Agenda for the Heartland Conference

The Heartland Habitat X Conference opens with a half-day Industry Summit, followed by a two-and-a-half day Core Conference.

Monday October 7

Industry Forum

7:45 -8:30. Registration. Beverages and light snacks.

8:30 – 9:00. Opening Session. Introductions and flash interviews of participants. Establish guidelines for the Forum.

Habitat X Heartland Conference

9:00 – 10:00. Panel Discussion: The New Future of the Housing Industry. We convene a panel discussion that includes leaders from the Clinton Climate Initiative, the City of Kansas City MO, the Metropolitan Energy Center, the Building Performance Institute, the Center for Environmental Health, and other entities. The focus of discussion will be to identify upcoming trends and opportunities in sustainable housing and renewable energy that are relevant and bankable for local organizations. Includes Q&A. Simulcast to those who are not in attendance.

10:00 – 10:20. Break. Snacks and beverages.

10:20 – 11:20. Panel Discussion: The Capabilities of the Local Efficiency Industry. This discussion will include leaders from Efficiency First, Diggs Construction, and other suppliers and sub-contractors from the home performance and renewable energy fields. We’ll have a lot of experienced people on this panel, as well as some new and innovative players in the housing industry. We’ll use this time to identify business models that are most responsive to green market demand at present while recognizing the realities of the construction industry. With Q&A. Simulcast.

11:20 – 12:00. Summary Session: Creating Home Performance 3.0. We meld the findings of the two panels in this summary session. We’ll feed this local industry knowledge into a white paper that identifies market opportunities, provides suggestions for lowering barriers to implementation, and makes recommendations for strengthening the local market for home performance and renewable energy services.

Click here to send us a message if you’d like to subscribe to the white paper.

12:00 – 12:45. Catered Lunch. At the Kauffman Center, for attendees of the Industry Summit. 

Check out the Guest Presenters.


Core Conference

12:00 – 1:00. Registration and informal networking.

1:00 – 2:30. Opening Session: Laying the GroundworkThis is a planning and brainstorming forum in which we lay the groundwork for the conference. The faculty will deliver seven-minute previews of the upcoming sessions. We’ll identify what types of expertise we have among the attendees. And we’ll conduct a fast-moving brainstorm, capturing the needs and interests of everyone in attendance, and allowing us to fine-tune the learning objectives for the conference.

2:30 – 2:50. Break. Snacks and beverages.

2:50 – 4:00. Group Workshop: We Have an Industry. Where’s the Market? A brainstorm moderated by Chris Dorsi and Eileen O’Hara. The home performance industry includes many highly capable people who are committed to building long term success for themselves and their companies. Yet the current market presents some big challenges: consumer interest remains soft, and the home improvement industry is fragmented among many players. Given this situation, how can you succeed?

This workshop is intended to help answer that question in ways that are relevant to each participant. We’ll engage in a group “brainstorm” to create an accurate overview of the local home performance ecosystem. We’ll facilitate a discussion of the factors that help or hinder our various industries. We’ll examine and ground-truth our assumptions about market segments, mixes of product and service, and company messaging. Then we’ll evaluate our findings, as a group, to help each participant identify their most likely opportunities.

The answer may be different for each of you, so we’ll provide a framework and method to help you capture the ideas that are most relevant to your career or business. Plus, if you’d like additional feedback, we’ll gladly provide additional assistance after the conference.

4:00 – 4:10. Break. Snacks and beverages.

4:10 – 5:00. Interview: A New Innovation in Financing for Kansas City. We’ll seat Keith Canfield (Clinton Climate Initiative) and Oz Qureshi (Metropolitan Energy Center) for this talk-show style interview. They have good news to deliver as they unroll an innovative financing tool in Kansas City. With ample Q&A to help you get all the answers you need.  Daily Wrap Up.
Habitat X Reception

5:30 – 7:30. Reception. Hosted by the Metropolitan Energy Center. The venue is the Project Living Proof, located less than one mile from the Kauffman Conference Center. Light snacks and beverages will served. Plus — there’ll be an appearance by the award-winning creators of Mind Drive. Your families or guests are invited. Casual attire. Dinner on your own afterwards.

Check out the Guest Presenters.

Learn more about Registration and Discounts.

Tuesday October 8

7:45 – 8:30. Informal Networking. Beverages and light snacks.

Home Energy Magazine

8:30 – 10:00. Group Workshop: Telling the Story of Home Performance, with Chris Dorsi and J West. We study the successes and failures of the home performance industry. We delve into marketing and public outreach, how it varies among industries, and how we can adapt the message used by each of our organizations. Bring a recent marketing example, from your company or others, and we’ll give it a critique. This session will take cues from Chris’ recent article in Home Energy Magazine.

10:00 – 10:20. Break. Snacks and beverages.

10:20 – 12:00. Market and Business Track:  Build a Business Roadmap, with Mark D. Allen of the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center. Mark will guide business owners and managers through the process of building a realistic blueprint for your organization. You won’t go away with a complete business plan after this 100-minute session, but you will have a good start on the process, and you’ll be connected with resources to help you to finish the job on your own. PLUS — Mark has agreed to provide limited complimentary follow-up for attendees to help you complete your Roadmap.

10:20 – 12:00. Tools and Technology Track: Join the Wireless Revolution, with Joe Medosch and J West. This session will focus on the revolution in testing brought on by the advent of wireless tools. We’ll look over all the current equipment, pass it around, and show you how it’s used. And we’ll focus our expertise on the question, “How do we take advantage of these tools to improve our work, save time, and make more money?“. You may be surprised to learn how this equipment can be used in training, program design, and quality control. You’ll get to handle lots of the new equipment.

12:00. Catered Lunch. In the Kauffman Center. 

1:00 – 2:30. Market and Business Track: Build In-House Training Capacity, with Chris Dorsi and Kevin Beck. We’ll show you how a combination of on-the-job training and structured mentorship is improving performance and lowering training costs in many organizations. We’ll show you how to set up in-housing training sessions, we’ll show you how to find and support mentorship. See Kevin’s recent article in Home Energy Magazine.

Habitat X Attendees

1:00 – 2:30. Tools and Technology Track: Excel at Advanced Diagnostics, with Joe Medosch and J West. We focus here on using your experience and skills of observation before you get out the tools. Learn what we’re really evaluating when we do diagnostic tests, and see how to streamline the process by choosing the right test procedures. You will get lots of hands-on experience in this session.

2:30 – 2:45. Break. Snacks and beverages.

2:45 – 4:00. Group Workshop: Leverage Collaborative Tools, with J West and Chris Dorsi. We’ll review the current crop of collaborative tools, and help you decide which ones can help your organization by simplifying and standardizing communications, daily workflow, and technical procedures. You’ll go home with recommendations and advice that are customized your organization.

4:00 – 4:10. Break.

4:10 – 5:00. Interviews. How Do We Sell This Stuff? The topic is home performance, and how we describe it and sell it to the public at large. We’ll pose questions to experts from around the country in this talk-show style discussion. With ample Q & A. The subjects discussed here, and the solutions proposed, will become threads we follow throughout the conference. Wrap Up.

6:30 – 8:30. No-host dinner. At a location to be announced. Your families or guests are invited. Casual attire.

Learn more about Registration and Discounts.

Wednesday October 9

7:45 – 8:30. Informal Networking. Beverages and light snacks.

Habitat X Discussion

8:30 – 10:00. Open Space Session. We save this last morning for what is often the most-requested session: fast-moving presentations and hands-on projects on customized topics that are requested by attendees. We use this time to provide focused and relevant content that is fine-tuned for everyone’s needs and interests. Presented by the Habitat X faculty and guest experts from Mind Drive, Retrotec, 7NRGY, and others.

10:00 – 10:20. Break. Snacks and beverages.

10:20 – 12:00. Market and Business Track: Focus on Real Estate Appraisal, with Mark Maschger and Debra Little. A workshop in which we draw upon the experience of experts who can speak to the market value of efficiency. We’ll develop talking points for attendees who sell energy efficiency, and learn how to move the local residential market towards higher valuation of efficient properties.

10:20 – 12:00. Tools and Technology Track: Making Compass Fly, a dialogue with Ethan MacCormick of Performance Systems Development. Moderated by Chris Dorsi, with the support of Tim Kemper at the Metro Energy Center. If you already work with Compass, or its sister product Surveyor, you’ll already have questions about how to make it work better for your company. This is the time to get those questions answered in real time by an expert who works with these products on the ground level. PLUS– Ethan will show some surprising behind-the-curtain details of modeling software in general.

12:00. Catered Lunch. In the Kauffman Center. 

1:00 – 2:30. No-Holds Barred Panel Discussion. In this potent closing session, we’ll delve into the some of the deepest knowledge in the U.S. housing industry, gathering those in the room who’ve been beating the drums of efficient and sustainable housing for 30 years or more. Expect to hear stories here that have never been told. Moderated by Chris Dorsi. We’ll take Q&A from the Kansas City audience for this event, and simulcast this event to those who couldn’t make it.

2:30 – 2:45. Break. Snacks and beverages.

2:45 – 4:00.  Closing KeynoteCoach, Get Me in the Game!, delivered by Mark D. Allen. Mark has made a specialty of mentoring forward-looking professionals and spurring their organizations to higher achievement. His keynote will include specific and relevant guidance for everyone in the room.  Mark will share key principles of leadership that he used to build his business and his life.

Then we’ll move into Conference Follow-On, the structured group session during which we help you identify and record the parts of the conference that are most relevant to you. We’ll build out the topics for follow-on consultation, so we can continue to provide the peer-network advice that is the hallmark of the Habitat X Conferences. And we’ll connect you to the Habitat X Forum, the online environment where we provide year-round collaborative support.

4:15 – 5:15. Optional Networking Event. For those who can stay on later, we’ll facilitate one-on-one meetings to discuss whatever you’d like. Think of this as speed-dating for professionals, and use it to build connections with like-minded professionals.

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Go to Registration and Discounts.

See the Faculty and Staff.

See the Guest Presenters.


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