OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Energyzers - UPDATED Feb 10th

Our idea envisions a platform aiming to shape the available information on Renewable Energy Community projects and put together interested parties. The goal is to propitiate the disruption of the actual energy model and work towards community-backed and local renewable energy projects.

Photo of Carles Guerrero Santiago
53 16

Written by

Objectives

- Connect the pro-RE communities around the world;
- Put together the available sources of information, financing and companies to ease the access of communities to RE projects;
- Raise awareness on renewable energy (RE) projects.

Idea UPDATED February 6th

Information exists, resources are available and people are willing to change the way they use energy -and who manages it-. However, there is a lack of order. We aim to become “the Google for RE projects”.
It is hard for people/communities around the world to access to reliable information and advice to raise curiosity and back their decisions.

The Energyze project aims to create a center of information and resources on renewable energy projects backed by a community of volunteers.

Key players UPDATED February 8th

Communities - “Lightbulbs”.
Particulars and communities of all kinds (neighborhoods, families, schools,...) that are interested into green and or community initiatives.
Networks refer to groups of people that share an interest (schools, professional networks, universities, unions, NGOs, associations, clubs, religious groups, ...) while  Drivers refer to network members that do not have decision power but are key to spread the message (e.g. kids).  

Ambassadors - “Wires”.
They have the willingness and put the fieldwork. Their role is critical since they will be the first contact of potential go-green communities and also the responsible of spreading the word online and offline.
Examples of Ambassador are volunteers in the area (e.g RE cooperative members, AmeriCorps,Peace Corps volunteers, OpenIDEO community, in country social based enterprises e.g WindAid-Peru etc.) These Ambassadors will help the assigned Community step by step through the entire process.

* Please refer to Transferwise ambassador's program for inspiration (https://transferwise.typeform.com/to/cjjq24)

Angels - “Batteries”.
They have the specific knowledge and they commit to be the last step of the value chain towards communities.  

Example of possible Angels are energy consultants, engineers, professionals, technicians, opinion leaders, social innovators or professors to mention some. Retired professionals are also more than welcome to join.
They would volunteer and their driving motivation -among others- will be to be part or a disruptive movement by putting their knowledge to disposition of other human beings who share passion and concerns. Also, online discussion groups of Angels would be created and used as a channel for share information, thoughts and experiences with the other Angels and learn (for instance a Google Group or Facebook Group).

Platform and flow UPDATED February 8th
[Please see Usermap in the images carousel for more detail. Usermap's update: February 8th].

The project will pivot an online platform with an informative and a application function. Also, there will be a private Customer Relationship Management tool [ CRM] for Ambassadors and Angels [read further for more details].

Flow  [Please see Flowchart in the images carousel for more detail]

1 ONLINE - Communities will find case studies, posts, infographics, toolkits and all kind of resources [details are not defined yet].

The information there will give answer to their very first curiosity on “going green” or learning about the benefits of going green as a community.

1 OFFLINE - Offline Ambassadors, that are connected somehow to Networks -or that can access them easily- will detect common necessities to the local Communities and get in touch with the Key members of the Networks (teachers, parents, experts, opinion leaders,...).
Local Ambassador, altogether with Network Key members will held meetings / meetups / discussions where he/she will use tangible toolkits to spread the word and raise curiosity among members [See UX map and Jennie Braunstein's comment for more details on a particular School scenario]. 

2 ONLINE - Once the particulars have some information and interest, they will request the help from Energyzers by filling up the form. Once they fill this form, the data will be plugged into a CRM that will determine who are the most suitable Ambassador based on the criteria / questions in this document

2 OFFLINE - Toolkits -and networking- will allow Community members to get in touch with the local Ambassador that will help them digging further on their curiosities or needs. A new Toolkit is needed here to help Communities to understand their needs and possibilities and define better the project.

3 ONLINE - The Ambassadors that meet the criteria will receive a request from a Community and will accept it or reject it. Once an Ambassador accepts a request, the CRM will make such Community request no longer available to the other Ambassadors.


3 OFFLINE - [Go to Step 4]. 

4 - The Ambassador will work with the Community -online or offline- using his/her knowledge with the objective to make the information as filtered, complete and understandable as possible.

This work is crucial since he/she will be filtering the project while introducing the information to the CRM in order to find most suitable potential Angels.

The information and criteria that Ambassadors will be asked to introduce in the platform -on behalf of his/her assigned Community- for the best-possible matching with Angels are (tentatively) in this document

- Again, once the information is uploaded to the CRM, requests will be sent to the Angels who might accept or reject proposed projects. The particularity in here is that besides the filtering automatization, Angels will be in touch with Ambassadors for a better flow of information and the understanding of the project.

After the acceptance of the Angel, both the Community, the Ambassador and the Angel will begin their conversations. From that point on, different recommendations and methodologies will be followed by the Angels with their assigned Communities. The recommendations will come in a particular basis from the Angels and aliens from Energyzers.

6 - During the process of assessment, Communities, Angels and Ambassadors will receive weekly/bi-weekly communications asking for feedback and thoughts -some sort of follow-up diary. This will be useful to maintain the spark and also to get rough materials for the development of a case study.

7 - Final recommendations report is written by the Angel and sent to the Community and Ambassador. This report will suggest which companies or projects are more suitable to that particular community to join. Also they will give detail on best funding options.

Once the recommendations report by the Angel is written and delivered, both Angel and Ambassadors will be asked to “make them available again” in the CRM so that they can be assigned to new projects again.
At the same time, the Communities will be asked to rate their Ambassadors and Angels [scale and variables need to be defined].


Pain points - Need to dig further UPDATED February 6th (answers to previous questions are answered and included along the updated post).

  • Communication strategy needs to be designed.
  • How can we increase the number of Ambassadors?
  • How can we increase the number and diversity of Angels within our CRM?
  • How do we attract the attention to Communities?
  • CRM technology needs to be defined


In order to gather more information and insights, please fill this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tLoc7J05F11Uuz_JejQQvxOoWomqBlsVjVdcKjnj8T8/viewform?usp=send_form 

We welcome your feedback. 


About the team
We are an international team (Europe and America working together) eager to hear from the OpenIDEO community, refine upon their valuable insights and make this project happen. 

About the idea
After some interesting information share from the teams participating in the original ideas and comments posted, we decided to combine efforts to come up with a more powerful idea. Long emails, skype calls, interviews, research, meetup and parallel work are also seed of the posted idea.

The original ideas are “P2P Lending for Green Energy” (https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/using-p2p-micro-finance-for-powering-up-renewable-energy-more-evenly) and “Clean Energy Angels | Sister community...” (https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/clean-energy-angels) ideas. Also, inspiration from "Cooperative for green energy. A success story.": https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/research/catalan-cooperative-for-green-energy.

Acknowledgements
- Gijsbert Huijink - General Manager at SomEnergia;
- Enric Serrano - Cooperative member at SomEnergia;
- Jean Claude Rodríguez-Ferrera - Puddle co-founder;
- The Great San Francisco Area OpenIDEO Meetup (specially yo Ivett, Argus, Agnes, Christine, Jennie and Em).
- OpenIDEO’s community.
- Steven Mitchell - Mechanical Engineer at The Ocean Cleanup

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

A) Facilitating the access to information to communities: showing them that “going green together” is possible and feasible. Also by showing that many communities around the world have similar concerns and motivations: They are not alone. B)Providing highly-skilled committed advice at no monetary price.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

- Information architecture experts. A proper structuring on the information on the projects and contact is key to make the Energy Angels project scalable. Specially Ambassadors will benefit on a well-structured information since their project filtering role will have a lot to do with crawling the data and find best analogous cases. - Web programmers. Private companies working pro-bono because of shared values (as happens with The Ocean Cleanup project). - Designers and story-tellers to create catching case studies and multimedia materials. - Communication strategists (and management at all levels).

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • My post doesn't mention a specific type of energy

This idea emerged from:

  • A Group Brainstorm

53 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Joan Cabré Puig
Team

Since universities might be good places in which to recruit Energyzer Ambassadors through organizing talks and workshops, it would be also interesting to reach agreements with such institutions in order to incentivate students to join the cause. An example of that would come in form of tuition fee discounts or extra course credits (just as if you picked an optative subject) that would be granted once a student proves that his ambassadorship helped a community towards its green goal.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Joan.
Reading your comment I thought of AmeriCorps which is a program of community service for post grads in the USA. (similar to the idea of Peace Corps). Maybe Energizers can engage with AmeriCorps in the US? They currently have an Environmental Stewardship Program in place. http://www.nationalservice.gov/focus-areas/environmental-stewardship Is there a program like this in Spain?

Perhaps Energizers develops into it's own Corps?

Photo of Carles Guerrero Santiago
Team

Definitely both University and Americorps are networks that we are going to need to spread the word, Again, the platform relies on the people and volunteers, so everybody is welcome (Specially those with proven experience and track in the field!)

Thank you Joan and Bettina for the insights

Photo of Kendall Anderson
Team

In regards to the University network, the AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) has a mission to catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation.
They led a collaborative effort that resulted in development of a standardized self-reporting system called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System), where universities measure their sustainability progress over time, compare with other universities around the world, and achieve recognition for different levels of accomplishment.

I think the data provided by both websites are helpful resources to reference and potentially collaborate with the sustainable leaders in higher education!

Below is a link that shows a world map of participating universities and their sustainability rankings:
https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/data-displays/dashboard/

And, resources to help broaden perspectives on the future of sustainable campuses and provide tangible examples of implementation.
http://www.aashe.org/resources

Photo of Aaron Dolak
Team

This is a great idea. We had a person from salacity talk at our university:

http://www.solarcity.com/company/team

View all comments