Founder & Chairman, Smart Cities Council
Jesse Berst is the founder and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, a coalition of organizations that seeks to accelerate the move to smart cities with better livability, workability and sustainability.
Smart Grid Expert
Jesse came to the smart city sector from the smart grid where he was one of the pioneering thought leaders and the chief analyst of SmartGridNews.com, the Internet’s oldest, largest and highest-ranked smart grid site.
The Smart Cities Council and Smart Grid News are operated by Global Smart Energy (GSE), which also provides strategic consulting to corporations, startups and investment firms looking to target their smart grid activities. Current and past clients include Avista Utilities, BAE Systems, Edison Electric Institute, Global Environment Fund, the GridWise Alliance, Lockheed Martin, the Province of British Columbia, Prize Capital, Schneider Electric, Telcordia, the U.S. Department of Energy, and many others.
Jesse devotes a portion of his time to efforts to grow the industry. He was a co-founder of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, a nonprofit that unites utilities, vendors, and consumer advocates with the goal of accelerating a consumer-friendly smart grid. He serves on the Advisory Council for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which conducts some of the nation’s most advanced grid research. He also sits on the advisory boards of Voyager Capital, a leading West Coast venture capital firm, Calico Energy, which provides unified operations centers to utilities, GridGlo, which has a customer insights engine for utilities, and 1Energy, which produces cutting-edge energy storage systems.
He authored or coauthored ten books on personal computing and software, and one on high-tech business concepts, titled The Magnet Effect. His analysis and commentary were featured widely on national radio and television, including CNNfn, Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, CBS Radio News, Business Talk Radio and NorthWest CableNews. During this period, Jesse founded or co-founded three high-tech publishing companies, New Riders Publishing (acquired by Macmillan), Micropublishing (acquired by Cygnus Business Media), and CompuTh!nk (acquired by Ziff-Davis). He then became a Vice President and “intrapraneur” at Ziff-Davis, where he conceived and founded “AnchorDesk,” which became the company’s most popular and profitable Internet property, reigning for many years as the world’s largest email newsletter with nearly 3,000,000 daily subscribers.
Jesse was born in eastern Washington and graduated with highest honors from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in business administration.
Areas of Expertise: Technology, Information Technology, Consumer Trends, Innovation and Creativity
Reinventing Electricity (and Your Important Role)
This fast-paced session from smart grid thought leader Jesse Berst will supply the context for the breakout sessions. You'll learn why the next few years will be the most important in the history of electricity since Thomas Edison kicked things off in 1882. Jesse will explain the four major aspects of the transformation that is underway. Then he will set forth the forces that are converging to force even more change at an even faster pace. He will conclude with suggestions on the roles you could, and should, play at this historic moment.