The Ecologic Institute and the Atlantic Council of the United States hosted three transatlantic study tours and a policy summit as part of a civil society dialogue focused on transformation processes in three areas: agriculture and forestry; industrial redevelopment; and the energy economy. The dialogue was sponsored by the European Union's External Action Service. For each event, a small group of Americans and Europeans comprised of policymakers, opinion leaders, the media, and business from an online network of mid-career leadership professionals came together.
This network – the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network (ELEEP) - is connecting the next generation of policy makers in the United States and Europe. This network aims to adopt an innovative approach, inspired by a political campaign model, to connect emerging leaders in a discussion focused on policy, professional collaboration, and career development. Participants are selected for each study tour based on experience, networks, and fit to the program objectives.
The first study tour in August 2011 focused on the transformation of land use - challenges and opportunities for agriculture and forestry - taking place in Germany and Austria, paying significant attention to the development of bioenergy and biofuels. The second study tour in January 2012 looked at the transformation of structurally challenged industrial regions and opportunities for their recovery and job creation through visits to Detroit, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The third study tour in March 2012 explored the transformation of the energy economy (natural gas, renewables, and electric mobility) with visits to Berlin, Northern Germany, and Denmark. A policy summit in Brussels in May 2012 brought together the three strands of the study tours in a larger civil society dialogue focused on opportunities and challenges in the US and the EU for sustainable economic and environmental transformation.
The work of the I-CITE dialogue continues through the activities of the ELEEP Network and a new Transatlantic Climate and Energy Dialogue sponsored by the European Union and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
- News: The Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Policy Network
- Press Release of the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU): SDFU President, Other South Dakota Leaders to Travel to Germany, Austria to Tour Renewable Energy Sites (17 August 2011)
- Article in the German Regional Newspaper "Landshuter Zeitung": Amerikaner informieren sich in Bioenergie-Region Straubing-Bogen [German]
- First I-CITE Study Tour: Renewables and Rural Energy Opportunities
- Second I-CITE Study Tour: The Sustainable Transformation of Industrial Cities
- Third I-CITE Study Tour: Transformation of the Energy Economy
- ELEEP Brussels Summit
- Ecologic Institute Presentation: Renewable Energy Policy – The German Experience