Tag Archives: sustainability

Friend & Mentor Byron Washom Orchestrating 100% Renewable Energy Initiative for Billionaire’s Hawaiian Island

Byron and I at UCSD in 2011. He was and continues to be such an incredible mentor.

Byron and I at UCSD in 2011. He was and continues to be such an incredible mentor.

 

 

 

Congratulations to my great friend and exceptional mentor, Byron Washom, on his newest adventure! He is charged with the admirable work of powering Lanai with 100% renewable energy. The island was recently purchased by Larry Ellison for $500 million. As he would say, it’s going to be a game changer. Byron on 10 News San Diego

Here he is when we first met. I was interviewing him on a climate change initiative I started on campus at UCSD while I was a grad school student.

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Sustainable Initiative Taking Root Outside Rio

I visited a friend’s project outside of Rio last week. The place and the people that work there were so awesome that I felt compeled to make a quick video for the initiative. Have a look. PS: Happy 2013!

#Green Week Ahead (May 07-13)

Hello everyone — I hope you had a festive Cinco de May weekend!

Here’s what I am planning to attend this week. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment.

Tues May 08

One of thousands of islands in Queensland, Australia.

On a personal note, I am excited to announce that I will be teaching a monthlong course on sustainability this summer for San Diego State University undergraduates. The course, as part of their study abroad program, will be conducted throughout Queensland, Australia. I will be giving a pre-departure orientation on this day as we prepare to explore, firsthand numerous socio-environmental issues, developing a new perspective regarding our relationship with the planet.

 

Wed May 09

CleanTECH Advocacy Meeting from 2-3:30pm.

David Victor

New Ways to Stop Global Warming from 5:15-7:00pm. Professor of Political Science and Climate Change Specialist, David Victor discusses how global warming is affecting our planet today. Professor Victor will explore strategies that would be more effective in addressing issues surrounding climate change. He recently authored a 2011 Economist Best Book – Global Warming Gridlock – and advises countries and companies regarding energy and climate policy.

Here’s an interview I did with Professor Victor while studying with him at UCSD. My Interview with David Victor.

 

“IF WE DO NOT CHANGE OUR DIRECTION WE ARE LIKELY TO END UP WHERE WE ARE HEADED” – Chinese Proverb

My Close Friend & Mentor, Byron Washom, On TEDx

From Midway Island to Hawaii, from Hawaii to California, then MIT and back again. During this journey, he explored live ammunition fields, fell for surfing, set numerous energy world records, and developed amazing projects here at UC San Diego. Byron’s incredible life experiences, game-changing accomplishments, and deep insights create a story you MUST hear!

How do we tap into our innate creativity? Byron encourages us to follow our passion and push the boundaries, even beyond our comfort zone — beyond the barrier reef. How right he is. One in a million, Byron. Slam dunk!

What future do you want?

I want a future where equality of opportunity knows no borders and no era. Equality of opportunity in education, health, and economic development. Also, equality of opportunity across generations. Our children deserve a planet with the same environmental health that we enjoy today —  if not better. I believe in our ability to achieve a quasi-Utopian future, one in which imperfect (hence the quasi-), but thoughtful societies find a balance, both internally and with their shared environments.

I want a planet where societies make educated decisions that address the needs of now without sacrificing the foundations of our future. Ask yourself, “are we on a path to that future?”. There are lots of statistics, images, peer-reviewed scientific research, and harsh realities suggesting that the answer is “no”, that instead we are running a resource deficit and feeding a process that drives an ever-unpredictable climate and future. Part of this stems from our obsession with economic growth and consumption. Ironically, as a former student of economics and policy, now looking to launch his career, I care about the subject of economics. I want a stronger economy where I can create professional opportunities for myself and others. Still, within a finite world, fast-paced economic growth based on a business model of unsustainable products and services will not create a job that I want to apply for. Such a model is unfair to the whole of our population, and particularly unjust for the marginalized communities of today and the disadvantaged generations of tomorrow. These groups are ill-equipped to defend themselves against the impacts of shortsighted economic growth. Instead, let us look to how we may deepen economic development: doing more for society while manipulating less of our environment. I envision a future where individuals, governments, and businesses strive to achieve comprehensive sustainability by: (1) deepening economic development, (2) providing better information and tools to our communities, and (3) creating models of success in terms of the responsible consumption of resources (especially energy).

I will admit, this vision is vague on details, as it is a vision of a mindset rather than a roadmap. However, it is as much our mindset as it is our pocketbooks that drives our behavior — and I believe these issues all boil down to behavior. We can only technologically innovate our way out of some of this challenge. Therefore, our behavior must change. Otherwise, our environment will most certainly change to the detriment of a population that was unwilling – or unable – to do so itself.

I, for one, am optimistic that this will not be the case. We will innovate in technology and behavior. We will find a solution. I look forward to our shared challenge. Our shared roadmap. Our shared future.

Visit http://futurewewant.org/ to join the discussion.

Green Week Ahead (Feb 27 – Mar 04)

It looks like this will be an entrepreneurial week for me, as our budding community of innovative businessmen and businesswomen convene for a couple cool events.

Here’s what I am planning to attend. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment!!!

Wed Feb 29

San Diego Tech Coffee from 9-10am at the Pannikin in Del Mar. The group’s organizer, Brant Cooper, says “The idea for this group is a ‘working’ meetup, i.e., not a networking event. Come share your ideas, talk ‘lean startup’ and ‘customer development’, demo products, etc., but also roll up your sleeves and get to work in a collegial, coffee-shop environment.”

Tech Coast Angels hosts Meet the Angels from 6-9pm.“Mintz Levin invites you to join us for Tech Coast Angels’ ‘Meet the Angels’, an incredible opportunity for private investors and entrepreneurs to connect. If you are a financier looking for an exceptional investment opportunity, or a startup company in need of capital to bring your idea to market, there is no better place to find it than at this exclusive meet and greet. Dozens of cutting-edge companies with great new ideas and products will be in attendance, and to make those products a reality, they are looking to the Angels. Especially in today’s economy, an event like this one–with unprecedented access to investors and entrepreneurs alike– is not to be missed.” Unfortunately, I believe registration is already closed and the event is full. For those of you not attending, I will be sharing interesting ideas and info via my twitter feed (@JarrodMRussell).

In a recent meeting with Duane Roth, CEO of Connect, we talked about many things. During our conversation, he took the time to explain the concept of dilution as it relates to shares in a young, fast-growing company. I am eager to talk shop and increase my start-up IQ this week. With our great universities and industry clusters (e.g. biotech, solar, etc.), one wonders when we will see an entrepreneurial and investment community that challenges Silicon Valley. Maybe it already does… and I just don’t know it yet. I look forward to finding out.

Thur Mar 01

I will be meeting with Jess Ponting, Director of SDSU’s Center for Surf Research. As a surfer with extensive travel in Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa, I believe in the Center’s Vision: “Surfing’s impact on the world is entirely positive. By incorporating principles of sustainable tourism, surf tourism promotes healthy lifestyles and is a key driver for the environmental, social/cultural, and economic well being of destinations.” Though I know my greenhouse gas emissions to get to these destinations is not positive, I like to think that the role I played as an ambassador to the sport and our country have positively impacted the communities I visited. Judging from his bio, Jess sounds like a great guy and — whether we are talking about where to find better barrels or how to build sustainable communities — I am sure we’ll have plenty of stories to exchange. 



Green Week Ahead (Feb 13-19)

Well, last week was a whirlwind. I attended both the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) and the CADEM 2012 convention. I was at the Hilton Bayfront and the SD Convention Center everyday. Hence, my tardiness in this post. Additionally, it looks like there is simply less going on in town this week. I have a few personal meetings lined up, but not many big events like the week before.

Here’s what I (attended and) am planning to attend this week. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment!!!

Feb 13

Grid Alternatives Orientation from 3-5pm. If you are interested in helping to install solar panels for a family in need, you must attend this orientation (offered regularly). Check out the organization’s webpage for details regarding upcoming events.

Feb 15

I’m heading over to the local offices of Itron, a “leading provider of energy and water resource management solutions for nearly 8,000 utilities around the world. We offer end-to-end solutions that include electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services. With nearly 9,000 employees doing business in 130 countries, Itron empowers utilities to responsibly and efficiently manage energy and water resources.”

Feb 17

I’ll be visiting Duane Roth and his entrepreneurial team at Connect to see who’s driving innovation in our region. “CONNECT is focused on delivering the fundamental programs that the innovation community depends upon.  At the same time the organization is creating new services to meet the needs of the evolving economic and policy landscape and the new clusters that are developing within the region.  Challenges include attracting investment capital and engineering and experienced management talent.”