Read: “Rethinking Clean Energy Innovation”

20 Jul 2010

“Today, private companies use more creative strategies to develop pharmaceuticals or make soap or rent DVDs than governments use to research and develop low carbon technologies,” Lewis Milford, the president of Clean Energy Group, told The New York Times.


Milford is lead author of a 2009 report calling for open innovation, the NYT article says: “Mr. Milford and his co-authors suggest the formation of a collaborative network, using Internet-based tools, for managing clean-tech development. The system would operate as a sort of matchmaker, enabling any scientist from any discipline to propose solutions to particular technical challenges.”

There’s a model for this already: “The authors of the report pointed to InnoCentive as a potential model for the sort of open-innovation they imagine. The InnoCentive Web site posts scientific problems from its clients (known as ‘seekers’) to a global network of 185,000 ‘solvers.'”

Why limit this to clean energy? The same could go for retrofitting homes, organizing communities, and more. We need all the innovation and inspiration we can get.


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »