Jul 7, 2015
One thing I like about this is it is not just theoretical. RE-volve already has built three solar projects which are generating income for a fourth. It has great potential for growth.
Jul 8, 2015
• Judges' comments:Show more about the commitment, energy, and personality of your founders, as the ability to succeed in this grass-roots, crowd-generated approach will depend on the leaders’ ability to engage participants. Added to the 'What Actions Do You Propose?' section. RE-volv exists because of the passion, experience, and foresight of its three-person team. Founder and executive director, Andreas Karelas is a dedicated renewable energy advocate with over ten years of environmental and renewable energy nonprofit experience. Andreas incorporated RE-volv as a nonprofit organization in February 2011 to give people a simple way to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the United States. In 2008, the climate movement was gaining momentum with the election of President Obama, his environmental promises, and Congress’ proactivity toward a climate bill. The 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and the prospect of a meaningful international climate accord fueled the momentum. But the promises were broken, the international conference negotiations fell apart, and the movement was disempowered. With such a massive failure of leadership, citizens were looking for ways to take action. Andreas wanted to give people a way to lead on climate change by accelerating solar energy adoption in communities. When he witnessed the social impact potential of crowdfunding efforts like Kiva, combined with the advent of revenue generating solar lease financing, the idea for a people-funded revolving fund for solar energy was born. Prior to founding RE-volv, Andreas worked with a number of leading organizations including the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the National Audubon Society, blueEnergy, and the Center for Resource Solutions. Andreas holds Master’s degrees in International Affairs and in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He is a 2013 Audubon Toyota TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Local Clean Energy Alliance. Sarah Brinker joined RE-volv in April 2015 as Associate Director of Partnerships and Philanthropy. She’s in charge of securing funding for RE-volv’s vision by building and executing a fundraising strategy that includes engaging individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government entities. Prior to RE-volv, Sarah worked in the Advancement Department of the Sierra Club national headquarters for five years. There, she built relationships with generous supporters to fund the Beyond Coal Campaign and other national conservation campaigns. Sarah’s time at the Sierra Club and her childhood in the Pennsylvania countryside, Santa Barbara beaches, and on Yosemite trails has framed her outlook: to protect wild places, people need a quick and easy way to take action for clean energy solutions. That's why she's joined the RE-volv team. She attended the University of California, Davis where she led campus wide efforts to divert waste and helped create the nation's first zero waste stadium Gavi Keyles is RE-volv’s Communications and Program Manager. She started at RE-volv as a fellow through the New Sector Alliance Residency in Social Enterprise, an Americorps program. She successfully led RE-volv’s crowdfunding efforts to build its largest solar system to date, and has doubled RE-volv’s list of email subscribers and social media followers in a short time. Gavi also leads RE-volv’s Solar Ambassador program, training the next generation of clean energy leaders at universities across the country. Gavi holds a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, where she completed majors in Middle East & North African (MENA) Studies and Theatre. Gavi has a background in strategic communications, events management and development for nonprofits. Along with renewable energy, she is passionate about food policy and its relationship to poverty, climate change and environmental stewardship. RE-volv’s three person team is supported by its Board of Directors and Advisory Committee consisting of 10 dedicated members representing top law firms, universities, nonprofits, solar industry leaders, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. •Judges' feedback: The judges also had some questions around how you plan to scale Added to the 'What Actions Do You Propose?' section. RE-volv is developing a robust web platform that will host Solar Seed Fund crowdfunding campaigns. Since September 2014, RE-volv has been working with a team of University of California, Berkeley students to construct the platform. The website will allow individuals to manage their donations and the reinvestments of the revolving fund through their own portfolio. RE-volv also plans to manage project proposals on this site, giving anyone in the country the opportunity to submit a proposal for a project in his or her community for RE-volv staff to review. This will streamline and expedite the project lead, review, and execution process. The platform is set to launch mid- August. You may view the website in its current state by going to revolv-stage.herokuapp.com/. This platform will help RE-volv to reinvent online organizing. In contrast to “clicktivism” in which social media engagement on an issue fails to translate into real world action, RE-volv’s new crowdfunding platform allows anyone to help build clean energy projects and reduce carbon emissions from their computer or mobile device. This democratizes change-making, empowering everyone with the ability to create real change. Second, RE-volv is piloting a Collective Impact partnership model called the Solar Seed Fund Network in which NGO’s, foundations, corporations, and government agencies can each invest their own funds, or pool together the funds of their members, to have a revolving solar energy fund of their own. In this model, partners help RE-volv identify potential solar projects for communities they care about, and help RE-volv crowdfund the initial costs of the projects by engaging their membership to support the crowdfunding effort. RE-volv’s first network partner, the National Audubon Society, has invested more than $65,000 to pilot the program. RE-volv is also in conversation with the Sierra Club and 350.org. RE-volv will also scale nationally through it’s Solar Ambassador Program, a one academic year fellowship for college students, giving them the opportunity to spearhead a solar project in their community. The three objectives for each Solar Ambassador team are to develop a community-based solar project, empower people to take action for clean energy by crowdfunding local solar projects, and educate fellow college students and community members about the benefits of solar energy. The fellowship curriculum includes a four-day in-depth training retreat to the Bay Area in August and bi-monthly webinars to provide the students the skills needed to meet the program objectives. In addition to the project selection and managing the crowdfunding campaigns, Solar Ambassadors will assist RE-volv staff in identifying local solar installers with whom RE-volv will partner to install the solar systems. For the 2015-2016 school year, Solar Ambassadors represent colleges in California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. •Judges' feedback: see supporting documentation on the partnership arrangement with Sungevity (i.e., details of the partnership agreement and proof of Sungevity’s commitment to RE-volv). Added to 'What are the proposal's costs?' section. RE-volv’s partnership with leading residential solar leasing company Sungevity, whereby Sungevity donates between $750- $1,000 for every new Sungevity customer brought to them by RE-volv. Since RE-volv engages community members before, during, and after each crowdfunding campaign, it generates many new solar leads, thereby helping to spread solar in the community and raising money by doing so. People can explore the details of the RE-volv/Sungevity partnership and sign up for a free solar quote at sungevity.org/re-volv. •Judges' feedback: On the related proposals section, can RE-volv join up with Power for the People, align with 350.org’s network of college ambassadors, or harness other social channels? Related proposal section: For partners outside of the Climate CoLab, RE-volv has been in conversation with the Sierra Club’s Sierra Student Coalition and 350.org’s Fossil Free campaign. RE-volv’s Solar Ambassador Program is a one academic year fellowship for college students that trains them to spearhead a solar project in their community. The SAP would complement 350.org and SSC’s work to divest campuses from fossil fuels by promoting solar energy in the campus community.
Jul 9, 2015
What a revolutionary idea that is actually changing the world!
Aug 1, 2015
I think this concept is practical and brilliant at the same time. it just make sense
Aug 5, 2015
Too many of us fail to take practical action as we hold out for some kind of global initiative. Re-volv offers the chance to jump-start a post-carbon economy here and now.
Jan 12, 2016
India's PM Mr. Modi recently announced Global/International Solar Alliance with HQ to be set up at Delhi. This is welcome initiative & countries in temperate climate zone should actively foster utilization of solar insolation by countries in & around the equator with higher quantities of sunlight reaching the earth surface.
He termed it as the 'manifestation of the collective wisdom of leaders of nations in the world'. Such initiatives are quite welcome and should be supported at all forums.
Jan 12, 2016
For collective wisdom of mankind to manifest the worldwide implementation of "Swami Vivekananda Fruit Trees Expansion Mission" would be helpful. Link to this proposal is given below.
Kindly give your valuable feedback & Oblige.