A high voltage event will be held in Pittsburgh next month with the goal of sparking a conversation on what an energy master plan for the region might look like.

“Energy for the Power of 32” is a first step toward developing a plan and strategy for the 32+ county region in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio. The day-long forum will take place on Dec. 11 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Western Pennsylvania, with its tremendous heritage in the development of the oil, coal and gas industry, is in a position to be the first in the nation to lead the way in energy planning. Several world-class leaders will be among the keynoters and many nonprofits, businesses and academic organizations will participate.

“New innovations, opportunities and increasing global pressure make this the right time for our region to determine our long term energy plans,” says Court Gould of Sustainable Pittsburgh, one of 20 institutions collaborating on the forum. “We need to create a platform that will provide a framework for prosperity and lead to more informed decisions and investments that drive innovation forward.”

Topics include innovating a new economy and new technologies, energy and health and grid stability.

The day will also feature intimate, salon-style interactive rounds and report-out sessions that will invite everyone present to suggest ideas for the best way to launch a regional planning process.

Registration begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is $65 with a student rate of $25. Registration is required.

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared in Fast Company, Ozy and Pittsburgh Magazine.