Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinar 4: Challenges and Opportunities in Designing Good Metrics

July 28, 2015


Director, Gary Dirks, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation at Arizona State University and Director, ASU LightWorks®


Cheryl Martin, Founder, Harwich Partners and previous Deputy Director for Commercialization of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) at the US Department of Energy

Eric Miller, Program Manager, Hydrogen Production Delivery at the US Department of Energy

Andrew Maynard, Professor, in the School for Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University

Louise Vickery, Manager, Renewable Futures at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency

James Hinkley, Research Group Leader, CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency


There is likely no disagreement that “objective and grounded” is a hard standard to meet when designing metrics to measure and characterize a complex socio-political-techno-economic enterprise, such as the future of transportation energy and fuels. Still, an objective, grounded approach that integrates diverse stakeholder viewpoints and facilitates coordination and responsiveness, begs for measures, even if at times they are qualitative rankings, such as low, medium, high, which all parties respect and understand, and yet may disagree on. Webinar #4 will sound out the participants on considerations and challenges for developing valuable frameworks and appropriately using metrics.

An important consideration to keep in mind is that different stakeholder groups typically have different values and beliefs deriving from different perspectives and needs or wants. It is also difficult, in designing metrics, not to subtly favor the results that we want, either from unconscious biases or by not separating the problem from the solution. A holistic systems view will underpin this discussion of metrics with an objective of surfacing where differing perspectives lead to conflicting metrics or conflicting use of the metrics.

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels – Challenges and Opportunities for Designing Good Metrics from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.