Clean Energy Access for All:
A Design Sprint on Funding Models 

On October 18, 2018, Acterra hosted a one-day "design sprint," a proven methodology for solving problems through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas. The sprint brought together 42 participants from community based organizations (CBOs), non-profits, for-profits in community level renewable energy project finance, community leaders from local disadvantaged communities, foundations, philanthropists, and local government officials in order to prototype solutions to challenges outlined in the Giving Code, a report on nonprofits and philanthropy in Silicon Valley. We looked at this question through the lens of environmental CBOs who are working to make clean energy available to all in Silicon Valley, where low-income communities are especially vulnerable to environmental degradation due to the very high cost of housing combined with the effects of climate change and sea-level rise.

Hear from Sprint participants about the outcomes from the day by tuning into the debrief webinar that was held on December 6, 2018.

In addition to dozens of ideas and many new partnerships, four short-term working groups emerged:

Storytelling Working Group

Goal: Make it easier to communicate the importance of clean energy for all by creating a shared language among all stakeholders

• Set of talking points for CBOs and communities to use when communicating with funders, policymakers
• Best practices for getting communities to the table early


Metrics Working Group

Goal: Make it easier for CBOs and funders to measure what impact clean energy is having in the communities they serve.

• Resource guide developed by funders and CBOs with framework of high-value metrics with tips and best practices for collecting those metrics.


Policy Working Group


Goal: Remove policy barriers to clean energy access for all.

• I.D. which policies impede progress on establishment of clean energy access for all (in CA)
• Meet with electeds (e.g. new Governor of CA) with new policy recommendations

Funding/Business Models Working Group

Goal: Remove barriers to funding clean energy solutions.

• Resource guide/tool for CBOs and community leaders to identify best sources for making clean energy available in their local communities.

A white paper based on outcomes from the summit is also forthcoming. 

To join a working group, contact Julie Noblitt at