Project Journal

First Green Idea City Leadership Forum a Huge Success
by Robert Fortunato on September 16th, 2010 No Comments

We were proud to be a part of Hermosa Beach’s first Green Idea City Leadership Forum that brought together 70 environmental leaders in HB to support our city in being the first carbon Neutral City in LA County – if not all of Southern California.  See agenda below:




Friday, September 10th


The objective of The Hermosa Beach Green Idea City Leadership Forum is to draw together leading thinkers who will contribute ideas and/or resources to the development of Hermosa Beach’s carbon neutral plan –  and the future of sustainability for all small and medium cities throughout the southland.

The Hermosa Beach Green Idea City Leadership Forum is a unique opportunity to enter into dialogue and deepen relationships with partners and potential partners all united around a common, real and tangible project – making Hermosa Beach the first carbon neutral city in Los Angeles County.

Specific results of our time together will come in the form of creative partnerships, specific micro and macro level project teams and a top-notch working group that puts forth what is necessary to increase the viability of Hermosa Beach’s Carbon Neutral initiative.

8:00am Registration/ Networking
8:30am Welcoming comments by Stephen Burrell, City Manager, Hermosa Beach.
8:35am Given his vast experience creating some of the greenest campuses in the country, visionary leader Larry Eisenberg, Executive Director, Facilities Planning and Development for the LACCD will put the efforts of Hermosa Beach in context.
8:45am Overview of Hermosa Beach’s Carbon Neutral Initiative by the Mayor of Hermosa Beach, Michael DiVirgilio

  • Purpose, Agenda and Timing of the Meeting
  • Relevance of HB’s history to the Carbon Neutral Initiative
  • Why HB is well positioned and motivated to lead this charge
  • What we need and what we hope to provide moving forward
9:00am Ruben Rojas, Senior Associate, AECOM will describe why he is committing his own personal time and company resources to this project.  He will also talk about how the community that is brought together for this event will not only help Hermosa Beach but help each other through the partnerships that are developed in the course of the work.
9:10am Claire Bonham Carter, Principal, Director of Sustainable Development for AECOM, will raise your consciousness by giving you a global perspective and a feet-on-the-street view of the latest in sustainability (municipal and otherwise).  Ms. Bonham Carter will also put into perspective the Hermosa Beach carbon neutral initiative in relation to other cities, like London and Seattle that are taking on similar projects.
9:40am Robert Fortunato, Green Idea City Committee Member and incoming Leadership Hermosa class participant, will overview the format and the opportunities for engagement during the rest of the Forum. This will also be the time open up the dialogue.  Attendees of the Forum will have the opportunity to address:

  • What is interesting in your business/ agency right now?
  • Where are you challenged?
  • What are the opportunities for you as a result of Hermosa Beach doing this?
10:15am Break
10:30am Establishing Areas of Focus

Next we will validate where attendees want to create a dialogue with cohorts that explores the various options that brings HB to carbon neutrality and a better place to live, work and play. Materials and data on the city will be made available to attendees to enhance the dialogue.

Potential thought starters for topics (Adaptive and Technical):


  • Stakeholder identification
  • Leadership structures and organization/ Teambuilding
  • Community Engagement (aka Branding and Change management)
  • Vehicles for adoption (municipal, schools, businesses, residents)


  • Economic: Financial considerations and funding sources
  • Building (construction/code/standards) – i.e., new or significant remodels
  • Energy management – existing users
  • Transportation
  • Water / Waste
11:00am Break out groups will form that will have each team address:

  • What is possible in your topic area / what could be done in a perfect scenario?
  • What has been done?  What have you seen or heard about that could be implemented here?
  • What could you (individually or collectively) commit to doing that would be a next logical action step?
  • What resources are needed to get “it” done?
  • How will we attain those resources?

Break for Lunch and continue working in teams to prepare flip chart presentations.

12:20pm Teams will report back to Claire Bonham Carter, Vaughan Davies, Ruben Rojas and Mayor Michael DiVirgilio on their dialogue.

They will present their findings based on discussions from the break out sessions and identify an next steps they are committed to.

Audience member will also be giving their critique.

1:30pm Next Steps Committed To :The Mayor of Hermosa Beach, Michael DiVirgilio, will review the presentations and anchor what is needed to assist the city in being the first carbon neutral city in Los Angeles County.  Michael will review commitments and next steps from those presentations that will light the path going forward from here.
2pm Adjourn

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