The Energy Transformation Collaborative (ETC) is applying the talent of the Stanford community to develop and deploy novel solutions to the world’s most vexing energy problems. Through specially-designed year-long curricula, students, faculty, practitioners, and policy-makers work together to design and launch innovative projects that can be scaled and replicated. Led by two consulting professors with decades of business and policy expertise, Dan Arvizu and Stuart Macmillan, the ETC projects are giving Stanford students hands-on experience interacting with stakeholders to scope, design, negotiate and pilot systems solutions.

The 2015-2016 project-based course is focused on developing and evaluating novel and pragmatic solutions that accelerate the transformation of our energy systems and the services they enable to a more sustainable future that better meets our needs in the 21st Century. Of particular interest are systems and service level challenges at the nexus of energy and water, energy and IT, energy and food as well as energy and off-grid services.  Student project teams will be formed to explore particular energy nexus challenges in depth and subsequently develop a well-defined problem statement that if solved would be truly impactful. Impact will be evaluated based on sustainability metrics at local, national and global scales.  Student teams will develop a thesis and solution pathway that enable transformations at speed and scale through their research, analyses and engagement with domain experts and stakeholders. Further work will then be conducted to develop a comprehensive project outline leading to a pilot, for validating the thesis value proposition.  Scoping, analysis and evaluation of proposed solutions can include any combination of technology, policy and business model innovation. At the end of the Winter Quarter a final group written report and presentation will be evaluated and potentially refined and launched as a continuing project in the Spring Quarter.  The 2015-2016 course is open to graduate students and enrollment is by application.  More information and instructions for applying can be found on the course flyer.

ETC is utilizing Stanford’s convening role, expertise and location in the heart of Silicon Valley to marry research and teaching excellence with the experience of seasoned corporate executives, government leaders and advocates. Outstanding participants will be recognized through an Innovation Awards program.

Pilot funding was provided by a philanthropic sponsor, the President’s Fund, the School of Earth Sciences and the Precourt Institute. Over time, funding will come from corporate affiliates, with complementary resourcing from participating start-ups companies, government agencies and NGOs. The benefits to corporate participants include: interaction with Stanford students as prospective employees, collaboration with distinguished faculty, membership in Stanford’s ETC, early access to pilot designs and data, and the potential rapid commercialization of pilot projects. A critical outcome of the ETC will be the creation of a generation of energy leaders with problem-solving ability and a continuous capacity for innovation.