On June 1, Yi Zheng, Faculty Fellow at the Center for Emerging Markets (CEM) and Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University, organized an enriching forum focused on “Sustainable Energy in Cities and Communities” to celebrate World Environment Day with the Boston Urban Forum. The forum, hosted at Boston City Hall, brought together experts to discuss fostering community cohesion and sustainable development in urban environments.

Professor Zheng, co founder of the Boston Urban Forum and founder of Planck Energies, moderated the forum and emphasized the critical role of innovative technology in achieving efficient energy use and reducing carbon emissions. His leadership in clean energy materials and carbon-neutral technologies set the tone for the day's insightful discussions.

Among the panelists was Ravi Ramamurti, Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy at Northeastern University and the Founding Director of CEM. Professor Ramamurti highlighted Boston's potential to lead in sustainable development, emphasizing proactive measures in sustainability and the global impact of China's low-cost solar panels. He also underscored the vital role of educational institutions in promoting sustainable practices and encouraging broader participation in sustainability initiatives.

Other notable speakers of the day included Elence Chen, Lecturer in architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, who discussed passive design strategies and the integration of advanced machine learning technologies for intelligent, sustainable building systems. Meg Howard, Program Director at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), shared innovative strategies for building decarbonization and the state's collaboration with clean technology companies. Andrew Caratenuto, CEO of Planck Energies, presented on the company's new zero-VOC cool roof coating technology, which significantly reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The forum concluded with reflections on the potential for future collaboration and innovation in sustainable energy. Professor Zheng remarked, “Today's discussion showcased the tremendous potential we have in sustainable energy. Only through collaboration and innovation can we collectively tackle environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development goals.”

Professor Ramamurti and Zheng's contributions underscore the Center for Emerging Markets' commitment to advancing sustainable development and fostering interdisciplinary academic and industry collaboration. This event highlighted the importance of innovative technologies and sustainable practices, reinforcing CEM's role in driving positive change and promoting environmental stewardship in urban communities.

You can view a recap of the event below: 【BARTV NEWS】Boston Urban Forum: Exploring Sustainable Energy in Cities and Communities (youtube.com)