Sunday, December 04, 2016

Energy (and Other) Events - December 4, 2016

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.

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What I Do and Why I Do It:  The Story of Energy (and Other) Events


Index - Full event information follows the Index and notices of my latest writings.  Keep scrolling, please.

Monday, December 5

12pm  Understanding storm tracks shifts: From the seasonal cycle to future climate change
12pm  Ice Sheet Hydrology from Top to Bottom
12pm  How should regulators incorporate claims of value that are exogenous to the actual supply & delivery of electricity?
12pm  Street Tree Stories: On the Politics of Nature in the City
12pm  What Next: Trump and Asia
12:10pm  Outcrossing and fecundity in Pennsylvania Sedge: implications for ecological restoration
12:30pm  Feeding Illusions: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Future of Food
1:20pm  Study Group: Next Generation Tools for Utility Regulators To Advance a Clean Energy Economy
2:30pm  Will Ad Blocking Break the Internet?
4pm  Economic Conditions and Mortality: Evidence from 200 Years of Data
4pm  Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores
5pm  Black Lives Matter: From Conflict to Healing
6pm  Askwith Debates – Pass/Fail: How Test-Based Accountability Stacks Up
6pm  Deep dive into Design thinking with OpenIDEO's Scott Shigeoka
6pm  TiE-Boston Deep Dive: Carbon Capture Use and Storage
6pm  The Well Tempered City: Climate Change, Health, Poverty and Our Urban Future
7pm  Restoring Soils to Reverse Global Warming

Tuesday, December 6

8am  Boston TechBreakfast: December 2016
12pm  Effect of particle Morphology – in particular Liquid-liquid phase separation - on the absorption cross section of aerosol particles containing black carbon
12pm  Latin American Seminar Series: "Daniel Ortega and Nicaragua's Democratic Decay”
12pm  Overcoming Unconscious Bias Through Structural Changes
3pm  xTalk: The Future of Undergraduate Education - Pathways and Possibilities
3:30  Innovations in Disaster Management:The Use of Technology in Crisis Response, Humanitarian Relief, and Disaster Recovery
4pm  Talking about climate change through video
4pm  The Fastest Road to Finding Life Beyond Earth
4:30pm  Restitution: A Renewed Conversation
5:30pm  Plan B: Fossil fuels without CO2
5:30pm  Transparency in Music – How Blockchain Technology Can Create a new Music Ecosystem
5:30pm  Smart Manufacturing TechMeeting
6pm  Boston SCORE Workshop: How to Be the Best Businesses FOR the World: The B Corp Movement 
6:30pm  Eyewire: citizen-science gaming to map neurons

Wednesday, December 7

4pm  Rethinking the American Diet: Optimally Unifying Environmental and Nutritional Sciences
4:30pm  Restitution and the unravelling rainbow in South Africa
5:30pm  The Net Positive Future: How, Who and NOW
5:30pm  The Social Innovation Forum's 13th Annual Winter Reception!
6pm  Rhythms of Life: A Conversation on the Arts and Healing with Silkroad
6pm  StreetTalk 10-in-1
6:30pm  How Change Happens
7pm  The Chibok Girls:  The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
7pm  Cambridge, Forum:  Loneliness in the Digital Age
7pm  Mission 2020: Future of Cities, Final Presentation for 12.000

Thursday, December 8

12pm  Urban Sustainability Ratings:  ‘Measurementality’,  transparency, and unexpected  outcomes at the knowledge-policy interface
2pm  Catalyzing Efficiency: Affordable Multifamily Owners 
3pm  THESIS DEFENSE: Improving Learning Experience in MOOCs with Educational Content Linking
4:30pm  Climate Engineering: Anticipating Future Governance Challenges
5pm  Askwith Forums: What is a Good Citizen and How Do You Create One?
5:30pm  Hack My Nonprofit: Public Lab
5:30pm  EnergyBar: SunRISE Final Showcase
6pm  The Environment Forum at the Mahindra Center presents Jedediah Purdy, "Post-Natural Nature Writing and the Politics of the Anthropocene”
6pm  City of Data
6:30pm  Sustainability Collaborative
6:30pm  CPORT + MIT: Future of MIT's Northwest Campus in Cambridgeport
6:30pm  at Local, Shop Local:  A Startup Stir Holiday Popup
7pm  Music and Math | Dennis Miller and Hubert Ho
7pm  Renewables for All in Boston Kickoff 
7pm  Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape
7pm  How Boston is Preparing for Climate Change:  Celebrate the release of Climate Ready Boston!
7pm  Sustainable Business Network Winter Gala!

Friday, December 9 

TRUST (the presence of secrets)
10am  Personalizing Education at Scale: Learning from International System Strategies
2pm  Armed Politics: Violence, Order, and the State in Southern Asia
5pm  D-Lab Fall Student Showcase & Open House
7pm  Earth in Human Hands:  Shaping Our Planet's Future
7pm  Boston Area Solar Energy Association Forum: "The Age of Consequences"

Saturday, December 10

10am  Submarines vs Subways: Reviving Federal Investment in Public Transportation
12pm  Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Statewide Action on Gas Leaks

Sunday, December 11

2pm  Boston Peace + Climate Meetup (People's Party of America)
6pm  Dryland Farming Magic: Add Microbes, Not Water! - Potluck and Discussion

Monday, December 12

12:10pm  Once and future forests: a four-dimensional perspective on plant community response to global change
2pm  Soft Power in a Tough World:  Symposium as Part of the Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy in Honor of Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
4:15pm   International Institutions in an Era of Populism, Nationalism, and Diffusion of Power:  The Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy in Honor of Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
6pm  Alternative Data - The Raw Currency of FinTech
6:30pm  Science by the Pint: Linking Music, Reading, & Cognitive Function in the Brain

Tuesday, December 13

9am  Capturing the Carbon Dividend: Health Benefits of Climate Mitigation 
6pm  Boston New Technology December 2016 Startup Showcase #BNT72


My rough notes on some of the events I go to and notes on books I’ve read are at:

The Political Brain

Influence:  Science and Practice

Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

Three resources that may be useful in the Trumpian “post-factual” world we now live in.  Reality, of course, has the tendency to hit such “post-factual” people upspide the head from time to time and usually sooner than later.


Monday, December 5

Monday, December 5
7:30 AM – 10:00 
FOLEY HOAG LLP, Seaport West, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston
Cost:  $40 – $55

The microbiome is the focus of many researchers interested in how ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms interact with our immune systems and contribute to the rise of multiple disorders. This research could have profound therapeutic implications in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune and inflammatory disease. 
But what does this disruptive technology really mean for healthcare? 
Will engineered probiotic bacteria correct missing or dysfunctional metabolic activities throughout the body?
Human Microbiome Project Initiative – what can Federal involvement due to enable research?
What opportunities are there to develop new therapeutics for patients across multiple disease areas? 
Do inflammatory microbes in our gut increase our risk for diabetes and autoimmune disorders and can intervention prevent these diseases? 
What can we learn from the hygiene hypothesis and modify our lifestyles and live longer? 
Will therapeutic options for care lead to lower cost and improved patient outcomes?
Come join this timely, lively, blue ribbon panel of experts. Ask them questions and contribute your insights during the audience interactive segment.
Keynote Speaker:  James J. Collins, Ph.D., Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science, Professor, Department of Biological Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Moderator:  John Brooks, Managing Director, Healthcare Capital
Panelists:  David Barry, General Partner, Flagship Ventures
JC Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D., CEO, Synlogic Therapeutics

Who Should Attend:
CEOs, CTOs, CFOs, clinicians, technologists, investors, and business experts seeking a better understanding of the potential of the microbiome to change the lives of patients. 

Biographies:  David Berry, General Partner, Flagship Ventures
David Berry joined Flagship in 2005 where he focuses on innovating, entrepreneuring, and investing in new ventures in life sciences and sustainability. He is a founder of Flagship portfolio companies Joule Unlimited, Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), Axcella Health, LS9 (acquired by Renewable Energy Group) and Indigo. David has served as founding CEO of Joule, Axcella Health and Seres. He currently serves on the boards of Eleven, Axcella Health and Avedro. He was previously a Board member of CGI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead), Joule, Seres and Indigo.
Prior to Flagship, David received an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD from the MIT Biological Engineering Division, working in the laboratories of Professors Ram Sasisekharan and Bob Langer, completing the dual degree in just over 5 years.
David currently serves on the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is currently on the Boards of the Hackley School and the Juventas New Music Ensemble, and has served on the MIT Corporation, its Board of Trustees as well as the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
David was elected a 2014 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Previously, David was named the Innovator of the Year by Technology Review, and received the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for invention and innovation. He was also selected by the US State Department as 1 of 12 Innovators Helping to Reshape Reality.
John L. Brooks III is the Managing Director of Healthcare Capital LLC
Mr. Brooks advises early-stage life sciences companies. Healthcare Capital specializes in advancing disruptive and innovative solutions in healthcare, especially in obesity, pre-diabetes, and diabetes. Mr. Brooks is on the board of a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Mr. Brooks is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center, a Boston based diabetes research, clinical care, and education organization.
Mr. Brooks is a well-known life sciences executive. He has co-founded seven life sciences companies, including Insulet (PODD), a disruptive insulin delivery company. He was a co-founder of Prism Venture Partners, a $1.25B venture capital firm.
James J. Collins, Ph.D., Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science, Professor, Department of Biological Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James J. Collins is Termeer Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science. He is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Wyss Institute. His research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. Professor Collins' patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launched a number of companies, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic and EnBiotix. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur "Genius" Award, an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, as well as several teaching awards. Professor Collins is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
The Collins research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance.
JC Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D., CEO, Synlogic Therapeutics
Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos joins Synlogic from Pfizer, where he served as Group Senior Vice President and global head of the BioTherapeutics Research. In that role, he held responsibility for more than 25 novel programs across the full spectrum of clinical development, re-launched efforts in Rare Disease Discovery and Development and founded the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. He oversaw and enhanced the biologics platform for the company from early discovery to entry in manufacturing. He previously held the position of Senior Vice President and Head of the Immuno-inflammation Center for Drug Discovery (iiCEDD) at GSK, where he founded entrepreneurial units such as Epinova and Tempero focused in translating novel areas of science (Epigenetics, Tregs, etc) into therapeutics. Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, JC held senior leadership positions at several biotech companies; He was Senior Vice President and Head of R&D at Avidia Inc. and Peptimmune Inc. where he led a significant efforts focused on the discovery of novel protein therapeutics and peptides for autoimmune disease, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes. He began his career in the drug industry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals serving as Vice President of Inflammation Drug Discovery. In that capacity he was responsible for advancing preclinical candidates in inflammation and immunology into human clinical trials and advancing compounds (small molecules and antibodies) from discovery through clinical development. JC began his career in academia as part of the Faculty at the Genetics department of Harvard Medical School. He was member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, and a fellow at the Max-Plank Institute in Freiburg, Germany. He has co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications. JC holds a PhD in immunochemistry from the Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain.


Understanding storm tracks shifts: From the seasonal cycle to future climate change
Monday, December 5 
12:00pm to 1:00pm
MIT, Building 54-923 (the tallest building on campus), Cambridge

Speaker:  Tiffany Shaw, U Chicago
Storm tracks dominate weather and climate in the extratropics. In response to forcing, e.g. seasonal insolation, ENSO, ozone depletion, increased CO2, storm tracks exhibit robust meridional shifts. Here we develop an energetic framework for storm track position. We apply it across a range of timescales to reveal robust regimes that help to explain why storm tracks shift meridionally.

About the Speaker
The goal of my research program is to advance the understanding of atmospheric and climate dynamics and improve state-of-the-art numerical models that inform society of the future impacts of climate change. To that end I combine theoretical principles of classical mechanics and modern tools from applied mathematics with observational analysis and numerical modeling. I am particularly interested in the role of waves and turbulence in the atmosphere and how they shape the Earth's climate. More specifically, I am interested in understanding how moisture is transported and how it interacts with large-scale flow patterns to shape regions of precipitation and evaporation and how the largest waves on the planet, which can propagate into the stratosphere, impact surface climate.

About this Series
The PAOC Colloquium is a weekly interdisciplinary seminar series that brings together the whole PAOC community. Seminar topics include all research concerning the physics, chemistry, and biology of the atmospheres, oceans and climate, but also talks about e.g. societal impacts of climatic processes. The seminars take place on Monday from 12-1pm. Lunch is provided after the seminars to encourage students and post-docs to meet with the speaker. Besides the seminar and lunch, individual meetings with professors, post-docs, and students are arranged. 2016/2017 co-ordinator: Christine Chen (


Ice Sheet Hydrology from Top to Bottom
Monday, December 5
Harvard, Haller Hall (Geological Museum 102)

Dr. Robin Elizabeth Bell (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University) 
Robin Bell received her undergraduate degree in geology from Middlebury College in Vermont and her PhD in geophysics from Columbia University in 1989.  Since completing her doctorate she has led research Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on ice sheets, tectonics, rivers and mid-ocean ridges.  Currently Bell is the PGI Lamont Research Professor at where she directs research programs in Antarctica, Greenland, and developing technology to monitor our changing planet.

Bell has coordinated ten major aero-geophysical expeditions to Antarctica and Greenland, studying what makes ice sheets collapse.  She has discovered a volcano beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, several large lakes locked beneath 2 miles of ice and demonstrated that ice sheets can thicken from below. Bell lead a Lamont team to map the Hudson River from Staten Island to Albany. In 2006 Bell received an honorary degree from Middlebury College and had an Antarctic Mountain named for her.  During the International Polar Year, Bell lead a major expedition the Antarctica to explore the last unknown mountain range on Earth, the Gamburtsev Mountains completely covered with ice. Here the Team discovered that water hidden beneath the ice sheet runs uphill. Using the new IcePod and gravity technologies, Bell’s team is presently exploring the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating piece of ice the size of France that covers the least known piece of ocean floor on our planet.

Bell is a passionate sailor. Bell and her husband have crossed the Atlantic four times, sailed the coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and chased icebergs in the Labrador Sea.


How should regulators incorporate claims of value that are exogenous to the actual supply & delivery of electricity?
Monday, December 5
Harvard, Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge

Travis Kavulla, Commissioner, Montana Public Service Commission, and President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (Nov. 2015-Nov. 2016)


Street Tree Stories: On the Politics of Nature in the City
Monday, December 5
12:00PM TO 1:30PM
Harvard, HUCE Seminar Room (440), MCZ, 29 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge

with Sonja Duempelmann (GSD)

Environmental History Working Group

Contact Name:  Laura Martin


What Next: Trump and Asia
WHEN  Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, S010, Tsai Auditorium, Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Humanities, Lecture, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR The Harvard University Asia Center, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute, Kim Koo Forum at the Korea Institute, the South Asia Institute, East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
Dr. Lynn Kuok, Harvard Law School 
Prof. Sung-Yoon Lee, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University 
Professor Joseph Nye, Harvard Kennedy School 
Professor Ezra Vogel, Harvard University 
Moderator: Professor Susan Pharr, Harvard University


Outcrossing and fecundity in Pennsylvania Sedge: implications for ecological restoration
Monday, December 5
Arnold Arboretum, Weld Hill Lecture Hall, 1300 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain

Daniel Buonaiuto, Wolkovich Lab

Arnold Arboretum Research Talk

Contact Name:
(617) 524-1718


Feeding Illusions: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Future of Food
Monday, December 5
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM EST
Tufts, The Fletcher School, Cabot 703, 160 Packard Avenue, Medford

If the agreed goal is to help farmers in developing countries grow more of their own food, why do our leaders consistently promote policies that favor large-scale agriculture over small-scale food production? For the last three years, Timothy A. Wise has traveled the world to research this question for a forthcoming book. He will present key findings, from Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, India, and Mexico.
Lunch will be served.


Study Group: Next Generation Tools for Utility Regulators To Advance a Clean Energy Economy
WHEN  Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Belfer Building, 5th floor, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Conference Room, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Business, Environmental Sciences, Sustainability
SPEAKER(S)  Travis Kavulla, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC); Commissioner at the Montana Public Service Commission
COST  Free
CONTACT INFO For more information, contact
DETAILS  These study groups inform and support the efforts of a research team at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center which is analyzing specific regulatory and rate-setting measures that can be put in place to accelerate the electric industry’s adoption of climate-conscious, consumer empowering – and, importantly, profitable – approaches for a clean energy economy. Throughout the year we will convene to hear from the players in the game – regulators, utility executives, environmental and clean energy entrepreneurs and NGO leaders, politicians, and scholars – to gain their perspectives on the opportunities for transforming the industry and the challenges we as a society face in getting there. More information on the study group can be found through the event link.


Will Ad Blocking Break the Internet?
Monday, December 5
MIT, Building E52-432, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

Speaker: Benjamin Shiller (Brandeis University)

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): IO Workshop
For more information, contact:  economics calendar


Economic Conditions and Mortality: Evidence from 200 Years of Data
WHEN  Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, HCPDS, 9 Bow Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
SPEAKER(S)  David Cutler, PhD, Harvard College professor and Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Harvard University,
CONTACT INFO Nicole Goguen
DETAILS  David Cutler, Ph.D., Harvard College professor and Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University, will present on economic conditions and mortality. Using data covering over 100 birth-cohorts in 32 countries, the short- and long-term effects of economic conditions on mortality are examined. Air pollution and alcohol consumption increase during booms, and small (but not large) booms were found to increase contemporary mortality. Yet booms from birth to age 25, particularly those during adolescence, were found to lower adult mortality. Booms in adolescence raise adult incomes and improve social relations and mental health, suggesting these mechanisms dominate in the long run.


Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from French Grocery Stores
Monday, December 5
MIT, Building E52-432, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

Speaker: Amanda Pallais (Harvard)

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Public Finance/Labor Workshop
For more information, contact:  economics calendar


Black Lives Matter: From Conflict to Healing
Monday, December 5
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST
BU, GSU Auditorium 2nd Floor, 735 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Human Rights Day on December 10th commemorates the occasion on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Human Rights Day calls on us to stand up for everyone’s rights.
We would like to engage Boston University, as well as the community at large, in a discussion specific to Black Lives Matter in its relation to Human Rights issues worldwide. In what ways does the Black Lives Matter movement engage all of us?
In a broader sense, how do we develop resilience after trauma? How do we learn from past historical events, such as the Holocaust and genocides in Armenia, Rwanda and Bosnia? How do we repair damage done by recent attacks on people of color in this country? Can thinking about the dynamics of trauma help us confront deep issues about living in what feels like a broken world for those whose lives have been wounded by the structural and personal injustices of racism? What is the power of resilience, and how and where do we find healing practices that are helpful during this era of conflict, oppression and misunderstanding?

Joining this discussion are:
Keith Magee, Director, Social Justice Institute and Visiting Researcher, Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies, panel moderator
Hank Knight, Director, Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College
Pamela Lightsey, Associate Dean, Boston University School of Theology
Simon Payaslian, Kenosian Chair in Modern Armenian History and Literature, Department of History, Boston University
Desiré Hinkson, (CFA ’18), BU African American Studies Program minor


Askwith Debates – Pass/Fail: How Test-Based Accountability Stacks Up
WHEN  Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge
TYPE OF EVENT Forum, Question & Answer Session
CONTACT NAME  Roger Falcon
CONTACT PHONEnn617-384-9968
ADMISSION FEE This event is free and open to the public.
**Note the 6 p.m. start time.**
Mitchell Chester, Ed.M.'88, Ed.D.'91, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Rebecca Holcombe, Ed.M.'90, Ed.D.'16, Secretary of Education, Vermont 
Thomas Kane, Walter H. Gale Professor of Education and Economics, HGSE
Daniel Koretz, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education, HGSE
Moderator: Andrew Ho, Professor of Education, HGSE
Test-based accountability has been a cornerstone of education policy in the United States for decades, and testing now has a tremendous influence on daily life in schools. With the replacement of No Child Left Behind with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have more leeway than previously to change the ways in which they use testing. This shift provides an ideal time to take stock of the effects of high-stakes testing and to rethink how testing is used. Proponents and skeptics will debate the pros and cons of high-stakes testing. How much has student learning really improved? Can we trust the increases in scores that states and districts and individual schools often report? What have been the effects of high-stakes testing, both good and bad, on the practices of educators? What impact does test-based accountability have on children, families, and teachers?


Deep dive into Design thinking with OpenIDEO's Scott Shigeoka
Monday, December 5
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Impact Hub, 50 Milk Street, Boston
Cost:  $3.00 /per person

We have a great treat for you! We have a pretty cool guest coming to host our next event! Scott Shigeoka - OpenIDEO's community designer/storyteller will be doing a deep dive into design thinking. We will be working on the higher education challenge.  

It has been argued that postsecondary education is one of the best investments a person can make, serving as a gateway to social mobility and economic opportunity. This year, U.S. public high schools recorded a graduation rate of 83.2 percent, the highest number ever in recorded history. As these students transition into the American workforce, they’re likely to have four job changes in less than 10 years. Of those jobs, two billion will disappear by 2030—that’s approximately 50 percent of employment opportunities today.  

The economic landscape is changing rapidly but our education system hasn't seen any significant changes in years. Only 27% of college grads end up in fields they majored in. There are ever growing online education platforms but most of the employers are uncomfortable with online degrees. Higher education is also causing a lot of student debt. Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. In fact, the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year. 

As a recent graduate and a millennial I am very passionate about this topic. OpenIDEO in partnership with US Department of education is providing us with a opportunity to have a voice. Come hang out with us and OpenIDEO's Scott Shigeoka to learn more about design thinking and how you can use design thinking as a tool to re-imagine higher education! It will be an evening of fun, creativity and innovation.

Note: We are charging $3 for this event to ensure attendance. Usually the cheaper events have a huge waiting list . If you would like to pay in cash - send me a message at [masked] I will edit your RSVP. All funds will go towards food and drinks.


TiE-Boston Deep Dive: Carbon Capture Use and Storage
Monday, December 5
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MIT, Building 66-110, 35 Ames Street, Cambridge
Cost:  $0 - $20

Vivek Soni, Managing Partner, Boston Cleantech Partners
Phil Duffy, President and Executive Director Woods Hole Research Center
Howard Herzog, Senior Research Engineer, MIT Energy Initiative


The Well Tempered City: Climate Change, Health, Poverty and Our Urban Future
Monday, December 5
6pm - 9pm
Harvard, Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Rotunda Room, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston

Steve Curwood, Host, NPR’s Living on Earth
Dr. Jack Spengler, Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment
Jonathan Rose, Author, The Well Tempered City
Student winner of Courtyard Design Contest
Limited seats, registration required.

Sustainability For Health Leadership Series: Climate Change, Health, Poverty and Our Urban Future

The environments in which we live are changing fast. To keep people healthy and alive, we must prevent diseases caused by turbulent weather, pollution, and increasingly crowded cities.

Hear from a panel of experts including Jonathan Rose, Jack Spengler, and moderated by Steve Curwood, and learn about our new Master of Public Health in Sustainability and the Global Environment.

This speaker series will celebrate the Center for Health and the Global Environment’s 20th year, and introduce you to pressing issues students will explore in the Sustainability, Health, and the Global Environment program at the Harvard School of Public Health. In this program students will learn the latest research techniques, and have opportunities to connect with leading edge thinkers in global businesses and governments who are focused on the connection between people, their health, and their surroundings. We are accepting applications beginning Fall 2016. 

Join us to learn from leading global health experts, and talk with faculty members actively working to solve some of the greatest public health challenges facing us today. To learn about other topics in the series visit

Reception following lecture.


Restoring Soils to Reverse Global Warming
Monday, December 5
7:00 - 8:30 PM
First Parish Church, 3 Church Street, Cambridge

A Report from the Recent United Nations Climate Conference in Marrakesh (COP22) on the Positive Role of Soils to Capture Atmospheric Carbon and a Celebration of the UN FAO World Soil Day -- Plus Discussion on the Role of Cities and Urban-area Residents to Restore Green Spaces

Public Forum 
Seth J Itzkan, Co-founder, Soil4Climate
Thomas Goreau, Editor, “Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase”
Quinton Zondervan, President, Green Cambridge

Additional information available at

Tuesday, December 6

Boston TechBreakfast: December 2016
Tuesday, December 6
8:00 am – 11:00 am 
Microsoft NERD, Horace Mann Room, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge


Effect of particle Morphology – in particular Liquid-liquid phase separation - on the absorption cross section of aerosol particles containing black carbon
Friday, December 2
12:00PM TO 1:00PM
Harvard, 100F Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge

with Ulrich Krieger, ETH Zurich
While it is well known that absorption by light absorbing black carbon (BC) increases when the carbon is internally mixed with other material (e.g. Bond et al. 2013), the magnitude of this enhancement is still under debate (e.g. Cappa et al., 2013). Understanding the large variability of measured absorption enhancement in the field relies on an appropriate representation of carbon morphology and mixing with other materials (Scarnato et al., 2013). Here we investigate how liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) influences the absorption cross section of particles containing black carbon aggregates. Recently, we showed that black carbon (BC) preferentially segregates into the organic phase upon LLPS in micron size particles (Brunamonti et al. 2015), resulting in an “inverted core-shell structure”, in which a transparent aqueous core is surrounded by a BC-containing absorbing shell. In the Brunamonti et al. study, the radiative effect for accumulation size particles was estimated assuming the BC-absorption to be volume mixed within the shell. We will compare this with a more realistic treatment of the black carbon as fractal aggregate and also study configurations in which the black carbon is only partially embedded in the organic liquid phase.

Atmospheric & Environmental Chemistry Seminar

Contact Name:  Adam Birdsall


Latin American Seminar Series: "Daniel Ortega and Nicaragua's Democratic Decay”
WHEN  Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, CGIS South, S-250, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
SPEAKER(S)  Kai Thaler, Ph.D. Candidate in Government, Harvard University
Kai Thaler is a Democracy Doctoral Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD Candidate in the Harvard University Department of Government. He is also a Graduate Student Associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. He works on civil wars, state-building, regimes and regime transitions, political violence, and the politics of development, focused on Latin America and Africa. He has been conducting research in Nicaragua since 2012. Kai holds an A.M. in Government from Harvard University, an in Sociology from the University of Cape Town, and a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. Prior to coming to Harvard, he worked in Portugal, South Africa, Colombia, and the United States as a researcher and consultant on social and political violence.
CONTACT INFO Isade Salcedo (
DETAILS  Nicaragua's 2016 election season has seen the continued weakening of the opposition and further consolidation of power by President Daniel Ortega and his family. Ortega has become increasingly authoritarian, yet remains popular among much of the population. How and why has this erstwhile revolutionary moved Nicaragua closer to the type of dictatorship he once helped topple, and what are the prospects for reinvigorating democracy in the country?

Editorial Comment:  I have been tracking the hollowing out of democracy in various countries around the world, starting with Hungary and now, possibly, including the USA.  This is a global trend of authoritarian nationalism and may have determining characteristics that can be useful for those who wish to rebuild democracy.


Overcoming Unconscious Bias Through Structural Changes
Tuesday, December 6
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Simmons College, 300 Fenway, SOM, 501, Boston

Please join the CGO and Iris Bohnet, Professor of Practice and behavioral economist at Harvard Kennedy School for an engaging discussion on unconscious bias. Ms. Bohnet will discuss her new book, "What Works: Gender Equality by Design.” 

Gender equality is a moral and a business imperative. But unconscious bias holds us back, and de-biasing people’s minds has proven to be difficult and expensive. Diversity training programs have had limited success, and individual effort alone often invites backlash. Behavioral design offers a new solution. By de-biasing organizations instead of individuals, we can make smart changes that have big impacts. Presenting research-based solutions, Ms. Bohnet hands us the tools we need to move the needle in classrooms and boardrooms, in hiring and promotion, benefiting businesses, governments, and the lives of millions.

"What Works" is built on new insights into the human mind. It draws on data collected by companies, universities, and governments in Australia, India, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and other countries, often in randomized controlled trials. It points out dozens of evidence-based interventions that could be adopted right now and demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance. What Works shows what more can be done—often at shockingly low cost and surprisingly high speed.
Lunch and subsidized parking will be provided. Copies of Ms. Bohnet's book will be available for purchase.


xTalk: The Future of Undergraduate Education - Pathways and Possibilities
Tuesday, December 6
MIT, Building 56-114, 21 Ames Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Francesca Purcell & Eliza Berg
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences is in the midst of a three-year project entitled The Future of Undergraduate Education to examine the state of post-secondary education in the U.S., and to provide ideas for how to ensure that individual Americans receive the education needed to thrive in the twenty-first century. 

The Commission's first publication, A Primer on the College Student Journey, is a comprehensive and data-rich portrait of American postsecondary education --incorporating quantitative and qualitative studies that examine student trends into, through, and out of college. This talk will highlight this and other aspects of the Commission's work and also solicit feedback from the audience on their perspectives on the future of college and its possibilities. 

Francesca Purcell is Director of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education and Program Officer, Education Policy. Eliza Berg is Program Coordinator, Education Policy.

xTalks: Digital Discourses 
The xTalks series provides a forum to facilitate awareness, deep understanding and transference of educational innovations at MIT and elsewhere. We hope to foster a community of educators, researchers, and technologists engaged in developing and supporting effective learning experiences through online learning environments and other digital technologies.

Web site: The Future of Undergraduate Education: Pathways and Possibilities
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Office of Digital Learning, xTalks: Digital Discourses
For more information, contact:  Molly Ruggles


Innovations in Disaster Management:The Use of Technology in Crisis Response, Humanitarian Relief, and Disaster Recovery
Tuesday, December 6
3:30-5:00 PM
Harvard, Ash Center Foyer, Suite 200 North, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge

SPEAKERS: Doug Ahlers (Founder, Broadmoor Project; and Founder, Recupera Chile Project), Vincenzo Bollettino (Director, Resilient Communities Program, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative), Piyush Tewari (Founder, SaveLIFE Foundation, and HKS Mid-Career '17).


Talking about climate change through video
Tuesday, December 6
4:00 - 5:00pm 
BU, CAS 132, 675 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Speaker: Alex Griswold, Research Associate and Multimedia Producer, Harvard University Center for the Environment

While the scientific facts are undisputed, in the public arena, climate change has become extremely polarized and politicized when it doesn’t have to be. Part of the reason is the way climate change information is communicated, without regard to the impact of underlying messages and values that frame the discussion.   Examples of videos that push the wrong buttons abound. Presenting solutions, being aware of audience preconceptions, and understanding the values the audience brings to the discussion are alternative ways to move the needle toward a solution. While there is no one formula for talking about climate change using the medium of video, I will discuss different approaches and show examples that attempt to point a way toward a more inclusive understanding of this critical topic.

Bio: Alex Griswold is a documentary producer with over 30 years experience focused on science and social issues.  For two decades, he was part of the science education team at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), where he contributed to the development of “A Private Universe” – a short ground-breaking film showing how even the most touted education can fail to address serious misconceptions in basic scientific concepts. He was producer or executive producer of over 100 science education video projects. Griswold is currently a research associate and multimedia
producer at the Harvard University Center for the Environment working on projects to improve environmental science education for the Harvard Center for the Environment and on a new, multimedia exhibit on climate change for the Harvard University Museums of Science and Culture.

BU’s Seminar Series on Climate Change


The Fastest Road to Finding Life Beyond Earth
Tuesday, December 6
MIT, Building 37-252, 70 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Jonathan Lunine, Director, Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science

Joint MKI/EAPS Colloquium

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS)
For more information, contact:  Brandon Milardo


Restitution: A Renewed Conversation
WHEN  Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Gutman G05, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR The Civic and Moral Education Initiative, Harvard Graduate School of Education
SPEAKER(S)  Sharlene Swartz, Ph.D. is a Research Director at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa and an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. She is a HGSE alum (’03) and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. Her expertise centres on youth in adverse contexts, the effects of race on educational outcomes, and emancipatory qualitative research methods. Before embarking on an academic career Sharlene was a youth worker; she is the current chair of the Restitution Foundation. Her other books include: Ikasi: The moral ecology of South Africa’s township youth (2009); Teenage Tata: Voices of young fathers in South Africa (2009); Moral Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (2011) and Youth Citizenship and the Politics of Belonging (2013).
Deevia Bhana, PhD is a DST/NRF South African Research Chair and Professor in Gender and Childhood Sexuality: violence, inequalities and schooling at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
DETAILS  Sharlene Swartz, in her book Another County: Everyday social restitution calls for a renewed conversation in South Africa (and globally) about restitution in both its legal and social forms. In the book she relates Black South Africans’ experiences of dehumanising racism alongside White South African’s shame for the past and anxiety for the future. In this context, she introduces the concept of ‘social restitution’ - understood as the actions and attitudes that everyday people can undertake in dialogue with each other to address past injustice. In this seminar, she and respondent Deevia Bhana, along with a panel of South African graduate students will reflect on the notion of restitution and its salience for current debates on decolonisation, BlackLivesMatter, xenophobia, reparations for enslavement, and global immigration policy and attitudes.


Plan B: Fossil fuels without CO2
Tuesday, December 6
MIT, Building 32-155, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Eric McFarland
There is no evidence that significant reductions in the carbon dioxide emissions associated with power generation will be achieved using current commercial alternatives to abundant and low-cost fossil fuels. The massive infrastructure and equipment changes required for such a transition would require multiple decades of work if and when a serious commitment is made and an economical transition pathway is identified. The stored chemical potential in fossil fuels from thermonuclear derived solar energy may be utilized by less conventional means without producing carbon dioxide. Chemical pathways to produce hydrogen or ammonia from hydrocarbons without co-production of carbon dioxide are possible in new process configurations. Such processes may be more cost effective than other options and more readily implemented. Professor Eric McFarland will highlight areas where science and engineering innovation could have enormous impact on global use of fossil resources into the future and will show results of recent investigations on methane conversion.

Open to: the general public
Cost: Free 
Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative, IHS
For more information, contact:  MIT Energy Initiative


Transparency in Music – Powered by Blockchain:  How Blockchain Technology Can Create a new Music Ecosystem
Tuesday, December 6 
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
MIT, Building 32-123, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge
$20 Members; $45 Non-members: free for students

Big Changes Coming to Music Economics
We have seen technology fundamentally disrupt the music industry, and, for the musician, this hasn't always been good news. Think Napster, which helped promote music piracy, and streaming services that redefined the business model in ways that have not always been helpful to Artists. What if technology were applied to the mission of helping musicians and other creative performers  and IP owners move towards an economic model that enables them to achieve a new potential for financial health?

What's needed is new, holistic thinking about a music ecosystem that identifies music rights owners and simplifies how they might be compensated, particularly in an environment that might offer only micropayments for each particular performance. Very promising initial efforts to apply new technology to this problem have begun, and if successful and adopted, may result in sustainable models for artists, entrepreneurs, and music businesses. To achieve this vision, everyone involved will need to be …. involved.

Join us on Tuesday evening , December 6 and learn from leading proponents of new music rights and distribution models. Where are we trying to get to, and how can technology take us there? We'll learn about -  and see an example of - how blockchain technology can be used by the music industry  to protect music creators and performers. And, we'll close out the evening with another demonstration  - an art form we all love - LIVE MUSIC. Come learn and rock out.

Dan Harple, Founder and CEO, Context Labs
Panos Panay, Founding Managing Director, Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship
Benji Rogers, Co-Founder, dotBLOCKCHAINmusic

Event Schedule
5:30 - 6:00 pm Registration, Networking & Light Snacks
6:00 - 7:00 pm Intros and Q&A with the panel
7:00 - 7:30 pm Blockchain and music rights demo
7:30 - 8:00pm Live music
8:00 - 9:00 More Networking in the R&D Pub, 4th Floor of the MIT Stata Center


Smart Manufacturing TechMeeting
Tuesday, December 6
5:30PM – 8:30PM 
CIC Boston, 50 Milk Street, 1st floor, Anchor space behind Render Coffee, Boston
Cost:  $10 – $20

Foster business relationships between startups, corporations and VCs in the field of Smart Manufacturing. Bring visibility to the best of French-American technology and Innovation.
05.30pm: Registration 
06.00pm: Introduction Open Innovation Club
06.10pm: Panel of corporations and research labs on Smart Manufacturing
06.40pm: 5+ Startups Pitches (3-min pitch and 1 min Q&A)
07.15pm: Networking Cocktail


Boston SCORE Workshop: How to Be the Best Businesses FOR the World: The B Corp Movement 
Tuesday December 6
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Boston Public Library / Kirstein Business Library, 700 Boylston Street, Commonwealth Salon, Boston

You may have heard the terms or found a Certified B Corp logo on a package. Or had a friend tell you that Patagonia or Ben & Jerry's are B Corps. Perhaps heard the "using business as a force for good" tagline. The movement is growing, but not yet a household name.

If you're a business owner or leader, does becoming a B Corp make sense for you? What are the benefits, challenges, and requirements of being part of the movement?

During this interactive workshops, we'll talk about the nuts and bolts of becoming a B Corp, the difference between B Corp and Benefit Corporation, and dive into the assessment used to certify B Corps. We'll wrap up with plenty of time for questions and answers with members of Boston-based B Corps.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Boston Chapter of SCORE and the Kirstein Business Library at the Boston Public Library, and presented by Drew Bonfiglio.  Drew is the co-founder of Emzingo, a social enterprise and certified B Corp focused on creating the next generation of responsible leaders. He and his colleagues work with businesses, universities, individuals, and professional organizations to design and deliver experiences that instill the mindset of responsible leadership, drive employee engagement, promote social innovation and environmental awareness, and create a culture of collaboration. 


Eyewire: citizen-science gaming to map neurons
Tuesday, December 6
6:30 PM
BosLab, 339R Summer Street, Somerville

Join us at BosLab to learn about how crowdsourced gaming can advance science. Eyewire is a human-based computer game that originated in Dr. Seung's lab at MIT to map the brain. The game currently has over 200,000 players worldwide.

Will Silversmith, a developer at Eyewire, will talk about how this game enables global citizen science and advances neuroscience research.

Wednesday, December 7

Rethinking the American Diet: Optimally Unifying Environmental and Nutritional Sciences
Wednesday, December 7
Radcliffe, Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge

Gidon Eshel, Hrdy Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, will give a talk as part of the 2016–2017 Fellows' Presentation Series.

At Radcliffe, Gidon Eshel is collaborating with scientists from the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on developing multi-objective metrics of diet. The metrics combine disparate environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions or water and land use) with health outcomes (e.g., cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases or diabetes) in a manner most suitable for using in optimizations designed to improve public health while easing environmental burdens.

Free and open to the public.


Restitution and the unravelling rainbow in South Africa
Wednesday, December 7
MIT, Building E53-482, (Millikan Conference Room), 30 Wadsworth Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Sharlene Swartz, Adjunct Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Cape Town
Sharlene Swartz (Adjunct Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Cape Town and Human Sciences Research Council) will discuss her new book Another Country: Everyday social restitution in light of current student protests, calls for the country's president to step down and the rise of diverse political opposition in South Africa.

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative, Political Science, Center for International Studies, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT-South Africa Program
For more information, contact:  Brittany Peters


The Net Positive Future: How, Who and NOW
Wednesday, December 7
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM EST
Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, Rm 901, Boston

What is a Net Positive future?
How will we get there?
Who do we need to get involved with?
Let's meet to outline a plan which will deliver us to our mission.

What is the nature of the problem we face - and how does the built environment community connect?
Can we make a difference.
We have to be invigorated - see here Grey Lee's remarksregarding recent national events.

What systems will we promote?
What types of projects will we engage on?
How can we work together as a community of practitioners to make a difference?

See you soon!


The Social Innovation Forum's 13th Annual Winter Reception!
Wednesday, December 7
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

Join us for...
The formal announcement of the 2017 Social Innovators
and a celebration of the achievements of our portfolio organizations!
Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a night of celebration
We look forward to raising a glass to each of you - our incredible community of leaders, friends, volunteers, and supporters.


Rhythms of Life: A Conversation on the Arts and Healing with Silkroad
WHEN  Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, 6 – 8 p.m.
WHERE  The Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Avenue, Allston
COST  Free and open to the public
DETAILS  The Harvard Ed Portal is proud to host Rhythms of Life: A Conversation on the Arts and Healing with Silkroad. Join Silk Road Ensemble members Cristina Pato, Shane Shanahan, and Wu Tong and guests Lisa Wong, Co-Director, Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School, Camille Zamora, co-founder of Sing for Hope, and members of Harvard-Radcliffe MIHNUET for a conversation on the healing art of music. Panelists will explore healing in different stages of life, from early childhood through senior living, using dialogue, inquiry, and musical demonstrations.
Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, cellist Yo-Yo Ma established Silkroad in 1998 to explore how the arts can advance global understanding. Silkroad has been affiliated with Harvard since 2005, with offices on the University’s Allston campus since 2010.
The event is free and open to the public.


StreetTalk 10-in-1
Wednesday, December 7
6:00 - 8:30PM
Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington Street, Boston
Cost: $15 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE

Now, more than ever, we need great ideas and leaders striving to improve our communities.

We invite you to hear from some of the best and brightest in Boston’s transportation world at LivableStreets’ StreetTalk 10-in-1 on December 7th at the Old South Meeting House.

Building on the Meeting House’s long tradition of hosting spirited, thought-provoking discussions, this annual event will feature 10 short-form presentations highlighting the innovative ideas that are improving our streets. The speaker line-up will be released soon, but you can check out last year’s participants and keep posted on updates here.

Additionally, we are very honored to announce that we will be releasing the first Vision Zero Boston Progress Report on behalf of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition at this event. 

We promise that you won't want to miss it! Register today! 

LivableStreets Alliance


How Change Happens
Wednesday, December 7
MIT Museum, Building N51, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Speaker: Duncan Green
Duncan Green will introduce his new book and provide a chance for the audience to challenge, engage and add their own perspectives. "How Change Happens" explores how political and social change takes place, and the role of individuals and organizations in influencing that change.

Open to: the general public
Cost: Free 
Sponsor(s): MIT Museum, D-Lab
For more information, contact:  Jennifer Novotney


The Chibok Girls:  The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
Wednesday, December 7
7:00 PM
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Harvard Book Store welcomes the award-winning author of Oil on Water, Measuring Time, and Waiting for an Angel HELON HABILA for a discussion of his latest book, The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria.
About The Chibok Girls

On April 14, 2014, 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in northern Nigeria were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the world's deadliest terrorist group. Most were never heard from again. Acclaimed Nigerian novelist Helon Habila, who grew up in northern Nigeria, returned to Chibok and gained intimate access to the families of the kidnapped to offer a devastating account of this tragedy that stunned the world. With compassion and deep understanding of historical context, Habila tells the stories of the girls and the anguish of their parents; chronicles the rise of Boko Haram and the Nigerian government's inept response; and captures the indifference of the media and the international community whose attention has moved on.

Employing a fiction writer's sensibility and a journalist's curiosity, The Chibok Girls provides poignant portraits of everyday Nigerians whose lives have been transformed by extremist forces. Habila illuminates the long history of colonialism—and unmasks cultural and religious dynamics—that gave rise to the conflicts that have ravaged the region to this day.


Cambridge, Forum:  Loneliness in the Digital Age
December 7
7 PM  
First Parish Church, 1446 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

According to UCLA researchers, 35% of Americans today report themselves to be chronically lonely.  This growing epidemic persists in a digital age, where we are purportedly more ?connected? than ever.  But what does it mean to have lots of Facebook friends, yet no one to talk to?

The subject is timely for the season and the event is free, and open to all.

Join the discussion as Cambridge Forum investigates one of the most urgent issues facing American society in the 21st Century - loneliness. Loneliness is not just a painful sense of emotional isolation it is also the root cause of many serious health problems.   We will attempt to unravel some of the causes of this pernicious condition and consider the ways to ward off, or at least alleviate, the curse of loneliness.

With the help of four great minds from different disciplines, all of whom have written extensively on the theme of friendship or loneliness, we will consider why loneliness is a such a growing sociological phenomenon in our hi-tech, super-wired world.  Neuroscientific research seems to suggest that our brains are indeed wired to connect, but they prefer human rather than digital interaction.  So what constitutes true friendship and can a device ever substitute for the power of human touch?

Our panel consists of Dr. Terry Freiberg, a social psychologist and author of Four Seasons of Loneliness; Dr. Amy Banks, a psychiatrist at Wellesley Centers for Women and author of Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships; Professor Alex Pentland, who directs the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics Labs and co-author of a recent study in the journal PLOS, Are you Your Friends Friend? Poor Perception of Friendship Ties; and Professor Alexander Nehamas,  Princeton Philosopher and author of the book On Friendship.

For more information:
Contact MARY STACK 617-495-2727 or


Mission 2020: Future of Cities, Final Presentation for 12.000
Wednesday, December 7
MIT, Building 10-250, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Please come support this year's Terrascope students as they present their plan for sustainable, equitable, and resilient cities worldwide. 

The evening program will begin with the students' presentation, followed by a Q&A session with a panel of invited experts: 
John Fernandez - MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative 
Janelle Chan - MBTA Real Estate Manager 
Zachary Tofias - C40 Urban Planning and Development Initiative 
David Geltner - MIT Center for Real Estate 

Can't make it? Watch a live streaming video at: 

A reception with refreshments will follow.

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Terrascope
For more information, contact:  Emily Martin

Editorial Comment:  Terrascope is a programmable Earth visualization system.  It’s an actual globe that can play simulations across the surface of the Earth.

Thursday, December 8

Urban Sustainability Ratings:  ‘Measurementality’,  transparency, and unexpected  outcomes at the knowledge-policy interface
Thursday, December 8
12pm - 1pm
Tufts, Rabb room, Lincoln Filene Center, 10 Upper Campus Road, Medford

Laureen Elgert
This research examines a new addition to the growing number of ‘sustainable city’ rating programs called STAR (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating) communities.  The research examines how and why such discourses of sustainability that rely on standardized, data-based measurement, and that promote ‘measurementality’, privilege cities that have greater access to resources to invest in data collection. Instead of creating a “high bar which cities can work towards achieving”, STAR reinforces existing inequalities and creates new inequalities within and between municipalities.


Catalyzing Efficiency: Affordable Multifamily Owners 
Thursday, December 8
2 PM ET 

Presenters: Presenters: IMT and Bright Power 
Increasing the energy efficiency of America’s multifamily buildings could save building owners and operators, residents, governments, energy efficiency service providers, and financiers billions of dollars annually. Recognizing this, a new report from the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), “Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings,” presents actions that federal and local governments and energy efficiency implementers can now take to help these stakeholders better analyze and use building performance data to create significant savings. 

This webinar is one of a series of four examining the findings and recommendations of IMT's "Catalyzing Efficiency" report. Other webinars will take place on: 

December 15, 2 PM ET 
Catalyzing Efficiency: Lenders and Investors 
Presenters: IMT and Community Preservation Corporation 


THESIS DEFENSE: Improving Learning Experience in MOOCs with Educational Content Linking
Thursday, December 8
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Refreshments: 2:45 PM
MIT, Building 32-G449 (Stata Center - Patil/Kiva Conference Room), 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Shang-Wen (Daniel) Li , MIT CSAIL 
Since its introduction in 2011, there have been over 4,000 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on various subjects on the Web, serving over 35 million learners. MOOCs have shown the ability to transcend time and space, democratize knowledge dissemination, and bring the best education in the world to every learner. However, the disparate distances between participants, the size of the learner population, and the heterogeneity of the learners' backgrounds make it extremely difficult for instructors to interact with the learners in a timely manner, and thus adversely affect learning experience and outcome.

To address the challenges, in this thesis, we propose a framework: educational content linking. By linking and organizing pieces of learning content scattered in various course materials into an easily accessible structure, we hypothesize that this framework can provide learners guidance and improve content navigation. Since most instruction and knowledge acquisition in MOOCs take place when learners are surveying course materials, better content navigation may help learners find supporting information to resolve their confusion and thus improves learning outcome and experience.

To support our conjecture, we present end-to-end studies to investigate our framework around two research questions. We first ask, can manually generated linking improve learning? For investigating this question, we choose two STEM courses, statistics and programming language, and demonstrate how the annotation of linking among course materials can be done with collaboration between course staff and online workers. With the annotation, we implement an interface that can present learning materials and visualize the linking among them simultaneously. We observer that, in a large-scaled user research, this interface enable users to search for desired course materials more efficiently, and retain more concepts more readily. This result supports the notion that manual linking can indeed improve learning outcomes. Second we ask, can learning content be generated with machine learning methods. For this question, we propose an automatic content linking algorithm based on conditional random fields. We demonstrate that automatically generated linking can still lead to better learning, although the magnitude of the improvement over the unlinked interface is smaller. We conclude that our linking framework can be implemented at scale with machine learning techniques.

Thesis Advisor: Victor Zue 
Thesis Committee: Jim Glass and Rob Miller

Contact: Marcia G. Davidson, 617-253-3049,


Climate Engineering: Anticipating Future Governance Challenges
Thursday, December 8
4:30-6:00 PM 
Harvard, Earth and Planetary Sciences Room 400, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Ted Parson, Dan and Rae Emmett Professor of Environmental Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles

Ted studies international environmental law and policy, the role of science and technology in policy-making, and the political economy of regulation. His articles have appeared in Science, Nature, Climatic Change, Issues in Science and Technology, the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. 

Although early governance debates on climate engineering (CE) have presumed an extended period of research, consultation, and norm-building before any consideration of operational deployment, it is increasingly clear that such rational and orderly issue development cannot be confidently assumed. On a decadal scale there are significant risks, likely increased by recent political events, of CE-related challenges to international order. Such CE challenges might involve surprising coalitions of actors, and may include not just announced deployments, but also demands or claims of right to conduct them, or charges that other actors have done them. Ted will explore the nature of the risks such CE challenges would pose, how these are likely to interact with characteristics of the proposed intervention technologies in shaping the interests of major states, and potential interactions with other components of climate policy.

Contact:  Joshua Horton


Askwith Forums: What is a Good Citizen and How Do You Create One?
WHEN  Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge
TYPE OF EVENT Forum, Question & Answer Session
CONTACT NAME  Roger Falcon
CONTACT PHONE  617-384-9968
ADMISSION FEE This event is free and open to the public.
DETAILS   Speakers:  Callie Crossley, radio and TV host, WGBH; media commentator
Michelle Fine, distinguished professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University
Moderator: Meira Levinson, professor of education, HGSE
The election – whatever its outcome –  highlights deep divisions in American society. As we think about civic education we must take stock of these challenges: especially around  diversity, divided parties,  digital democracy, and the pressures for more global perspectives. The panel members will bring expertise from research, practice, communication and policy to the discussion.


Hack My Nonprofit: Public Lab
Thursday, December 8
Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler Street, Somerville

Jeff Warren SM '10 is the cofounder of Public Lab. This month, the MIT Alumni Association invites you to hack his nonprofit, whose aim is to democratize science to address environmental issues that affect people. Spend a few seconds, minutes, or hours helping an alum build and scale this fledgling nonprofit.

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Alumni Association
For more information, contact:  Alumni Learn


EnergyBar: SunRISE Final Showcase
Thursday, December 8
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)
Greentown Labs, 28 Dane Street, Somerville
Suggested contribution - $10

Join us to celebrate the completion of the Greentown Launch SunRISE program at our DSM-sponsored EnergyBar on December 8th! This event will be attended by entrepreneurs, funders, corporates and allies from across the solar industry in the Northeast and beyond. 
Event Agenda:
5:00-5:30pm -- Sign-in/Registration
5:30-6:30pm -- Welcoming Remarks from Greentown Labs and WISE/BASIC/Net Impact Boston 
5:35-6:30pm -- Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy (WISE), Building a Sustainable Investment Community (BASIC), and Net Impact Boston Clean Energy Panel 
6:30-6:40pm -- Remarks from Greentown Labs and DSM 
Emily Reichert - CEO, Greentown Labs
Pieter Wolters - Managing Director, DSM Venturing
Katie MacDonald - Director of Strategic Partnerships, Greentown Labs
6:40-7:10pm Company Pitches & Awards 
HEE Solar (Dallas, TX) – Greentown Launch acceleration and DSM Partnership/Investment eligibility. HEE Solar is developing perovskite photovoltaic technology, made stable to achieve long lifetimes.
QD Solar (Toronto, Canada) – Greentown Launch acceleration and DSM Partnership/Investment eligibility. QD Solar is developing next generation photovoltaic cells using colloidal quantum dot cell technology.
Tessolar (Cambridge, MA) – Fraunhofer Validation Study, Greentown Launch acceleration, and DSM Partnership/Investment eligibility. Tessolar’s novel module design that targets reduction in module and balance of system costs.
WattGlass Inc. (Fayetville, AR) – Greentown Launch acceleration and DSM Partnership/Investment eligibility. WattGlass is commercializing the next generation of antireflective glass coatings that also have self-cleaning and anti-fogging properties.
7:10-8:30pm Celebration & Networking


The Environment Forum at the Mahindra Center presents Jedediah Purdy, "Post-Natural Nature Writing and the Politics of the Anthropocene"
WHEN  Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, 6 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Tsai Auditorium S010, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Environmental Sciences, Ethics, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Lecture, Science, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard
SPEAKER(S)  Jedediah Purdy, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
CONTACT INFO, 617-495-0738
DETAILS  The Environment Forum at the Mahindra Center is convened by Robin Kelsey (Dean of Arts and Humanities, Harvard University) and Ian Jared Miller (Professor of History, Harvard University).


City of Data
Thursday, December 8
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Northeastern, 215 Shillman Hall, 115 Forsyth Street, Boston

Andrew Therriault is Boston’s Chief of Data, and he's on a mission to put Boston on the cutting edge of data-driven governance. Come hear him discuss how Boston is using Big Data to measure, monitor and report on services, crime, complaints, traffic and more to better serve the city and you.


Sustainability Collaborative
Thursday, December 8
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Venture Cafe at Cambridge Innovation Center, 5th floor, 1 Broadway, Cambridge
Cost:  $8 - $16

Join us each month for the Coalesce Sustainability Collaborative. Come back for more info on this month’s guest as we get closer and email Sierra Flanigan at ( for more info.Next Level Business Forum,Venture Cafe at Cambridge Innovation Center


CPORT + MIT: Future of MIT's Northwest Campus in Cambridgeport
Thursday, December 8
MIT, Building NW86, Multipurpose Room, 70 Pacific Street, Cambridge

Please join us for a presentation of potential future scenarios for MIT's Northwest Campus located next to the historic Cambridgeport neighborhood. We will present our vision for NW Campus as a new gateway to MIT and Cport, with recommendations for additional graduate housing, new retail activity, arts and innovation spaces, improved public spaces, and much more. Whether you study/work at MIT, or live/work in Cport, we hope you'll join us on December 8th! 
This meeting is led by graduate students from MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning as a practicum supported by the MIT Office of Campus Planning. For more info, email us at and visit our website at 

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 
6:30pm - 8pm 
70 Pacific Street, Cambridge 
Sidney-Pacific Multipurpose Room 
Food will be served! 

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free 
Sponsor(s): Department of Urban Studies and Planning, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT Campus Planning Office
For more information, contact:  Fernando Montejo


Eat Local, Shop Local:  A Startup Stir Holiday Popup
Thursday, December 8
6:30 PM to 8:30
Workbar Cambridge, 45 Prospect Street, Cambridge
Cost:  $10-$20

Startup Stir is decking the halls with our annual Eat Local, Shop Local Holiday Popup.  We're celebrating local movers and makers by supporting their efforts with merry making and libations.

We're featuring a selection of the best locally made and sold goods from the Greater Boston area.  You'll hobnob with local startup founders, browse their wares, sample local beverages and have a chance to win a selection of great door prizes.


Music and Math | Dennis Miller and Hubert Ho
Thursday, December 8
MIT, Building E-15, Bartos Theater, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge

What is the nature of knowledge? Where does music lead the mind? Dennis Miller and Hubert Ho think about these big questions through the particular lens of music. Music relates to many other fields – to visual art, moving images, to mathematics. In a formal sense they both embrace music composition as a problem solving challenge – aiming to create a unified whole which communicates to the audience. On the one hand a composition defines its own authority. But broader concepts, spanning disciplines, such as form, pattern-recognition, symmetry, and recursion can be identified through music. 

Both Miller and Ho address the relationship between mathematics and music, looking at their art form through the lens of another discipline. Incorporating mathematical insights, however, does not preclude the necessity, possibility, or desirability of a spiritual or emotional connection to music. Does mathematics have a role in what they experience internally as composers, and in listeners’ experiences of resulting musical compositions?

Dennis Miller received his Doctorate in Music Composition from Columbia University and is currently is on the faculty on the Music faculty of Northeastern University. His mixed media artworks, which combine his own imagery and music, have been screened around the world, most recently at the 2016 Punta y Raya Festival in Karlsruhe, Germany; the 2016 Madatac Festival, Madrid; and the 2016 London Experimental Film Festival. They were also an Official Selection of the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival 2016, Fall edition.

Hubert Ho’s music has been performed in Carnegie Hall under the Pro Musicis Foundation series and at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. A former Fulbright Student Scholar and United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts, he is a recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music has also been performed in many festivals including: Music and Sound Art (Karlsruhe, Germany), the “Other Voices” Festival (Prague, CZ), the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference, Aspen School of Music Advanced Master Class Program, Ernest Bloch Festival, Arcosanti New Music Workshop, and New Music North. His music has been performed by Prague Modern, the New York New Music Ensemble, EarUnit, Konvergence, and pianist Barbara Lieurance. He also presents work in music theory, psychoacoustics, and music pedagogy at international and national conferences. Dr. Ho received his degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard College. He is currently on the Music faculty of Northeastern University, where he is currently a Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research Faculty Scholar. 

This program is organized in conjunction with the Suffolk University Gallery current exhibit, Mathematics and Art: Searching For Pattern, co-curated by Deborah Davidson and George Fifield.


Renewables for All in Boston Kickoff 
Thursday, December 8
7 pm
First Baptist Church, 633 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain (next to the post office)

People want green energy, and there is a simple way for everyone to get it. Massachusetts law allows a city council to decide that all the electric customers in the city will get some of their power from clean, fossil fuel-free sources. That means everyone in Boston can get renewable electricity, even if they can’t put a solar panel on their roof or switch to wind power. And it means we’ll cut Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions – fast.  (If a resident or business wants to opt out, they can.)

By passing a city ordinance, Boston can get every electric customer using more renewable energy at no added cost. This will
quickly lower the city’s greenhouse gas footprint, and
bring renewable power to communities that can’t afford rooftop solar panels, heat pumps, etc.

So it’s a climate mitigation project and a climate justice project. 
We just have to convince the City Council to vote “yes” for climate justice and clean energy.

If you want to get involved right away and help build this event, email us today.


Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape
Thursday, December 8
7–8:30 p.m
Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Bldg, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain

The Arnold Arboretum welcomes Jill Jonnes, PhD, Historian and Journalist, who will speak on the history of the trees in American cities over the course of the past two centuries.

Trees, nature's largest and longest-lived creations, play an extraordinarily important role in our cityscapes. These living landmarks define space, cool the air, and connect us to nature and our past. Today, four out of five Americans live in or near cities, surrounded by millions of trees that make up urban forests. But most of us take them for granted and know little of their natural history or civic virtues. Jill Jonnes will speak about the history of the trees in American cities over the course of the past two centuries, delving into the presidents, plant explorers, visionaries, citizen activists, scientists, and nurserymen—whose arboreal passions have shaped and ornamented the nation's cities.

Fee: Free member and student, $10 nonmember. Register at or call 617-384-5277


How Boston is Preparing for Climate Change:  Celebrate the release of Climate Ready Boston!
Thursday, December 8 
District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue,  Boston

Climate Ready Boston is an initiative led by the City of Boston in partnership with the Green Ribbon Commission and Massachusetts Office of Costal Zone Management to develop resilient solutions which will prepare our city for climate change.

This panel discussion and open house hosted by the City of Boston's Greenovate team will discuss the challenges Boston will face as a result of climate change, including sea level rise, coastal storms, temperature changes, and more intense rain and snow. Learn how the City is preparing for these impacts and how we can all take action.
7:00pm – Check-In & Light Refreshments
Cash bar available
7:20pm – Panel Discussion
Opening Remarks and Context Presentation - Commissioner Carl Spector
Panel Discussion moderated by Julie Wormser
7:50pm – Open House & Networking
Opportunity to talk to City of Boston officials and community partners about their involvement in the Climate Ready Boston initiative
9:00pm – Event Concludes


Sustainable Business Network Winter Gala!
Thursday, December 8
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville
Cost:  $30 - $1000

SBN is excited to host our annual fundraising event at the Center for Arts at the Armory. The Armory has become the perfect backdrop for a celebration of all things local! The Gala will also feature the 2nd Annual Massachusetts Sustainable Business of the Year Presentations where four businesses will be recognized for their work toward a local, green & fair economy!

What can you expect?
Delicious, locally sourced buffet from Basil Tree Catering
Dessert from Dancing Deer & chocolate from Equal Exchange
Live, local music
Live & silent auctions featuring new items & experiences!
A plethora of local drinks
Catching up with friends, old & new
General local merriment! 

Friday, December 9 

TRUST (the presence of secrets) is a metaLAB installation that will debut on Friday, December 9
Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston

The interactive installation contends with digital correspondence, surprise, and the distributed nature of personal data. The work evokes questions around trust, identity, public/private space, and the ways in which data is mediated by machines and platforms. The installation is also progressive; its content and functionality will change over time, and through visitor interaction.


Personalizing Education at Scale: Learning from International System Strategies
WHEN  Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, 10 – 11 a.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Larsen 203, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Education, Research study
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
SPEAKER(S)  Professor Paul Reville & Author Amelia Peterson
DETAILS  Please join the Education Redesign Lab for the release of its first report, Personalizing Education at Scale: Learning from International System Strategies, on Dec. 9, 10–11 a.m., in Larsen 203. The report features a series of case studies that explore personalized education efforts across the globe, including Every Child Matters in England, Schools for Tomorrow in Brazil, and Getting it Right for Children in Scotland. The report will be presented by its author, Amelia Peterson, with opening remarks by Professor Paul Reville, Director of the Education Redesign Lab, and Lynne Sacks, Associate Director for Research at the Education Redesign Lab. Light refreshments will be served.


Armed Politics: Violence, Order, and the State in Southern Asia
Friday, December 9
MIT, Building E40-496, 1 Amherst Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Paul Staniland
Paul Staniland is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he codirects the Program on International Security Policy. He is a cofounder of the Program on Political Violence. His research focuses on political violence, international security, and state formation, primarily in South and Southeast Asia. His book, Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse, was published by Cornell University Press in 2014. He is currently writing a book about armed politics and the state in southern Asia.

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Center for International Studies
For more information, contact:


D-Lab Fall Student Showcase & Open House
Friday, December 9
MIT, Building N51-310, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

D-Lab challenges talented students to use their math, science, engineering, social science, and business skills to tackle a broad range of global poverty issues. Come see the projects our students are working on! 

Final presentations and working prototypes from current D-Lab students from the following 6 fall courses: D-Lab: Development, D-Lab: Gender, D-Lab: Mobility, D-Lab: Supply Chains, D-Lab: Waste, Design for Scale. 

Attendees will be able to view all the working prototypes on display throughout the D-Lab space! All welcome. 


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


Earth in Human Hands:  Shaping Our Planet's Future
Friday, December 9
7:00 PM
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author and astrobiologist DAVID GRINSPOON—author of Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life—for a discussion of his latest book, Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future.
About Earth in Human Hands

For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made—up until this point, inadvertently—to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth's story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence.

Without minimizing the challenges of the next century, Grinspoon suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. Our species has surmounted the threat of extinction before, thanks to our innate ingenuity and ability to adapt, and there's every reason to believe we can do so again.

Our challenge now is to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change, and to grow into this task. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth's biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst thing or the best thing to ever happen to our planet? Today we stand at a pivotal juncture, and the answer will depend on the choices we make.


Boston Area Solar Energy Association Forum: "The Age of Consequences"
Friday, December 9  
First Church, 3 Church Street/1446 Mass Avenue, Harvard Square, Cambridge
Note that this film will be shown at the same building, but not the room we usually use, the event, instead, is in the main church.

with Mass Peace Action and more...

We have changed the December Forum (cancelled Thursday, rescheduled to Friday) to join with Mass Peace Action in their showing and discussion of the new film, "The Age of Consequences".

This puts us in good company as we grapple with climate change. From their announcement:

Directed by Jared P. Scott, this film investigates the impacts of climate
change, resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US
national security and global stability.
After the film there will be a discussion on Skype with producer Sophie

Note that this film will be shown at the same building, but not the room we usually use: the event, instead, is in the main church (3 Church St/1446 Mass Ave).
Suggested donation: $10

Presented by Massachusetts Peace Action, Greater Boston Physicians for Social
Responsibility, and First Parish Environmental Justice Task Force
Cosponsors: United for Justice with Peace, Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, 350 Mass., Green Newton, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and Boston Area Solar Energy Association.

Saturday, December 10

Submarines vs Subways: Reviving Federal Investment in Public Transportation
Saturday, December 10
MIT, Building 32-141, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Join us for a substantive panel discussion on federal spending, national priorities and mass transit. We will warmly welcome Governor Mike Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and long-time advocate of public transportation and Fred Salvucci, former Secretary of Transportation, Massachusetts and long-time faculty member in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Additional panelists to be announced.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Radius/T&C
For more information, contact:  Patricia-Maria Weinmann


Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Statewide Action on Gas Leaks
Saturday, December 10

Let us know if you'd like to be part of the organizing - it's going to be big,
attention-getting, media-savvy, and fun!  Contact Kristine Jelstrup to offer your
organizing/creative skills at
We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers who can spare an hour now and then to help at meetings and events.   Specifically, this month, we can use help with:
meeting with local officials about gas leaks updates
meeting with Eversource executives to hear about their plans for gas repairs
organizing the November 14th open community meeting
tabling at the December 9th benefit at the glassblowing studio
working with a team to create a big and bold action on December 10th
If you can pitch in, please let us know!   (use specific contacts given above or contact co-coordinators Leslie Bliss ( or Zeyneb Magavi ( 

Sunday, December 11

Boston Peace + Climate Meetup (People's Party of America)
Sunday, December 11
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Panera Bread, 115 Stuart Street, Boston

We will be meeting at Panera bread by downtown crossing.
A chance for new members to meet each other discuss climate awareness, our party platforms, and make new connections. Hope to see you there. 


Dryland Farming Magic: Add Microbes, Not Water! - Potluck and Discussion
Sunday, December 11
6:00 PM
Helen Snively's House, 1Fayette Park, Cambridge

Long-term permaculturist Charlotte Anthony is visiting from her farm in Eastern Oregon.  She recently spent two years in India learning a traditional method of dryland farming, which rapidly increases soil carbon without fertilizer or irrigation - yet produces high yields!  This method is so effective that it will even work in the desert.  It works by innoculating microbes into the soil.  The soil then holds as much as 250,000 gallons of water per acre which is why irrigation is not necessary.

Charlotte is currently conducting experiments on her farm, where there are 8-14 inches of rain a year (by comparison, Massachusetts gets around 45 inches of rain a year).  These methods work better than industrial agriculture, regenerating the soil and sequestering massive amounts of carbon.  It is a hope for the future.    

Learn more about Charlotte on her Facebook page at

Biodiversity for a LIvable Climate is a small non-profit so a $10 donation is requested, but no one will be turned away based on ability to pay.  

Monday, December 12

Once and future forests: a four-dimensional perspective on plant community response to global change
Monday, December 12
12:10 pm
Arnold Arboretum, Weld Hill, 1300 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain

Jacquelyn Gill, Assistant Professor, University of Maine


Soft Power in a Tough World:  Symposium as Part of the Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy in Honor of Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
WHEN  Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, 2 – 3:45 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, CGIS South Building, Tsai Auditorium (S010), 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
SPEAKER(S)  Speakers:
J. Bryan Hehir, Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life, Harvard Kennedy School.
Yuen Foong Khong, Li Ka Shing Professor of Political Science, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
David A. Welch, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Chair of Global Security, Balsillie School of International Affairs; Professor of Political Science, University of Waterloo; Senior Fellow, CIGI.
Chair:  Beth A. Simmons, Andrea Mitchell University Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Pennsylvania; Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (2006–2013).
DETAILS Symposium: “Soft Power in a Tough World”
The Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy was established at the Center for International Affairs in 1993 by members of the Manshel family and by many of their friends. It stands as a memorial to the Manshels’ longstanding commitment to public affairs and their desire to advance greater understanding of the international relations of the United States. The lecture series honors Warren Manshel’s role as a founder of both The Public Interest and Foreign Policy, his service as ambassador to Denmark, and his deep involvement over many years in the work of the Center. It also serves to recognize Anita Manshel as Warren’s full partner and enthusiastic supporter in these endeavors, which he so often acknowledged.


International Institutions in an Era of Populism, Nationalism, and Diffusion of Power:  The Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy in Honor of Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
WHEN  Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, 4:15 – 5:45 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Tsai Auditorium (S010), Cambridge
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
SPEAKER(S)  Speaker:
Robert Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard Kennedy School; Director, Center for International Affairs (1989–1993).
DETAILS  “International Institutions in an Era of Populism, Nationalism, and Diffusion of Power”
The Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy was established at the Center for International Affairs in 1993 by members of the Manshel family and by many of their friends. It stands as a memorial to the Manshels’ longstanding commitment to public affairs and their desire to advance greater understanding of the international relations of the United States. The lecture series honors Warren Manshel’s role as a founder of both The Public Interest and Foreign Policy, his service as ambassador to Denmark, and his deep involvement over many years in the work of the Center. It also serves to recognize Anita Manshel as Warren’s full partner and enthusiastic supporter in these endeavors, which he so often acknowledged.


Alternative Data - The Raw Currency of FinTech
Monday, December 12
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WeWork, 745 Atlantic Avenue, 8th Floor, Boston

Join us for a panel discussion on the identification and use of Alternative Data! Certain to be insightful, we'll hear from a set of startups leading the way in developing and using non-traditional data sets.   Our panelists will include:
Evan Schnidman is CEO of Prattle, which “provides sentiment data that predicts the market impact of central bank and corporate communications through an interactive web portal, email alerts, and an API.”
Chris Mannion is CTO + Co-Founder of Hive Maritime which is “a predictive analytics platform for maritime intelligence.”
David Potere is CEO + Co-Founder of Tellus Labs, which “turns satellite imagery and other Earth data into the basis for better decisions.” 

These company heads and their teams are pioneering advances in machine learning to build models that provide unique and valuable insights to institutional investors. This is a meet-up you won't want to miss!


Science by the Pint: Linking Music, Reading, & Cognitive Function in the Brain
Monday, December 12
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The Burren, 247 Elm Street, Somerville

guest scientist: Nadine Gaab
The Gaab Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital investigates typical and atypical language and reading development from infancy to childhood. The lab utilizes neuroimaging tools to study brain structure and function throughout development, which aims to further inform our understanding of language-based learning disabilities such as developmental dyslexia. The Gaab Lab works on a series of basic and translational research questions to determine the most effective practices for early identification of children at risk for dyslexia. Current projects in the lab explore whether early signs of dyslexia may  be detected in the brain even before children begin learning to read (in infants and pre-schoolers), investigate which brain regions may serve as compensatory mechanisms that may support reading development, and also examine connections between musical training and language and reading abilities. The lab brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education, with clinicians in various fields such as pediatric neurology and speech-language pathology.  

Science by the Pint is a monthly science cafe free and open to the public, run by the Harvard non-profit outreach group Science In The News (SITN). Read more here: http://sitnboston/science-by-the-pint/

Tuesday, December 13

Capturing the Carbon Dividend: Health Benefits of Climate Mitigation 
Tuesday, December 13
9:00am to  1:00pm
Harvard, Wasserstein Hall, 2019 Milstein West AB, 1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Confirmed Speakers:
Aaron Bernstein
Marcia Castro
Francesca Dominici
Ashish Jha
Francine Laden
Roni Neff
Holly Samuelson
Rainer Sauerborn
Michelle Williams


Boston New Technology December 2016 Startup Showcase #BNT72
Tuesday, December 13
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Foley Hoag, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston

Foley Hoag is in the Seaport West building (entrance on B Street). Please bring identification and check in at our desk in the lobby. Then, take an elevator to the 13th floor. Enter the glass doors and walk down the hall to your right.
Free event! Come learn about 7 innovative and exciting technology products and network with the Boston/Cambridge startup community! Prithvi and Erica from Foley Hoag LLP will spend a couple minutes discussing incorporation for startups - Why Delaware? Why a C-Corp? 

Each presenter gets 5 minutes for product demonstration and 5 minutes for Q&A.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, December 14

Is the United States Trying to Aim Its National Missile Defense at China?
WHEN  Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Fainsod Room, Littauer Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge
SPEAKER(S)  Dr. Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
DETAILS  This talk will focus on the technical aspects of the THAAD missile defense system that are relevant to the domestic and foreign policy debates in South Korea and the United States over the deployment of this missile defense. It will be shown that the THAAD missile defense will be very susceptible to simple countermeasures that are well within the technical capacity of North Korea to implement. This extreme vulnerability to countermeasures is due to the THAAD design, which was conceived from the beginning for a high-altitude intercept capability that uses infrared homing. The countermeasures that will be described would not only be effective against THAAD, but they could be implemented by North Korea with essentially no loss in the existing anti-military and damage inflicting capacities of its current rocket forces. The talk will also explain why a THAAD radar in South Korea has caused concern in China.


ArtScience Talks @ Le Lab: Bonnie Wong, MD and Yoshi Karahashi
Wednesday, December 14
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST
Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall Street, Cambridge

Healing Through Rhythm and Flamenco
Talk Curator > Arts & Humanities @ Harvard Medical School
Doors/Talk > 6:00pm/6:30pm


Mass Innovation Nights 93:  Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza 
Wednesday, December 14
1 City Hall Square, Boston

The holidays are upon us and we've got you covered!  The Vinopolis tent (yes that means wine and yes it is indoors and heated) within "Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza"  is the location of MIN #93. MIN #93 is an all consumer products and holiday event. Join us for local innovation and local shopping on Wednesday, December 14th at 6pm. We hope to see you!

Check out the new PRODUCTS and
VOTE for your favorites - click on the words VOTE HERE (found on to the immediate left) and once on the product voting page, click LOVE IT (only four times)!     

Thursday, December 15

Catalyzing Efficiency: Lenders and Investors 
Thursday, December 15
2 PM ET 

Presenters: IMT and Community Preservation Corporation 
Increasing the energy efficiency of America’s multifamily buildings could save building owners and operators, residents, governments, energy efficiency service providers, and financiers billions of dollars annually. Recognizing this, a new report from the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), “Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings,” presents actions that federal and local governments and energy efficiency implementers can now take to help these stakeholders better analyze and use building performance data to create significant savings. 

This webinar is one of a series of four examining the findings and recommendations of IMT's "Catalyzing Efficiency" report. 


State of Solar in Massachusetts
Thursday, December 15
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
Prince Lobel Tye LLP, 1 International Place, Suite 3700, Boston
Cost:  $0 – $20

With a rapidly growing solar industry, state policy hasn’t been able to keep pace with the market. As the distribution end of the electric grid gets more complex, we’re seeing a lot of interesting solutions emerge for addressing that complexity. What does the future electric grid look like? Where do utilities and solar companies fit into that vision? Ultimately, a successful approach to solar policy requires collaboration. 
Join Climate Action Business Association and Solstice Initiative along with a panel of experts who will discuss the political climate, accomplishments, and challenges, for solar energy in Massachusetts. Following the panel, will be an open forum and networking event, where food and beverages will be provided. 

Senator Benjamin Downing: Vice President of New Market Development, Nexamp
Paul Gromer: CEO/Founder, Peregrine Energy
Mark Hoff: Head of Outreach, Solstice Initiative
Bruce Gellerman: Reporter, WBUR

6:00-6:30pm: Networking
6:30-7:15pm: Panel Discussion
7:15-8:00pm: Open Forum


Music + Tech Meetup: Project Fair
Thursday, December 15
6:30 PM
Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, Steve Heck Room, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston


The Connected City: The Future of IoT in Boston
Thursday, December 15
6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
WeWork - Fort Point, 51 Melcher Street, Boston

The Big Idea: What does it mean to be a "smart city" and what are the good, bad, and ugly factors we need to consider? 

Overview // The Internet of Things (IoT) has made its way to the home (from Amazon Echo to smart refrigerators) and on to the body (Fitbit to Apple Watch), but what happens when it makes its way to public spaces? What happens when cities become alive with data? More so, what will Boston look like in 2050?

Imagine (Future Scenario)
I received a text alert on my iPhone 12, the pop up screen depicting a health emergency with an elderly woman a quarter mile away. Her Google Home had notified authorities. Of course, I accepted; I signed up to be a Citizen Responder for a reason -- and the tax breaks don't hurt either. The City Connect 4.0 app selected me as the closest Responder who also is certified to perform CPR, all part of my public good credentials. Taking off on a sprint, traffic stopped at each city block to allow me to quickly cross streets without breaking stride (the autonomous car grid knew I was coming, and ya know, I can't even remember the last time there was a traffic accident. For that matter, do kids these days even know what "traffic" is?). There in three minutes flat, the front door opened upon my biometric scan, and I jumped right to action. Emergency vehicles were already on their way. Mrs. Francis was saved by our coordinated actions.

How does the city actually collect data?
What are applications for this information? (i.e., Smart traffic lights, air quality tracking, accident detection, etc.)
Are the sensors vulnerable to cyber attacks?
Can this save the city money? (i.e., Smart power grid)
Who owns the data?
How does ubiquitous sensors affect privacy? 
What is the jurisdiction of future cities? 
How is the city thinking about environmental factors (i.e., sea water levels expected to rise 1-2 feet by 2050) 

Nigel Jacobs: Co-Founder at the Boston's Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) 
Ruthbea Yesner Clarke: Research Director, Smart City Strategies at IDC Government Insights
More TBD! 

7-8PM: Panel Discussion + Q&A
8-8:30PM: Design Fiction Activity

The Third Tower: Solving the Collapse of World Trade Center 7 
Friday, December 16
12:00 PM to 1:45 PM, and
6:00 PM to 7:45 PM
Boston Society of Architects/AIA, 290 Congress Street, #200, Boston

The event consists of two parts. Architects who qualify can receive 1 Health, Safety, and Welfare Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for participating in Part 1, which is an AIA-approved course.
Part 1
50-minute presentation by Richard Gage, AIA, followed by a 10-minute Q&A (1 LU/HSW).
Part 2
30-minute presentation by Dr. Leroy Hulsey, PE, SE, on the WTC 7 computer modeling study he is conducting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, followed by a 15-minute Q&A.
Never before has a steel-framed high-rise building collapsed from fire. Why, then, did World Trade Center Building 7 collapse on 9/11? The collapse was attributed to normal office fires. Yet it occurred in the manner of a typical controlled demolition.
In Part 1, we will evaluate which of the two hypotheses — fire-induced failure or controlled demolition — is more consistent with the evidence. Participants will be encouraged to decide for themselves if a new investigation is warranted. In Part 2, we will discuss the results of Dr. Hulsey’s computer modeling study. Dr. Hulsey will present his preliminary findings as to whether fires could have caused the collapse of WTC 7.
Continuing Education Learning Objectives
Participants will be able to describe the characteristics of building fires and the aspects of high-rise design that contribute to make fire-induced failure in steel-framed high-rise buildings a rare occurrence.
Participants will be able to recognize the distinct features associated with fire-induced failure and the distinct features associated with the procedure of controlled demolition.
Participants will be able to describe step-by-step the series of structural failures that the National Institute of Standards and Technology found to be the most likely cause of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.
Participants will be able to analyze the physical evidence and dynamics of Building 7’s collapse according to how consistent they are with the competing hypotheses of fire-induced failure and controlled demolition.
Seating for each session is limited to 80. Reserve your seat now!

Saturday, December 17 

Rally for Chelsea Manning
Saturday, December 17 
1 PM
MBTA Park Street Station in Boston, Massachusetts

We will stand out to support the brave, WikiLeaks whistle blower Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for having leaked many documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010. She has been incarcerated for over 6 years now, longer than any other document leaker in Amercian history.  

We are asking for a presidential pardon so that she can be released. Sign the petition at /commute-chelsea-mannings-sentence-time-served-1 

Please join us Saturday, Dec 17 at 1pm to show our support for Chelsea.

Tuesday, December 20

Student Clean Energy Seminar
Friday, December 2
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
BU, Questrom School of Business, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Hariri Building, Boston

A free event for Massachusetts students to hear from clean energy industry experts and learn about paid internships.
Morning sessions:
Attend panel discussions and learn about career paths.
Solar PV
The solar industry is booming in Massachusetts. Learn how to plug into a new career.
Water innovation
Learn about the cleantech future of water innovation and gain entry points into a career in this sector.
Energy storage
Discuss the importance of this emerging technology and the opportunities in this sector.
Afternoon Internship Fair:
Connect with 20 Massachusetts clean energy employers to get a paid spring or summer 2017 internship!

8:30 am  Registration              
9:00 am  Welcome and Opening Session 
9:30 am  Panel Session 1 (students choose one)
10:30 am  Break  
10:45 am  Panel Session 2 (sessions repeated, students choose one) 
11:45 pm  Break
12:00 pm  Lunch
1:30 pm   Internship Fair


How Parents Talk About (& Don’t Talk About) Class Privilege
Tuesday, December 20
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
Le Laboratorie Cambridge, 650 East Kendall Street, Cambridge

Luba Falk Feigenberg, EdD, Research Director, Making Caring Common
Luba Falk Feigenberg, EdD, is a developmental psychologist whose work focuses on children’s social, emotional, and ethical development. Currently, she serves as the Research Director at Making Caring Common, a project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education focused on helping parents and educators raise caring, ethical kids. Dr. Feigenberg has experience in a range of non-profit and educational settings, including schools, early childhood education, after school programs, the juvenile justice system, and community mental health. In this talk, Dr. Feigenberg will discuss findings from a study on how parents talk with their children about income inequality, differences in family income, and class privilege. She'll pay particular attention to the places where parents feel challenged in these conversations.


Discounted Solar for Somerville

As part of the State’s Solarize Mass program, local volunteers and the City of Somerville recently launched the Solarize Somerville campaign to make it easier and cheaper for residents and small businesses to install solar panels.

The program, which is offering information and guidance, free site consultations, and solar panel discounts through November, has set an ambitious goal to inspire at least 200 property owners to sign up for solar —and each of those private solar installations will also benefit the community directly. For every 400 kW in signed private contracts through the program, the program’s solar vendor SolarFlair will donate a system of up to 5 kW for a public or community purpose. All are invited to the program kickoff at a Meet the Installer event on Tuesday, July 26 at 6-7:30 p.m., 167 Holland St. Additional events on topics such as solar basics, financing, and solar for multifamily homes will be announced.

Unique to the program is its neighbor-to-neighbor approach: trained resident volunteers and a designated volunteer Solar Coach are available essentially as mentors. They can, for example, walk anyone through the process, provide general loan program and tax incentive information, and share their own solar experiences. The campaign’s webpage and blog offers useful information, tips, and a link to websites where you can estimate the solar potential of your home and roughly calculate how much solar could save you on your energy bills at

Somerville is one of the most urban communities ever to participate in Solarize Mass, which makes the neighbor-to-neighbor approach especially helpful due to some of the unique challenges here such as multi-family houses with more than one owner. Winter Hill resident Mary Mangan, the program’s volunteer Solar Coach, went through that process and is ready to share helpful tips.

"I'm excited to work with our eager volunteers to help our neighbors understand the benefits of solar power. As a co-owner of a two-family home with solar, I can also offer some insights about how that process went for us," said Mangan.

Also key to the program is the selection of a designated vendor, which allows the program to offer reduced cost installation through bulk purchasing. Through a competitive process, SolarFlair, based in Ashland, MA, was selected. They were also the selected installer for the communities of Arlington, Hopkinton, Mendon, Brookline, Carlisle-Chelmsford, Newton, and Quincy.

"We're excited to be the selected installer for Solarize Somerville, and look forward to speaking with any home or business owners that are interested in reducing their electric bills while also making a great investment," said Matt Arner, the owner and President of SolarFlair.

Quick facts:
Solar systems can be purchased outright (with a payback of about 4-5 years). The Mass Solar Loan program offers rates of 3.25% or less. 
Or, for no money down owners can choose a power purchase agreement (PPA), where the system is owned and maintained by a third party, and residents buy back the electricity at a discounted price.   
More on-site renewable energy is critical to reducing carbon emissions.  It also saves money for residents.

Tax incentives for solar installations include:
Federal Tax Credit: A 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is available for qualified residential and commercial projects
Massachusetts Personal Income Tax Credit: The lesser of 15% of the total cost of the solar electric system or $1,000, for qualified clean energy projects
Five-year Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS): Business owners can depreciate solar electric systems over a five-year schedule

For more information or to sign up for a free site consultation:

Visit the Solarize Somerville webpage at for
Helpful information and FAQs
To contact a volunteer or Solar Coach Mary Mangan to discuss solar options and incentives
To set up an appointment for a free site consultation directly with SolarFlair
To find out about events
To volunteer for Solarize Somerville


Where is the best yogurt on the planet made? Somerville, of course!
Join the Somerville Yogurt Making Cooperative and get a weekly quart of the most thick, creamy, rich and tart yogurt in the world. Membership in the coop costs $2.50 per quart. Members share the responsibility for making yogurt in our kitchen located just outside of Davis Sq. in FirstChurch.  No previous yogurt making experience is necessary.

For more information checkout.


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

Solar map of Cambridge, MA


Hey Cambridge residents!

Did you know the City of Cambridge is trying to win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize? It was created to develop a cleaner and more efficient energy future. Energy efficiency and conservation are the best ways to save energy and minimize environmental impact. In that effort, Cambridge is hoping all residents will get a no-cost energy assessment in order to make their homes more efficient and comfortable. Let us know you're interested here:

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

Again, let us know you're interested here: and someone will be in contact with you shortly to give you personally tailored contact information on how you can get your no-cost home energy assessment. Renters are also eligible!

Any action to save energy in the home will help Cambridge win this competition while protecting the environment. For additional ideas on how to save energy, please see the Cambridge Energy Alliance website at

Please share with your Cambridge friends and family and ask them to get a free energy assessment!

Want to be more involved? Become a neighborhood Block Captain! Block Captains help their community members sign up for and complete no-cost home energy assessments through the MassSave program. Our team will give you the tools and guidance needed to recruit neighbors to get an assessment and improve the efficiency of their homes. Participation is welcome at whatever level you are able to commit to.
If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain, please fill out the form at and someone from the Cambridge Energy Alliance will be in contact with you shortly. If you know someone who might be interested, please let them know about this opportunity!

Questions? Contact

Cambridge Energy Alliance


Sunny Cambridge has just launched! Sunny Cambridge is the city-wide initiative that makes it easy for all types of residents to get solar power for their homes. Cambridge has lined up local solar installers through the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, which helps you request, receive, and compare solar quotes 100% online with support available every step of the way.

The City of Cambridge is working on many levels to reduce energy use and GHG emissions to make the city more sustainable. As a semifinalist in the nationwide competition for the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize, Cambridge Energy Alliance is encouraging residents to take actions to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Get involved by signing up for a no-cost home energy assessment at the Cambridge Energy Alliance home page (
and going solar at 


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


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


The Boston Network for International Development (BNID) maintains a website ( that serves as a clearing-house for information on organizations, events, and jobs related to international development in the Boston area. BNID has played an important auxiliary role in fostering international development activities in the Boston area, as witnessed by the expanding content of the site and a significant growth in the number of users.
The website contains:
A calendar of Boston area events and volunteer opportunities related to International Development -
A jobs board that includes both internships and full time positions related to International Development that is updated daily -
A directory and descriptions of more than 250 Boston-area organizations -
Also, please sign up for our weekly newsletter (we promise only one email per week) to get the most up-to-date information on new job and internship opportunities
The website is completely free for students and our goal is to help connect students who are interested in international development with many of the worthwhile organizations in the area.
Please feel free to email our organization at if you have any questions!


BASEN / Boston Solidarity Network Economy:'s Guide to Boston:


Links to events at over 50 colleges and universities at Hubevents:

Thanks to
Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the Boston Area:
MIT Events:
Sustainability at Harvard:
Microsoft NERD Center:
Startup and Entrepreneurial Events:
Cambridge Civic Journal:
Cambridge Happenings:
Cambridge Community Calendar:

If you have an event you would like to see here, the submission deadline is 12 PM on Sundays, as Energy (and Other) Events is sent out Sunday afternoons.

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