September 2, 2020

Reinventing How We Network and Learn

We used to say the annual Aspen event was about both learning and networking because the agenda content drove people to register but the productivity of the informal conversations and connections were the glue that made everyone value the event even more.  It always seemed like every inch of the Aspen Meadows property was filled with small group discussions during our time there.  And the two-hour-long lunches were necessary not just to catch up on email from back at the office but to continue the conversations from the morning presentations.

How do we maintain this event culture in a virtual world?  Well, we've got a couple ideas for the Wednesday evening online reception  First, the Aspen Center for ACESEnvironmental Studies (ACES) has agreed to provide a live online session to meet their current rescued animals.  We started our relationship with ACES as a way to keep family members engaged during the reception while the spouses and/or significant others "talked shop."  A highlight (for some) was to watch the owl have its appetizer of a frozen mouse. Gulp.  But if that's not too your liking, mosey over to the virtual Poster Sessions where you can watch on-demand the brief (less-than-5-minute) recorded descriptions from the poster presenters and then pose your questions via email.  Also, several of our sponsors will host chat rooms where small groups may gather to explore specific topics.  And Tracy Mosher of the Aspen Meadows staff who has been there for EVERY ONE of our past Exchanges will be on-hand with a live update from the venue to tell us how they are weathering the pandemic storm.  She might even share some of chef's recipes for the amazing dishes there.  

How will you network at this year's virtual event?  Who do you want to meet?  You can see the over 110 people who have already registered at  Let us know if you see someone there who you would like to meet, virtually, and we will connect you.  Making connections is what we've done every year at the Exchange; this year is no different in that regard.  View how the agenda is evolving at and begin to consider which sessions you won't want to miss.  We are looking forward to connecting with you online in a few weeks.

Ed Thomas & Tiger Adolf,


Over 110 Registered So Far - Look Who's Connecting 

Every fall for the past 13 years, industry professionals from utilities, government agencies, and solution providers in Colorado and neighboring states have made the trek to Aspen.  This year we are only able to meet online but that doesn't seem to be impacting our registration numbers.  So far, over 110 hearty souls have registered to participate online (see the registrant list at  All registrants have online access to these activities: 

  • Tuesday Workshops.  Four presentations will offer a deep dive into key industry issues
  • Wednesday Roundtables. Facilitated, interactive roundtable discussion with registrants on what's getting them up in the morning... and keeping them up at night
  • General Sessions. Fast-paced presentations to the full group on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with Q&A follow-up
  • Wednesday Reception with Posters, Sponsors, and Animals. Virtual opportunities to connect with poster presenters, to visit sponsor chat rooms, and to meet rescue animals from the Aspen Environmental Center.  Refreshments are on-your-own but that's no reason to be alone.
  • Thursday Concurrent Sessions.  Small group breakouts on narrower topics with opportunity to switch between tracks

Recordings of all the live and pre-recorded poster presentations will be made available to all registrants via the website. 

View Full Agenda Here

Organizations in the News

Ed Thomas to be Panelist for HomeServe Webinar on September 16

Ed Thomas, Executive Director of will be a panelist for a free webinar titled "How are Utilities, Regulators and Customers Planning for a Changing Environment?" to be presented by HomeServe on September 16. Learn more and register HERE.


CREA Produces 2 Free Webinars on September 14 and 24 

The Colorado Rural Electric Association is producing 2 free webinars in September. "Path Toward Creating an RTO for Colorado" is the topic on September 14, and "How Co-ops Will Move Forward from the Pandemic" is  September 24.  Learn more and register HERE.


Federal Hydropower Supports California Energy Emergency

Western Area Power Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation joined forces between Aug. 14 and 19, 2020 to generate and transmit roughly 5,400 megawatt-hours in response to California’s energy emergency. Learn more HERE.


Access Utility Exchange Web Series from Your Favorite Podcast Channel

The response to our recent web series was incredible with an average of 60 registrants per episode.  If you haven't already, we urge you to "binge watch" the Electric VehiclePricingCustomer Experience, and Clean Energy Transition webinars that are now available for free online.  

These 4 episodes are also accessible as podcasts. Listeners who choose to subscribe via their preferred podcast platform will receive these and future web recordings delivered to their phone, tablet, or computer without having to register each time. Learn more HERE or ask your virtual assistant to play the Utility Exchange Web Series.

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