Energy and resources issues facing California and the world will be the focus of a weeklong series of activities Oct. 8 to Oct. 11 organized by the student-run Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC).
Energy Week, titled "California at a Crossroads," will include the annual BERC Symposium, the largest student-run energy conference on the West Coast on Oct. 11 at the International House. The symposium, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., will feature two keynote speeches, a reception, and panels throughout the day.
The morning keynote will be given by Cheryl Martin, director of The Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E advances high potential high impact energy technologies that are too early for private sector investment. Prior to ARPA-E, Martin worked at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkin Caulfield and Byers and spent 20 years with Rohm and Haas Company, which was acquired by Dow Chemical in 2009.
The afternoon keynote will be delivered by hedge fund founder Tom Steyer. Steyer founded Farallon Capital in 1986 and grew the firm to over $20 billion in assets under management. He stepped down from his leadership role in 2012 to focus on political activism, most notably advocating for alternative energy. He has since founded the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University and supported a number of campaigns for environmental policy change.
"With the current challenging clean-tech finance environment, and with key energy policies coming up for review, it is an important time to reflect on California’s energy direction," says Energy Week Co-chair Matt Penfold, MBA 14. "Challenges in the energy field will only be solved if people with different views come together to discuss the hard topics. Each of our panels will discuss a problem in energy that needs to be solved."
Panel discussions will delve into such topics as the current state of clean-tech finance, California’s ideal electricity generation mix, and how to inspire people to change behavior.
In addition to the symposium, Energy Week will include a pitch event featuring eight clean-tech startups pitching their ideas to a panel of investors in an open forum. The pitch event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in the Citrix building.
The following evening, Oct. 10, the BERC Innovation Expo will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Field Club room in the new Memorial Stadium. The expo will bring together more than 50 scientists, researchers, and companies to showcase their latest breakthroughs.
"It's really the only place on the West Coast where so many new and emerging technologies will be on display at one time," Penfold says.
BERC is an interdisciplinary UC Berkeley student club, founded by Berkeley MBA students.
For more information and registration, visit berc.berkeley.edu/energy week 2013/.