In July 2012, the UK Hydrogen Association’s Regional Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coordination Meeting was held at Birmingham University in the UK.
The intention was to create and agree on a unified road-map for hydrogen technologies in the UK, and to find common ground for a coordinated large-scale project with multi-regional collaboration.
The project in question was to influence central government to take seriously establishment of an infrastructure in the UK enabling the fuelling of road vehicles using hydrogen fuel cell technology. At the time, development of bio-fuels was receiving more attention and support than hydrogen.
The image on the left was provided by EERE - Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4629663
To enable discussion and exchange of views and information culminating in an agreed roadmap that could influence the business case for presentation to government.
One challenge to reaching agreement would be the diversity of opinions, vested interests and expectations in the room. Failure to agree was a common outcome for such meetings due to strong, assertive characters with firmly held views.
Because it lends itself so readily to creating and documenting collective vision and common purpose, our process of Future-basing® was chosen to lend structure to the conversation.
It rapidly organizes and coordinates thinking in groups, and since the meeting was to be shortened both by lunch and a visit to Birmingham University’s Fuel Cell Research facility, we felt it necessary quickly to gain focus and show tangible progress.
The core vision of a strong infrastructure was drafted in the first hour, and at the break for lunch and the research department visit, group members were animated with a number of lively conversations in progress. Little more than an hour remained following the visit, but the group’s enthusiasm enabled focus on the process of mapping out a critical path plan. This took the form of a series of deadlines to be met as parameters for progress.
Two and a half years later, the newly renamed UK Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association was welcoming Government plans to support hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and associated infrastructure via its Ultra Low Emission Vehicles Strategy. The Government was now aiming to establish the UK as a lead market for the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. (www.ukhfca.co.uk February 2015)
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