Your Energy Bill in 2020: $0

30 July 09

futurethink ge smart grid

Moans and groans over the cost of energy have been heard in just about every household, but with the smart grid those moans are likely to turn to sighs of relief.

Companies like General Electric have diligently been pursuing smart grid development, which promises to create a network including energy generation, transmission, and distribution that provides more efficient and reliable output than the existing power grid using advanced computer, digital, and communications technologies. The smart grid will also cater to alternate energy sources including sun, bio gas, and wind power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Future 2049: Farmer Exxon

1 July 09

The conversation would go something like this with a mom talking to her young son in 2028: “Honey, Exxon used to make gas to run cars. I know – really, It sounds funny but they used to be what we called a ‘oil and gas’ company, when cars ran on gasoline – and they made hundreds of billions of dollars doing it (that was a lot of money back then, son).” But apparently with the adoption of hydro-electric cars (brought on by legislative and economic incentives (read: subsidies)), that made the auto industries ‘dream to be green’ possible. Exxon therefore had to find a new industry or go out of business, It was shocking, really. With tremendous real estate and technology assets on their balance sheet (refineries) they wondered what else could be done with these refineries now that drilling for oil wasn’t a major revenue stream anymore.  So, after fighting Mother Nature all these years, they finally embraced it. Sun (solar), wind power, water and manufactured land platforms at their disposal in the oceans across the globe (with some architectural tweaks) they became the largest farmer in the United States with more water/farm land than the states of (Nebraska, Iowa..and…). Exxon’s offshore farming industry took off – growing vegetables and farming fish while creating new eco-environments with the reefs they created. Now with grazing land at such a premium, both the Argentinean and US governments have asked Exxon to begin using some of their platforms for raising livestock. We expect the first offshore cattle to be ready for market in 2 years.


Creating a World Without Poverty

28 January 09

futurethink-grameen-muhammad-yunus

Last night, I attended a talk at NYU put on by Stern’s Berkely Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The speaker was Muhammad Yunus,  founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus focused his speech on the idea of “social business,” a topic he covers extensively in his new book, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

It was an extremely interesting speech, especially given today’s economic environment and Yunus’ audience of “Sternies,” who are notoriously profit-minded, Wall Street-focused individuals. Read the rest of this entry »