Newsletter #1

It’s been a busy year here at StepGreen HQ. We’ve had teams of eager students working away, and some external collaborations that are now seeing the light of day.

The biggest news right now is the launch of Cornell University’s CALSGreen program. This is an initiative to reduce the university’s energy use, spearheaded by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with their Department of Energy and Sustainability. And of course, the underlying technology is provided by StepGreen. For more information on CALSGreen, visit their website at

A lot of work has taken place over the past year to develop an API to allow external developers to link in and make use of StepGreens’ capabilities. This is currently undergoing testing with some internal projects:

  • a new game for Facebook
  • a mobile app for Android phones
  • Campus StepGreen – an application to help organisations with sustainable change
  • SG Client Framework – a framework for developing pluggable Flash applications, allowing for collaborative development of environmental visualisations.

This Years Paper Crop

This year, we’ve published three papers of note on research done with, or around, StepGreen:At Ubicomp 2010 this fall, we presented a follow up paper to our previous work around energy use in low income communities. This paper focused specifically on a barrier to saving energy: the landlord/tenant relationship. We explore the role of power in that relationship, and how information technologies and social technologies can help to equalize the balance of power.

At ICWSM this summer, we presented a paper that summarizes much of what we’ve learned over the last few years with StepGreen. This paper discusses how we arrived at the current site design, what we’ve learned from studying the site, and what problems we’ve faced.

At HICSS in January, we presented our work exploring the value of a social visualization (versus an individual one) for encouraging energy
saving behavior. This visualization was deployed in our first Dorm competition, at Wellesley College.

For a complete list of StepGreen’s publications, visit

Upcoming Presentations

We will also be presenting a poster at the Behavior Energy and Climate Change conference (BECC 2010 exploring Web 2.0 technologies and their use in engaging individuals in energy saving behavior.

As well as this newsletter, we also write about conferences, papers and research on the StepGreen Blog (

Thanks for reading, and have a great Thanksgiving!

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