Green Light Distrikt is about entrepreneurship focused on the cleantech sector. GLD U provides cleantech courses . Edited by Chris Williams with frequent guest posts from friends, experts and industry insiders from clusters across the globe. Our goal is to provide a place where cleantech entrepreneurs in various clusters across the globe can learn from one another. Green Light Distrikt is creating the "Hitchikers Guide to Clentech" to provide a resource for cleantech entrepreneurs. Read more
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May 3rd, 2011BOSTON -
Boston is a great place if you’re into the good green stuff. There plenty of companies, incubators, organizations, and journalists covering the cleantech industry spreading news about what’s happening. But the truth is, although it seems like things are happening “everywhere” sometimes it can hard to figure them out and keep track of them. Here is an attempt to compile it all. As always, if I missed something, let me know in the comments.
- Young Professionals in Energy. Known as YPE, this is a national organization with local chapters. The Boston chapter is great, tons of events, they’ve done plant tours in the past. One of the best parts is that there is some formal organization, so things get done really well. I’ve found YPE to be great to connect with people already in the industry.
- Green Drinks. Once a month, good conversation, diverse group of people.
- Clean Economy Network. Great group of people in Boston, always organizing amazing site visits of various companies and holding very informative events.
- Emerging Green Builders. Group of people heavily focused on green building, including renewables but also a strong focus on building science and materials.
- Net Impact. One of the best groups I know of to connect with professionals working on sustainability within larger corporations.
- Boston Sustainability Group.
- Raab Restructing Roundtable. Hands down the best quarterly event held on the energy industry in New England.
March 7th, 2011London -
I, like James Byrne, am a new Industry Insider for the UK end of GLD (hello GLDers!). After many many months of reading, investigating and ‘testing of water’ I decided to begin my career in the cleantech sector by starting a market research & analysis business around 6 months ago. Although relatively new to the sector, I have found the UK cleantech space to be full of ambitious and passionate people; though it is fair to say I’ve found myself in the minority.
What has also struck me is the diversity of philosophies on where the cleantech industry could or (for the more affirmative) should be going. A recent idea I was discussing with someone focused on the premise that the industry should no longer be called cleantech, but solely tech. A similar concept to our current 1 pence coin being initially called a ‘new-pence’ until the new was dropped soon after its inception. The fact that these questions are being discussed at the moment is what really draws me to this industry; especially in the UK where over the next decade there will be a huge cultural shift as cleantech no longer need be called cleantech (as it is the norm). At least I hope that this is the case.
Starting a career in the cleantech industry was daunting and most of all confusing. With new deals, industry developments and energy policy changing on an almost daily basis, it pays to have a list of useful cleantech resources at your disposal, in the drop of a hat. So what are those all-important top five useful UK cleantech resources? Well here is a list of the ones that I have found useful whilst starting a cleantech career out here in the UK:
November 29th, 2010BOSTON -
By Flex Space I mean a place where you can work with access to the internet, a moderately comfortable chair, and heat.
Let’s brainstorm. There’s the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in Kendall, there’s the MassChallenge space in Fort Point, there’s WorkBar near South Station, and then there are the random coffee shops, public libraries, and the various rooms in your house which could all serve as Flex-Space. I’m also sure there are others I’m forgetting, I just know the three above mentioned spaces well so will comment on them herein.
First, the CIC. It’s fancy. They have snacks. There are secretaries. The whole space (a few floors) screams, “I’m modern! I’m Chic! If you work here, you can’t help but be successful!” Oh, and there are miniature kiwi’s in the kitchen…
Overall, I like the CIC very much. They’re great with the balance between privacy and open space. The Venture Cafe is open, welcoming, and a great place to meet with friends or meet new friends.
November 3rd, 2010BOSTON -
If you’re like me, and you really love this stuff, “green” stuff that is, you’re always looking for great information sources. Places where you can find little bits of news and insights about a particle region, industry, company, interview or new trends that’s totally, completely AWESOME but that’s not going to make it on the mainstream news. This is my list of those source.
I call them my green brain food. What’s your brain food?
As you’re reading, if you remember that you have some specific pieces of brain food that are totally awesome, but that I didn’t include or that I don’t know, PLEASE share them with everyone in comments section.
My Green Brain Food
The Green Skeptic - The Green Skeptic is run by Scott Edward Anderson. Scott’s the founder of Verde Strategy and has worked with Ashoka and The Nature Conservancy. What I love about Scott’s blog is its clear he’s into the “mission”. That is, using business to decrease our impact on the environment. However, it’s also clear by the name “green skeptic” that he’s constantly questioning and challenging how we’re trying to accomplish the mission so it’s done the most effectively. This leads to great content.
September 8th, 2010BOSTON -
The academic highlight of my grad program was a directed research thesis with Boston College IS professor, Rob Fichman. Disrupting the Carbon Quo was an exploration of the role innovation economics can play for a comprehensive response to climate change. For a few months, it was my job to get schooled in energy transitions, up to speed with climate science, and comfortable with the notion of techno-economic paradigms. In the process, I built up a small “new energy” library, a selection of which I’m featuring here.
A few months back, GLD Insider Walter Frick featured cleantech web resources in his post, How to Become a Clean Energy Infovore. So after you’ve munched on those, check out some of these books for a deep dive in climate science, the commercial response, and potential economic impacts. The Prize and The End of Nature are next in my Kindle queue, what’s in yours?
Earth: The Sequel – If there is ever a Hall of Fame for the environment, Fredd Krupp will surely be an inductee. At times, he is controversial for his market-based proposals for environmental change, but it’s hard to argue with the Environmental Defense Fund’s results, which include a successful implementation (1990 Clean Air Act) of a cap and trade mechanism for sulfer dioxide, and demonstrable sustainability campaigns with Fortune 500 enterprises — where impacts are quantifiable, scalable, and margin-enhancing.