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Sustainability Accelerator Workshop - A discussion with Amory Lovins about “Quintupling global energy efficiency by 2060"

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Using energy more productively has delivered half of the past two decades’ global decarbonization. IPCC says efficient use could also deliver 40–70% of future decarbonization. (In the Pacific Northwest, efficiency met 60% of 1980–2015 growth in service demand and projected 70% to 2035. IEA has just doubled global efficiency’s forecast pace, as many countries pledge.) These gains are possible through observed strong technological progress plus the severalfold improvements achieved by “integrative design”—a proven method to optimize buildings, vehicles, equipment, and industrial processes as whole systems for multiple benefits. By transforming how technologies are chosen, combined, timed, and sequenced, integrative design yields decreasing cost and often increasing returns that echo the dynamism of energy transition agendas focused overwhelmingly on cleaner supply.

Capturing this vast new opportunity space and changing integrative design from rare to common looks achievable through ~20 known scaling vectors, some rooted in new design pedagogy for academia and business. These scaling vector complement established ways to scale supply-side solutions, but are less mature and need systematic testing and spreading.  Capturing the rich synergies between supply- and demand-side elements could rebalance the whole portfolio of transition investments, accelerating decarbonization with lower risk and even higher profits.

By including integrative design, global energy efficiency could roughly quintuple in the next several decades, then more. But this cornucopia is the manual model; we must avidly pursue the scaling vectors to turn the crank. This could create abundance by design not just in energy but in all resources.

Event Agenda

11:00 - Please pick up lunch and find a seat
11:10 - Welcome: Arun Majumdar, Dean of the School of Sustainability
11:15 - Honoring the leading light of Amory Lovins - Jane Woodward, Joel Swisher, Peter Rumsey, Holmes Hummel, Mike Lin
11:25 - Quintupling Global Energy Efficiency by 2060: Amory Lovins
11:55 - Envisioning Stanford as a Leader in Demand-Side Decarbonization, Mike Lin, Jane Woodward, Joel Swisher, Peter Rumsey, Holmes Hummel
12:25 - Open discussion with attendees on both near-term traction and larger vision
1:00 - Event concludes

Lunch will be provided for attendees registered for in-person event.

About the keynote speaker

Physicist Amory Lovins is Cofounder (1982) and Chairman Emeritus, and was Chief Scientist (2007–19), of Rocky Mountain Institute (, with which he continues to collaborate. He has designed numerous superefficient buildings, vehicles, and industrial plants, and synthesized an "integrative design" method and practice that can make the energy efficiency resource severalfold larger, yet cheaper, often with increasing returns. Since 1973 he has also advised major firms and governments in >70 countries on advanced energy efficiency and strategy, emphasizing efficiency, renewables integration, and the links between energy, resources, environment, security, development, and economy. He is a Scholar of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Lovins has received the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, 12 honorary doctorates, the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood, National Design, and World Technology Awards, many other energy and environment recognitions, and Germany’s highest civilian honor (the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit). A Harvard and Oxford dropout, former Oxford don, honorary US architect, Swedish engineering academician, and 2011–18 member of the US National Petroleum Council, he has taught at ten universities (most recently the US Naval Postgraduate School and Stanford (spring 2007 MAP/Ming Visiting Professor, then half-time 2020–  Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in his teaching terms)—teaching only subjects he hasn’t formally studied, so as to cultivate beginner’s mind. In 2009, Time named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers. His most recent books, mostly coauthored, include Natural Capitalism (1999), Small Is Profitable (2002), Winning the Oil Endgame (2004), The Essential Amory Lovins (2011), and Reinventing Fire (2011).

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