The authors are founding team members of a new effort to develop an Open Energy Outlook for the United States. The effort aims to apply best practices of policy-focused energy system modeling, ensure transparency, build a networked community, and work toward a common purpose: examining possible US energy system futures to inform energy and climate policy efforts. Individual author biographies can be found on the project website: https://openenergyoutlook.org/. DeCarolis et al. articulate the benefits of forming collaborative teams with a wide array of disciplinary and domain expertise to conduct analysis with macro-energy system models. Open-source models, tools, and datasets underpin such efforts by enabling transparency, accessibility, and replicability among team members and with the broader modeling community.