Not Our First Rodeo

Every year at the end of summer, we host a knowledge sharing event called The Innovation Rodeo. The idea for the Rodeo was conceived out of a desire to find a way to share innovative ideas, concepts and projects that our team encounters on a daily basis. We were looking for a collaborative environment to share these ideas with our clients and peers in an interesting and engaging format. After a lot of brainstorming, the idea for an Innovation Rodeo was developed. We hosted the first event in August 2016 and had around 25 attendees. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive feedback after that first Rodeo, we decided to make it an annual event.

This past August marked our third annual Innovation Rodeo and we experienced a notable spike in attendance this year with 65 participants! This was very encouraging to us as confirmation that this event is meaningful and impactful to our guests.

Each year we decide upon a different theme that we want to explore in depth. This year’s topic was “Changing Landscapes: Cities, Buildings and Environments.” We had a very impressive lineup of speakers join us: Danielle Dy Buncio of VIATechnik, Erik Olsen of Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Andrew Dennison of Uplift Data Partners, and Jenny Carney of WSP, along with our panelists Matthew Abeles of BuiltWorlds, Drew DePriest of Aon, and Chris Trinetti of Atmos.

You can find all of the presentations from the day on our YouTube channel. You can also click on the individual speakers’ presentation titles in the paragraph below to go straight to their videos.

Danielle Dy Buncio kicked off the Rodeo with her presentation Cities Reimagined, an inspiring talk about how to make your big ideas come true and how cities of the future need these big ideas.

Erik Olsen shared innovative projects and technology in his presentation, Tomorrow’s Climate Responsive Buildings. He feels that the best use of technology is to keep systems as simple as possible, after all “buildings aren’t spaceships.”


Andrew Dennison’s presentation, Drones’ Impact On The Built World broke down how drone technology is emerging as a valuable tool for the construction industry. Drone technology has surpassed the concept of “flying robots that take pictures.”

Jenny Carney’s presentation, It’s Time To Focus On Water: Gearing Up For Rising Costs, Water Related Risks, and Emergent Technology In Buildings, covered the history of water in Chicago, current and future water-related risks, and emergent technology and trends that focus on water conservation in buildings.

Matt Abeles, Chris Trinetti and Drew DePriest explored the Future Of Indoor Environments in their informative panel discussion. They outlined how indoor environments are changing to meet the demands and expectations of a new workforce.

Once again this year, Cyclone’s energyLAB analysts shared PechaKucha presentations on advanced innovative topics. PechaKucha means ‘chit chat’ in Japanese. These are concise, fast-paced presentations. There are 20 slides, each 20 seconds and require a tremendous amount of skill to prepare and deliver. Emmy Riley explained how microgrids work and why they are important in her PechaKucha, Microgrids: MacrofunGreg Swiss explored Next Generation Biological Lighting. We gained valuable insight into this type of lighting, including the fact that light has many of the same effects on humans as pizza!

The day was organized into three modules, providing many networking opportunities before, during and after the presentations. The day concluded with a reception for all attendees.

Hopefully this has piqued your interest and you want to be involved in our next rodeo. If so, mark your calendar for Thursday August 8, 2019 for the 4th Annual Innovation Rodeo.

If you’re not part of our mailing list and would would like to be added for rodeo notifications, please email and type 2019 Innovation Rodeo in the subject line.