Co-OP is a Pittsburgh-based community initiative that presents factual scientific information to engage key stakeholder groups in professional fields such as engineering, industry, and government. Local, interdisciplinary experts comprise forum panels and are trained to communicate their expertise in a clear, comprehensive manner. Co-OP's goal is to educate and inform environmentally sound and socially conscious decision making in the city of Pittsburgh.
We collaborate and create partnerships with leading researchers, business professionals, scientists and engineers, governmental representatives, and nonprofit organizations. Local expertise is leveraged to connect the Co-OP network with the region's sustainability experts and initiatives. Co-OP speakers and forum attendees gain valuable connections to Pittsburgh-based experts and sustainability projects.
Advanced science-based communication training is offered to forum speakers to ensure effective dissemination of science to non-technical audiences. Public forums are designed with the understanding that a major challenge confronting scientists and engineers is the high degree of technicality- both in the language and in practice- that their work requires.
Experience-based learning has proven time and time again to be an effective means for increased understanding. Building audience consensus is achieved through developing hands-on tools, simulations, and workshops that emphasize verbal communication in small group settings. Forum-based events offer additional value through question and answer sessions.
Every day, we make energy decisions - large and small - that have significant environmental, economic, and social impact. In today’s complex and technologically-dominant world, more information than ever before is available and accessible in overwhelming amounts. Co-OP aims to work with local organizations to make factual science and engineering knowledge comprehensible and relevant to all community members.
An engaged community is an essential component of informed decision making. Co-OP works to create a space in which all stakeholders are part of environmental and technology focused conversations. Leveraging Pittsburgh’s science and engineering expertise, participating in events that broaden perspective, and working to further stakeholder understanding and consensus, and lifestyle changes are among Co-OP's measures of success.
To truly foster an organization around gender, racial, and socioeconomic inclusion, Co-OP works to make programming affordable for all community members through scholarship and sponsorships. Forum panelists as well as attendees bring their own unique experiences- successes and challenges- to forum discussions, offering critical insight to the process of informed decision making.