Speakers Include:

  • David Hughes - The Future of Hydrocarbon Energy
  • William R. Catton Jr. - Overshoot - The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change
  • Marija Ilic - Smart Grid to Sustainability:  Two Low Cost Green Azores Islands
  • Charles A.S. Hall - Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI)
  • Bill Schoenlein - Pumped Storage in Michigan, CMS
  • Chuck Conlen - Utility Wind Projects, DTE
  • Bill White - "America's Power Plan"
  • Dennis McKee - Smart Electric Metering, CMS
  • Jim MacInnes - Biophysical Economics
  • Jan Mueller - Innovation, Investment & Adapting to a New Energy Reality
  • Jim Olson - Protecting Michigan's Water
  • Paul Isley - Michigan's Economy: Past, Present, Future
  • Arnold Boezaart - Off Shore Wind in the Great Lakes
  • Skip Pruss - High Penetration Scenarios
  • Barry Johnson - Leveraging Economic Interests & Environmental Interests
  • Peter Sinclair - Climate Change
  • Nicole Foss - Global View: Energy, Environment, Finance
  • Laurence Boomert - Community Solutions & Revitalization
  • Aaron Wissner - Designing for a Local Future
  • Brian Keeley - Ordinances on Industrial Activity and Hydrocarbon Extraction
  • Laura Raush - MISO
  • Dennis Marvin - Advanced Generation
  • Gail Philbin - CAFO

The conference invites proposals for plenary, workshop, discussion, panels, etc.  For more information, contact:  organizer@localfuture.org

  • J. David Hughes is a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed the National Coal Inventory to determine the availability and environmental constraints associated with Canada’s coal resources. As Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, he coordinated the recent publication of a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s unconventional natural gas potential. Over the past decade, he has researched, published, and lectured widely on global energy and sustainability issues in North America and internationally. He is a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute and his work has been featured in the popular press, radio, television, and other public media. He is currently president of Global Sustainability Research Inc., a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues.
  • William R. Catton, Jr. is an American sociologist best known for his scholarly work in environmental sociology and human ecology. His intellectual approach is broad and interdisciplinary. Catton's repute extends beyond academic social science due primarily to his 1980 book, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. Catton has written three other books, including From Animistic to Naturalistic Sociology and his 2009 book Bottleneck: Humanity's Impending Impasse. In addition he has authored numerous scholarly articles, book chapters and book reviews. He is retired from academic life and lives in Lakewood, Washington, USA.
  • Marija Ilić holds a joint appointment at Carnegie Mellon as Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy, where she has been a tenured faculty member since October 2002.  Her principal fields of interest include electric power systems modeling; design of monitoring, control, and pricing algorithms for electric power systems; normal and emergency control of electric power systems; control of large scale dynamic systems; nonlinear network and systems theory; modeling and control of economic and technical interactions in dynamical systems with applications to competitive energy systems.  Dr. Ilić received her M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees in Systems Science and Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis and earned her MEE and Dip. Ing. at the University of Belgrade.  She is an IEEE Fellow and an IEEE distinguished lecturer, as well as a recipient of the First Presidential Young Investigator Award for Power Systems.  In addition to her academic work, Dr. Ilić is a consultant for the electric power industry and the founder of New Electricity Transmission Software Solution, Inc. (NETSS, Inc.).  From September 1999 until March 2001, Dr. Ilić was a Program Director for Control, Networks and Computational Intelligence at the National Science Foundation.
  • Charles A.S. Hall is an American systems ecologist and ESF Foundation Distinguished Professor at State University of New York in the College of Environmental Science & Forestry.  Hall received his PhD under Howard T. Odum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author or editor of 11 books and some 300 scholarly articles, and was awarded last year the distinguished Hubbert-Simmons Prize for Energy Education. He is best known for his development of the concept of EROI, or energy return on investment, which is an examination of how organisms, including humans, invest energy into obtaining additional energy to improve biotic or social fitness. He has applied these approaches to fish migrations, carbon balance, tropical land use change and the extraction of petroleum and other fuels in both natural and human-dominated ecosystems. Presently he is developing a new field, biophysical economics, as a supplement or alternative to conventional neoclassical economics, while applying systems and EROI thinking to a broad series of resource and economic issues.
  • Jim MacInnes worked as a power engineer for the company that designed the 1872 MW Ludington pumped storage facility in Michigan.  He is chairman of the Michigan Utility Consumer Participation Board and has testified on energy issues before the Michigan House and Senate Energy Policy Committees.  He is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society, the IEEE USA Energy Policy Committee, the International Society for Ecological Economics, the advisory board of ASPO USA and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce energy policy committee. He is a licensed professional engineer and holds BSEE and MBA degrees from the University of California, Irvine. MacInnes is President and CEO of Crystal Mountain, a 1500 acre resort community in Michigan.
  • Dr. Paul Isely is a Professor and currently the Interim Associate Dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. He joined the GVSU faculty in 1995, after earning his Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University. He also holds an M.S. in Economics from Purdue University and a dual B.S. in Physics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Isely’s research interests have led to many local articles and reports. These articles have explored West Michigan’s economy and its relationship to the National and State Economies.    Recent studies resulted in reports on the state of Entrepreneurship and Healthcare in West Michigan.  In addition, Dr. Isely is currently has worked on reports evaluating wind power along the lake shore and valuing environmental cleanup in Muskegon Lake, these studies are funded by Sea Grant and NOAA respectively. Dr. Isely has been interviewed extensively by TV, radio, and newspapers on the Michigan economy.  Over the past few years these interviews included not only local media, but also NPR, USA today, and the AP wire.
  • John Sarver became Executive Director of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Assoc. in March 2012 after working for the Michigan Energy Office for 35 years where, at different times, he was responsible for public institution grants, utility demand side management, industrial, commercial, and residential efficiency programs, and effortsto promote solar and wind energy.  John has served as a board director for a number of organizations including the National Assoc. of State Energy Officials, National Council on Electricity Policy, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. He has a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
  • Stanley “Skip” Pruss is a principal and co-founder of 5 Lakes Energy LLC. Until August, 2010, Mr. Pruss was the Director of the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth and Michigan’s Chief Energy Officer, where he was responsible for designing and implementing Michigan’s clean energy economy diversification efforts. Skip also served as Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Special Advisor for Renewable Energy and the Environment, Michigan’s Chief Energy Officer, and Chair of the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Until 2003, Skip served as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Michigan’s Consumer Protection Division where he was also Chair of the Department of Attorney General’s Public Protection Practice Group.
  • Aaron Wissner is a public school teacher for Wayland Union Schools; co-president of the Wayland Union Education Association; and founder of the Local Future educational non-profit.  Wissner is a teacher with twenty-one years of experience. He has taught students from Kindergarten through twelfth grade, in subject areas including: mathematics, science, computers, video production, and student leadership. He is active at all levels of the National Education Association (national, state, local) and co-president of the Wayland Union Education Association.  Wissner founded Local Future, an educational non-profit organization, which helps communities envision positive, sustainable futures. As president, he organizes and directs various events and conferences including The International Conference on Sustainability, Transition and Culture Change: Vision – Action – Leadership.  Wissner's Local Future education channel on YouTube features over 200 videos and over one million views.
  • Barry Johnsonfounder, Polarity Partnerships LLC.  For the past 38 years, Johnson, has been working to help create organizations that are good places to work, to own, to do business with and to have in the community. In the process he has founded five organizations. The Polarity Map® and initial set of principles emerged out of his work as a Gestalt Therapist in 1975. Since then he has continued to develop polarity principles with a variety of organizations all over the world. He wrote a book on his work with polarities (dilemmas, paradox) in 1992: Polarity Management, Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems. HRD Press. A second book came out in December of 2009: Managing Polarities in Congregations, Eight Keys for Thriving Faith Communities. Alban Press. 
  • Peter Sinclair has been called "The sharpest climate denier debunker on YouTube" by Treehugger.com. Daily Kos has called him "The most important videographer on the planet."  His video series, "Climate Denial Crock of the Week", knocks down the shibboleths of climate denial in convincing, and often very humorous, fashion.  He also produces a second series, "This is Not Cool", for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.  He regularly speaks to scientific gatherings on climate science communication, and has participated in scientific expeditions charting climate impacts in the Northern Cascades Glaciers, and this past summer, on the Greenland Ice sheet.
  • Jan Lars Mueller is the executive director of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas USA (ASPO-USA), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping America understand and adapt to a new energy reality.  Mueller is an expert in energy issues related to transportation—including fuels, vehicles, transportation systems, land use, and travel demand—as well as local energy security strategies.  Prior to joining ASPO-USA, he served as senior policy associate for transportation and community energy at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI).  Mueller holds graduate degrees in natural resource policy and landscape architecture, and an undergraduate degree in economics, all from the University of Michigan.
  • Nicole Foss is Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth, and an international speaker on global finance, energy and environmental issues. She has lectured in hundreds of locations across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and has also been involved in teaching on permaculture design certificate courses in Central America and Europe.  Foss was previously Editor of The Oil Drum Canada, and also ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects, grid connections for renewable energy and Feed-In Tariff policy development. While living in the UK she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and practiced as an environmental consultant.
  • Laurence Boomert has a long history in contingency planning, green business development and community up solutions. In the early 1990s he founded the 500 member Environmental Business Network.  He currently runs the Bank of Real Solutions, an online database of community can-do success stories. He co-published, and was a writer for, the New Zealand Edition of "Fleeing Vesuvius: Responding to the Effects of Economic and Environmental Collapse".  His approach to sustainability is grounded in whole systems thinking and spans a wide range of practical applications, including business, economics, politics, sustainable land management, local food security, media, grassroots initiatives, and neighborhood and community resilience projects. Boomert has been actively involved in the development of Transition Towns initiatives in New Zealand and is one of the country's foremost proponents of complementary currencies and new trading systems.