Sometimes you have such an eventful week, you can’t sleep. I’ve just had that kind of week, hopping between a conference on wastewater, the Gamification Summit and the Food Marketing Institute Sustainability Summit (which I’ll discuss in an upcoming blog), as well as meeting with representatives of Central African countries. The adrenaline required to keep pace with this unremitting schedule no doubt accounts for my totally inability to take a nap when I finally found myself sitting on the flight from New York to Los Angeles. I simply couldn’t get my mind to stop racing.
Why I have this desire to master so many diverse issues at once, I don’t know, but it would be terrific if I could just have an impact on one of them. For now, however, I’d like to share a few of the thoughts that this somewhat exhilarating week has ‘woken me up’ to:
- If we can filter recycled water with membranes or UV lighting, think about how much water and energy we would save – certainly a worthy goal to spend all of one’s time and energy on in itself.
- Retailers could drive public demand for sustainable seafood. Leaders in sustainable retailing like Whole Foods are already making a difference, but we need the more conventional chains, the Krogers and Safeways to do the same.
- Why can’t a technique be developed for mining rare earth minerals like those found in Central Africa without destroying the environment ? The fact is that without 17 such minerals, we couldn’t make wind turbines, LED lights and many other critical things, including magnets. But the process can be very toxic and we need to make it environmentally friendly.
Contemplating such possibilities, of course, is largely a result of meeting inspiring individuals like Gabe Zichermann, the chair of the Gamification Conference, an articulate, intellegent leader of the “game mechanics for change” movement, or Mordekai Lebouve from Congo, who I am totally confident is going to make a significant difference in this world. And that’s not to mention hanging out with people like Ashok Kamal, a young entreprenuer from Bennu LLC, who advises us at Greenopolis on social media techniques and has both big ideas and big ideals.
In short, this was the kind of week that, on a personal level at least, gives me hope for the country and the world– despite all the pessimism generated by an ongoing economic crisis and political gridlock. So who has time to be tired?
Now, I have to go back to my ‘day job’ at Greenopolis, and attempt to apply some of the water wisdom, gamification techniques and new ways of thinking I have assimilated in the past week to our efforts there – including expanding the scope of our recycling program to Africa.