Posted to Energy Central in the Utility Management Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Feb 7, 2022

February 6th to 12th is recognized as International Networking Week-- as the premiere online platform for utility professionals to connect, share, and collaborate, Energy Central counts our ability to help community members to network as among our most critical functions.

While we're delighted to see the conversations, debates, connections, and more taking place in our community each and every day, we recognize that there are always ways we can improve and do more. So in recognition of that, I come to you with this question:

How can Energy Central even better facilitate your utility industry networking needs?

With that as the key question, we're also eager to hear related discussion like: What do you look for out of networking opportunities, how does an online community like Energy Central fit into those goals, and what advice do you have for people who want to network more widely in the industry? 

So help us help you better and share your feedback and suggestions below! And happy networking to you all this week and beyond. 

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Hi Matt this is a hard questions. The value of networking is is an excellent source of content, introduces experts, and generally help people find avenues to learn or cross hurtles. The hard part is how EC could do better. Here is one suggestion. I have always found the publications you have to be valuable and I source contacts from them to expand my network. I also know that there is financial elements associated with the content so it limits who we see. Is there any way to open the scope to industry members with something important to share but dont have the corporate alignment needed to contribute? Obviously it cant be an advertisement but something valuable. That any leader could be seen and potentially become a member of any persons network. Just an idea.

I would appreciate any/more opportunities to engage with this who are skeptical about nuclear energy. I was once pretty scared about nuclear, and only changed my mind after years of questioning and also realizing that renewables can’t do the job of decarbonizing alone. I would hope that by having more open and honest discussions about energy, others might be able to change their minds too.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 10, 2022

Welcome back to Energy Central, Heather. We can all learn from the experience of former Extinction-Rebellion-anti-nuclear-activist Zion Lights - her conversion six months ago, and her activism since.

Basically, she makes her own opportunities, she starts more open and honest discussions. She gets involved. She politely listens, then politely decimates her opponents' arguments with truth. It's a lot of hard, hard work.


Networking is essential for sharing insight and perspectives of others. It leads to formal and informal teamwork. Energy Central provides a neutral site to obtain this type of thinking from a utility focus. As more significant changes occur in the industry, this type of information and connecting will be very helpful.

I’m mostly retired, so my networking is very passive.  I suppose a way to communicate the status and motivation of resources might facilitate connecting people.  Just brainstorming.

There are a lot of reasons to network: You want folks to buy something, you want to learn something from others, you want to share knowledge with others or maybe you want to start a conversation (kind of like what Matt has done here, right.) For me it is to connect with thought leaders and to create conversations or discussions about current or future issues. 

Energy Central is a great place for us to do that. After posting on EC, I've gotten both good and somewhat bad feedback. Good because they expanded my thinking and connected me to an expert who had a different but informed view of my post. Bad in that the respondent really must not have read the post. It happens. But even there, we connected and discussed. I learned. I hope someone else learned and I think our EC community grew as a result.

One final thought Matt; networking is all about community, and we need more of that in times like this. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 9, 2022

Well said, Alan! We appreciate your perspective and I hope others learn from you about how to get the most out of the opportunities Energy Central provides.