained for the next 12 years and over 100,000 people have applied. You can actually watch applicant videos on the Mars One website. It’s fascinating. Sure, a big part of it is driven by space exploration and the quest for knowledge, but it’s hard not to think it also has to do with resource exploration (hey overpopulation and resource depletion).

It’s hard to believe that so many people are ready to jump ship. And of course, it all comes back to energy and why energy efficiency, renewables, geothermal, water management, resource management etc. are now, more than ever before, some of the most exciting and most important industries to be a part of as they work towards obviating the need to jump ship. And of course, it’s why you should write up a quick abstract of that cool energy project you’ve been working on and share it with the energy community. You might just save the next potential Mars One applicant from sending in a silly and utterly embarrassing video like this one.  Again, if you’re struggling against flooding logistics and don’t think you can make the Monday deadline but would still like to apply, let us know.

switch~3 October 29th

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