I have been invited by Cisco to attend the EUSEW 09 next week in Brussels, Belgium.
I've got my badge this morning : in a EC' stamped envelop. I'm proud to be European ;-)
Brian Solis of TechCrunch just published an outstanding article on entrepreneurship during a downturn time such as the one we are encountering today.
"Fear Kills Businesses, Dead" is a must-read for all of us who are in the Business.
We surely know it already, for most of us have been through the last crisis just a few years ago - remember the Dotcom ? However, some of us may be overhelmed by negative thoughts at the moment, generated by all the bad news we hear of all day long.
Therefore, here's our cure, folks:
"Building Your Business in a Recession
Obviously, capital preservation and cost cutting do not equate to sustenance or growth. The driving factors are poles apart when striving to merely stay alive vs. building a business.
If you’re sheltering cash to focus on development, then cut the services and expenses that will not impede your ability to cross the threshold to market success. If you’re conserving funds to prolong life, then realize that the only fountain of youth is cash itself. Focusing energies on generating revenue, increasing visibility, and enhancing customer loyalty are the most effective strategies for underwriting longevity, and hopefully growth, especially during an economic downturn.
The real question you have to ask yourself is, “How will my customers find me today and tomorrow?”
I’m not sure if this is a newsflash or not, but customers do not typically go out of their way to “discover” your products and companies. They have choices and it’s the job of any marketing and sales-centric business to reach their customers where they go for information—otherwise, they’re out of the decision making process by default. Marketing and sales are the conduits for connecting prospects to your business.
In a down economy, tomorrow’s leaders are born today. It takes vision, focus, and a hyper-connected sense of what customers are seeking, why, and where.
The reality is that there are hard costs tied to customer acquisition and retention. The key is to observe and listen to your customers to ascertain the most active and direct channels to reach and engage them.
Here are several, targeted and affordable suggestions:
1. SEO – Customers actively use search engines to find relevant solutions. Keyword and organic search optimization is an inexpensive and effective means for gaining strategic presence.
2. Blog Relations – It’s not just about news and pitching the A-List, creating a consistent and visible brand requires the inclusion of the authoritative, peer-to-peer blogs that your customers and influencers read for information, help and perspective. Oh, and be wise about using embargoes.
3. Media/Analysts – Reporters and analysts cover your space and by simply writing about your company or product, they can position you as an option among your customers; especially when they’re researching options to validate decisions.
4. Direct Sales – Some of the most successful companies right now are concentrating on direct outreach to the decision makers instead of hoping to influence them from the sidelines.
5. CRM – Building a customer-focused business saves money and increases revenue. Focusing on customers and empowering them improves business processes, product development, and also offsets marketing expenses as “involved and participatory” customers transform from a cost-center into an active surrogate sales force.
6. Participate – Social networks are much more than mere time killers. Participating across the social communities where you’re customers and prospects are active and vocal provides a looking glass into their thoughts, requests, opinions, dislikes, and recommendations. It also provides you with priceless opportunities to combat negative perceptions while also positioning your company as a resource.
7. Thought Leadership – One of the best ways to demonstrate thought leadership is to actively share your thoughts where they count. Contributing articles and posts to industry publications, forums, and blogs increases visibility and unobtrusively contributes to your sales strategy by helping customers find you.
8. Blog and Blog Comments – It may seem trite or perhaps even worthless, but I can guarantee that finding the time to host and contribute to a blog that demonstrates the expertise of you and your team is priceless. People are looking for information and direction, not just from your blog but others as well. Go where they are and offer counsel, contribute to the dialogue and establish trust and authority in the process. Why wouldn’t you position yourself as a resource for your customers or prospects? Too busy you say? Empower your staff. Contract outside experts to contribute to creating a one-stop-shop for insight and direction—just be transparent about their involvement. It costs less than you think to build a community around your product, or at least what it stands for.
9. Network in the real world – Participation isn’t solely relegated to online networks. Opportunities to meet and cultivate relationships in the real world are abundant. Meetups, industry events, groups, unofficial lobbycons associated with your favorite events are continuous and more valuable with your involvement.
10. Involve Your Community – Save money and time by involving your customers in the development process of your new and iterative products as well as your go to market strategy. Alpha customers are often ready to assist with the validation of your business model and also the honest feedback associated with your product benefits and features.
11. Websites are not Just Web Pages – Your Website must make an emotional connection with visitors, while also conveying stories and value propositions that specifically capture the attention of your customers – otherwise, all of your hard work and investment of time and money in sales and marketing campaigns will generate traffic, but lead to a dramatically reduced conversation ratios.
12. Innovate – Always learn and improve everything in order to stay relevant."
This and much more in Solis's post here.
This week in Poznan, Poland, the UN Climate Change Conference was kind of a disaster for EU. Unable to find a common agreement on the war against Global Warming but one: continue to do business as usual. That's frightening: either we "Green-focused" citizen are dumb, either our governments are just... you name it.
By chance, Mr. Former Next President Al Gore went on stage today, to once again share his fear, anger, and vision with the developed countries.
Says Mr. Gore : "The political systems of the developed world have become sclerotic. We have to overcome the paralysis that has prevented us from acting and focus clearly and unblinkingly on this crisis rather than spending so much time on OJ Simpson, Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith."
Among several statements, there's one made by the Nobel Prize winner that is a true warning to us European, and especially us French :
That's the message, EU folks: once again during a crisis, America will stand up firm and lead the World. We kind of missed the opportunity. "Grenelle de l'Environnement", anyone ?... Think about the leadership on technologies, the potential for new jobs creations, etc. Now, instead of developing new concepts, new technologies, new products, we are set to become simple "consumers", as usual.
Anyway, the World needs a true leader, and the United States of America have proven to be the one. Today is a day where I really would love sporting a US passport. Listen to Al Gore, and get inspiration.
ps: you can sign up at OneClimate.net here.
I'm no guru any longer (people called me *the fiber optics guru* back in the 90's-early 2k's - even at HP/Agilent, that says a lot ;-), however it seems that I do currently share the same trouble than Presentation Design guru Garr Reynolds. Actually, Garr's words in his recent post could be mine - I was to write something on that : " I find myself making more little mistakes and being less satisfied with my work overall unless I can take the time everyday to be alone and focus on one thing at a time. "
Is it aging ? I don't think so : at 48 in 2 months, my brain is still in better shape than most of the Generation Y (just kidding, Facebook readers ;-). My take is - such is Garr's too - that we are overhelmed by this Always-Urgent mode we live in since years. Less and less time to achieve more and more fragmented tasks. This is no new discovery, of course. Yet it's quite disturbing.
Yesterday afternoon, back from a meeting in Paris with young entrepreneur Mathieu Husson and his team, I was hit by a strange thought : "maybe I do too much". I suddenly realized that I may be currently too much immersed in too many open projects.
Then, last night whilst watching French Champion Tsonga fighting hard against Electric Roddick, I took a brief look on Twitter with my iPhone. My wife went sarcastic : "hey, can't you get off the grid for once ?".
So, I remembered the days at Agilent Boeblingen, Germany. We were working hard and fast - 3 years looking like 3 months, that's the one thing that's comes to our mind when we talk about this period. Yet things were organized, the German way. Process, process, process. At the end of the day, it gives you the VW Golf : attention to the details. When I moved from HP/Agilent headquarters in Paris to Boeblingen, I was used to work on 30 different projects at a time. Friends were used to say that I was "Mister 100-ideas a day". After 3 years in Germany, I was doing just a handful of things at a time, and I was doing those quite well, according to our customers and the management.
That was just 6 years ago. What has changed, since then ? Maybe people like Garr and myself and millions of other guys are just too curious and hungry to learn and share. Maybe we're just workoholic. Maybe we're just tech geeks, relying too much on the Internet and the iPhone. Working on our regular job, reading our RSS feeds, blogging, commenting, twitting : we're always "online", and... disrupted.
I have no answer so far, however I have the solution - at least for myself. From now on, I'm going back to the German mode. Check email and reply from 8:00AM to 9:00AM, then leave the incoming messages for the next day. Read and comment the news from 9 till 10. Then work on the priority #1 project until lunchtime (and keep this one at fixed hour). Take a short rest, off the grid. Go back to work at 1:30PM, and work on priority #2 project until tea break. Then get back and work on #3 project until everybody leaves the factory - ooops, until the kids come back home.
There is definitely no new method here. Just basic, time-proven common sense. That's why this post is the very last one I'll write and publish over a week-end !
Thanks to Garr for the reminder, and for the video. Follow the link here for more.
Presentation Zen here.
The 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies have been the most stunning/impressive/jaw dropping I and probably billions of other people in the Galaxy today ever saw. The final fireworks said it all : China is ready.
With this absolutely unique event, China just has demonstrated its power to the entire planet. They master the Technology, they know the true means of Innovation, and they know how to execute a Life or Death strategic plan.
Maybe a few (thousands) people outside of Asia knew it already - have you ever dealt with a Chinese businessman ? Good luck, Dude ! Now, starting today 08/08/08, the whole World is aware.
One could not expect something else from the nation who counts Sun Tzu among her children.
French entrepreneur Jean-Michel Planche recently launched internetforeveryone.fr, a new initiative aimed at promoting an open, neutral and free Internet for everyone (french-speaking volunteers : feel free to join here). Of course, this initiative is the french equivalent of the well-known and pro-active internetforeveryone.org which focus on the US.
Beside all the sociological and ethical aspects, which are fundamentaly the most important ones, hence our priority number one, there's all the technological stuff to be adressed. From the very roots of the Internet (i.e. the IP protocol, Ethernet, etc.) to the less high-level kind of matters such as fiber networks installation and maintenance, we must to re-invent the whole thing.
With for some, like network construction, a pretty deep impact on Social : building Fiber-To-Every-Home networks will require tens of thousands of workers - meaning will create tens of thousands of jobs (100,000 in France alone for the next 5 years, shall the telcos push the ignition button). Just like the construction of railroads in the 19th Century gave jobs to thousands of emigrants and locals in North America ***.
That's what makes Jean-Michel' s initiative so exciting - and challenging. For once, we can be part of a World-Changing project.
Now, why now ? Why is it mandatory to * re-invent * the Internet, as opposed to enhance/upgrade/patch the existing infrastructures, protocols, topologies, etc. ?
Then, read this interesting news by VentureBeat, dated July 23d and titled "Hackers begin to exploit a critical Internet flaw". I'm no Networking (the technical sense ;-) specialist, but I know what a DNS server is (thanks to my early days with HP). So, if this news is true, I understand the potential danger of such flaw. Here's the extract of the article that will help you novices to understand too :
The bug is in the Domain Name System, or DNS, which is the system for translating the locations of network computers into Internet addresses. The flaw is in the design of the DNS protocol itself and is thus not limited to any single product that uses it. If someone hijacks a DNS server, they can redirect an unsuspecting Internet surfer to a malicious web site. A hacker targeting an Internet Service Provider, or ISP, could replace the entire Web (as accessible through that ISP) — search engines, social networks, banks — with their own malicious content. DNS is used by every computer on the Internet to know where to find other computers. Those attacking corporations could reroute network traffic and capture emails and other sensitive business data.
Don't you think it's time to think again ?
*** you may call me an utopist or a fool. Then, ask yourself the question : what is the REAL reason for all those FTTH nets' construction delays ? Answer is simple : lack of (skilled) resources.
Since beginning of this year I owe have sent approximately 5 tons of CO2 to into the precious air of Mother Earth to date.
I'd better define my compensation plan quickly, shall I want to stick with the Sustainable Development concept...
"Based on a rough analysis, we estimate that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could potentially push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty," World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a statement at the end of the World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington, DC.
You may want to read the whole AFP article here.
Prices of rice, wheat, corn, cooking oil, milk and other foodstuffs have all risen sharply in recent months, sparking violent protests in many countries, including Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Philippines and Indonesia.
I took this photo last saturday, just a few miles away from home. See the cows ? Of the popular Holstein breed, the european dairy cattle. Guess what : the farm just ceased milk production, killed by european regulations and french policies. For years, I've been drinking its natural milk, direct from the cow. Tasty, just enough fat. You could tell the seasons just by looking at the liquid in your bowl : light in winter, more creamy at summertime, thanks to the green grass of the Champagne' hills.
Now, it's over. My kids won't know what's real milk is before long. But this is not the problem. The problem is the kids in Africa and Asia. They even don't know what's industrial milk. Because some guys in Chicago do speculate on food prices.
If I am correct, we're in 2008 - at least that's what the calendar on my iPhone says. 2008 : people are fighting for food, everywhere in the World (don't tell me that we Frenchies are safe : more and more people have to go to the Restos du Coeur and the likes for survival). Something going wrong there, when you seriously think about it.
Now, here's my point : back in 2003, a french scientist published a report on fractals and Economy *. The outcome of his studies : fractal models show that the World is set for planetary crisis until 2020. If this is true, then the one we're entering is just the beginning (because the Subprime stuff is like a little bump on the road, isn't ?).
* I don't remember the name of the guy, since I lost the post-it where I wrote it down during the radio talk show where I heard him first time back in september 2003. I keep googling for "fractals and economy crisis" since then, with no luck but a tremendous list of interesting materials on the subject.
Yesterday morning on my way to the FTTH Forum organized by the French Fiber-Lobbying association CREDO at the Telecom & Management Institute of Evry, 30-km south of Paris, I've lost almost 60 minutes.
The reason ? Watch the photo, and you'll understand : the A104 "La Francilienne" highway is one of the most crowded in the country, thanks to those awful convoys of trucks.
Why that ? Because : a) in this part of the Greater Paris area, the A104 makes the connection between the A4 highway which goes eastbound, and the A6 which goes southbound; b) this very piece of land is occupied by a handful of super-malls and... giant logistics/warehouse/whatsoever-big-chunk-not-producing-any-good hubs; c) just a few miles away, there is a huge road construction on the bridge over the Seine river, which forces drivers to slow down their already slow speed.
That's France, Ladies & Gents. An economy based on Consumerism. No more industries, as per the German terminology. We are a country made of shopping malls and logistics hubs. Commuters do waste hours in traffic jams each day because of some truck on a road somewhere has got a problem. Road constructions takes ages because of nobody cares of the end-user - read : the driver. We all together do send tons of CO2 in the air because of those stupidities. A vicious circle, like this road on the photo.
The irony : I've lost my time on the road to a conference aimed at Fiber-To-The-Home, which, among endless other things, allows teleworking.
CNN Dubai reports :
" High-technology services across large tracts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.
Hi-tech Dubai has been hit hard by an Internet outage apparently caused by a cut undersea cable.
Industry experts are blaming damage to two undersea cables but it is not known what caused the damage.
Reports say that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain Pakistan and India, are all experiencing severe problems.
Nations that have been spared the chaos include Israel -- whose traffic uses a different route -- and Lebanon and Iraq. Many Middle East governments have backup satellite systems in case of cable failure."
As stated by one of the interviewed ISPs, this pretty severe outage is a wake up call for the region. But also for the whole Telecoms industry : it's time to stop lay offs and start lay out new cables. Dear submarine systems makers, you've got a bright future ahead of you !
Just like in the mid-90's, when the big projects such as FLAG and SeaMeWe appeared.
The difference ? Today, there are people at the end of the fiber. Applications. Business. Users.
It's showtime for the real Net Economy, folks !
I'm not talking of Master Steve nor his clone, but of Mr Greenspan.
In his recent interview by the Wall Street Journal, Master Of Disasters and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that the United States are probably about to enter recession : "The symptoms are clearly there. Recessions don't happen smoothly. They are usually signaled by a discontinuity in the market place, and the data of recent weeks could very well be characterized in that manner."
Shall I be american today, I'd better get everything ready to relocate somewhere in Europe quickly. Because what Mr Greenspan says always come true half a year later (I'll never forget that I've lost my job at Agilent Technologies because of him ;-)
According to Yahoo! a few minutes ago : Oil Futures Rise to $100 a Barrel. Read here. Better consider swapping your 4x4 truck for an hybrid.
Thanks to The Broadband Hub, this highly interesting presentation by Dr. Robert Atkinson of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Although it's 100% USA-focused, I'm sure most of the ratios apply to the rest of the Western World too (incl. France of course and unfortunately).
Among many key figures which help understanding the real situation in regards of Broadband access & use, the one about the perception of the Internet by Disabled persons (page 39) is quite questioning : the Internet, which normally should be considered as one of the most powerful tool to get Disabled people on board, is not. There is a good news behind the bad one : there is plenty of stuff still to be done for real innovation and entrepreneurship in this domain. "Change the World", right ?...
ps: also found in this presentation, the Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Broadband Access Map, that enables real-time, bottomup broadband mapping. Got to find the same for Europe. Or create it if it doesn't exist yet !...
Earlier today, Al Gore addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia. You will find lots of reports and comments on his speech over the days to come, starting here, thanks to Associated Press and Yahoo.
I won't comment Mr. Gore's sentence : " I am going to speak an inconvenient truth: My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali."
The story is, since a couple of weeks I was looking for a nice photo to illustrate an old saying from my first General Manager at the Optical Communications Measurements Division of Agilent Technologies. Coming directly from India to Germany, he often used sayings to push his ideas.
This photo of Al Gore, Nobel Prize, former US Vice-President and former future President, is the perfect illustration of an indian saying on finger pointing.
What is it ? When you point your finger on someone, or vice-versa, when someone points his finger on you to blame you of something, here's the reality : since human beings got 5 fingers at birth, the one you point on the person in front of you tells that this guy is accountable for 20% of the problem; your thumb points either to the ground or the sky : that's Mother Earth, or God (or The Force, you name it), for 20%. Your last three fingers, gently folded on your palm ? they're pointing on you, Buddy. YOU are responsible for 60% of the problem.
Next time you do finger-pointing against someone, better think twice.
post-scriptum : in the case of Mr. Gore, he already apologized for not being able to fight Global Warming when he was at the White House.
Photo Credit : AP Photo/Dita Alangkara.
Madame Christine Lagarde, French Minister for the Economy, Finance, and Employment (that's a title as big as the Ministry itself...) recently asked the French citizen to use bicycles instead of cars, in order to not spend their money on gasoline (and diesel).
Nice try, but she better had read this survey from Virgin Vacations before going with such a stupid statement. The survey is about : The eleven most bicycle friendly cities in the World.
Here's the list :
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
2. Portland, Oregon
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Boulder, Colorado
5. Davis, California
6. Sandnes, Norway
7. Tronheim, Norway
8. San Francisco, California
9. Berlin, Germany
10. Barcelona, Spain
11. Basel, Switzerland
That's seven cities in Northern/Central/Eastern Europe and four in the US. Paris, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, France ? Nowhere to see. I've been in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Boulder, San Francisco, Barcelona, Basel : I'd love to ride my bicycle there. I live nearby Paris : I would never ever jump on a Velib. Life is way too much important to me.
Full survey and more here.
Bicycle Friendly Community here.
Photo credit : George Bosela
Last night on Franco-German TV channel Arte, I saw a young kid riding an old refurbished bicycle made by his father. Of course, it was about Poverty, the real plague of Western European countries (not speaking fo the rest of the World, of course). To the question "what if you got 3 wishes to tell to a Genie ?", the little boy answered this :
"Wish number one : a brand new bicycle. Wish number two : a PlayStation. Wish number three : a 1000 more wishes."
Since then, I keep thinking about this last wish...
A new type of virus, aka 'Storm', is infecting Windows machines all over the Planet since beginning of this year. Unfortunately, Storm is much more than a good old virus : it's a worm, a Trojan Horse, and a bot, all in one single piece of malicious software. In between 1 million and 50 million PCs are infected, as per the actual estimations. The bad news : Storm has been written by hackers looking for profit. Read the whole story here on Wired, by Bruce Schneier, CTO of BT Counterpane. I'm so happy to run a Mac.
[thanks MDN for the heads up]
Ed. note : unfortunately, I must use a PC at work.
Al Gore wins the Nobel. Cool.
France First Lady and the President may split today (link in french, sorry - watch the AFP for more soon). Not cool.
... For the new Bubble, unfortunately. As Master FSJ writes in his Friday's post : "Bubble 2.0".
Come on, a Social Networking website, featuring a closed ecosystem, with an installed base mainly formed of students, would be valuated ten to fifty billion US dollars ?
This, plus Mr. GreenSpan' s statement : we're heading to the Bubble, guys. And fast. Unfortunately.
On Lunch Over IP : Picnic07: Stefana Broadbent and why everything is moving into the background.
I read Bruno Giussiani's running notes just before watching Jerry Maguire again. Kind of interesting answer to the question at the end of Bruno' s post : " how important something is to you to makes you make that specific choice of focusing on it? "...
On TechITeasy : Sustainable, Information Technology?
A detailed fact sheet by Jeremy Fain of Microsoft on Green IT. Among lots of other pretty serious stuff, this one : " Every second that passes sees 24 Kg of PCs produced, 1.8 tons of raw materials aimed at the Information Technology market, half a ton of CO2 generated by hardware heat, 108 Kg. of PC-related garbage."
On How To Change The World : Ten Questions with Chris Brogan.
The Social Media expert answers Guy Kawasaki' s famous ten questions (which are eleven, by the way) on Twitter. You've got to like the twittering app after that (don't miss the comments).
First of a new series about people who are taking initiatives to change the World, say hello to Foko.
Formed by four Malagasy bloggers, Foko is set to fight the current devastation of the beautiful ancestral Madagascar island by farmers :
Fires set for land-clearing and pasture land spread into adjacent wildlands causing damage to the island’s unique ecosystems. FOKO is taking actions, coming up with sustainable and science-based solutions that bring the world’s attention to the Malagasy people. When often biodiversity and lemurs are in the spotlight, FOKO wants to concentrate on the Malagasy people and make them a crucial factor in their unique and threatened environment.
One of the few rules I do follow in business is Never Talk Politics. Especially when it's about Economy. However, there are times when I can't keep my mouth shut. Take Mr Greenspan. Back in 2000, he announced a possible downturn of the US economy. Six months later, the Telecoms industry crashed, bringing down countless firms, startups, and worst, people, all around the Planet. The collateral damages were spectacular yet dramatic...
He did it again earlier this year, warning that the American economy might enter recession by the end of 2007. See what happened with the subprime mortgage crisis this summer, and the actual ongoing global turmoils worldwide.
That's why, the next time this man claims a downturn might occur in your industry, you better look for a new job somewhere else...
Thanks to Benoit Felten, this article by Andrew Schmitt of Nyquist Capital : "The Proving Ground of NTT", or how Japan expect to reach 100% broadband coverage, 90% of which to be ultra-high speed (read : fiber-based) by 2010.
In the early 90's, the Japanese economy crashed. Fifteen or so years later, Japan is back in the Top-5 concert of leading nations. Since fifteen years or so, Japan is building a truly broadband infrastructure. There is a strong link between those two facts : nationwide networks construction creates and maintains jobs, whilst thus available high-speed links helps creating new products & services, hence new jobs. A virtuous circle that propels the Economy.
Since yesterday, I'm working with young people, 18 to 22-yo. Each time they speak about money, they use "dollar" instead of "euro", which seems weird provided we are in France, founder and active member of the European Community. I've asked them why. Answer : because 1) it's more easy to pronounce, and 2), it's fun.
So, we've got an entire generation ready to switch...
A little while ago, entrepreneur/stock market commentator/best-selling author/co-founder of The Street.com and Mad Money host Jim Cramer went absolutely crazy live, during one of his regular appearances on CNBC.
Watch his new blockbuster : approximatively 2 million viewers on YouTube as of today. IMHO, it's even better than Ballmer going on stage.
In the meantime, you may listen to what the man said. Because it might be damn true...
" For the hundreds of climate-change activists who have camped out near Heathrow Airport for the past week, there is only one way to reduce the carbon footprint of aircraft: Stop flying so much. "
Must we quit flying to save the planet? the article published yesterday on the Seattle Time, by Mark Rice-Oxley is a must-read for all of us, especially those whose wallet sports one or more Gold/Platinum/Whatever-metal frequent flyer card.
Here's the conclusion :
[He noted that] 45 percent of all flights in Europe are less than 310 miles. "The French and Germans are showing that if you invest in good railways, you can persuade people to travel by rail and not by air."
But it's not only about leisure travel. Business travel makes up, by some estimates, 40 to 50 percent of all air travel. One element of the British OMEGA project is a study that looks at how business can reduce its aviation carbon footprint.
Keith Mason, who is leading the study, said it involves persuading businesses to measure the carbon they consume, choose flights that are not just the cheapest but are least environmentally damaging, use rail when possible and make greater use of videoconferencing and Internet solutions.
"We are aiming to come up with a range of practical tools that will help companies start managing their carbon consumption," Mason said. He noted that one company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has introduced an internal "carbon budget" whereby its 1,000 top travelers must reduce their CO2 footprint by 20 percent.
Some experts think similar personal carbon budgets — rationing — may be the solution.
"It's too late for voluntary mechanisms," Anderson said. "Carbon allowances are the only fair way to deal with this."
I wonder if I would still be able to collect 150 boarding passes in a year, as I did back in 2000.
On the other hand, flying every two days or so is exhausting - ask your captain the next time you get in an airplane. And opportunities to create new businesses out of this new situation (i.e. Global Warming) are tremendous...
The wind power industry made big strides last year, reports Jennifer Guevin for C|Net
15,200 megawatts of new wind turbines were installed around the world last year, representing a 26 percent jump in global wind power capacity, according to the Worldwatch Institute' study released yesterday.
By year's end, total wind power capacity exceeded 74,200 megawatts, enough to offset 43 million tons of carbon dioxide, the institute said.
Germany, Spain and the United States are currently the world's top wind power producers, putting out 60 percent of the global total, but the report says the alternative energy winds are shifting eastward. India and China were No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, in a list of countries installing new wind turbines. Senior Researcher Janet Sawin predicts the U.S. and China will compete for the top spot in window power output in the coming years.
More details from the report at the Worldwatch Institute's Web site here
" By next year, more than half the world's population, or about 3.3 billion people, will live in towns and cities, a number expected to swell to almost 5 billion by 2030, according to a United Nations Population Fund report released [last month]", Celia W. Dugger writes for the International Herald Tribune. Quite scarring, when one thinks about the implications. However, the threat can turn into the very chance to save the World.
Read the full article here, U.N. report and much more here.
Note : to view the World "as you've never seen it before", go to Worldmapper. A collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest, Worldmapper features more than 360 maps online, also available as PDF posters.
Martin LaMonica for C|Net posts :
" Recently published research confirms what any venture capital investor would tell you: clean tech is hot.
The Cleantech Network and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) published a report summary on Tuesday fing that VC investment grew 78 percent in 2006 to $2.9 billion. Most of that money went into energy-related technologies.
That investment growth is anticipated to continue: the report expects numbers to climb to $19 billion by 2010.
The authors cited a few reasons for the investment boom in clean, or green, tech: concerns over global warming, higher energy prices, improved technology and changing public policies.
A lot of the money spent in venture-backed companies last year went to a handful of energy companies. With funding, those companies were able to ramp up their businesses from technology pilots to full-scale productions. A collection of solar and biofuel companies--Cilion, AltraBiofuels, Bloom Energy, Renewable Energy Group and Nanosolar--accounted for $600 million of investment in 2006.
Shall you have the idea of a solar panel producing biofuel together with a micro-yet-powerful wind generator serving as a WiMax basestation, it's time to call on the VC firm next door ;-)
Although there is clearly a bull market in clean tech, there are also regular concerns over a bubble, particularly in solar and biofuels. There is also the concern that lower energy prices could make alternative energies and fuels less economical. "
The Venturi Eclectic has been introduced last year by the Monaco-based luxury car maker . The very first autonomous energy vehicle gets its power from a wind generator and from solar cells atop its roof. 3-seats, 50-km autonomy, the Eclectic is the ideal car for city transportation, and short drives in the countryside, like to pick up the kids at school.
First series of 200 units to be sold next month, at the quite high price tag of 24k euros. The next generation, using a new type of batteries, is scheduled for release in 2009, at 15k euros.
Press release here - pump up the volume, and click on the green arrow ;-)
I took this photo ten years ago or so, somewhere on Stevens Creek Boulevard, in between Santa Clara and Cupertino.
I wonder how it will look like in ten years from now, with the Automotive industry being forced to run on green energies.
Live Earth just revealed the US and UK concerts. Here is the press release, with details on ticketing and programs of the New York and London events *.
All information at http://www.liveearth.msn.com/gettix070707
* The Police and Genesis reborn, for Earth Rebirth...
USA LIVE EARTH REVEALED
Tickets for the 7/7/07 Concert to Combat Global Warming Go On Sale 4/16
NEW YORK — Organizers today announced eighteen of the headliners who will perform at the U.S. leg of the 7-continent, 24-hour Live Earth concerts on 7/7/07. The concert will be held at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, Live Earth Founder and Executive Producer Kevin Wall said.
Tickets for the show go on sale Monday, April 16 at 10 a.m. EDT.
“Capping Live Earth with a blockbuster show like this will ensure we meet our challenge of building a mass audience to combat global warming,” Wall said. “Live Earth will be a monumental event both in terms of entertainment and in turning the tide against global warming.”
The global concert on 7/7/07 will begin in Sydney and continue across all 7 continents, concluding with the U.S. show.
“We hope the energy created by Live Earth will jump start a massive public education effort,” Live Earth Co-Chair Vice President Al Gore said. “Live Earth will help us reach a tipping point that’s needed to move corporations and governments to take decisive action to solve the climate crisis.”
The U.S. show will feature live on stage:
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
FALL OUT BOY
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 16 and will be available at livenation.com/liveearth or by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-7171. All ticket information is available at LiveEarth.MSN.com. All proceeds will benefit the Alliance for Climate Protection and other international NGOs.
Live Earth is a monumental music event that will bring together more than 2 billion people to combat the climate crisis. Live Earth’s 24 hours of music across 7 continents will deliver a call to action and the solutions needed to answer the call. Live Earth marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign led by The Alliance for Climate Protection to move individuals, corporations and governments to take action.
Earlier today, Wall announced that the following artists will perform at the London leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium:
BLACK EYED PEAS
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Exclusive online media partner MSN is helping Live Earth reach people in every corner of the globe. The concerts will be streamed live on 7/7/07 at LiveEarth.MSN.com. MSN’s 39 localized web portals worldwide attract 465 million monthly users. The concerts will be broadcast on the NBC in the U.S. and on more than 120 networks around the world.
Wall also announced that smart car, Stonyfield Farm and Pepsi have joined Live Earth as corporate partners. In addition to working with Live Earth to create corporate efforts to combat global warming, this growing list of partners will help ensure a mass audience for Live Earth is reached. These efforts will be detailed at a later date.
Wall also announced today that Live Earth will stage concerts at Sydney’s Aussie Stadium; Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach; Johannesburg’s Cradle of Human Kind; Tokyo’s Tokyo Stadium and in Shanghai, TBD.
Live Earth is produced by Control Room, of which Kevin Wall is the CEO. Control Room has produced and distributed more than 60 concerts since its founding in 2005 featuring Beyonce, Madonna, Green Day and the Rolling Stones, among others.
I just discovered the American Museum of Natural History website. The Science Bulletins section features amazing animations and videos on the Universe, Space, and Earth. It's worth bookmarking, sharing, and, of course, watching here.
In the Earth section, the following three presentations are mandatory : Dead Zones on the Rise, Melting Glaciers: Clues to Climate Change, Arctic Sea Ice 1997-2006
Maybe those of you who are still skeptics about global warming will change their mind. Hopefully ;-)
Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio tell Hollywood how the Academy goes green. (photo : Reuters).
"An Inconvenient Truth", the documentary from used-to-be-the-next-president-of-the-United States of America Al Gore and director Davis Guggenheim on global warming has won an Oscar last night in Los Angeles, CA.
In my humble opinion, the Academy' award is another strong sign that the combat against global warming is going mainstream in the US. An excellent news, that is a tremendous step forward to a complete overhaul of our way of life.
As I wrote some weeks ago : for the first time in the History of Humanity, we of the Western World (aka " Occident ") can reshape Mother Earth for the sake of our children' children. And still make money out of it. Going Green (Tech) means make Green (Money - US dollars, get it ?)
post-scriptum : the original article by Associated Press claims"An Inconvenient Truth" to be a power-point presentation. Well, the author doesn't probably subscribe to "PresentationZen", otherwise she would have known that it was designed and created using Apple' Keynote presentation app !
Nevertheless, I understand the confusion : "An Inconvenient Truth" was not filmed at a conference' keynote speech ;-)
Al Gore talks about what the Live Earth campaign is all about and why it is important, and how the global concerts on 07.07.07 will play a role in that campaign. Watch the video here (WindowsMedia Player required).
Former Ex-Future US President Al Gore has launched a new initiative to help saving the planet, together with a group of environmental activists : LiveEarth is a worldwide event consisting of live concerts in cities on seven continents, broadcasted on television, radio, online and cell phones, to mobilize global action to face the climate crisis.
The international SOS Morse code : 3 dots, followed by 3 dashes, followed by 3 dots is used here as the acronym for "Save Our Selves". Says Al Gore, "The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement".
More about LiveEarth on Bruno Giussiani' s blog Lunch Over IP
LiveEarth website : http://liveearth.org
LiveEarth Green Event Standard - a must read for all conferences' speakers and attendees - here
List of resources to take action - to bookmark, read, and/or apply right now - here
post-scriptum : this is the very first time in my whole life that I might thank Mr. Bill Gates. The LiveEarth initiative is sponsored by MSN ;-)
When I discuss with friends, neighbors or colleagues, about Global Warming and the necessary changes in our way of living, I often hear the same reactions : it will cost us more money, it will force us to shut down hundreds of industries, it will create legions of jobless people, etc. I keep answering : "no". For me, the question is pretty simple : either we continue as in the past and we go right into the wall, either we all stand up together for a dramatic paradigm shift and we save the Planet, thanks to... Technology. New technologies coming out of R&D labs, old technologies used a different way, etc. : those will lead us to innovate and... create new tasks, new functions, new jobs.
Al Gore, speaking at the Silicon Valley Joint Venture event in San Jose, Calif., said there's still time to combat the expected effects of climate change. He said the investment and innovation that built the high-tech and biotech industries is now needed for green tech. Watch the video posted on C|NET here.
The Toronto-based online newspaper globeandmail.com has issued a Special report: The new climate. It is an interesting complement of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, for you can save the html files for education purposes.
See the thrilling video here, about the World's most polluted city - Linfen, China. See some dramatic effects of Global Warming in the diaporama here. See also the beautiful illustrations describing how the planet is warming up, why Greenland will turn green land again soon, and how we can all make our house green.