Each year, The Energy Fair features speakers who are leading efforts to make our world more sustainable and equitable. Past speakers have included host of Democracy Now! Amy Goodman, director of the documentary “Gasland” Josh Fox, author and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben, and many more. Check out the 2016 line-up or watch recordings from the 2015 speakers below.
2016 Keynote Speakers
Distinguished Political-Financial Expert, Journalist & Author
Saturday, June 18 at 1:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
Prins is widely sought-after for her unique perspective on politics, finance, and the economy. She is author of the recent All the Presidents’ Bankers, about the relationships between presidents and key bankers during the past century and the impact on domestic and foreign policy. Her other acclaimed books include: It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street; Other People’s Money: The Corrupt Mugging of America, which predicted the current financial crisis and was chosen as a Best Book of 2004 by The Economist, Barron’s, and The Library Journal; Jacked; and Black Tuesday, a historical novel about the 1929 crash.
She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, CSPAN, Democracy Now, Fox and PBS, as well as numerous radio shows including CNNRadio, Marketplace, NPR, BBC, and Canadian Programming.
Prins will speak to how the financial system benefits those in power and the possibilities of public banking and how regulation can help push forward policies that benefit the public, including relevant information on campaign finance and energy policy.
J. Drake Hamilton
Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy
Sunday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
J. Drake Hamilton is a renowned expert in science-based climate policy at the state and national levels, leading on implementation of carbon reduction policies at the scale of the global warming problem. She’s also a widely sought-after public speaker, frequently addressing national and international audiences and inspiring them to action, and is often featured in media stories climate policy, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, and on public radio.
Hamilton represented Fresh Energy at the Paris Climate Summit, where she worked with US Senator Al Franken and met with Secretary of State John Kerry. She was invited by President Barack Obama to meet with him in the White House, to showcase Minnesota’s success in growing clean energy jobs while accomplishing big carbon reductions.
Hamilton will speak about why we are achingly close to a renewable-energy revolution that does not require new legislation, and how to achieve those opportunities for large-scale carbon reduction.
Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Friday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
John Farrell is widely known as the guru of distributed energy, best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy
Farrell is the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times, showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) necessary to support locally-owned renewable energy development. Farrell will speak about how the 21st century’s energy sources—distributed wind, solar, energy storage—and distributed technology like smart phones—have up-ended the one-time natural monopoly of the electricity system. He will explain how it’s no longer necessary, or economical, to allow monopoly utilities to control the energy system when decentralized control and ownership can more rapidly and cost-effectively transform the grid to cleaner energy resources and economically reward our communities. Learn more
Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga, born in in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is passionate about finding sustainable solutions to provide energy to people so they can better their lives.
Sandrine is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SMIN Power Group which has offices in the DRC and in the USA and specializes in providing affordable electricity to communities using renewable energies (particularly solar including hydroelectricity, fuel cell, biomass, wind, etc). Currently, Sandrine is the Electrical Engineering Manager at the University of Toledo. She has over 10 years of experience in renewable energy systems design and integration, electrical distribution and protection, arc flash mitigation, energy management, and construction management. While pursuing her Master’s Thesis, Sandrine developed a fuel cell system for an electric vehicle and a solar powered hydrogen generating station. Learn more.
Organic Farmer, Owner, Stoney Acres Farm
Saturday, June 18 at 9:00 a.m. on the Main Stage during the Organic Valley breakfast
Tony Schultz is an organic farmer and owner of Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, WI, and he’s a passionate advocate for the family farm. Each Friday in the summer, his farm holds a community pizza night, drawing hundreds of people and attracting national media coverage.
Professor and Program Coordinator, Electrical Technology, Business and Technology Division, Kankakee Community College
Friday, June 17 at 6:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
An interactive, gadget-filled and humorous trip through the history of the inventors, inventions, and supportive cast of characters that brought us the constant stream of electrons that most of us take for granted today. Includes specific references to Technocracy and its relation to Peak Oil; the Olduvai Theory and its relation to Technocracy; the importance of mystic awareness and the ancient wisdom teachings to the development of energy conversion techniques; Oersted’s discovery; Faraday’s discovery; discovery of the PV effect; and the importance of electricity, especially in a post-petroleum world. This is a Don’t-Miss-Family-Friendly presentation!
Director of Strategic Development, StraightUp Solar
Thursday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Stage during the Networking Dinner
As Director of Strategic Development at StraightUp Solar, Mike has shared the “Solar Coaster” ride with his fellow solar tribesfolk through both the good times and the bad for nearly four years now as they have endeavored to fulfill their vision of inspiring a Solar Tribe to create a sustainable world. During that time he has watched people display true courage and conviction in their vision of making renewables the new energy paradigm for the Midwest. The great news is that a Tribal tide of which we are all a part is rising and it appears to be unstoppable. Mike will tell us all why he believes in “You, Me, & We to Create a Sustainable World.”
If there is someone you would like to hear speak in 2017, please contact Allison at allisonl (at) midwestrenew.org.
2015 Keynote Speakers
Immediate Past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Friday, June 19, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
Jon Wellinghoff is an internationally recognized energy expert and energy law attorney. As Chairman of the FERC, he advocated for a stronger national power grid through the use of renewable energy. Learn more
Author of “Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works”
Sunday, June 21, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, educator, activist, and author of the 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner, “Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works.” Learn more
Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Friday, June 19, 2015 – 1:00 p.m. (introducing John Wellinghoff)
Eric Callisto is a partner in the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, where his practice focuses on energy, utility, and environmental matters. Learn more
Farmer and Wisconsin Farmers Union Representative
Saturday, June 20, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.
Sarah is a dairy farmer and organizer, working off-farm with the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Midwest CSA Conference, and the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. Learn more
Custer, WI Fair
2017 Dates and Hours
Friday, June 16 - 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday, June 17 - 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday, June 18 - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
7558 Deer Road, Custer, WI 54423
St. Paul, MN Fair
2017 Dates and Hours
Friday, September 8 - Professional Day
Saturday, Sept. 9 - 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday, Sept. 10 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Minnesota Advisory Committee
Clean Energy Resource Teams
Community Member - Barbara Porwit
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
Renewable Energy Partners
Neighborhood Energy Connection
Sunny Day Earth Solutions
Harriet Island Park
200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd
St Paul, MN 55107