I recently wondered aloud with Bronwyn Barry why members of our tribe (and by that I mean anyone actively working in the green building, sustainable development field on the West Coast), wait 'til the last minute to register for the Emerge: Leadership Skills for Green Building Advocates. In taking this route, it costs more money, risks not getting a place, and generally adds unnecessary tension to the process for you and for me.
Bronwyn, planner and convener for many successful Passive House California events cleared it up for me. "It's not just Emerge," she countered "but pretty much any event. What I've found is that people put it in their calendar, but hold out on actually registering, just in case something 'better' comes along."
Well, I'm here to say there isn't anything better coming along. "What Chutzpah!" I can hear you saying!
Maybe so, But I am certain that Emerge is genuinely different from anything else out there. It's a leadership workshop, and yes, there's lot of leadership offerings to be found. In fact, if you Google the term(s) leadership workshop, you'll get dozens of interesting entries. It's a workshop that incorporates sustainable concepts, as well, and yes, there are plenty of laudable offerings to be found in that realm as well.
And I've been told that the philosophy of Emerge -- an integrated systems-based approach to leadership that combines the best leadership practices with an emphasis on servant leadership, change science and technology, and the collective intelligence and impact of community -- would be helpful for anyone endeavoring to lead social change in any realm.
However, Emerge has a specific mission, is designed with that mission in mind, and designed FOR those who align with that mission. And for that reason, it does a really good job. If you want to hear that from attendees, check out the testimonials (written and video) at www.emergeleadership.net. Emerge alumni share success stories relating to personal, organizational, and communitywide leadership. Anonymous evaluations compiled at the conclusion of the workshops are through the roof with positive ratings and comments. No lie.
Emerge is designed for you if: First, you are somehow involved in the shaping of our built environment and desire a built environment that is sustainable; Second, you know that leadership is involved in creating that world in the truest, biggest sense; and Third, you are personally committed to providing that leadership.
For that reason, you will find the Emerge curriculum incorporates examples, exercises, and stories pertinent to the overall mission: to create a built environment where sustainability is the norm, not an abstraction. Rather than professional motivational speakers, you'll find a faculty that is inspiring because we share your goals -- we just happen to be further down the road with some important lessons to share. The faculty scheduled for Winter 2012-2013 are award-winning dynamos, heartfelt speakers, and authors with a combined experience of nearly a century in the sustainable building arena.
Besides the obvious benefit of such a focused learning environment, there is the additional advantage of building a community that shares the emergent philosophy AND is committed to a sustainable building. When you leave you'll have become part of a network with strategic professional alignments and personal commitments. And you can stay connected through alumni "clinics" and fun gatherings.
Regardless of when you register, you'll get the benefit of all this, and more: CEUs for your LEED CMP, and/or ILFI Living Future Accreditation, a follow up mentoring session to complement the personal leadership development plan you created at the workshop, and permanent access to alumni resources on the Emerge Leadership Project website.
Additional discounts encourage membership in local green building non-profits and reward those who've taken the Sustainable Building Advisor Program and passed the national CSBA exam, and these exist for both the Early Bird and Standard optons.
So you don't HAVE to register by the Early Bird registration deadline...but it would be fabulous if you did. (Here's how.) Save some bucks, ensure your seat, and make me very happy.
Kathleen O'Brien is Editor of the Building Capacity Blog and contributes monthly to the DJC Green Building Blog. She has been in the sustainable building field for nearly three decades and currently provides special projects consulting for O'Brien & Company, the firm she founded over twenty years ago, and leadership training and mentoring through her legacy project: The Emerge Leadership Project (ELP). She was instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Building Advisor Program and the SBA Institute (SBAi).