Ever wonder what inspires, entertains and informs leaders in the electricity sector? With a little something for everyone, our guests share their top picks in the Flux Capacitor Book Club.

“I’m currently reading a book called At the Bridge, done by Wendy Wickwire, that talks about James Tiet and the early days of colonization in British Columbia, and how he was able to assist Indigenous people in having a voice in Ottawa and elsewhere on those concerns. Some of what happened back in those days, is still very much relevant to the challenges that our members face today.”

At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging

by Wendy Wickwire

S04 Episode 064: First Nations Major Projects Coalition: building capacity and supporting business decisions

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“It’s incredibly forward looking, so you can get through it pretty easily.”

Power after Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid

by Peter Fox-Penner

S04 Episode 063: The Transition Accelerator and Canada Grid: Squishy Stuff and Wicked Problems

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“I think it puts a little bit of political perspective into where we came from society, and what people have dealt with- the trials and tribulations, and puts into context our trials and tribulations of our everyday life.”

The Arctic Journals of John Rae

by The Arctic Journals of John Rae

S04 Episode 063: The Transition Accelerator and Canada Grid: Squishy Stuff and Wicked Problems

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“It’s a very, very interesting view through the lens of a guy who has studied the world, through his broadcast journalist eyes, literally for about a 50 year period. And in this book, again, he’s got little snippets and whatnot. There’s some very serious stuff, some major world things going on. And then there’s some very light and humorous stuff at the same time. So, it gives us a snapshot of kind of like 1970 to 2020-ish timeline of some of the major breaking stories from behind the scenes, and I found it very, very entertaining and educational at the same time.”

Off the Record

by Peter Mansbridge

S04 Episode 062: The Electricity Fundamentals in Canada course, with David McKendry

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“It is a very wide ranging exploration of the geopolitical world that we live in right now. But, with a particular focus on how elements of geography and whether that’s rivers or mountains or oceans, or harbors, or climate, for that matter, have fundamentally shaped the geopolitical world that we live in. Or in some cases, it’s been overcome by technology. But for the most part, it has shaped that world and will shape it in many ways into the future.”

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Volume 1)

by Tim Marshall

S04 Episode 061: International case studies and the need for a national regulatory task force

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“A great book that I read a few months ago, is The World for Sale, which is a story about traders and those people that are making money.”

The World for Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources

by Jack Farchy

S04 Episode 060: International and European perspectives with Thierry Bros

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“It describes how, if you’re serious about climate change, these kinds of voluntary bottom-up things that we’ve been encouraged to do for a long time – I don’t want to minimize their importance. But that is not going to be enough. In the aggregate, what we really need is policy change.”

The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress

by Mark Jaccard

S04 Episode 059: Pathways and practical solutions to meet climate targets with Jason Dion

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“It has extraordinary insights into the science and technology of the Russian nuclear program. And also, extraordinary insights in the politics of Russia. I think it’ll be eye opening for anybody, interested in electricity, but also anyone watching what’s going on in the world right now. It is a fascinating book, incredibly well researched.”

Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe

by Serhii Plokhy

S04 Episode 058: Promoting energy transition pathways with Bruce Lourie

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“I’m about a quarter of the way through, and it’s just fascinating, and it just talks about how energy has been absolutely central to civilization, and to our progress, to our continued progress. I think it’s actually a great read in the context of the 2050 conversation.”

Energy and Civilization: A History

by Vaclav Smil

S04 Episode 057: Natural gas in a net zero future with CGA’s Timothy Egan

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“It’s about understanding why we behave the way we do, and the impact that that behaviour has on others. Why that’s important to me, is, I think, frankly, it’s extremely timely. As the President and CEO of Elexicon Energy, everything that I do, is going to have an impact on my team and the people around me. Reading the book has forced me to step back and understand why I behave the way that I do, which takes time and effort.”

Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think

by Tasha Eurich

S04 Episode 056: Regulation and Energy Transition with Elexicon’s Indy Butany-DeSouza

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“The book itself is a Canadian book and it examines 10 key characteristics of winning leaders. And what it does is it looks at a lens through 70 Canadian women, and they share their stories and their experiences about leadership. And so, it’s a great book for women who are looking to get advice on how they can move up through their organizations, how they can really grow as leaders while remaining true to themselves and for many of us, true to our families and those commitments that we have”.

The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women: Leadership Lessons from The Judy Project

by Colleen Moorehead

S04 Episode 055: International Women’s Day Special with OPG’s Aida Cipolla

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“The reason I’m reading the book and why I really liked her is because she has found a niche in a male dominated industry. I think her story is neat, and of course, she’s a controversial figure, so that’s always nice to read about. But we hear this on a daily basis when we’re talking to our members that this is a male dominated industry, the energy sector. And so, it’s really interesting to hear how Marie Henein has found this niche in law in a male dominated industry and I find that I’m able to relate that back to conversations that I’m having with members.”

Nothing But the Truth: A Memoir

by Marie Henein

S04 Episode 054: Communicating about electricity and a new brand identity with Electricity Canada’s Julia Muggeridge

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“I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s set in the future, in the United States. There has been another civil war over the administration’s decision to prohibit the use of fossil fuels. This is like 100 years in the future type of thing. And you’ve got a very divided and polarized United States and there are elements to that book that sort of ring true to some of the issues we see these days around polarization. I think it’s a very important kind of cautionary tale and also extraordinarily well written.”

American War

by Omar El Akkad

S04 Episode 053: Monica Gattinger, Positive Energy and Public Confidence in Decision-making

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“It’s a little bit of espionage. It’s a little bit of generational, father-son kind of interaction. And it’s interesting, because the book kind of has a piece of what’s going on today.”

Command Authority

by Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney

S04 Episode 052: Harry Hirz of G&W Electric and innovation distribution automation

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“It’s about the relationship between non natives versus natives, and the history of it, its perceptions. And it certainly sheds some light on how we can do things differently in the future. So that would be my recommendation, although I’ve not finished reading it.”

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America

by Thomas King

S04 Episode 051: Serge Abergel and Hydro-Québec’s role in greening the grid in northeastern North America

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“If you have a passion for U.S. politics and for the life of you can’t understand the rise of tribalism and Donald Trump and what’s gone on down South of the border, this book tells you the story of how that came to be. It’s pretty alarming and it’s a great read.”

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by J.D. Vance

S03 Episode 050: Bryce Conrad and Hydro Ottawa, a Sustainable Electricity Company™

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“I think it really shows what’s possible with vision and what’s possible with tremendous entrepreneurial conviction. It is possible for massive disruption through the sheer force of will.”

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

by Ashlee Vance

S03 Episode 049: Project developer Dan Balaban and the future role of renewables

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“I’ve read his other three books and I’ve always been interested in space travel and as a kid an astronaut was the thing I was going to be, but now of course that didn’t happen.”

The Apollo Murders

by Chris Hadfield

S03 Episode 048: Reflections on the pandemic, GHGs and a SaskPower career with Mike Marsh

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“It’s all about integration of indigenous knowledge and traditional science on biodiversity and I think it’s been really illuminating for me on different teachings and learnings that we can take forward. I would highly recommend everyone reading it and learning more about the values in traditional knowledge that guides climate science today sometimes”.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

by Robin Wall Kimmerer

S03 Episode 047: Net Zero 2050, The Next Generation: Student Energy

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“It’s a historical perspective on the origins of al-Qaida and then what sort of lead to the attacks on 9/11. It’s a really fascinating read.”

The Looming Tower

by Lawrence Wright

S03 Episode 046: Nova Scotia’s Peter Gregg and the decarbonization puzzle

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“An updated version of it came out in the early 2000s that brought in a bunch of really important advances in social psychology. On one side of the book is their original write up (1981) which is very plain language, short, tight book and on the other side is what we now know about the psychology of how opinions form and change. It’s an interesting mix of behavioral economics and social psychology.”

Positioning

by Al Ries & Jack Trout

S03 Episode 044: Pollster Greg Lyle, the 2021 Canadian election and the salience energy and environmental issues

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“This book is ideal to read right now. It’s about the events of the 1988 election campaign but it’s also about how opinion moves and changes. I first read it when I did not know many of the things I know today, and it opened my eyes to the reality of opinion as something dynamic but that moves in predictable ways.”

Letting the People Decide

by Richard Johnston

S03 Episode 044: Pollster Greg Lyle, the 2021 Canadian election and the salience energy and environmental issues

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“There have been lots of positive recommendations online. It’s about energy, it’s about climate and politics worldwide.”

The New Map

by Daniel Yergin

S03 Episode 043: Tonja Leach, QUEST, and the community engagement imperative to meet Net Zero 2050

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“My summer read, kind of predictable, but fun to read.”

The President’s Daughter

by Bill Clinton & James Patterson

S03 Episode 043: Tonja Leach, QUEST, and the community engagement imperative to meet Net Zero 2050

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“Harry Potter meets the Hunger Games.”

The Unwanted

by John Saul

S03 Episode 043: Tonja Leach, QUEST, and the community engagement imperative to meet Net Zero 2050

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“It’s a brilliant, brilliant read. And during the summer, it’s a real simple read. You could read it in a week while you’re on vacation.”

Hamnet and Judith

by Maggie O'Farrell

S03 Episode 042: Wayne O’Connor, ENMAX, and Net Zero 2050 as an ESG imperative

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“Recounts the first month of World War One and talks about the lead up to that war, and just the poor fog of decision-making inadvertent mistakes.”

“I think it was a book that John Kennedy actually loved and actually imposed on most of the people in his administration.”

The Guns of August

by Barbara W. Tuchman

S03 Episode 041: TransAlta’s John Kousinioris on the transformation to a net zero 2050 world

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“It’s a book really about the disruption and rapid pace of change in our economy and in our society and the impacts of a lot of services in the economy.”

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

by Jeremy Rifkin

S03 Episode 040: Guidehouse and the 2021 State and Future of the Power Industry

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“Phenomenal in regard to how you know you hear about Churchill. How great of a man he was and leading a nation through such a troubling time.”

Churchill: Walking with Destiny

by Andrew Roberts

S03 Episode 040: Guidehouse and the 2021 State and Future of the Power Industry

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“Basically, it looks at the challenge of surviving in a changing environment in Hudson Bay in the Arctic. I’d call it an up close and intimate view of the life of Nanou, a polar bear, and her family and how they’re surviving with a shorter hunting season up North.”

Ice Walker

by James Raffan

S03 Episode 039: Newfoundland Power, a Sustainable Electricity company, with CEO Gary Murray

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“The whole point of it is really about reducing drama in the workplace.”

No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement and Drive Big Results

by Cy Wakeman

S03 Episode 038: Kubra’s Alison Copeland and the generations of customers

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“It talks about innovation, and reinvention.”

The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation

by Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker

S03 Episode 037: Alectra’s Brian Bentz on electricity distribution in a net zero 2050 world

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“It’s a nice little going back in time at a summer cottage. So, it’s a fantastic summer read.”

The Daring Game

by Kip Pearson

S03 Episode 036: Mollie Johnson and Natural Resources Canada’s Net Zero role

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“I think it’s a must read for anybody that deals with regulation, governments and strategy.”

Values

by Mark Carney

S03 Episode 035: Kate Chisholm and a Capital Power’s Net Zero Journey

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“That’s one you read on a rainy Saturday.”

The Midnight Library

by Matt Haig

S03 Episode 034: Ken Hartwick and a Net Zero 2040 OPG

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“It’s more of a flavourful Newfoundland-ish type recount of the history and offers some observations and opinions and speculation as to why and who landed here when they did.”

As Near To Heaven By Sea: A History Of Newfoundland And Labrador

by Kevin Major

S03 Episode 033: Earth Day 2021: Maritime Electric, a Sustainable Electricity™ Company

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“He does a remarkable job of demonstrating through well-articulated fact, through the course of history, things are actually getting better in the world on just about every front.”

Enlightenment Now

by Steven Pinker

S03 Episode 032: Keith Sones of Valard on project complexity and building for the future

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“It talks a lot about safety culture and how you take luck out of the safety equation.”

Safe By Accident? Take the Luck out of Safety – Leadership Practices that Build a Sustainable Safety Culture

by Judy Agnew and Aubrey Daniels

S03 Episode 031: Equity Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices with Joelle Lancaster and Lyla Garzouzi

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Blue Is the New White: The Best Path to Success No One Told You About

by Josh Zolin

S03 Episode 030: Equity Diversity and Inclusion in the Field with Mackenzie Gillan and Allison Wood

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“It’s basically a book about what women of colour need to do to ensure a seat at the table.”

The Memo

by Minda Harts

S03 Episode 029: Equity Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace with Starlene MacDonald

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“The underlying message was about sportsmanship and teamwork on and off the field.”

Safety (movie)

S03 Episode 028: Sheryl Riggs, communications and technology for utilities in uncertain times

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“What it really does a good job of is highlighting the many different ways that individuals can contribute to protecting the health of the forest and ultimately the health of the planet.”

The Overstory

by Richard Powers

S02 Episode 027: Robert Hornung and renewable energy in Canada

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“I would highly recommend it not only for women but for men, there are some fantastic lessons in there.”

The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women: Leadership Lessons from The Judy Project

by Colleen Moorehead

S02 Episode 026: Paula Conboy and regulation in Australia and Canada

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“It’s a series of short stories all held together by the characters connection with trees in different ways.”

The Overstory

by Richard Powers

S02 Episode 025: John Gorman and nuclear energy in Canada

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“I keep copies in my office, and I give it to some of our young executives. And the reason I do that is, Mr. Southern (ATCO founder) gave me my first copy of that book.”

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

by Margaret MacMillan

S02 Episode 024: George Lidgett and Electricity in the North Part 3

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“It is science fiction book about a pandemic. But it bounces back and forth between the pandemic that happens around now and twenty years later.”

Station 11

by Emily St. John Mandel

S02 Episode 023: Covid-19 Part 3, Scott Aaronson

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“It provides a historical look on how gender has influenced global affairs.”

Gender in Diplomacy

by Jennifer Cassidy

S02 Episode 021: National Lineworker Appreciation Day with Lana Norton

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“That’s the thing about a good book. It makes you think”.

Sapiens: A bried history of humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

S02 Episode 020: Covid-19 Part 2, Craig Oldham

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“It’s about how this company went from zero to a billion and then down to zero again.”

“I just find these stories about these flawed business characters just fascinating in terms of the way they hoodwink everyone including themselves.”

Bad blook: Secrets and lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

S02 Episode 019: Andrew Hall and Electricity in the North, Part 1

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BBC News

S02 Episode 018: Covid-19 Part 1, Eóin Cooke

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France24

S02 Episode 018: Covid-19 Part 1, Eóin Cooke

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From the Ashes: My Story Of Being Métis, Homeless, And Finding My Way

by Jesse Thistle

S02 Episode 016: Tabatha Bull talks about progressive aboriginal relations

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“I found it to be one of the best books I’ve ever read.”

The Pillars of the Earth

by Ken Follet

S02 Episode 015: Anne-Raphaëlle Audouin talks Canadian hydro and Channa Perera shares his views on Globe 2020

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“It really looks at energy and how its transformed different sectors in society – water, food, transportation, cities, security and how prevalent energy is and how energy is used by society.”

Power Trip

by Michael Webber

S01 Episode 014: Roger Dall’Antonia talks COP25 and the distinctive perspectives of running a company both electricity and natural gas

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“When I do have a chance to read a book, I have two favourite authors David McCullogh and Stephen Ambrose because I like military history.”

David McCullough and Stephen Edward Ambrose

S01 Episode 013: Rodger Smith talks electricity business strategies in the face of industry transformation

“You and I, I’m sure are so focused on some of the challenges we face here in Canada and the challenges that are being faced from around the world and it’s nice to just disconnect from that for a little bit and move into a magical world”.

Harry Potter

S01 Episode 012: Tonja Leach talks integrated community scale energy systems

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The Power of Myth

by Joseph Campbell

S01 Episode 011: BCUC’s David Morton Talks Rate Regulation

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“I love fiction. I love exploring those ideas through storytelling.”

Unsheltered

by Barbara Kingsolver

S01 Episode 010: Cynthia Chaplin talks regulation and the future of electricity

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“Funny enough, I turn on the weather channel first of all. You never know what’s happening.”

“[outages happen] more often than not, because of the weather.”

“First thing, is the weather.”

The Weather Channel

S01 Episode 009: Mike Marsh talks innovation and greening the grid

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“I think there’s a lot of value in history and thinking about history and thinking about how it applies to the problems that we face today”.

Insull: The Rise and Fall of a Billionnaire Utility Tycoon

by Forrest McDonald

S01 Episode 007: Brien Sheahan on capitalizing the cloud and other creative approaches to energy regulation

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“I primarily read histories, biographies and political books”.

Leonardo Da Vince

by Walter Isaacson

S01 Episode 006: Everything you wanted to know about energy regulation but were afraid to ask!

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“A really gripping, quite terrifying story about how it can be difficult to transition but, she made a real success of her life”.

A Good Wife

by Samra Zafar

S01 Episode 005: Cara Clairman, A Practical Approach to Promoting Electric Vehicles

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“Two things I do, one I have an app on my phone and on my iPad that allows me to put in about 45-50 topics that I am interested in, and it’s everything from personal health and well-being to renewable energy, new technology, Canada, Alberta… My topic range is quite large.”

FlipBoard

S01 Episode 004: Gianna Manes, Living in Exponential Times and Thinking Differently

“I spend a lot of time trolling through what I think of as the top tier management consulting firms, McKinsey and Company, Boston Consulting Group. I subscribe to their energy practices, and I find that they have not immediately actionable but very thought-provoking things about how the world could be.”

Boston Consulting Group

S01 Episode 003: Jim Robb and the Complex Future of the North American Grid

“I’m actually a huge Twitter fan. I almost never tweet but I consume an awful lot because of news sources.
I follow any and every news source from local CBC, to CNN, to New York Times, to Washington Post – all of these things”.

Twitter

S01 Episode 002: Peter Gregg on the Future Challenges of a System Operator

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“I thought it was excellent”.

Becoming

by Michelle Obama

S01 Episode 001: Karen Hutt on Being Customer-centric

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