Workshop 2 - Output

Opening exercises and questions

       Open with Context Questions by John Boecker.

                Experience aligning around Purpose Review Workshop Purpose & discussion

Question 1: “Have you ever walked into a meeting where you just knew something or some energy was not good, or good?" (Generalagreement from the attendees)

“Then do we agree that these energies are real?”

“Good/bad makes no difference  the important thing is to ask what is my role in creating the energy?”

Question 2: If he had permission to work on things that may “shift your thinking”.  He had attendees close their eyes, both feet on the floor, and after a deep breath consider the question: “How can work on this projectserve to develop that which I am working on in myself?

In thinking about this, John had attendees pay attention to the part of youwatching yourself.  He then asked:

Question 3: How did you feel?  Any shift?

Responses that emerged from this question were:

  1. This was a good moment to refocus and shift intent from all the business of the day back into the project.
  2. Nice to be consciously aware of the energies.  The awareness allows you to know they are real so you can change the energy
  3. Like a “reset button” that helps you think further down the road to make more beneficial long-term decisions for the communinty.

Align around project Purpose (generated at Workshop #1)

  • Review Principles for delivering value-adding processes (VAPs) in balanceto each key stakeholder group

John led the group in a review of the previous workshop, reviewing the different frameworks he presented.  First, the Levels of Thought framework: 











Next, he reviewed the scoping of Purpose, Products, Process, Functioning Capabilitiesfor any project.

Followed by Framework ofthe Law of Three: 


Followed by the Framework of the Living Systems Pentad:

In examining the pentad, John asked everyone to consider:

  • What Value Adding Processes (VAPs)must be created to keep the systems alive
  • These VAPS must be delivered in balance.
  • We may all be part of multiple stakeholder groups
  • The Earth and Community processes are traditionally ignoredas stakeholders


On participant noted that the owner of a hugely successful Chinese company, Alibaba, had mentioned his emphasis on valuing Customers and Employees.

John then outlined how at the last workshop we had tried to develop VAPs so we could develop Principles that today we can develop Concepts and Outcomes at this workshop.  At this point he displayed the Project Purpose Statementthat the core group distilled from the four Purpose Statements developed at Workshop #


DRAFT Collective

Purpose Statement

Group #1 Group #2 Group #3 Group #4
To develop a community-created solar photovoltaic array in Happy Valley To develop a local community-created solar photovoltaic array as an instrument ... To create a community-based PV system in Happy Valley To work collaboratively to create a visible and public energy that develops local PV projects To transition to a relocalized sustainable economy and culture (energy)
In a way that evolves transparently, enhances living systems, and values the voices of the community (both individual and collective), In a way that can be expanded locally, creates a “tool box” for new challenges, brings stakeholders together, and pushes us to regenerative potential over compromise, and respects lives in the environment In a way thatis replicable and demonstrates value In a storied and imaginative way In a way thatpeople are empowered to individually and collectively create new projects
So that future local energy projects embed energy resilience as a cultural value that enhances the quality of life in our region and empowers imaginations in this community indefinitely So that energy resilienceis embedded as a cultural value of the region, empowering imaginations So that all stakeholders enthusiastically foster energy independence and reduce reliance on fossil fuels/nuclear to enrich and improve the unique quality of life in this particular community indefinitely To further develop towards a healthy and transformative energy future here and elsewhere So that the quality of life is improved


Revised Project Purpose Statement:

To develop a community-created solar photovoltaic arrayin Happy Valley,

In a way that evolves transparently, enhances living systems, and valuesthe voices of the community (both individual and collective),

So that future local energy projects embed energy resilience as a cultural value that enhances the quality of life in our regionand empowers imaginations in this community indefinitely.

John had Dr. Brownson read the Purpose Statement aloud; then he had everyone close their eyes while he read it aloud again asking the question: “What resonates in your thinking or feeling?”

Responses were as follows:

-Nothing resonated individually.  Rather it was the “gestalt of it”  it resonated as a whole system

This statement led John to bring up the Framework of Function, Being, Will:



Followedby theFramework of the Three Lines of Work:

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The Purpose Statement for Workshop #2, noting that only the Function statement had changed from WS#1:

Workshop 2

To develop and align around desired outcomes for a community-created PV array in Happy Valley,

In a way that deeply values the role of all stakeholders in a collaborative and transparent co-creative process,

So that all stakeholders enthusiastically participate in developing the potential for future local energy projects and enriching the unique quality of life in this particular community indefinitely.

Workshop 1


To initiate the development of community-created PV-generated energy sources in Happy Valley,

In  a  way  that deeply  values  the  role  of  all  stakeholders  in  a  collaborative  and transparent co-creative process

So that all stake holders enthusiastically participate in enriching and improving the unique quality of life in this particular community indefinitely.


Presentation and discussion aimed at developing a deeper understanding of core content

  • Energy systems
  1. Supply and demand scenario integrated with ecosystems
  2. How community-generated PV systems work within this scenario (including examples)
  • Viable third-party structure options
  1. What does “community-generated PV” mean?
  2. 3 examples of options for shared solar business models


At this point, Dr. Brownson gave a presentation on Energy Systems and Viable Third-Party Structure Options:Dr. Brownson then asked the following Questions:

  1. “How might solar farming be like community gardening?”

With the following responses:

  • Process that grows health in a community
  • Off-grid serving the locality
  • Possible to have individuals have own “plots” of solar garden?
  • Food is not only value product (relationships, time, etc.)
  • Food gets you in the dirt, thinking about the seasons  how to make solar energy farming this way?

2. “How might community solar cultivation provide more than just power, as gardens provide more than just food?”

Exercise #1:  Develop first iteration of targeted outcomes for the project

  • Break-out group work to identify targeted outcomes that serve the vitality of 5 key subsystems:
  1. Habitat
  2. Water
  3. Energy
  4.  Material resources
  5. Economy

John gave a presentation on integrative design, explaining the connection between multiple subsystems: water, energy, habitat, materials, and budget.

Break-Out Session #1

Attendees divided into five groups (each group assigned a different subsystem) to develop one or two demonstrable and measurable Targeted Outcomes that serve the vitality of each of the subsystems.


Water Outcomes Essentialized:
  1. Net improvement/healing of water cycle
  2. Improving learning and overall awareness of our local water-energy-food nexus
  3. Develop the VAPs that water can contribute to local systems
  • Rain cleans modules
  • Producing NG consumes water
  • PV materials→ consumes water (LCA)
  • Energy used to move water
  • Traditional generation consumes water

Educational Value

  • T.O.: elevated energy-water conservation (raising energy demand awareness)
  • T.O: net improvement to storm water cycling → higher use
  • T.O.: Seeking out VAP from water for PV integration (rain) (clouds)
  • T.O. Including and elevating water performance from PV system (metering reporting)

VAP of Water

  • Aesthetic and cultural
  • Grow food
  • Sustain life
  • Clean things
  • Entertainment
  • Energy storage/transfer
  • Ice
  • Industry process
  • Dilute toxins
  • Transporting goods
  • Transporting people, waterways


Outcomes Essentialized:

  1. Visual representation of PV as cultural value
  2. Ecological and cultural assets
  3. Enhancement of natural communities
  • A visual representation of changing cultural values
  • Provides ecological and cultural assets, including educational opportunities for inhabitants
  • Exemplifies an organic relationship between the built and natural environment, including enhancement of the natural community’s integrity

Material Resources

Outcomes Essentialized:

  • Use a total accounting (downstream & upstream) of:
    • Efficient use of materials
    • Health & Environmental impact
    • Localization
    • Culture & aesthetics

Targeted Outcomes

  • What: Total Accounting (not necessarily of equal weight)
    • Efficient use of materials
      • Cost
      • Energy of production (net positive)
      • Land area
      • Raw materials
      • Design (tracking systems, etc.)
    • Consideration of Health impacts
      • Human + environment
      • Understand baseline impacts of status quo
      • Establish safety systems
    • Localization of materials
      • Local fabrication/installation
      • Locally sourced materials
      • Reduce transportation costs
      • Community involvement
      • Feasibility
      • Promote local interacting culture, activity
    • Culture and Aesthetics
      • Inspiration
      • Moral values
  • How:
    • Collect information on each material used
    • Make decisions based on baseline (total accounting versus status quo)


Outcomes Essentialized

  1. Health Benefits
  2. Social/Economic Benefit
  3. (Energy-related) Community Consciousness (Beyond cheap and available)


Outcomes Essentialized

  1. Competitive Pricing
  2. Legal Entity Established
  3. Location Confirmed

Large group discussion of results from Exercise #1

Attendees were asked to reflect on “How your role in this project is changing/developing?”


  • Shifting from working frameworks to having frameworks work you  giving voice to frameworks
  • Increasing # of people developing skills, resources, and empowerment in moving these types of projects forward
    • Process itself is instrument for delivering VAPS
  • Shift from participating on faith and duty toward engaging will (as project becomes more concrete)
  • Don’t see engineers being responsible party.  Need to produce outcomes that allow us to measure impact on local cultural values
  • Language is emerging, becoming more careful, precise, intentional
  • Envisioning fun increasing, bringing friends, have to caution self with idyllic fantasy
  • Want to capture “story” (conversation, imagery) that can empower imaginations

Exercise #2:  Develop cross-pollinated targeted outcomes for the project

  • Break-out group work to identify second iteration of targeted (measurable) outcomes that emerge from integrative synergies between the 5 key subsystems

Break-out Session #2

Identify specific outcomes to deliver to each of the 5 stakeholders relative to each subsystem:

Water (grouped according to numbered outcomes from break-out #1)


  1.  Empowering imaginations & well being
  2. Sustainable attitude – pollination across space & generations


  1. Resilient potable, Accessible water
  2. Contributes to story of place – pride of “home”


  1. Closing the loop, Offers profit opportunity
  2. Develop empowering skills


  1.  Create interest – risk/reliability (e.g., PV production insulated from drought)
  2. Better understanding of systemic risk & revenue

Earth Processes

  1. Nutrient rich – better ecosystem services,  Toxin poor
  2. Strengthens human link to earth systems


  Visual Rep. of Cultural Values Ecol. & Cult. Assets Org. Rel.
Users Identifying w/ cultural values

Inspiring imagination
Gathering places

Integrating w/ ed. Ops.
Enables a local green energy choice
Community It is sunny here! Empowerment of the community Supporting objectives of municipalities

-    Obligation to natural comm.
Co-creators Alt. to football! Diverse collab. Group engaged in process

Sense of pride

Investors Linking econ. Health & env. Health

Local energy
Collateral investments Protecting natural env. → econ. implications
Earth Processes Distributed energy eff’s LCA offset by cultural value benefits Reduction of emissions




  • Lower true cost of energy

Earth Systems

  • Lower carbon output
  • Dual purposing of land


-Diminished impact from externalities

  • Generating reciprocal exchanges within and beyond the community


  • Return on investment


  • Using locally sourced inputs allows local business to develop expertise



  • Minimize carbon footprint
  • Minimize habitat disturbance
  • Regenerate extracted resources


  • Creating healthy use (for addicts)
    • We are Methadone
  • Energy security/stability


  • Awareness of where project materials came from
  • Localization + culture + aesthetics
  • Maximize values embedded in materials


  • Increase health of local community
  • Improve connection with community
  • Increase # of investment opportunities


  • Expanded vision of possibilities
  • Create jobs/expertise/capacity


  • Long- term Resilience of SE compared to volatility of fossil fuels
    • Cost to harvest
    • Supply/stability
    • Risk
      • Economic
      • Environmental
      • Job/employee safety
  • Greater individual and collective awareness
    • Quality
    • Relative energy impacts (environment)

Large group discussion of results from Exercise #2

Looking at all the 5 subsystems of targeted outcomes together, what are your impressions?

  • One system: can superimpose boards for each category
  • Weakness in how we communicate VAP to investors
    • So we need to set up appropriate investor structure

Exercise #3:  Break-out group work to explore issues associated with third-party options

  • Break-out group work to identify questions that need to be answered to adequately prepare for Concept development during Workshop #3

After break, the discussion looked at “What questions need to be answered to determine which third-party investment model should be used?”

First, the group discussed the Timeline:

  • The project needs to be under construction and connected by the end of 2016 – for tax reasons
  • Reinvention Fund ends at end of Dec. 2015 – can be extended


Flipchart Review of Questions/Topics that need answers

  • Unit cost implications for each model
  • Relative location constraints for each model
  • Who? Consider Public vs. Private entities re: model choice
  • What approach do we want to cultivate?
  • Options and capabilities of third-party entities
  • Skill development
  • What are the results/implications of PEDA grant?  (grant was not awarded to PSU)
  • Can we identify location options?
    • Greenfield?
    • Existing roofs?
    • Penn State land?
  • What are the options?:(Reciprocal mutually beneficial relationships)
    • Hosting entity
    • Financing entity
    • Operating entity
    • Ownership options
    • Driving entity
      • Passion
  • To develop a response to potential:
    • subscribers – carrying capacity
    • investment & threshold

Group discussion of results from Exercise #3

  • Identify roles and responsibilities for researching these questions to prepare for Workshop #3


Discuss next steps 

Develop arc of project schedule with key milestones and identify primary roles/responsibilities

Next Steps

  • Develop a process for identifying and communicating value to investors
  • Identify tasks to pursue after WS#3 aimed at interconnection by 12/31/2016

Preparation for WS#3

  • Process for disseminating results of 1st two workshops
    • Create a YouTube video narrating the story(?)
  • Need to invite experts --- word-of-mouth and direct invites best
  • Create a Stakeholder Analysis Task Force
    • New group to identify status/needs/prep time for WS#3
      • who, how, and what is constituting invites
      • stakeholder analysis
    • To establish date of 12/13 or January?
    • Core team (will start):
      • Sarah Klinetob-Lowe
      • Nari Soundarrajan
      • David Stone
      • Bill Sharp
      • Jeffrey Brownson
  • Develop Asset Map
    • Capabilities (e.g., PSU good buying power)
      • Power purchase agr
      • Construction
      • Solar power
      • Tax credits
      • Legal aspects
      • Third-party entities and what they can bring to the table
    • Identify potential level of commitment for each
    • Perhaps invite others in mid-Atlantic who have experience with shared solar to participate
    • Consider how to develop communication piece of this project


“What are your reflections of your role in the project?”

  • Core membership growing
  • Should do a short communication piece
  • Realizing capacity within community to grow
  • Group developed capacity to tell each other they are “full of shit”