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N50 Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation

A full day conference and summit, Beyond Oil:  Transforming Transportation, explores the alternatives to conventional, carbon-based transportation modes that are driving a convergence in advanced information and smart grid technologies, communications and electric vehicles to make transportation safer, faster, more affordable and greener,  8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sept. 7, at Intiman Playhouse. 

An impressive roster of speakers, including government and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators and nationally recognized authors address the day’s focus on smart, connected, autonomous electric vehicles and high tech transportation hubs offering accessible transportation choices. These advances will help communities to be more livable, walkable and sustainable.

Speaker/Topic List:

Event Chair Steve Marshall, Center for Advanced Transportation and Energy Solutions, Egils Milbergs, Executive Director, Washington State Economic Development Commission, Bruce Agnew, Cascadia Center, Stephanie Meyn, Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition

Honorable Mike McGinn, Mayor, City of Seattle and Fred Jarrett, King County Deputy Executive

Morning Keynote Address:  Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute founder and author of “Reinventing Fire,” introduction by David Allen, McKinstry Construction and RMI board member.

Role of NW Electricity in Transforming Transportation:  Jim Piro*/Charlie Allock, CEO, Portland General Electric, and co-chair, Edison Electric Institute’s CEO EV Task Force; Phil Jones, WUTC Commissioner and incoming president, National Association of Regulatory and Utility Commissioners; Bill Gaines, Superintendent, Tacoma Public Utilities.

The West Coast Corridor: Advancing a Set of Integrated Solutions:  KC Golden, Policy Director, Climate Solutions; John Boesel, CEO of CALSTART; introduction by Bishop Greg Rickel, Earth Ministry

Afternoon Keynote Address:  Bob Lutz, former Vice-Chairman, General Motors, the force behind the Chevy Volt and member Via Motors Board of Directors.

Views on Washington’s Transportation Future:  Honorable Rob McKenna, Washington State Attorney General and candidate for governor via video; introduction by Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator and co-chair, Transportation Committee, Policy Center.

The U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Electrification Project:  Honorable Steven Chu*, Secretary of Energy

Views on Washington’s Transportation Future:  Jay Inslee, former U.S. Congressman and candidate for governor via video; Paula Hammond, Secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation.

Making Vehicles Smart: Software, Connections and Information:  Bryan Mistele, CEO of Inrix; Gordon Feller, Cisco; Mark Spain, Verizon.

Self-Driving Cars:  Steve Underwood, Director, Connected Vehicle Proving Center at University of Michigan; Chris Borroni-Bird*, an author of “Reinventing the Automobile.”

 * Not yet confirmed.

Related to Beyond Oil is the Electric Vehicle Showcase, an exhibit of alternative fuel vehicles of all sorts. Evening, Sept. 6 and all day, Sept. 7, Founder’s Court between the Playhouse and Phelps Center, in partnership with Plug-In America, free.

This timely and important topic kicks off Next 50 Commerce & the Innovation Economy month, the fifth of six months of activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Just as World’s Fair focused on innovation and the future, Commerce and Innovation Month seeks to take stock of the region’s economic progress, look boldly into the next 50 years, create innovation synergies to sustain our region and foster the leadership within the region that will help sustain the planet far into the future.

For a direct link to register for the event go to Ticketmaster at See also: For more information on Next 50 and Commerce and Innovation Month, visit or call 206 684-7200.