Sunday, May 20, 2012

Energy (and Other) Events - May 20, 2012

Energy (and Other) Events is a weekly mailing list published most Sundays covering events around the Cambridge, MA and greater Boston area that catch the editor's eye.

Hubevents is the web version.

If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe to Energy (and Other) Events email


Playing Games with the Energy Future of the Navy - online game on alternative fuels for the US Navy begins on May 21


Monday, May 21

Did Democracy Promotion Cause the Arab Spring?
WHEN  Mon., May 21, 2012, 12:15 – 2 p.m.
WHERE  Malkin Penthouse, 4th Floor Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Lecture, Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR  International Security Program
SPEAKER(S)  Heidi Lane, research fellow, International Security Program


Farm Incubators 101: A webinar from the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project National Technical Assistance Initiative
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This webinar will cover: (a) the basic framework of our new National Farm Incubator Technical Assistance Initiative and how it can help you achieve the programmatic goals of your farm incubator project; (b) the reasons for starting a farm incubator and common strategies for meeting diverse farmer training and support goals; (c) presentations on how veteran incubator projects (New Entry, as well as our project partners ALBA, the Intervale Center, the New Farmer Develop Project, and the Big River Farms Training Program) operate successful and diverse programs; and (d) ample time for Q&A at the end so you can get your individual questions about the National TA project and farm incubators in general answered. We hope you will join us!

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
Space is limited.


"Colony Collapse Disorder."
Follow the Honey, 1132 Mass Avenue, Cambridge

Chensheng Lu

Tuesday, May 22

2012 GoGreen Awards
Tuesday, May 22
8:00 am to 9:30 am
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

The annual presentation of awards to businesses and organizations for their sustainability initiatives.  A light breakfast will be served.

RSVP to 617-349-4604 or


Semantic Maps for Mobile Robots - Perception, Representation, Reasoning and Actions
Tuesday, May 22 2012
10:00AM to 11:00AM  Refreshments: 9:45AM
MIT, Building 32-G449 Patil/Kiva, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Andrzej Pronobis, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Robots have finally escaped from industrial workplaces and are making their way into our homes, offices and public spaces. In order to realize the dream of robot assistants performing tasks together with humans, we need to provide them with the capability of understanding complex, unstructured environments and express their knowledge in terms of human concepts. In this talk we present our work on endowing robot systems with the ability to acquire and exploit the semantics and structure that is present in man made environments. This provides the means for more efficient task execution and also plays a central role in enabling intuitive HRI and knowledge transfer between humans and robots. The latter opens up for making use of the vast amount of human spatial knowledge encoded in human readable form. More specifically, in this talk we present our work on a framework for large-scale, probabilistic semantic mapping, which exploits multiple, heterogenous sources of semantic information, including place appearance and geometry, objects, topology of space and human asserted knowledge. Furthermore, we show how semantic knowledge can be utilized for solving real-world problems, on the example of large-scale object search task, leading to improved performance and more intuitive and human-like behavior.

Andrzej Pronobis obtained his PhD in Computer Vision and Robotics from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden in June 2011. His research is focused on spatial understanding for mobile robots and exploiting semantic spatial knowledge for efficient robot behavior. Dr. Pronobis is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Autonomous Systems in Stockholm as well as a head of research at OculusAI Technologies, a company providing advanced computer vision and AI solutions for the e commerce market. Dr. Pronobis is an author of over 30 publications in robotics journals and conferences, organized several international events including workshops and contests, and has been involved in several EU research initiatives.

D-Lab Open Hours
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
MIT, Building E34, 2nd floor, 42 Hayward Street
Come chat with D-Lab staff or tour around the lab to learn about our work. D-Lab focuses on international development, appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions for low-income communities, mostly in developing countries. There are currently 16 academic offerings that make up the suite of D-Lab classes, falling into the broad categories of Development, Design and Dissemination.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): D-Lab
For more information, contact:


A Public Right to Hear and Press Freedom in an Age of Networked Journalism
Tuesday, May 22, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Cambridge
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET at and archived there shortly after.
Mike Ananny, Berkman Center Fellow
What does a public right to hear mean in networked environments and why does it matter?  In this talk I’ll describe how a public right to hear has historically and implicitly underpinned the U.S. press’s claims to freedom and, more fundamentally, what we want democracy to be.  I’ll trace how this right appears in contemporary news production, show how three networked press organizations have used Application Programming Interfaces to both depend upon and distance themselves from readers, and describe how my research program joins questions of free speech with media infrastructure design.  I will argue that a contemporary public right to hear partly depends upon how the press’s technologies and practices mediate among networked actors who construct and contest what Bowker and Star (1999) call “boundary infrastructures.” It is by studying these technosocial, journalistic systems—powerful yet often invisible systems that I call “newsware”—that we might understand how a public right to hear emerges from networked, institutionally situated communication cultures like the online press.
About Mike
Mike Ananny is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and, starting August 2012, will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He researchers social uses of digital technologies, concentrating on how technological, institutional and normative forces both shape and reflect networked journalism and press freedom.  He earned his PhD from Stanford University (Communication), his Masters from MIT (Media Laboratory) and his Bachelors from the University of Toronto (Computer Science & Human Biology).  He was also a founding member of the research staff at Media Lab Europe as part of the Everyday Learning group.  He has held fellowships and scholarships with Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Trudeau Foundation, LEGO Corporation, Interval Research Corporation, and has worked or consulted with LEGO, Mattel and Nortel Networks, helping to translate research concepts and prototypes into new product lines and services.


The Spread of Behavior in Social Networks
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 
4:00pm until 5:30pm 
BU School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue (#302), Boston

Speaker(s): Damon Centola, PhD
Abstract:  In public health and health product adoption, advertising campaigns frequently rely on "word of mouth" through social networks in order to promote information diffusion about a new product or behavior. Recent advances in network theory have shown how specific topological features of social networks can amplify the diffusion of both disease and information - suggesting that important advances in network epidemiology may also be useful for structuring new product campaigns. However, recent theoretical work also shows that the dynamics of behavioral diffusion in peer-to-peer networks can respond very differently to the topological properties of networks. For behaviors that are particularly costly, difficult, or unfamiliar, these differences may be more pronounced. My findings show that many of the campaigns of greatest interest to firms and public health officials may not benefit from network strategies aimed at the rapid diffusion of information. I present findings from a series of novel experiments designed to study the dynamics of behavioral diffusion in large social networks. The results show a striking effect of network topology on the diffusion of health behavior, contrary to the expectations of classical network theory.

Paper:  Centola, D. The Spread of Behavior in an Online Social Network Experiment. Science, 3 September 2010: 329 (5996), 1194-1197.

Professor Centola is a faculty member in the Behavioral and Policy Sciences research group at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research addresses theoretical and empirical problems in the diffusion of collective behavior. His core sociological interest is how individual actions aggregate to produce (often unexpected) collective outcomes. This includes the mobilization of social movements, the self-organization of ethnic communities and cultural enclaves, the spread of health behaviors (such as vaccination, dieting, and condom use), and the coordination of collective beliefs (such as religious extremism and social sanctioning practices). Before coming to MIT, Professor Centola was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University, and had been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, the Santa Fe Institute, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies.
Open to General Public
Admission is free
Contact  B.U. Health Policy Institute


Boston Green Drinks - May Happy Hour
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (ET)
Kingston Station, 25 Kingston Street, Boston
Join the conversation with sustainability professionals and hobbyists.  Enjoy a Drink at Kingston station and build your connection with our green community!
Keep sending feedback to for ideas about speakers or content for the future and mark your calendar for drinks on the last Tuesday of every month.

Boston Green Drinks  builds a community of sustainably-minded Bostonians, provides a forum for exchange of sustainability career resources, and serves as a central point of information about emerging green issues.  We support the exchange of ideas and resources about sustainable energy, environment, food, health, education.

Wednesday, May 23

Guest Lecturer John Briscoe: "Water in a Changing World"
WHEN  Wed., May 23, 2012, 7 – 9 p.m.
WHERE  Waterworks Museum, 2450 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02467
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Environmental Sciences, Lecture
SPEAKER(S)  John Briscoe, professor of the practice of environmental health, HSPH, and Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS
COST  Free
CONTACT INFO  Lauren Kaufmann: 617.277.0065
NOTE  John Briscoe has devoted his career to issues relating to water, other natural resources, and economic development. Briscoe has launched the Harvard Water Security Initiative, which focuses on major challenges facing countries around the world, including the obstacles in providing people with safe drinking water.

Thursday, May 24

Sustainable Regional Food Systems Research Group Webinar
Thursday, May 24
9:00 a.m. EDT

On Thursday, May 24 at 9:00 a.m. EDT, we will be sharing our work on community food projects and hubs from over 170 interviews and 20 case studies in Ontario, Canada.  These innovative projects cover a range of urban and rural examples. Researchers from Guelph, Carleton, Lakehead, Ryerson, York, Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier universities have been working with community partners including Just Food Ottawa, FoodShare, Local Food Plus, the Food Security Research Network, Food Down the Road, and Meal Exchange to develop a better understanding of community based food projects and hubs across the province.  

To dial-in open your web browser to  We begin at 9:00 EDT (Toronto/New York time) so it is best if you can log in 15mins before the event to work out any technical issue you may have.  In case you have any problems, you can contact  Natasha Scott, or call 1-519-885-2444, ext.7425

9-9:15 Project overview
9:15- 10:30 SSHRC Participatory Action Research projects: FoodShare, Local Food Plus, Just Food, Northern Regional Online Food Hub, Meal Exchange
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:45  Regional case studies
11:45 - noon - wrap up morning

Friday, May 25

The Age of Limits:  Conversations on the Collapse of The Global Industrial Model
Friday May 25th thru Monday May 28th, 2012
Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary, 190 Walker Lane Artemas PA

Dedicated to the pioneering work of Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers & Dennis Meadows and their epochal 1972 report "The Limits to Growth."

Editorial Comment:  This is a way outside my geographic limits and is a conference that costs money but one of the subscribers suggested it and the subject and speakers are worthy of attention.


Radcliffe Day Panel: “From Front Lines to High Courts: The Law and Social Change”
WHEN  Fri., May 25, 2012, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
WHERE  Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Ethics, Law, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR  Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
SPEAKER(S)  Martha L. Minow, Ed.M. ’76, dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Jennifer Gordon ’87, JD ’92
Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Linda Greenhouse ’68
Senior Research Scholar in Law, the Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence, and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
Former Supreme Court reporter, the New York Times

RenĂ©e M. Landers ’77
Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School

Kathleen M. Sullivan JD ’81
Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Former Dean, Stanford Law School
COST  Free
CONTACT INFO  617.496.0516,
NOTE  On Radcliffe Day, alumnae/i, fellows, and friends of Radcliffe gather to celebrate past, present, and future. This year’s Radcliffe Day is dedicated to exploring the law and social change. At the morning panel, moderated by Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow, the focus will be on recognizing significant accomplishments, discussing major court cases, and considering the possibilities and limits of the law in making social change.


Opening Reception: Art, Culture, Technology, Salvation, Army
Friday, May 25, 2012
The Thrift Store, 328 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
Exhibition and event series by graduate students in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology 

Yae Jin Shin / Tomashi Jackson / Sofia Rebeca Berinstein / Sei Rhee / Scott Berzofsky / Narda Alvarado / Micah Silver / Matthew Everett Lawson / Giacomo Castagnola / Elizabeth Anne Watkins / Carson Salter / Anne Callahan 

For an up-to-date schedule of events, visit

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free and open to the public
Sponsor(s): MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology
For more information, contact:  Laura Anca Chichisan

Tuesday, May 29

Making large volunteer-driven projects sustainable. Lessons learned from Drupal
Tuesday, May 29, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Cambridge
RSVP required for those attending in person at
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET at and archived there shortly after.

Dries Buytaert, original creator and project lead of Drupal
In this talk, Dries shares his experiences on how he grew the Drupal community from just one person to over 800,000 members over the past 10 years. Today, the Drupal community is one of the largest and most active Open Source projects in the world, powering 1 out of 50 websites in the world.  The concept of major projects growing out of a volunteer, community-based model is not new to the world.   Volunteer networks and communities exist in many shapes and sizes.  Throughout history there are examples of pure volunteer organizations that were instrumental in the founding and formation of many projects. For example, the first trade routes were ancient trackways which citizens later developed on their own into roads suited for wheeled vehicles in order to improve commerce. Transportation was improved for all citizens, driven by the commercial interest of some. Today, we certainly appreciate that our governments maintain the roads. However, we still see road signs stating that a particular section of a highway is kept clean and trim by volunteers -- at least in some countries. When new ground needs to be broken, it's often volunteer communities that do it. But a full-time, paid infrastructure can be necessary for the preservation and protection of what communities begin.  In this presentation, Dries wants to brainstorm about how large communities evolve and how to sustain them over time.
Some questions to think about ahead of the presentation:
Do you know examples of large organizations that have grown out of volunteer communities?
Why do some communities keep growing while other communities come to a halt?
Is the commercialization of a volunteer-driven community part of a community's natural life-cycle?
Is it inevitable that over time the operation and/or leadership of volunteer communities are transferred to paid personnel?

About Dries
Dries Buytaert is the original creator and project lead for the Drupal open source web publishing and collaboration platform. Buytaert serves as president of the Drupal Association, a non-profit organization formed to help Drupal flourish. He is also co-founder and chief technology officer of Acquia, a venture-backed software company that offers products and services for Drupal. Dries is also a co-founder of Mollom, a web service that helps you identify content quality and, more importantly, helps you stop website spam. A native of Belgium, Buytaert holds a PhD in computer science and engineering from Ghent University and a Licentiate Computer Science (MsC) from the University of Antwerp. In 2008, Buytaert was elected Young Entrepreneurs of Tech by BusinessWeek as well as MIT TR 35 Young Innovator.





Cape Wind Public Hearing
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 
7:00 p.m.
Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston

Help Cape Wind pass their last hurdle by attending a public hearing on the matter. They need support to point out that wind turbines will keep energy bills less volatile than fossil fuels:

Please arrive EARLY as speakers will called in the order in which they signed up. If you can come, please RSVP


Data Therapy: Creative Ways to tell your Story with Data
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
6:00 PM
MIT Media Lab, E14-525, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge

Got data? Tired of using the same old bar charts to tell your story?
You need some Data Therapy!
Join MIT Media Lab researcher Rahul Bhargava for a workshop on making creative and compelling presentations of data.
We will cover: a process for picking appropriate data presentation techniques; real-world examples of various creative techniques; online tools to help you while designing your presentation; "group therapy" time to brainstorm about your specific needs.



Altitude, Air Pollution, and Energy Technologies among Nomads on the Himalayan Plateau
Thursday, May 31
Pierce Hall 100F, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge
A Harvard China Project seminar with Catlin Powers, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; Executive Vice President and COO, One Earth Designs.
Contact Name: Chris Nielsen

Co-op Power Boston Metro East Energy Efficiency Crew Launch Party 
Saturday, June 2 
on the Lawn at Second Church in Dorchester, corner of Washington St & Talbot Ave, Codman Square, Dorchester

A celebration with music, food, tour of “green” home, and prizes. The Crew provides insulation, weatherization, air sealing to homes in the Greater Boston area. Co-op Power is a consumer-owned co-operative that uses its capital and market power to build good green jobs and community-based green businesses for the benefit of the community at-large. 

RSVP and questions or 617-282-8881.


Resilience Circle Webinar: Small Group Organizing 101

Want to start a Resilience Circle or small group for your community? Join this conversation for tips, tools, and inspiration!

Tuesday, June 5
3pm EDT / 12pm PDT
Register at



A talk by Don Alberto Taxo
Master teacher from Ecauador

WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE 2012, 7.30 P.M.

Refreshments will be served

Don Alberto is a teacher and healer of the Andean Quechua peoples.  He speaks of the need for head and heart to unite, and to bring technology and wisdom together in healing our earth. He brings simple, ancient practices that open the doors of perception to our connection with all life, through gratitude and enjoyment.

NOTE: there are other opportunities to meet Don Alberto:

For more intormation:
Events in Eastern Mass.--to make reservations etc.: Dori Smith,   978-835-5568
Don Alberto’s work:


Saturday, June 9, 2012
Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

All community activists and residents, environmental justice advocates, lawyers, policymakers and others interested in public health and the environment in low income communities and communities of color are invited to attend.

Individuals may register for the event online by visiting the online registration page:  There is no cost to attend the event. Food, childcare, and great company are included. The deadline to register is May 18, 2012. Travel scholarships are available for individuals and groups that need assistance to attend.

For the first time in New England, residents of low income communities and communities of color, together with community organizers, attorneys, public health and environmental professionals and government officials will assemble for a one- day summit on environmental justice.  At the Summit attendees will share ideas, learn from one another and plan future work to address environmental and public health issues that especially affect low income communities and communities of color. NEEJF is a collaboration of Alternatives for Community and Environment, Connecticut Coalition for   Environmental Justice and Rhode Island Legal Services.

For more information, please contact Steve Fischbach: or 401-274-2652 ext.182


Greenup Medford
Saturday, June 9
Noon until 4 pm
At Whole Foods

Join Whole Foods Market in Medford for a fun and festive time for all ages. We'll have local artists selling handmade art designed with recycled materials and local green organizations here to show how you can make a difference. There will be a raffle and lots of great samples!   


The New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable Presents:  The Impact of Natural Gas on the Future of Electricity Markets and Clean Energy Strategies in New England
June 15, 2012
9 am to 12:30 pm
Foley Hoag LLP, 155 Seaport Boulevard, 13th Floor, Boston

Panel I: How Will Natural Gas Impact New England's Electricity Markets and Reliability?
Over the past two decades, New England's electricity generation has increasingly come to rely on natural gas. With the development of the Marcellus Shale in nearby New York and Pennsylvania, natural gas could be both plentiful and relatively inexpensive for years to come. Our first panel at the June 15th Roundtable will explore the potential impacts of natural gas on New England's electricity markets and reliability, exploring a wide range of questions and issues including:
What are "realistic" natural gas supply and price expectations? 
What infrastructure is needed to deliver more gas to New England, and can we count on it? 
What will be the likely impacts of more gas on electricity  generation mix and electricity prices?
Should we be concerned about electric reliability from increasing reliance on natural gas-fired generation especially on cold days (FERC seems to be), and what should we do about it?
To help enlighten us on theses issues, we have assembled a tremendous panel of experts who carefully follow the gas and electricity markets from different vantage points. Susan Tierney, Managing Principal at Analysis Group, will share both her expertise on electricity markets, as well as her recent experience serving on U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board (including its Shale Gas Subcommittee). Richard Paglia, Vice President of Spectra Energy, will discuss Spectra's plans to build additional pipeline capacity in several different directions from Marcellus, and will also discuss a study that Spectra recently commissioned on New England's gas markets. Richard Levitan, President & Principal, at Levitan & Associates, Inc. will share his expectations for both the gas and electricity markets in New England, based on his extensive study of both markets and their interactive effects. Rounding out the panel isPeter Brandien, Vice-President for Systems Operation at ISO-New England, who will share the results of a recent study ISO commissioned on natural gas and the electricity markets, as well as the ISO's perspective on managing an increasingly gas-based electricity system.
Panel II: Revisiting Clean Energy Strategies in New England (in an era of potential cheap and plentiful natural gas?)
Following on the heels of the first panel, our second panel will reflect on whether or not (and, if so, how) New England should revisit and revise its clean energy strategies in light of the potential for plentiful and relatively inexpensive natural gas for the foreseeable future. Despite substantial reductions over the last decade in the cost of renewable energy resources, most notably in wind and solar, and given projections for further price reductions, (and in the face of diminished renewable energy tax credit support and low natural gas prices) most RPS-eligible renewables are still more expensive than conventional electricity sources. Some states are exploring opening up RPS eligibility to existing hydro and even energy efficiency resources, seeking less expensive ways to meet clean energy goals. Others argue that the long-term benefits of continuing to aggressively pursue our clean energy goals and targets with our existing strategies far outweigh any short-term price premiums. Meanwhile, Cape Wind may begin construction soon and Hydro-Quebec is ready to finance transmission to deliver substantial additional hydro resources into New England.

To discuss these issues, we have put together a full-spectrum panel including a regulator, a utility executive, and representatives from the Clean Energy Council, CLF, and AIM.
Commissioner David Cash, Massachusetts Dept. of Public Utilities
James Robb, Senior VP Enterprise Planning, Northeast Utilities
Peter Rothstein, President, New England Clean Energy Council
Robert Rio, Sr. Vice President & Counsel, Associated Industries of MA
Jonathan Peress, VP & Director, Clean Energy & Climate Change, CLF

Free and open to the public with no advanced registration 


Can Social Games Solve America’s Biggest Health Challenge? 
Monday, June 18, 2012
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM (ET)
IBM Center for Social Business,1 Rogers Street, Cambridge
Register at

Event Details
The IBM Center for Social Business welcomes Dr. Rajiv Kumar, literally a game changer in tackling healthcare issues. His company, ShapeUp, designs social games for companies to bring employees together so they can help each other be healthy. The theory is that peer support and accountability are the keys to wellness success.
Refreshments at 3:30. Talk starts at 3:45.

About the talk
Facing rapidly rising health care costs driven by unhealthy behaviors and a national obesity epidemic, self-insured employers have told their employees to “shape up.” But regular physical activity and healthy eating are easier said than done. Many years and millions of dollars have been wasted on employee wellness programs that get astonishingly low participation.

Social gaming is changing that. ShapeUp has developed an online behavior change solution for employee populations that uses social gaming, in the form of team-based competitions, to activate, motivate, and guide participants toward reaching their healthy goals. This approach generates extraordinary company-wide engagement rates and has been shown to produce clinically significant health outcomes.

This talk will describe how ShapeUp has used social games over the past 5 years to reach 2 million lives across 93 countries at companies like HP, Aetna, Raytheon, and Sprint. It will also explore how the latest advances in mobile apps, personal fitness devices, and real-time rewards are creating new ways to enhance the wellness experience.
Rajiv Kumar on how ShapeUp came to be
"During medical school, I realized that many of the worst health problems we face as a nation--diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis, depression--are related to our collective unhealthy lifestyle. I also learned through my clinical encounters that the patients who succeeded in adopting and sustaining healthy behaviors were those who leveraged their trusted social network for support, motivation, and accountability.

By launching a community non-profit organization (Shape Up Rhode Island) and a for-profit company (ShapeUp), I've dedicated my life to helping people reverse and prevent obesity-related illnesses through group behavior change models.

Our goal is to build the largest online social application that connects people around the world to improve their health."




CEA Solar Hot Water Grants
Cambridge, through the Cambridge Energy Alliance initiative, is offering a limited number of grants to residents and businesses for solar hot water systems.  The grants will cover 50% of the remaining out of pocket costs of the system after other incentives, up to $2,000.

Applications will be accepted up to November 19, 2012 and are available on a first come, first serve basis until funding runs out.  The Cambridge grant will complement other incentives including the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center solar thermal grants.  For more information, see


Cambridge Residents: Free Home Thermal Images

Have you ever wanted to learn where your home is leaking heat by having an energy auditor come to your home with a thermal camera?  With that info you then know where to fix your home so it's more comfortable and less expensive to heat.  However, at $200 or so, the cost of such a thermal scan is a big chunk of change.

HEET Cambridge has now partnered with Sagewell, Inc. to offer Cambridge residents free thermal scans.

Sagewell collects the thermal images by driving through Cambridge in a hybrid vehicle equipped with thermal cameras.  They will scan every building in Cambridge (as long as it's not blocked by trees or buildings or on a private way).  Building owners can view thermal images of their property and an analysis online. The information is password protected so that only the building owner can see the results.

Homeowners, condo-owners and landlords can access the thermal images and an accompanying analysis free of charge. Commercial building owners and owners of more than one building will be able to view their images and analysis for a small fee.

The scans will be analyzed in the order they are requested.

Go to  Type in your address at the bottom where it says "Find your home or building" and press return.  Then click on "Here" to request the report.

That's it.  When the scans are done in a few weeks, your building will be one of the first to be analyzed. The accompanying report will help you understand why your living room has always been cold and what to do about it.

With knowledge, comes power (or in this case saved power and money, not to mention comfort).


Free solar electricity analysis for MA residents


HEET has partnered with NSTAR and Mass Save participating contractor Next Step Living to deliver no-cost Home Energy Assessments to Cambridge residents.

During the assessment, the energy specialist will:

Install efficient light bulbs (saving up to 7% of your electricity bill)
Install programmable thermostats (saving up to 10% of your heating bill)
Install water efficiency devices (saving up to 10% of your water bill)
Check the combustion safety of your heating and hot water equipment
Evaluate your home’s energy use to create an energy-efficiency roadmap
If you get electricity from NSTAR, National Grid or Western Mass Electric, you already pay for these assessments through a surcharge on your energy bills.  You might as well use the service.

Please sign up at or call Next Step Living at 866-867-8729.  A Next Step Living Representative will call to schedule your assessment.

HEET will help answer any questions and ensure you get all the services and rebates possible.

(The information collected will only be used to help you get a Home Energy Assessment.  We won’t keep the data or sell it.)

(If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to call HEET’s Jason Taylor at 617 441 0614.)




Sustainable Business Network Local Green Guide

SBN is excited to announce the soft launch of its new Local Green Guide, Massachusetts' premier Green Business Directory!

To view the directory please visit:
To find out how how your business can be listed on the website or for sponsorship opportunities please contact Adritha at


Massachusetts Attitudes About Climate Change – An opinion survey of Massachusetts residents conducted by MassINC and sponsored by the Barr Foundation found that 77% of respondents believe that global warming has “probably been happening” and 59% of all respondents see see it as being at least partially caused by human pollution.  Only 42% of the state’s residents say global warming will have very serious consequences for Massachusetts if left unaddressed. The 18 to 29 age group is more likely to believe global warming is appearing and caused by humans compared to the 60+ age group.  African-American (56%) and Latino residents (69%) are more likely than white residents (40%) to believe global warming will be a very serious problem if left unaddressed.  The MassINC report, titled The 80 Percent Challenge:  What Massachusetts must do to meet targets and make headway on climate change (, contains many other findings.


Free Monthly Energy Analysis

CarbonSalon is a free service that every month can automatically track your energy use and compare it to your past energy use (while controlling for how cold the weather is). You get a short friendly email that lets you know how you’re doing in your work to save energy.


Boston Food System

"The Boston Food System [listserv] provides a forum to post announcements of events, employment opportunities, internships, programs, lectures, and other activities as well as related articles or other publications of a non-commercial nature covering the area's food system - food, nutrition, farming, education, etc. - that take place or focus on or around Greater Boston (broadly delineated)."

The Boston area is one of the most active nationwide in terms of food system activities - projects, services, and events connected to food, farming, nutrition - and often connected to education, public health, environment, arts, social services and other arenas.   Hundreds of organizations and enterprises cover our area, but what is going on week-to-week is not always well publicized.

Hence, the new Boston Food System listserv, as the place to let everyone know about these activities.  Specifically:
Use of the BFS list will begin soon, once we get a decent base of subscribers.  Clarification of what is appropriate to announce and other posting guidelines will be provided as well.

It's easy to subscribe right now at


Artisan Asylum

Sprout & Co:  Community Driven Investigations

Greater Boston Solidarity Economy Mapping Project
a project by Wellesley College students that invites participation, contact

------------------------'s Guide to Boston


Links to events at 60 colleges and universities at Hubevents

Thanks to

Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the Boston Area

Boston Area Computer User Groups

Arts and Cultural Events List

No comments: