Challenge Crew @ Connecting For Change Conference

Barney Frank NB Energy Now
Barney Frank speaking at the                                        NB Energy Now Press Conference

When is the last time you had a “I wish I’d done this earlier” moment? The Connecting for Change conference was one of those moments.  Although I’ve been meaning to get to the Conference for years, I never quite got around to filling out a scholarship form on their website, in order to attend. The Marion Institute, who hosts the conference, give them out to any student or community activist who would like to attend.

The Energy Challenge crew had two tables at the Connecting for Change conference in downtown New Bedford, and in the ‘Energy Corner’ and demonstrating hydrogen fuel cell cars in the family programming tent. Now that I am a SEEAL employee, not only did i get to attend all three days for free but got to experience some of the very best keynote presentations, ever.  I remember every year helping out at the New Bedford Waterfront Festival, and getting these handouts about the conference and thinking, “that seems cool.”  But with school and the rest, that just didn’t happen. I can only imagine what I’ve missed these last couple years. After all, without a scholarship, attending all three days would cost about $250. But thankfully they offer excellent scholarships for broke students!

Kids playing with our Hydrogen Powered Cars

I’m not even going to try to describe the presentations, that would just be an injustice. Although I will say Graham Hill’s presentation was eye opening, Amy Goodman’s was empowering, and Sobonfu Some was inspiring. And that’s just to say the very least. You can view them in full on the Marion Institute’s website. I’ve never been in the Zeiterion Theatre before, which is a marvel and a historical jem of New Bedford!

This year also featured a Friday press conference for’NB Energy Now!’ the new, comprehensive energy initiative that the City is kicking off, in the areas of efficiency, solar, and, of course, the Energy Challenge!

I met some incredible people during those three great days. I could see their drive to do good. I saw some who were looking for answers and some that had found theirs. I’m eagerly awaiting next year’s conference, though this time i’ll bring some students along for the ride.

Around this time next year, I welcome you to not do the same thing week in, week out. Mark it on your next calendar. “Connecting for Change – New Bedford – apply for scholarship!”

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