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2017 Energy Innovation Summit

going to zero

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) convenes the boldest thinkers, innovators, and leaders from business, government, and civil society for our invitation-only conversation on the state of the global energy transition. Novel insights inform both our efforts at RMI and the ongoing work of our participants.

You can help lead the clean, prosperous, secure low-carbon future that
can only be achieved when we work collaboratively.


A zero-carbon grid, zero-emissions vehicles, net zero-energy buildings, and zero waste: audacious goals for our clean energy future, yet our climate demands it and future generations deserve it. That’s why RMI hosted a unique gathering for VIPs to contribute to a robust conversation about the global energy transition at our state-of-the-art Innovation Center in Basalt, Colo. on August 3, 2017.

The event featured an exclusive, insider perspective on the most exciting energy topics of our time such as how advances in energy, mobility, and information technologies can accelerate the energy transition; politics and policy influences on energy; and energy transformation and global competitiveness including energy access for all.

Participants engaged in deep and generative discussions, and brainstormed new market-based opportunities to develop and scale global solutions for Going to Zero. Learn More


By drawing knowledge and inspiration from peers, Summit participants and RMI will feed insights generated at the event back into their work to find innovative solutions, deploy capital where it’s needed, and drive lasting change.

Photo by Adam Brooks

Photo by David Fenton

Summit Co-Hosts

Amory Lovins
Chairman Emeritus
Chief Scientist
RMI Trustee

Tom Friedman
Author and Journalist: The New York Times

Summit Co-Chairs

Thomas Dinwoodie
Founder and CTO: SunPower Corporation Systems
RMI Lead Independent Trustee

Jules Kortenhorst
Chief Executive Officer
RMI Trustee

Marty Pickett
Managing Director
RMI Trustee

Edward D. White
Founding Partner: Moye White LLP
Managing Partner: Fahr LLC
RMI Board Chair


David Allen
Principal and Executive Vice President: McKinstry
RMI Trustee

Tomakin Archambault
Managing Director and CEO: GSSG Solar

Miranda Ballentine
Managing Director

Peter Boyer
RMI Trustee

Brian Davis
Vice President Integrated Energy Solutions: Shell International

Brian Deese
Former Senior Advisor to U.S. President Obama

Thomas Dinwoodie
Founder and CTO: SunPower Corporation Systems
RMI Lead Independent Trustee

Gil Durán
Senior Advisor for Communications: NextGen America

David Fenton
Chairman and Founder: Fenton

Mark Ferron
Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator
RMI Trustee

José Maria Figueres
RMI Trustee

Arjun Gupta
Chief Believer: TeleSoft Partners
RMI Trustee

Hannelore Grantham
Co-Chair: Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment

Jeremy Grantham
Cofounder and Chief Investment Strategist: Grantham Mayo and van Otterloo

Michael Haas
Cofounder: RDF Developments Ltd
Founder and CEO: Orion
Founder: Alliance for Climate Education
RMI Trustee

Hal Harvey
CEO of Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC
Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment: The Paulson Institute

Arthur Haubenstock
General Counsel and Vice President: Government & Regulatory General Counsel and Vice President Government & Regulatory: 8minuteenergy

Martin Hermann
CEO and Founder: 8minuteenergy

Ming-Hsiao Huang
President: Delta Products Corporation

Kristina M. Johnson
Chancellor: State University of New York
Former Under Secretary of Energy: U.S. Department of Energy

Bill Joy
Co-Founder: Sun Microsystems
Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers
Partner Emeritus: Green Tech

Tricia Keller
Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives: Virgin Unite

Danny Kennedy
Managing Director: California Clean Energy Fund

Zia Khan
Vice President for Initiatives and Strategy: Rockefeller Foundation

Will Layden
Chief of Staff: Cube Hydro Partners

Gavin McCormick
Executive Director: WattTime
Guest Author

Jim Malatras
President: Rockefeller Institute of Government

Dennis McGinn
Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy; Board member and Senior Advisor: Customer First Renewables
Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy: Retired

Shigeki Miwa
General Manager and CEO Project Office: SoftBank Group Corp.

Reuben Munger
Founder and Managing Partner: Vision Ridge Partners LLC
RMI Trustee

Dave Munk
Board Chair: Cooperative Leadership Network
Vice Chair: Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors

Diarmuid O’Connell
Vice President of Business Development: Tesla Motors

Marvin E. Odum
President: Shell Oil Company (Retired)

Jean Oelwang
President and Trustee: Virgin Unite
RMI Trustee
Senior Partner: B Team

Charlotte Pera
President and CEO: ClimateWorks Foundation

George Polk
Managing Partner: Tulum Trust
RMI Trustee

John Podesta
Columnist: The Washington Post

Andrew Potts
Vice President: Shimizu Corporation and Bali Turtle Island Development

Eric Rasmussen
CEO: Infinitum Humanitarian Systems

Gary Rieschel
Founding Managing Partner: Qiming Venture Partners

Governor Bill Ritter Jr.
Forty-First Governor of Colorado

Elizabeth Sall
Founder and President: UrbanLabs LLC
RMI Trustee

Lisa Searl Vetter
Life and Leadership Coach

Ryan Smith
Managing Director: Zoma Capital

Kristen Stasio
Adjunct Lecturer of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Stanford University
Manager of Investor Relations and Communications: MAP Royalty

Todd Stern
Former U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change
RMI Trustee

Tom Steyer
Founder and President: NextGen Climate

Dave Stewart
Executive Vice President General Counsel and Strategic Advisor for Philanthropy: Vulcan Executive Vice President General Council and Strategic Advisor for Philanthropy: Vulcan

Hervé Touati
General Manager: Shell Connected Energy

Maria Van Der Hoeven
Former Executive Director: International Energy Agency
RMI Trustee

Jack Wadsworth
Advisory Director: Morgan Stanley
Honorary Chairman: Morgan Stanley Asia

Edward D. White
Founding Partner: Moye White LLP
Managing Partner: Fahr LLC
RMI Board Chair

Timothy E. Wirth
Vice Chairman: United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund

Wren W. Wirth
Founder and President: Winslow Foundation

Jane Woodward
Adjust Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Stanford University
Founder and CEO: MAP Royalty Inc.

Cathy Zoi
Cofounder and President: ODYSSEY

RMI Staff Participants

Amory Lovins
Chairman Emeritus
Chief Scientist
RMI Trustee

Jules Kortenhorst
Chief Executive Officer
RMI Trustee

Paul Bodnar
Managing Director

Iain Campbell
Managing Director

Jon Creyts
Managing Director

Stephen Doig
Managing Director

Lena Hansen
Managing Director

James Newcomb
Managing Director

Marty Pickett
Managing Director
RMI Trustee

Curtis Probst
Former Managing Director


Download a full event agenda here

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Opening session: Introduction and welcome
with Jules Kortenhorst and Sir Richard Branson (live video)
Setting the context—state of energy transition and its future with Tom Friedman, Amory Lovins, and Hal Harvey; Going to Zero

5-minute inspiration by RMI’s James Newcomb, Pathways to stay below 2 degrees

11:00 am – 11:45 am
Session I: Integrating Watts, Miles & Bytes: the next industrial revolution
The pace of change in energy, mobility and IT is unrelenting. Costs are coming down, functionality is increasing, integration is accelerating. How will these advances in energy, mobility and information technology collide to accelerate the energy transformation? What can we do to accelerate this process? With Bill Joy, James Newcomb, Diarmud O’Connell, and Cathy Zoi, moderated by Tom Friedman

5-minute inspiration by RMI’s Paul Bodnar

11:45 am – 12:30 pm:
Session II: How capital gets redeployed from old to new infrastructure
How to mobilize capital for new energy infrastructure; what is needed for a massive reallocation of capital away from fossil fuels and to the new energy world. What happens to the funding and market capitalization of fossil fuel companies? With Brian Davis, Reuben Munger, Charlotte Pera, and Gary Rieschel

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Please notify us if you have any dietary restrictions.

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Overview of RMI’s 5-year strategy

1:45 pm – 2:40 pm
Session III: Policy and Politics—new global leadership for climate change
What does the new political reality in the US mean for our long-term energy future? How are global leaders reacting to inspire or halt the clean energy transition? What can be done in the US in the absence of political will and leadership? What is the current mindset and attitude of other world leaders? With John Podesta, Governor Bill Ritter, Tom Steyer, and Maria van der Hoeven, moderated by Tom Friedman

15-minute break

5-minute inspiration by RMI’s Jon Creyts

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Session IV: The Energy Transformation and global competitiveness
What does getting it right look like: jobs, economic growth, global competitiveness and energy access for all? Can the US compete if it is not part of this transformation? What are the economic implications of the transition for developing countries / emerging markets? With Kristina Johnson, Zia Khan, Shigeki (Sean) Miwa, Jean Oelwang, and Tim Wirth

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Wrap up: what does this all mean for us / for RMI?
Group conversation: What are the implications for all of us? How do we use the takeaways? What are next steps for RMI? A group conversation with Jules Kortenhorst, Amory Lovins, and Tom Friedman

You’re also invited to join us to celebrate RMI’s 35th anniversary, August 3rd commencing at 5:00 p.m. Learn More


There will be a videographer and photographer on site, as well as RMI support staff to capture the event for potential future outreach and communications opportunities to inform the broader industry about any relevant or potential post-event outcomes or initiatives—while also maintaining a “safe space” for event participants to speak freely, dissent respectfully, and
collaborate effectively. Attendees can review our Energy Innovation Summit Communications Commitment to understand our commitment to a modified Chatham House Rule. Please contact Kelly Vaughn from our communications team if you have any questions.

Video footage and photography from the event will be available and directly distributed to attendees shortly.