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Facilitation

After decades of writing and teaching, Ken Mirvis extended his scope of services to include meeting and process facilitation.  Quick on his feet, knowledgeable about a wide range of topics related to water, energy, the environment, and organizational development, and committedly neutral in all topics under discussion, the facilitator’s role has come easily.

Ken has facilitated strategic planning retreats, controversial topical meetings, and internal planning efforts.

Strategic Planning
Alliance for Water Efficiency
Since its inception in 2007, Ken has assisted the Chicago-based Alliance for Water Efficiency with all of its long-term strategic planning efforts.  These efforts include an initial short-term plan that led the organization through the challenges of infancy and two 5-year plans that drive its strategic direction.

Education Programs, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Serving a customer territory of 20 million people in water-starved, drought-prone Southern California, Metropolitan relies on aggressive public outreach.  Educating young people about water comprises a portion of that outreach.  Ken worked with staff and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive long-term plan for the organization’s educational efforts.

Watertown Education Foundation
Representing a highly diverse community, the Watertown Education Foundation strives to serve a large number of different stakeholders.  A two-session intensive planning process resulted in shared sense of mission, goals, priorities, and strategies.

Process Facilitation
Salinity Summit, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
As a result of its long journey across the western desert, the water from the Colorado River that supplies Southern California has a higher-than-optimal salt content.  To protect the public health and meet all drinking water standards, the water agencies of the region needed to address the problem.  Representatives of state and federal agencies, water utilities, and advocacy organizations came together to seek common solutions to the challenge.  The resulting report, adopted in 2000, has helped drive decision makers since.

Blueprint for Action: Addressing the Water-Energy Nexus
American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy and the
Alliance for Water Efficiency

Since the 1970s, the water and energy communities have largely operated independently of each other.  In recent years, that isolation has changed as a result of research showing intense amounts of embedded water in energy and embedded energy in water.  In 2010, Ken facilitated a meeting of water and energy policy, research, and program experts to develop a  “Blueprint for Action” that helped drive legislative, funding, and programmatic activities since.

Water Conservation and Utility Revenue Loss
Alliance for Water Efficiency

On a national basis, water utilities have been generally unsuccessful in the quest to balance the need for large-scale water conservation with revenue losses that result from declining sales.  In 2012, economists, regulators, academics, utilities, and policy experts came together for a two-day summit at the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.

Ken’s finest facilitation compliment to date came from that summit:  Even with a roomful of high-intellect, deeply opinionated experts in the room, the summit stayed on topic and actually ended a few minutes ahead of schedule. In reflecting on the time there, one of the participants commented, “It looked easy.”
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