The EMERGE Participant Profile: Curious?

SmilingFolks_IslandwoodYou might wonder just who attends the EMERGE Leadership Workshop.  Given the content, you know it’s someone who is dedicated to doing what they can to accelerate the adoption of sustainability in the built environment and in their communities.  Although the workshop does provide professional CEUs, that’s not what they are here for. We seem to be drawing very special individuals, capable of and committed to doing good work.

Last year, we started including several questions regarding our participants’ professional career arc in the pre-workshop survey, to give the Faculty some background and help us better prepare for the workshop.   The surveys are confirming what we thought to be true:  With a few exceptions, most attendees, whether they operate in the for-profit, non-profit, or government sector, have a good amount of professional experience under their belt.  In this current year, for example, there’s an average of 15 years career experience, ranging from 2.5 years to 30. In addition, attendees usually have some current leadership responsibility, with a list of titles that include President, Vice President, General Manager, Project Manager, Project Coordinator, Program Manager, Senior Associate, Director, Principal, Senior Job Captain, and of course, Owner.

Frequently, attendees have recently been asked (or voluntarily stepped up) to take on expanded leadership responsibility in their current role, with a focus on sustainability.   Just as frequently, they are considering a transition from their current position or role, hoping to use their experience and talent in a new context.

Many of our alumni are design professionals, including urban planners, architects (building, interior, landscape, historic), engineers (structural, civil, mechanical), while others are in construction (build-design, trades, project management), and still others are policy planners and analysts specializing in sustainable topics. Each workshop generally includes a few advocates working for (often directing) non-profits focused on sustainability.

I’ll be meeting this year’s cohort in person at our upcoming workshops at IslandWood (January 9-11), and the Southern California Gas Company’s Energy Resource Center (January 14-15).  (IslandWood registration is filled; we do have some room in the LA workshop, but you’ll need to hurry!)

And many of these high caliber alumni will get to meet each other at the first annual EMERGE Summit, planned for February 28th, 2015.  I’m looking forward to it!

More later.