Itron Inspire

Exploring the Possibilities for a Better Future at Itron Inspire 2021

Inspire Recap

Last week, we gathered virtually with Itron customers, partners, sponsors and industry experts for Itron Inspire 2021. I left the conference feeling energized, empowered and inspired about the future of our industry. Hearing leaders from across energy, water, IIoT and smart communities discuss how to solve for pressing challenges such as better preparing for natural disasters and managing the influx of renewables was extremely insightful.

Increased natural disasters and the ongoing pandemic have certainly presented challenges to our customers and the industry as whole over the past few years. During the opening keynote, Tom Deitrich, Itron president and CEO, reminded the audience that the work we do profoundly matters. “As providers of essential energy, water and city services, we form the foundation of society,” said Deitrich. “Our work is not only critical today, but for future generations to come,” he added.

Todd L. Inlander, SVP and CIO at Southern California Edison, took the virtual stage to discuss the ongoing transformation of our industry and share innovative ideas and solutions to combat the effects of climate change. “We expect major changes to the way customers use electricity, which will place unprecedented demands on the grid,” said Inlander. Fundamental changes in how the grid is designed and operated will be necessary to meet future challenges, like the estimated 20 million electric vehicles expected to be on the road by 2045 in California.

The growing concerns around the impact of climate disruption led us to focus our 2021 Resourcefulness Insight Report on the important role utilities play in lowering carbon emissions and preventing disruption when the unexpected or the inevitable occur. The report summarizes key findings from surveys of 500 utility executives and 500 informed consumers from across five countries. When asked what poses the greatest threat to grid resiliency and reliability today, here is what utilities said.

Download the report and check out this blog to dive deeper into the differing opinions of consumers and utility executives.

Denise Thomas, president of The Effective Communication Coach, started off day two of Itron Inspire 2021 with a powerful Women in Utilities session. She provided practical tips and insights to help transform emerging and existing professionals into extraordinary leaders by mastering the art of effective communication. Her high energy and enthusiasm to lift females up in organizations was a truly inspiring addition to the conference. Read more in this spotlight blog: Women in Utilities Session: Mastering the Art of Effective Communication.

The climate change conversation brings many diverse voices to the table. It also poses some challenges and real opportunities for energy, water and smart city providers. Tom Rand, co-founder & managing partner of ArcTern Ventures, took the enormously complicated issue of climate disruption and reformulated it in a way that not only engaged attendees but also presented sound thinking for overcoming the impacts. Tom challenged the audience to recognize that there are concrete solutions to the climate change despite significant skepticism from political and business leaders. “We all have a role to play in addressing the climate crisis,” said Rand. After his presentation, Kimberly Britton, CEO of EPIcenter, joined Tom for a critical conversation about innovation, decarbonization, and energy and water.

Itron Inspire ended on a celebratory note by awarding our customers at the forefront of resourcefulness and innovation. Farah Saeed, research director at Frost & Sullivan, took the virtual stage to present the recipients of the sixth annual Excellence in Resourcefulness Awards: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD). Next up, John Marcolini, senior vice president of Networked Solutions at Itron, presented the 2021 Itron Innovator Award to CPS Energy. Learn more about the winning organizations and their solutions in this blog.

Breakout Sessions and Product Demos

Throughout the event, attendees had the opportunity to explore a range of topics spanning across four themed tracks: Applications, Outcomes and Services; Multi-purpose Network Solutions; Mobile and Measurement Solutions; and Data Management.

Our virtual Knowledge Center showcased Itron's key solutions that demonstrate the value of our technology, software and services. Itron experts presented excellent product demos followed by an interactive live breakout sessions to answer questions and hear from attendees. The Itron Experience, which features our most innovative demos, was also inside the Knowledge Center.

Missed Itron Inspire 2021?

If you were unable to attend this year’s event, or if you would like to re-watch sessions, all content will be available on-demand through Nov. 5.

Mark Your Calendars for Itron Inspire 2022

I am excited to share that next year’s event will be hosted at the JW Marriot Marco Island in Florida, Sept. 23-30, 2022. We look forward to gathering in person!