The Forum launched in February 2009, gaining 300 members in the first month and 1,000 by October 2009. “Careful, guided growth has been our goal since the beginning,” said McDonnell Group CEO Don McDonnell. “We wanted to cultivate a close community where energy leaders could exchange ideas with a qualified group of peers to debate the forces shaping the modern electric grid.”
Stuxnet, Hurricane Irene, and consumer smart meter rights and fears have all been examined in member-led discussions. One notable June 2010 question was “Asking the unaskable: How many of us really believe in smart grid?” It launched 131 replies — thoughtful, 500-1100 word reflections typical of SGEF contributions — from CEOs, PhDs, senior editors and utility executives. A month ago, another hardball question asked, “What is the Achilles heel for distribution smart grid implementation (other than the dollars)?”
“The response has been tremendous,”
The Forum’s influence has been subtle, yet powerful from the start. Writers and editors from key industry trade journals have frequently cited its discussions, noting that they found evidence of trends on the minds of energy leaders based on discussions there. Despite the at-times-impassioned discussions, the group remains respectful of its bond. Comments made in the forum have not been quoted without permission; and members follow the “no solicitation”
Today, 71 percent of SGEF members are senior executives, CEOs, VPs, directors, or managers from around the world, according to LinkedIn demographics. “We saw a need for collaboration and discussion among those in the energy industry who may be working at locations on opposite sides of the country (or the globe) yet facing similar challenges and opportunities,”
The SGEF continues to grow as a closed/member, qualification-
About The McDonnell Group, Inc.
The McDonnell Group delivers a unique trilogy of energy and technology focused marketing services: Research, Strategy, and Public Relations. We provide expert insight and specialized knowledge — of the people, the trends, and the technologies unique to the utility and enterprise software markets. With our Focus on Practical Methods™, we work closely with your executive team to deliver strategy and advisory services, research-based marketing, and public relations to help you grow and guide your business in a way few can match. www.themcdonnellgroup.com.