October 20th, 2010

The 1st Boston Young + Cleantech + Tech + Save the World Meetup


“Why is there so little overlap between the cleantechies and regular techies in Boston?” The question hit me a couple weeks ago and I’m going to do something about it. In Boston, I’ve noticed that there is a HUGE amount of BUZZ and interest in both web-tech and cleantech, specifically in the young crowd. At the same time, there seems to be very little overlap between the two crowds. My goal is to change this, at least in a small way. On Friday, November 5th, at Tommy Doyles Pub in Kendell Square between 6pm and 8pm we’ll be hosting the 1st Young + Cleantech + Tech + Save the World Meetup. I’ve created an eventbrite page but you don’t need to register to come, I just thought it would be useful so we can all connect with each other. We’ll be using the hashtag #cleantechtech to share information about the meetup. The goal for it right now is simple, to measure the interest from both groups in collaborating and to gather ideas to see if its something we should make larger in the future.

Whats the story behind the Young + Cleantech + Tech + Save the World + Brewskies meetup?

For 3 years I’ve been very much involved with the green and cleantech scene in Boston but never the tech side. As of 9 months ago, I knew nothing about tech, and I still barely know anything. Then, I decide to start a blog (the one you’re readying right now) and began to learn what HTML, CSS, PHP and what all that other good stuff is. At the same time, I decided to get plugged into the local tech community, going to DART Boston events, hanging out with Kyle Psaty and the BostInnovation crew and randomly bumping into Jason Evanish of Greenhorn Connect fame. While going to these events I noticed that I barely ever bumped into any of my buds from the green scene.

This struck me as strange. The lack of overlap is not on purpose, by design, or because the groups don’t get along. At the core, both groups very much have a “change the world” mentality, they’re just going about it in different way. I’ve noticed tech tends to be a little more indirect. For example, look at Google.org or Peace.facebook.com. While cleantechies tend to more or less take the issue head on.

What’s the goal of the meetup?

I believe in establishing friendships and having fun.

  1. First and foremost is to have fun and establish personal friendships that bridge the gap between these two communities. I think both communities have a lot to gain from the other side and building friendships will be the first step to collaboration.
  2. Second is to be a place that unites these two, seemingly separate groups.
  3. Third is to share specific ideas of how both groups can collaborate. This might come later, after a couple meetups, but we’ll see.

Who should come?

  1. Cleantechies. Those working with, on, or wanting to start some sort of green, or cleantech organization that will rely heavily — and what organizations don’t these days — on technology to be successful.
  2. Techies. People who are involved in webdesign, mobile, coding, who are looking to put their skills into action addressing a social or environmental issue.

What to Expect

To be honest, I really don’t know and I wouldn’t lie to you and pretend I did. This may be the first, and only such event we ever do. On the other hand, it might turn into a huge regular gathering. It could go either way. At the very least, I hope to run into some amazing people, working on really cool projects.

Some Questions For You

If you are or are not going, I’m curious, what do you think about the idea? Is there a better way we can unite the two communities? Do you think I’m wrong and there is a lot of collaboration between cleantech and tech?

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Chris Williams

About Chris Williams

Chris Williams is the editor of Green Light Distrikt and Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring . He has experience in business development, prototyping and new venture research with a focus on geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies. Chris is an IGSHPA accredited geothermal installer and NABCEP certified solar installer. Chris is focused on solving customer facing issues in the creation and adoption of clean energy technologies and products. Chris has installed over 300kW of solar and tens of geothermal systems. He's invented the PV Pal , developed many trainings at HeatSpring, publishes the NABCEP Study Guide , the Hitchhikers Guide to Cleantech and has done due diligence research for Urgent VC . Feel free to connect with him @topherwiliams , on Linkedin , or through email about new ventures, collaborating, writing, research or whatever is on your mind.