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  • Shell Center for Sustainability
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The Shell Center for Sustainability's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach, and education to address actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of communities' living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting the overall quality of life.

Workshop on Houston's Future: Trends, Challenges and  Scenarios
December 7- 8- 9-10, 2004

Scenario workshops were conducted by the Shell Center for Sustainability and scenario planning experts from Shell International's Global Business Environment Team. The aim of the four-day workshop was to build a set of plausible scenarios addressing Houston's development over the next 15-25 years. The scenarios were not to be predictions, preferences or projections, but rather challenging descriptions of what might happen in the form of a set of stories about alternative futures informed by many perspectives. The objective of the workshops was to explore what might happen to the urban environment, and to better position Houston to understand the steps that may be taken to ensure a more sustainable journey towards whatever future should unfold. Several matters were considered: international economics, international trade flows, nanotechnology, health services and technology, high-tech businesses, biotech, immigration flows, education, urban sociology-development, workforce development, transportation, national security, energy, and environment. The workshops focused on three possible scenarios:
• The Houston Solution -- concentrating on Houston's ability to meet
its pressing environmental challenges.
• The Tale of Two Cities-- which envisions Houston as a city with two disparate economies: high-technology and a separate
economy with relatively little access to high technology.
• The La Puerta Abierta scenario -- which envisions Houston becoming a prosperous multicultural gateway to Latin America.

Sixty-seven representatives from nongovernmental organizations, government, academia, and business participated and
were briefed by a number of experts on trends affecting Houston's sustainability:

  1. Wade Adams , Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University
  2. Christopher Ashby, former US Ambassador to Uruguay, Financial Consultant to Smith Barney
  3. Dr. Ann Barnes, Member of the Faculty, Baylor College of Medicine, Hosuton
  4. Matthew Barnes, Former Director of Ambulatory Services at Texas ChildrenÕs Hospital
  5. Elaine Barber, Sr. Vice President, Regional Issues Division
    Greater Houston Partnership
  6. Maribel Barrera, Office of Houston City Council Member Adrian Garcia.
  7. Dr. Peter Bishop, Associate Professor of Human Sciences and Chair of the graduate program in Studies of the Future at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
  8. James Blackburn, Partner Blackburn and Carter, Adjunct Professor Rice University, Member of the Board Galveston Bay Preservation and Conservation and Houston Wilderness
  9. David Bull, Deputy UK Consul General
  10. James Calaway, President, Center for HoustonÕs Future
  11. Galen Cobb, VP, Industry Affairs, Halliburton, 377
  12. Amy Corron, U Director Community Investment, United Way
  13. Greg Deurdulian, Demographer and GIS Analyst for the Houston-Galveston Area Council
  14. Dr. Michelle Foss, director of University of Houston's Institute for Energy Law and Enterprise
  15. David Crossley, President, Gulf Coast Institute,
  16. Harry Gee, Principal Attorney, Harry Gee and Associates.
  17. Geoges Golla, Deputy Science AttachŽ, French Consulate
  18. James Glassman, senior economist and Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
  19. John Guest, Past President and CEO of the Harris County Hospital District, Houston.
  20. Ann Hamilton, Houston Endowment
  21. Christian Holmes, Executive Director, Rice University Environmental and Energy Systems Institute and Shell Center for Sustainability
  22. Jennifer Holmes, Project Blueprint Coordinator, United Way
  23. Timothy Hopper, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  24. Maryana Iskander, Advisor to the President, Rice University
  25. Dr. John S. Jacob, Environmental Quality and Coastal Community Development Specialist, Texas Sea Grant and Texas Cooperative Extension
  26. Amy Jaffee, Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies, James A. baker III Institute for Public Policy and Associate Director, Rice University Energy Program
  27. Dr. Bruce Jones, Senior Scientists, National Exposure Research Laboratory, US EPA
  28. Dan Kelleher, VP External Affairs, American Water
  29. M. J. Khan, Houston City Council Member
  30. Dr. Steve Klineberg, Professor, Department of Sociology, Rice University,
  31. Dr. Kumar Krishen, Chief Technology Officer, NASA
  32. Richard Lapin, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, Houston,
  33. Dr. James Lester, Director of the Environment group, Houston Advanced Research Center
  34. Dr. Carol Lewis, Associate Professor in Transportation Studies and Director of the center for transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University,
  35. Dr Stephen H. Linder, Interim Director of the Institute for Health Policy , University of Texas School of Public Health.
    36.Robert Latke, Director, Planning and Development Department, City of Houston
  36. Jan Lawler, Economic Alliance Houtson Port Region, CEO,
  37. Martin Lindenberg, Houston businessman
  38. Rafel Longorria, Professor of Archietecture , University of Houston,
  39. Alistair Macnab, President, Houston port Bureau,
  40. Chris McGowan. Economic Development Planner, Houston Galveston Area Council.
  41. Sally Nelson, former Chief Financial Officer,, Texas ChildrenÕs Hospital
  42. Mark Oberholzer, Assistant professor school of archietecture, Rice University
  43. Dr. Dmitry Mesyanzhinogv, Forecast Program Manager, Houston Galveston Area Council
  44. Gilbert Moreno, President, Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans
  45. Shirley Neff, Advisor to Columbia University Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  46. Dr. Joan Neuhaus, Baker Institute, Rice University
  47. Jacqueline Northcut, CEO, BioHouston,
  48. Annise Parker,   Controller, City of Houston
  49. Larry Payne, CEO, Habitat for Houston
  50. Dr Steven Pei, Associate Dean of Engineering an deputy director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity and Advanced materials, Univ. of Houston,
  51. Donna Perla, EPA, Senior Advisor, Office of Sustainable Development, Office of Research and Development
  52. Gordon Quan, Houston City Council member
  53. Dr. Ron Sass, former Chairman, Earth Sciences Department, Rice University
  54. Charles Savino, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Greater Houston Partnership
  55. Bob Schwartz, Vice President and Director of Energy Programs, Houston Technology Center
  56. Diane Schenke, Texas Gulf Coast Program Manager , The Nature Conservancy
  57. Denis Simoneau, French Consul General, French Consulate, Houston.
  58. Judith Slater, UK Consul General
  59. Heidi Sweetnam, President, Blueprint Houston
  60. Robert Stockwell, Chief Academic Officer, Houston Independent School District
  61. Dr. Robert Stein, Dean, School of Social Sciences, Rice university
  62. Dr. Jennifer Tektrids, Exec. Director, Gulf Coast Consortia. 
  63. Richard Wheatley, Manager , Social Investment Shell Oil Company
  64. Gordon Wittenberg, professor School of Archietecture, Rice University.
  65. James Yarbrough, Director, EPA Center for Excellence for Air Innovations/Future, Dallas
  66. Rose Zamora, President, Houston Wilderness


  1. Roxanne Decyk, Senior Vice President, Shell
  2. Sally Hopkins, Vice president, Shell
  3. Howard Horne, Cushman and Wakefield, former Greater Houston Partnership Metro Chair
  4. Lars Lerup, Rice university, Dean, School of Architecture
  5. Dr. Carlos Moreno, chairman of the Department of Family Practice and Community Medicine at UT-Houston Medical School
  6. Ed Segner, Vice Chairman, EOG resources
  7. Dr Mark Wiesner, Director, Rice University Environmental and Energy Systems Institute

Support Staff

  1. Gary Marfin, Rice Shell Center
  2. Mattia Romani, Shell
  3. Angela Wilkinson, Shell
  4. Ed Kahn, Shell
  5. Shaun Mccarthy, Shell
  6. Rick Schroder, Shell
  7. Chistine Gardner, Rice Enviromental & Energy Ssystems Institute
  8. Jessica Pugil, Center for Houston's Future
  9. Gary Golden, Center for Houston's Future
  10. Betty-Sue Flowers, Director, LBJ Library, University of Texas
  11. Andrea Crumopacher, Rice Canidate for Profesional Master in Science Degree
  12. Doug Thomson, Rice Canidate for Profesional Master in Science Degree
  13. Christine Robichaud, Rice Canidate for Profesional Master in Science Degre
  14. Sarah Mason, Rice Canidate for Profesional Master in Science Degree
  15. Avanti Tamhane, Rice Canidate for Profesional Master in Science Degree