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Video Tour of the Community Summit Process

Promote the Idea

Build Internal Support

Build Interest Among
Community Partners

Co-create the Future

Promote Local Innovation

Inspire Action

Welcome to the IEEE Constructive Engagement Toolkit

IEEE PES views constructive engagement including workshops and summits as a much needed way to expand upon traditional community involvement and dialogue. This is strategic planning and joint design—where teams come out with rapid prototypes for action. Focus groups, surveys, community meetings, and stakeholder working groups are all important steps but we hear that local leaders want to be part of the action too. Many residents are ready to be partners in planning their sustainable energy future.

Provided here are articles, documents, case studies, videos, and information for everyone who wants to learn about constructive engagement.  IEEE PES encourages utilities and regultors to consider this transformative approach.


Information about best and next practices for community engagement  


Tools for those who wish to collaborate with IEEE on their summit program  




 A Game-Changing Opportunity

IEEE PES has recognized human-centered design has the power to change the dynamic of the public conversation and contribute in meaningful ways to the “cultural change” demanded by Smart Grid. 

  • This form of engagement presents an exceptional opportunity to show how smart energy practices and technologies can support a community's aspirations by linking sustainability with economic vitality;  
  • Community summits are a very targeted and cost-effective way to activate hundreds of smart energy champions who can speak effectively to and influence their peers and the media;  
  •  Summits provide a venue for regulators and consumer advocates to experience the groundswell of support that emerges from diverse groups (including low-income residents, seniors, and youth) when people are introduced to Smart Grid from the community's perspectives rather than from the utility point of view.

 Appreciative Inquiry Methodology

The process used by National Grid and the City of Worcester is the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology, and is featured throughout the toolkit.  An AI summit is a large group planning, designing, or implementation meeting that brings a whole system of internal and external strengths together in a concentrated way to work on a task of strategic importance. Moreover, it is a meeting where everyone is engaged as a designer, across all relevant and resource-rich boundaries, to share leadership and take ownership for making the future of a big-league opportunity successful. Developed by David L. Cooperrider, the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, this human-centered design methodology has been proven to be extremely effective at accelerating the kinds of cultural change required by the utility sector.