One reason we created the New Energy Cities program at Climate Solutions was to elevate the conversation and focus on a small number of city and utility partnerships that are serious about the degree of innovation needed to create a clean, efficient energy system at the local level.
Early adopters are a small portion of any community – the ones most in tune with new ideas and processes. The majority of people do not want new ideas or processes – they just want to continue using what they have because they know that these will work.
These doers really only change, only adopt innovative processes, when either of two things happen: 1) the people they know all change; or, 2) a thought leader they respect tells them to.
These thought leaders often act as mediators between the doers and the early adopters, two populations that often do not communicate well. The early adopters are always coming up with new things that just distract the doers.
Most communities do not have enough of these mediators and do not effectively leverage those they do have. People seldom get kudos for acting to facilitate change like this.
To create a community of change, one needs to identify and leverage these thought leaders who can effectively mediate between the early adopters and the doers. The more efficient this can be done, the more rapidly the entire community can adapt to change.