My Experience at the Power Shift ’09 Climate Conference

Power Shift 2009

I was just looking at some photos from Power Shift 2009 and recalling the incredible energy that was in D.C. last weekend.

12,000 young people went to Washington to organize around and demand legislative action on the climate issue — which Iain Keith from called a “crisi-tunity” in his workshop on email campaigning.

“Crisi-tunity,” a supposedly-Chinese word coined by Homer Simpson, refers to both crisis and opportunity. That is what we face today. We could talk all day about doomsday scenarios, but there is just as much reason to be excited about the visions we have for a sustainable future.

Power Shift Workshops

Power Shift video blogging workshop

I participated in many New Media workshops, because my interest lies primarily in using the web to promote sustainability, and I wanted to hone my skills. I attended the following workshops:

  • Online to Offline Organizing
  • Uniting the Network Online: Blogging & Online Networking for Campaign Success
  • Broadcast Yourself: From Video to Blogs, Telling Your Story & Listening to Others’ Online
  • Your Email Crisi-tunity: Building Your List, Organizing Fundraising & Connecting With Your Base

Largest Climate Lobby Day in History

Power Shift rally in Washington, D.C.

There were also a couple of breakout sessions, where we talked about issues specific to Florida; and a lobbying training workshop, where we prepared to lobby congress for clean energy. I joined my fellow Floridians to speak with an aide of Cliff Stearns, the House Representative in our district. The meeting was a powerful reminder of the principles this country was founded on. Mr. Stearns, we are your constituents. You work for us.

A rally was going on throughout the day on the Capitol lawn (which was covered in snow), and people everywhere wore green hard hats in support of green jobs. As we dispersed, the city was filled with us in our green hats, so the message of Power Shift was spread far and wide.

To me, a power shift entails not just a transition to cleaner sources of energy to power our country, but a shift in our governing process back to the way the founders intended. It is up to us to take the reigns from the special interests that currently power our country, and demand a future that serves we the people over them. So let’s get to work!

“A power shift does not merely transfer power, it transforms it.” – Alvin Toffler

“… government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Update (Feb. 2, 2011): Power Shift 2011 registration kicks off today. Register now!