crosstalks on Mon, 14 Sep 2009 18:27:34 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> crosstalks workshop with Obama's energy advisor Alex Laskey



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Alex Laskey is one of President Barack Obama’s personal energy advisors and founder of the American company Positive Energy. “To have a president who is as committed as he is to changing the way we produce and use energy in this country will have terrific implications for us” said Laskey in an interview with the US blog POLITICO after his latest meeting with president Obama at the beginning of this summer.

Alex Laskey will be joined by Martin Vesper of YelloStrom (Germany), Olle Dierks of the Interactive Institute (Sweden), Jan Van Mol of Addict Lab (Belgium) and Joeri De Ridder  of AVERE &Greenmobil (Belgium). 



Friday September 11, 2009
De Markten - Oude Graanmarkt 5 place du Vieux Marché aux Grains  – 1000 Brussels

8:30 Coffee & registration
9:00 – 9:40 Getting mobile
A Sustainable Approach - Joeri De Ridder (AVERE, Greenmobil, BE)
9:40 – 10:20 Smart Metering
Managing energy use – Martin Vesper (Yellostrom, GE)
10:20 – 11:20 Invited Talk
Social proof as an effective incentive for energy efficient behavior  – Alex Laskey (Positive Energy/Arizona State University, USA)
11:20 – 11:40 Coffee Break
11:40 – 12:20 Eco Design
Addict lab: eco and green design - Jan Van Mol (Addict lab, BE)
12:20 – 13:00 Visual Voltage
Engaging people - Olle Dierks (Interactive Institute, SE)
Workshop chairs: Alok Nandi (Architempo) & Gerrit-Jan Schaeffer (VITO)
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:00 Visit to the Expo Visual Voltage by the Interactive Institute of Sweden @ Kanselarijstraat 19 – Brussels
Date: Friday September 11, 2009. From 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: De Markten - Oude Graanmarkt 5 Place du Vieux Marché aux Grains  – 1000 Brussels
Extra: Visit to the Visual Voltage expo from 2:00 PM – Kanselarijstraat 19, Brussels
Registration (lunch included): fee is 80 euro (general)/20 euro (students and NGO-members). Register online at
Contact: Marleen Wynants, of 02 629 1005

(Ndl versie onderaan)
Attitude, Design & Action: interplay between individual behavior, political will and energy efficient incentives

‘Attitude, Design & Action’ is the fifth in a series of workshops within the Energy Efficiency project that started in 2008.  This joint project of VUB Crosstalks, UGent, Flanders District of Creativity, VITO and others, is aiming at common objectives and recommendations for all stakeholders in energy efficiency. On September 11, we want to with the interdependencies of individual behavior, political will, effective incentives, technology expertise & pilot-projects, available tools & transparent interfaces. 

The only thing that we get that's personalized about our home energy use is a bill from the utility. The bill is effectively inscrutable, Alex Laskey and his colleagues reasoned, so they started approaching utility companies with an idea on how to breed a better informed and aware energy customer. The result was a program that grades customers and their consumption habits on a smiley-face scale on their utility bills. On top of that, consumption reports allow customers to see if they are using more or less energy than their neighbours. Companies that implemented the program in the US reported considerable drops in energy consumption. This year Laskey estimates that his company alone will decrease energy consumption by 25 million dollars and that on a national level, there is an opportunity to save 4 to 5 billion dollars.

During his talk,  Alex Laskey will elaborate on Positive Energy’s method and impact to engage individual consumers in global and corporate energy saving. The rest of the workshop’s program deals with pilot projects and effective actions on the level of mobility, design and positive economy. Confirmed speakers are: Joeri De Ridder (AVERE, Greenmobil, BE), Jan Van Mol (Addict Lab, BE), Olle Dierks (Interactive Institute, SE) and Martin Vesper (Yello Strom, GE). The event will be chaired by Alok Nandi (Founder of Architempo and Pecha Kucha Night Brussels) and Gerrit-Jan Schaeffer (Director of Innovation & Renovation at VITO).

After the workshop, participants get the opportunity to visit the expo Visual Voltage by the Interactive Institute of Sweden at the occasion of Design September 2009.

Partners: Brussels Capital Region, VUB CROSSTALKS, Flanders District of Creativity, VITO, UGENT, IBBT, 3E and BURO.
Event partners: Interactive Institute Sweden, Swedish Embassy in Brussels, Modo Bruxellae and the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign.
More info and registration on

Attitude, design & ondernemen: interactie tussen politiek initiatief, individueel gedrag en energie-efficiënte incentives.

Op 11 september 2009 organiseert VUB CROSSTALKS een 5de workshop over energie efficiëntie met de Amerikaanse duurzaamheidsexpert Alex Laskey als gastspreker. Alex Laskey is één van President Obama’s persoonlijke energieconsulenten en medeoprichter van het bedrijf Positive Energy. “To have a president who is as committed as he is to changing the way we produce and use energy in this country will have terrific implications for us” liet Laskey weten in een interview met VS-blog POLITICO na zijn laatste gesprek met Obama in juli.

De enige gepersonaliseerde informatie die wij ontvangen over ons energieverbruik thuis is een moeilijk te doorgronden factuur van het nutsbedrijf, zo stelden Alex Laskey en zijn collega’s vast.  Ze ontwikkelden daarop een nieuwe communicatiestrategie voor nutsbedrijven om consumenten meer betrokken en bewust te maken van hun energieverbruik. Het resultaat is een communicatieprogramma dat energieconsumenten en hun verbruiksgewoonten op basis van een smiley-graadmeter evalueert en taxeert. Nieuw is ook dat klanten in het verbruikersoverzicht kunnen zien of zij meer of minder energie verbruiken dan hun buren. Amerikaanse bedrijven die de nieuwe communicatiestrategie implementeerden spreken van een aanzienlijke daling in verbruik. Dit jaar alleen al schat Laskey dat zijn bedrijf een energievermindering ter waarde van 25 miljoen dollar kan realiseren en dat er op nationaal niveau zelfs tot 4 à 5 miljard kan bespaard worden. Laskey zal in zijn lezing de methodologie en impact van zijn bedrijf Positive Economy verder toelichten met de focus op het engagement van de individuele consument in globale en bedrijfsmatige energiebesparingstrajecten.

De workshop biedt verder enkele casestudies en best practices in  mobiliteit, design en positieve economie. Bevestigde sprekers zijn Joeri De Ridder (AVERE, Greenmobil, BE), Jan Van Mol (Addict Lab, BE) en Olle Dierks (Interactive Institute, Zweden) en Martin Vesper (CEO Yello Strom, Duitsland).  Event voorzitters zijn Alok Nandi (stichter van Architempo Design en van de Brusselse Pecha Kucha Nights) en Gerrit-Jan Schaeffer (Directeur innovation & Renovation bij VITO). Na de workshop wordt een bezoek gebracht aan de expo Visual Voltage, georganiseerd door het Zweedse Interactive Institute ter gelegenheid van Design September 2009.

Partners: Brussels Capital Region, VUB CROSSTALKS, Flanders District of Creativity, VITO, UGENT, IBBT, 3E and BURO.
Event partners: Interactive Institute Sweden, Swedish Embassy in Brussels, Modo Bruxellae en the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign.
Voor meer informatie en registratie:

Increasing complexity in the many levels of the scientific realm demands for a strategic long term approach based on more shared responsibility, a more efficient knowledge exchange and the establishment of common goals. CROSSTALKS, the university and industry network of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is one of the tools bridging gaps. As a neutral platform, it operates from a bottom-up and interdisciplinary approach. Through thematic encounters - congresses, workshops, publications and Pecha Kucha Nights - CROSSTALKS aims at creating an open and constructive exchange between all stakeholders in society, beyond institutional and societal borders. Academics as well as CEO’s, creative entrepreneurs, politicians, artists, architects and not-for-profit organisations are engaging in the CROSSTALKS networking concept.

About Alex Laskey, President, Founder, Positive Energy
Laskey’s expertise is in marketing and policy. Most recently he worked on several statewide ballot measures on environmental issues with the public opinion research and political strategy firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Associates (FMMA). While at FMMA, Laskey provided strategic consulting for The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, The League of Conservation Voters, and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. Previously, Laskey managed a high profile campaign for the California State Assembly and ran other local and state campaigns. Laskey has worked in the White House and on two presidential campaigns. Before turning to politics and policy, Laskey worked as the director of new business for The Romann Group, a New York-based advertising agency where he identified, pursued and signed on over $50 million in business from consumer-facing clients including Citibank, Echostar – Dish Network, Priceline, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T.
Alex Laskey received his B.A. in History of Science from Harvard University where he received a Ford Foundation Grant for his research on the environmental history of the American West.

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