Toss the old notions of environmentalism into the recycling bin. Investor Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures shatters conventional wisdom of energy reduction, and instead encourages entrepreneurs to solve environmental problems via cost-effective, innovative, and scalable engineering.
JLabs LLC CEO and author Judy Estrin puts the processes and philosophies of innovation under the microscope. Her current analysis indicates that we're short-changing the business arena and culture at large, as we've stopped planting the seeds for true, monumental invention and problem-solving.
Mainstreaming Clean Technology
It used to be that "alternative" or "green" technologies were fringe operators in the mammoth coal and oil-driven energy sector. Alas, says, Silicon Valley, their day has arrived, and what was once considered alternative has now joined the mainstream. This month's clips discuss the billions in resources now dedicated to the pursuit of global energy - solar, wind, biofuels, or ideas on the brink of conception - that are a top priority for today's entrepreneurs, who see tremendous opportunity in a growing worldwide middle class.
As the tech bubble was bursting on American soil, Mohr Davidow Ventures partner Erik Straser realized that a tremendous opportunity was rising overseas. Forty percent of the planet's population is coming into a middle-class standard of living, and infrastructure and energy to support their desire for products and services is to become the driving force behind his career focus. This observation motivated the investor to explore the growing field of clean technologies.
McDonough + Partners founder William McDonough recalls the history of how his design firm came to investigate and inventory the marketplace of tens of thousands of industrial compounds, chemicals, and building materials, and how he has sought to both simplify and detoxify the process of product and architectural design. The supply chain is kinked with so many layers of products that even well-meaning manufacturers might not know the character of the toxic and disease-inducing compounds they employ. This industrial naivite has led McDonough to archive thousands of these industrial building blocks and rate their numerous properties and uses - and he encourages designers and inventors to consider this research in the engineering process.
Larry Bawden talks about the switch from Hydrogen to Solar Energy. He addresses the immense potential in Solar Energy. Bawden notes that this spaces has a very high investment rate in the past and believes that solar is a clean way to convert electricity.