Help us foster the next generation of diverse industry leaders

Next Gen Program

Meet our inaugural 2021 Next Gen cohort here!

What is Next Gen?

Next Gen is a professional development program of New Buildings Institute for college students, designed to to foster the next generation of diverse buildings industry leaders, and in doing so, bolster inclusivity in the buildings industry at large. Over the course of the 5-month program, students will work with each other as part of the Next Gen cohort and have the opportunity for advanced learning, resume building, mentorship, networking and more.

If you are interested in sponsoring students to participate in the program, you can find more information here.

Why Next Gen?

Low-income communities and people of color are most at risk of being left behind by the zero energy and electrification movement, which will likely result in significant financial hardship unless programs are planned with equity at their core. Building electrification policies can have unintentional but harmful consequences for low-income residents and people of color. The industry must be more racially diverse to better ensure all people can access and benefit from building efficiency and electrification measures.

The number of jobs in this industry is also likely to increase in coming years – as a sector, we need to ensure students of color have the knowledge, resources, and relationships to succeed, join leadership ranks, and make high-level decisions that will make buildings both an asset to the climate and a healthy place for people to live, work, and learn.

What Does the Program Look Like?

The Next Gen program will run from June to December. The program seeks to benefit students through five different avenues: education, mentorship, networking, professional development, and cohort building.


  • Students will follow an ASHRAE curriculum and meet monthly for discussion groups facilitated by industry experts.
  • Students will attend the 2021 Getting to Zero Forum and have access to a multitude of breakout sessions, in-depth workshops, and impactful keynotes and plenaries.


  • Students will meet regularly with a mentor aligned with their professional aspirations to discussion professional development and new developments in their sector of the industry.

Professional Development:

  • Students will have the opportunity to write a blog for the Getting to Zero Forum website.
  • Students will have the opportunity to present a poster at the 2021 Getting to Zero Forum.


  • Students will participate in a special networking activity at the 2021 Getting to Zero Forum.

Cohort Building:

  • Students will develop a peer-support network with their cohort members from all around the country.

Student Testimonials from the 2019 Getting to Zero Forum

“I want to express my appreciation for NBI to offer me this learning/sharing opportunity. I sincerely enjoyed every session and talking to people who share the same vision is just so much fun!”

“I feel extremely grateful to have been able to attend the Getting to Zero Forum. Every session was interesting, informative, and engaging. I really appreciate the opportunity and can’t wait for the next conference!”

“Thank you for providing the opportunity to attend the Getting to Zero Forum. The ability to learn from industry leaders will prove to be a valuable resource for years to come.”

Interested in learning more?

See the postcard below or email Leada Fuller-Marashi at [email protected].

Next Gen Postcard

Missed the Next Gen application? Don’t miss the Forum!

Scholarships are available for students and young professionals. Learn more here. 

Next Gen Program Supporters and Sponsors

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