By creating cooperation as a vehicle for solving environmental issues, the mission and programs of The Center for the Creation of Cooperation promote a healthy, inclusive community where there are opportunities for all people. Our work teaching people to solve problems cooperatively began in 2008 and had helped people and organizations in Ohio and Michigan. Several years ago we recognized a need for cooperative activity to help guide the transformation from carbon based energy to clean energy.
In 2015, with major support from the Joyce Foundation, we began the Green Schools Initiative to help local school districts cooperate in order to make their buildings more energy efficient, to learn about renewable energy options, and to lay the groundwork for community-owned solar panels to be placed on school properties. Also in 2015, with major support from the Sugar Bush Foundation, we established the Athens Energy Institute with a three-tiered structure that ensures that the Institute will involve many people in its efforts through: (1) ongoing seminars, (2) a series of public forums, and (3) a planned statewide energy policy coalition. We measure the effectiveness of our programs by using key indicators such as number of people engaged, number of energy audits conducted, number of energy efficiency measures adopted, and number of people participating in our seminars and forums.