Addressing Challenges around Visual Impacts, Noise, Credible Data, and Local Benefits through Creative Stakeholder Engagement

Course Description

Across the United States, government decision-makers need to work effectively with stake­holders to resolve wind energy policies and siting frameworks. Wind energy developers face a complex landscape of divergent regulations, interests, policies, and support when trying to site their wind projects. Meanwhile, communities often feel besieged by wind development proposals they don’t know how to evaluate and consider. Effective collaboration between all stakeholders requires a set of process skills, tools, and principles that address complex, tech­nical, and often emotionally-charged wind development issues.

The Consensus Building Institute (CBI), the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and Raab Associates, Ltd. offer Facilitating Wind Energy Siting to state and local government officials, community members, wind developers, and other stakeholders. This three-day workshop focuses on developing the capacity to collaborate effectively on wind development policy, facility siting, and related is­sues including visual impacts, noise, credible data, local benefits and more.

A mix of presentations, panel discussions and interactive exercises introduces important risk assessment, planning, and decision-making tools and concepts and actively encour­ages participants to consider how to best utilize them. Workshop participants will learn about and practice applying collaborative tools including:

  • Conflict/situation assessments and process design
  • Joint fact finding
  • Visual simulation, overlay techniques, and polling
  • Citizen engagement techniques and tools — e.g., keypad polling, charettes
  • Facilitation/mediation

Course Instructors

Lawrence Susskind - Ford Professor, Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT; Director, MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program; Founder, Consensus Building Institute
Dr. Jonathan Raab - President, Raab Associates, Ltd.; Energy Policy Lecturer, MIT
Patrick Field - Managing Director, Consensus Building Institute; Associate Director, MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

What others have said about this course

"Great mix of participant interactive activity and presentations. Nice mix of issues, strategies/nuances in stakeholder engagement. Participant mix/affiliation was spot on appropriate."

"Overall I absolutely loved the conference and felt it will be a huge asset to my daily life and hope the ideas presented will spread like wildfire."

"Participant exercises were well written and calibrated to elicit reasonable results for a group while pointing to just how difficult it could be in a real situation."

"The training was well balanced as it looked at both key issues that different stakeholders face in the wind development process as well as how to negotiate consensus around those issues."

Sample Agenda

Day 1, 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

  • Effective stakeholder engagement and negotiation
  • The engagement problem: stakeholder and community

Day 2, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Addressing challenges with:
  • Visual impacts
  • Noise
  • Credible facts
  • Sharing benefits locally

Day 3, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

  • Collaborative wind siting and policy making
  • Strategic clinic for participants’ cases