EMERGE won’t make you a greener building professional

Just a more effective one. Many of you have spent lots of professional development hours, dollars, and energy reading articles, attending conferences, and investing in expert consultants to learn how to build, design, and plan green projects.  Not altogether a bad investment, of course. It’s very important to imbue your passion for sustainable projects with substantive technical skills.  There’s a key ingredient missing in this scenario though, especially if your goal is to move people and their projects beyond “just enough” to earn a plaque, media attention, or even a bonus for project certification.  Effective leadership — with an eye on empowering changed behaviors around investment, design, planning, construction, development — is what’s missing.

Many assume that leadership is a trait (as in charisma), or a bit of good luck (as in celebrity), or granted (as in a title).  Leadership can be learned. This is good, for if we wait for the few with the gift of eloquence to guide us, we’ll be missing too many opportunities to inspire and direct change within the multi-layered systems in which builders, designers, planners, and community advocates operate. Leadership can also be assumed. Also good. We needn’t wait until we’ve landed an upper-management position (although that’s nice!) to lead.

Our built environment reflects the values of our communit(ies). It also shapes them.  As emergent leaders we can use our projects to inspire and conspire, through the brick and mortar and site decisions we make, yes, but more importantly through the process we use to make those decisions. And we can do this from any chair.

The EMERGE Leadership Workshop recognizes that for a green building professional aspiring to lead effective change in the field and in their communities, passion and technical training needs to be supplemented by practical training in leadership principles that recognize the significance of mindset and process.  The workshop presents these principles, and through interactive exercises, including realistic leadership scenarios, gives you a chance to practice them. A complimentary follow-up mentoring session makes sure you aren’t left hanging with some great ideas you can’t seem to apply in real life. In addition the EMERGE Leadership Project makes sure you will remain in contact with your EMERGE peers to support you as you apply your “stretch” leadership goals out in the field.

Kathleen O'BrienDavid EisenbergThis year’s workshops feature nationally recognized green building experts and authors Kathleen O’Brien and David Eisenberg. (Local guest faculty as time permits.)

You’ve got the passion; you’ve got the green building technical skills; now complete your quiver with advanced leadership training designed specifically for green building practitioners with the kind of weight you’d expect from proven green building leaders.

We’re offering the same great content in two distinctive venues. The Islandwood Residency, January 9-11 (Bainbridge Island, Washington) offers a natural setting with a more relaxed schedule and on-site lodging. The SoCal Gas Company’s ERC Classroom January 14-15 (Downey, CA) offers convenience and commuter economy. More details are at: