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Download: Final U2030 Future-Think-a-Thon Agenda

U2030 Futures-Think-a-Thon

June 4-5, 2024

Oracle Innovation Lab, Deerfield, IL

Tuesday, June 4, 2024                                                                    

8:00 AM – Registration

Description: Visit the security desk to get a badge. Members of the U2030 event team will guide you to the Café for breakfast. 

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM – Breakfast (Café)

Description: Enjoy breakfast with other attendees in Oracle’s café. 

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM – Introductions & Progress on the Vision (Auditorium)

  • Ahmad Ababneh (PG&E)

  • Vanessa Edmonds (U2030)

  • Christina Corcoran (U2030)

  • Mike Smith (U2030)

  • Marlene Rosenberry (U2030)

Description: Join us as our emcee, Ahmad Ababneh, as he facilitates introductions and asks the U2030 team how U2030 is progressing towards its vision. 

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM – Fireside Chat: Mayor’s Welcome & Engaging Residents in The Village of Deerfield's Carbon Reduction Plan

  • Mayor Daniel Shapiro (City of Deerfield)

  • Andrew Lichterman (City of Deerfield)

  • Paul Applegate (InvoiceCloud)

Description: The Village of Deerfield, Illinois, is committed to eliminating its greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for a 45% reduction by 2030 and complete elimination by 2040. This ambitious agenda entails transitioning to renewable energy sources, curbing transportation emissions, and minimizing waste-related emissions. To achieve these targets, the village will concentrate on strategies such as community solar projects, electric aggregation initiatives, virtual purchase power agreements, engaging energy brokers, and robust educational campaigns. Central to its approach is mobilizing citizens to actively participate in pursuing these goals. Join this session to learn more about Deerfield's objectives, strategies, and efforts to recruit corporations and residents to drive impactful change.​

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM – Equity & Inclusion in California’s Energy Transition: Commitments by PG&E & Stakeholders (Auditorium)

  • Ahmad Ababneh (PG&E)

Description: Hear about the strategies, challenges, and transformative potential inherent in fostering equitable participation and representation across all facets of the utility’s energy transition. From addressing disparities in access to clean energy resources to promoting diverse voices in decision-making processes, this dialogue seeks to chart a course toward a more inclusive and sustainable energy future for Californians.​

10:45 AM – 11:00 AM – Break 

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM – Fireside Chat: Collaborative Waters: Building Partnerships for a Sustainable Utility Future (Auditorium)

  • David Kohn (City of Chicago Department of Water Management)

  • John Bitzan (Oracle)

Description: To help ensure the future and sustainability of water services in Chicago, Illinois, and its surrounding communities, former Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed David Kohn in 2021 to a pivotal new role as Deputy Commissioner of Regional Partnerships at the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Management. His mission is to lead initiatives fostering regional collaboration on water-related issues, an initiative of immense significance in the water management sector. One of Kohn's principal endeavors is the establishment of the Chicago Water Partners Advisory Council (CWPAC) in 2022. This council, comprising representatives from the various communities and water systems served by Chicago, was formed to foster robust relationships with suburban customers and facilitate collaborative efforts.​During this session, Mr. Kohn will delve into the inception of the CWPAC and underscore the importance of engaging the city’s wholesale customers on an ongoing basis. He will also shed light on other notable projects.​

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM - Using Data to Track Masterclass Innovations

  • Kim Getgen (Innovation Force)

Description: Join us for an insightful session where we unveil a cutting-edge project management tool designed to propel utility innovations forward. Discover how this tool will streamline the tracking of solutions generated during the Design Thinking segments of the masterclass, empowering you to introduce them to your organization and monitor their progress.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM – Working Lunch: Ignite Talks: Enlighten Us but Make it Quick (Auditorium)

  • Shawn Adderly (PG&E) – The Future of Assets

  • Paul Applegate (InvoiceCloud) - Leveraging Technology to Meet the Needs of a Changing Population

  • ​Mike Smith, Principal (U2030) – Outages, Assets, and….Customers: Making It Truly All About The Customer

  • ​Katy Cook (Liberty) – The Customer of the Future

  • Courtney Henderson (Hawks Peak Strategies) – Driving Utility Affordability Outcomes

Description: Experience dynamic and fast-paced Ignite Talks where speakers each have 5 minutes and 20 visual slides to deliver impactful insights on critical topics shaping the Future of Utility Service.​

100 PM – 1:45 PM – Fireside Chat: BGE’s Holistic Approach Reshaping Utility Services to Reach At-Risk Customers & Beyond (Command Center)

  • Ajit Apte (BGE)

  • Jod Kaftan (Oracle)

Description: BGE is spearheading the evolution of electricity services with a multifaceted approach designed to enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. This strategy's core is a groundbreaking outage management system, which is driving notable improvements in Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) metrics. BGE has successfully united three distinct operating entities into a cohesive whole, amplifying capabilities and streamlining operations for optimal performance. During this session, Ajit Apte, BGE's esteemed Vice President of Customer Operations, will provide in-depth insights into these transformative initiatives. 

​1:45 PM – 2:45 PM – Oracle Industry Lab Tours (3 groups)

Description: Embark on an exciting journey through Oracle's Industry Lab, where innovative test beds are incubating solutions to address intricate challenges across diverse industries, offering visitors an immersive glimpse into the future of technology and business in these areas: 

  • Future of Customer Service

  • Future of Operations

  • Future of Assets

​2:45 PM – 3:00 PM – Break

​3:00 PM – 3:15 PM - Reflect on Lab Tours (Auditorium)

​3:15 PM - 5:00 PM – Futures Thinking Workshop Introduction - Part 1 (Sherwood)

  • Jod Kaftan (Oracle)

  • Kim Grego (Oracle)

Description: Dive into the fundamentals of future thinking and explore innovative approaches to anticipate and navigate future scenarios.​

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Dinner – Saranello’s (located in The Westin Chicago Northshore Hotel)​

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM – Breakfast (Café)

Description: Join other attendees for breakfast in the Café. 

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM – Wednesday Welcome (Sherwood)

  • Ahmad Ababney (PG&E)

Description: Participate in a recap of Tuesday's highlights and hear what’s in store for the day. 

8:45 AM – 9:30 AM – Technology's Role in Transforming Utility Services at NiSource (Auditorium)

  • Fred Gomos (NiSource)

Description: In an era marked by unprecedented technological advancements, evolving consumer expectations, and global sustainability imperatives, the landscape of utility service stands at a pivotal crossroads. Embark on a journey of exploration and innovation with our esteemed keynote speaker, Fred Gomos. As the Director of Strategy & Risk Integration at NiSource, he will share the utility's vision of the future and technology roadmap to help deliver the future of utility services for NiSource customers. ​

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM - Unleashing Creativity Group Activity

  • Courtney Henderson, Hawks Peak Strategies

Description: It is all too easy to get stuck in our own ways of thinking. There are good reasons for this – our mental heuristics, prior training and experiences, and our own ingrained ways of tackling problems. The problem with getting trapped in our embedded thought systems, techniques, and behaviors is that it can quickly stifle our creativity. When we lose creativity, we also lose the ability to innovate. In the rapidly changing energy and utility landscape, we need to be able to innovate now more than ever before. With ever-increasing complexity in the problems we must solve, the reality of finite resources, and exceedingly high customer expectations, now is the time to unlock our creativity to shepherd in a new era of innovation. In this session, we’ll focus on unleashing and harnessing our creative powers. From brain teasers and exercises, to exploring the creative process, to understanding when and how to break the rules, we’ll leave with new mental models for tackling today’s most challenging utility problems.​

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM – Break (Café)  

10:15 AM – 11:30 am – Futures Thinking Workshop Exercises (Sherwood)

  • Jod Kaftan (Oracle)

  • Kim Grego (Oracle)

​Description: Imagine and analyze different future scenarios based on current trends and potential disruptions and outline solutions that encourage collaboration, critical thinking, and innovation to develop solutions that address the future of utility services. 11:30 AM –

11:30 - 12:15 – Group Presentations (Sherwood)

Description: Present your future scenarios and solutions to the group. 

12:15 – 1:30 PM – Silent Voting & Lunch (Sherwood & Café)

Description: Vote on your favorite solutions. 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM – Awards (Sherwood & Café)

Description: Learn which solutions rank highest for further exploration back at your utility. 

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM – How to Bring Future Thinking to Your Organization & Closing (Sherwood & Café)

  • Ahmad Ababneh (PG&E)

Description: Participate in a group discussion about how to bring Futures Thinking and the winning solutions back to your company.



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