EMERGE Leadership Project

EMERGE Leadership Project

The EMERGE Leadership Project

The EMERGE Leadership Project is dedicated to energizing the emergent leadership capabilities of professionals and advocates working toward a Living Future by offering training and other educational resources to the ILFI community specifically designed to foster needed change.

Intensive and experiential workshops, live webinars, and other educational resources present practical and inspirational lessons based on a strategic leadership approach emphasizing collaboration, service, and inclusion that is founded on proven principles of behavioral change and systems thinking.

The EMERGE Leadership Project (ELP) was founded in 2011 by Kathleen O’Brien, a long-time leader in the sustainable building field, recognized in 2008 as a lifetime Cascadia Fellow for her 30+ years developing collaborative green building programs, conducting research to support enabling green building policy, coordinating policy demonstration projects, and empowering professionals through tailored continuing education curriculum.

Hundreds of professionals and activists have participated in EMERGE programs since the project’s founding. Participants have successfully launched policy initiatives, commercial enterprises, professional career transitions, community projects, and more. In 2016, O’Brien codified the approach in the book EMERGE: A Strategic Leadership Model for the Sustainable Building Community, which ILFI Founder Jason McLennan called a “great gift to the green building community.” In recent years, EMERGE leadership education has been a popular offering in Living Future Conference Programs and in late 2017, ILFI acquired the ELP to fulfill ILFI’s goal to expand its professional education offerings. For the Board of the EMERGE Leadership Project, this exciting development offered the opportunity to enlarge the reach of the project’s educational and inspirational efforts.

The early success of the EMERGE Leadership Project was due in large part to the support of founding sponsors O’Brien & Company, the Sustainable Building Advisor Program (now with Heat Spring), the Development Center for Appropriate Technology, Design Avenues, LLC, as well as regional green building organizations sponsoring local workshops.

Author Kathleen O’Brien brings 30-plus years as an award-winning educator, writer, strategic planner, and project consultant in the sustainable building field to her work as Founder of the EMERGE Leadership Project. Through this project, O’Brien has been providing leadership development support including training, mentoring, and tools to green building professionals and advocates with the ultimate goal of making this world a better place for all living species, now and into the future.

Members of the sustainable building community who have participated in EMERGE programs have successfully launched policy initiatives, commercial enterprises, professional career transitions, community projects and more. The sustainability coordinator of one leading design firm has called EMERGE training “life-altering.” Now, O’Brien shares the strategic leadership model that is at the core of EMERGE programs, along with case studies, practical guidance, a personal leadership development template, and bonus exercises to assist you on your personal leadership journey.

Anyone who has a copy of EMERGE: A Strategic Leadership Model for the Sustainable Building Community can access free supplemental resources using the password provided on page 163 of the book.