Cleantech needs sustainable business cases, not hype

1 12 2009

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Enjoy an Oprah moment with Vinod Khosla, perennial venture developer and powerhouse venture capitalist. While he wants the environmentally sustainable outcomes alternative energy and transportation systems are offering, he is very disappointed with the current status of business cases and the direction cleantech hype is currently pointing. Read the rest of this entry »


An Appeal for Universal Preventive Care

21 08 2008

It’s campaign time and no matter who you’re voting for, you’re bound to see some change in Washington following this November’s election. I’ve never delved too deeply into public policy, but I’d like to suggest a public policy for universal health care. Not the uber-expensive, tax-you-50%-of-your-income version that guarantees full health care at any health facility (as in Germany, where they spare no expense to make sure you get the absolute best treatment but tax income heavily).

Rather, I suggest a universal PREVENTIVE CARE plan that guarantees every citizen will be afforded a personal regimen of preventive care treatment. Preventive care has a whole host of benefits, not least of which is reducing the ultimate cost of health care by eliminating high-cost failures before they happen. Preventive care is essential to providing individuals with the regular health guidance they need to make more accountable health choices and achieve early identification of potentially dangerous conditions. A national preventive care program could also push individuals to augment the national preventive care program with private emergency care insurance that could more accurately reflect the costs of riskier health choices – further encouraging individuals to recognize the high cost of smoking, overeating, and other dangerous health habits. Read the rest of this entry »

Greenopolis: social networking for the eco set

20 02 2008

Social networking sites are carving out unique niches of special-interest groups and responding to the backlash against advertising that has slowed the use of Facebook and MySpace. Case in point:

This beta-stage, lifestyle-oriented web community is designed for members to share tips on living greener and earn recognition for both participation in the web community and for greeer lifestyle choices. Minimal advertising is offset by corporate sponsorship from a somewhat surprising list of partners – you won’t find Patagonia, but you will find Waste Management for example.

An interesting concept employed by the site is is reward points – like frequent flier miles for social networking. The more you participate in the site, the more points you earn. Evidently, Greenopolis plans to connect these points to a commerce center where members can purchase eco-friendly products discounted by points. So the points aren’t redeemable for cash but they do generate real dollar value for site members.

Greenopolis home page

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TED | Talks | Bill Strickland: Rebuilding America, one slide show at a time (video)

7 02 2008

When you have 35 minutes to be inspired, please watch this “box of slides” with Bill Strickland. As I listened to his presentation, I felt invited to dream bigger and accomplish more than I’ve ever believed possible. The sheer scale and magnitude of impact this man has had – on the people in his school, on his funders, on his business partners, and on his friends in every town – convinces me I can do more with my own life too.

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An American Self-portrait | The art of Chris Jordan

1 02 2008

Chris Jordan presents an evocative series of wall-sized prints that beautifully convey a tragic story. See more of this and other series at

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TED | Talks | Isabel Allende: Tales of passion (video)

31 01 2008

I recently read “Eva Luna” by Isabel Allende – a book that has become infinitely more moving after seeing Isabel in this live presentation. She illuminates the great power of storytelling for social change and inspiration. Interestingly, someone pointed out how devoid current political debates or the State of the Union address have been in good storytelling.

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Innovation in Services: Miriam’s Kitchen

18 10 2007

The value creators in our new economy are providing exceptional experiences by outperforming their niche in an industry network or tying together the nodes of the network and packaging the whole thing in innovative ways.

As part of my recent course at Darden on Innovation and Integration in Services – The New Economy, I made observations on a number of innovations as examples of value creation in this flat, networked world. This is my submission on Miriam’s Kitchen.


This organization falls strongest in the “Make Their Day” and “Be There” categories of the Fish! Philosophy. Miriam’s Kitchen, a provider of meals and additional services to homeless people in Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC


Miriam’s Kitchen is noteworthy for a number of characteristics. It has always used hot meals as a way to gather people who could benefit from the area’s social services and introduce those services in a non-threatening manner. In that sense, the dining room aggregates a target audience and makes additional, highly valuable services know. Second, Miriam’s Kitchen attracted a great New York chef to run the soup kitchen. His culinary smarts have helped form food partnerships with local distributors and restaurants Read the rest of this entry »