30 June 2008

Energy Surveys ~ FT & WSJ Weigh In

There's a surfeit of surveys about all things Energy! Last week's Economist hailed The power and the glory. And just today, both the FT and the WSJ weighed in with their own perspectives. The FT's Energy Special Report covers the full spectrum. Two especially interesting tidbits include:
  1. The interview by Rebecca Bream of Marius Kloppers, the head of BHP Billiton who discusses his firm's presence in Gas & Oil sector and why he thinks the future is Nuclear.
  2. Also, former BP chief Lord Browne opines on the Consensus on climate change goals.
The WSJ Energy Journal Report also surveys the Joules. Several gems stand out, including:
  1. The Case For -- And Against -- Nuclear Power as argued by Michael Totty.
  2. A Little Knowledge about smart meters by Rebecca Smith.
  3. And the priceless piece on algae Scum Power by Russell Gold, including a nice little video vignette...

29 June 2008

Developmental Entrepreneurship @ MIT ~ Founding a Powerful Emergent Theme

Inspired in 2000-1 by Amy Smith, Saul Griffith and Nitin Sawhney and other MIT colleagues working on international development innovations, DesignThatMatters, ThinkCycle, and Development-by-Design, I started -- together with Professor Alex (Sandy) Pentland -- the grassroots MIT initiatives on Developmental Entrepreneurship (DE), teaching our DE Seminar starting in 2001 jointly between the Media Lab and MIT Sloan. (FYI, we have upwards of a dozen spinout companies to-date including Amir Hasson's United Villages pictured above!-) Furthermore, I co-created & continue to support an ever-growing International Development Network, have co-hosted & continue to run numerous events, collaborations, & activities, long-argued for accelerating development innovations broadly, initiated & helped expand the DE challenge prizes, extended Seed Grants supporting practical field experiences by MIT and Harvard students, and more!

This theme has really blossomed in the past few years at MIT and beyond, with not only DE-themed companies winning the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition overall, but ever-more connections and links with the MIT International Development Initiatives, including the IDEAS Competition, the D-Labs family of class offerings, and other exciting efforts, including IDDS. A few recent developments especially stand out at MIT:
I'm very proud of co-founding DE @ MIT and being part of growing and expanding this theme at the Institute, connecting with ever more competent and compelling colleagues who care. Now the time is ripe for us all to integrate and escalate our efforts throughout MIT and beyond. This would allow us to expand our shared learning-by-doing approach, to seed-finance hundreds -- indeed, thousands -- of exploratory projects and talented people, and to use an iterative, grassroots approach to identifying and supporting the best inventive ideas and venture opportunities. We need a highly-distributed, action-empowered, trustworthy network of smart and morally-grounded people to properly tackle the enormous global gigachallenges we face!

Understanding University Leadership ~ Advice From Presidents-Emeritus

MIT's Stephen Immerman suggested that Bob Simha and I add two recent Chronicle of Higher Education pieces to the reading list for our Understanding MIT class, thinking ahead to our next installment of the seminar this Fall 2008.
  1. What I Might Have Told My Successor: A former university president looks back on 19 years of lessons learned at the top, by Stephen Trachtenberg, who served as president of George Washington University for nearly two decades.
  2. Why Presidents Fail -- and How They Can Succeed, by Harry Peterson, president emeritus of Western State College of Colorado and author of Leading a Small College or University: A Conversation That Never Ends.

Recommended Readings... 080629

Several more interesting reads lately...

African Politics ~ Map of Despotism-Democracy

Neuralieve ~ Emergent Neurotechnology Venture...

MedGadget spotlights Battling Migraines From the Inside and Out including a noninvasive portable transcranial magnetic stimulator (TMS) from Neuralieve, an emergent neurotechnology venture. They claim...
Neuralieve has developed the first portable "home-use" TMS Treatment System. The first application will be migraine therapy. Neuralieve's TMS Treatment system is used to stimulate the brain's occipital cortex, inducing a signal that is intended to disrupt cortical spreading depression (CSD), the abnormal brain waves which precede migraine. Scientific experiments have suggested that disrupting the wave of CSD may reduce or eliminate the pain associated with a migraine episode.
Still more R&D to be done, of course, but this is a very compelling suite of developments.

28 June 2008

North Pole Dynamics ~ Visualizing Ice Coverage Past & Future

In a NYTimes Dot Earth article by Andrew Revkin entitled What’s Really Up With North Pole Sea Ice? the data about seasonal shifts in ice coverage are nicely presented and visualized...

Heil Mugabe ~ Africa's Very Own Hitler

It's now blindingly obvious to everyone that Mugabe is Africa's very own Hitler. (Actually there are several equally swine-like characters throughout the continent.) If there ever was a place where well-executed international interventions are needed, it is Zimbabwe. Again, the role of Peacemaking and Peacekeeping forces will be critical as will the helping hand of prosperity policies and thoughtful aid.

25 June 2008

International Innovations in Health ~ Emergent Element of IDI @ MIT!

It is very exciting to see Jose Gomez-Marquez and International Development Initiative colleagues Amy Smith and others escalate their efforts in international health innovations! Their new website spotlights the many emergent efforts, including a growing portfolio of inventions, a collaborative co-development approach, and a new member of the D-Labs family of classes on Development-Design-Dissemination!

Lanthe Chronis of MIT Media Lab on HighTechFever

I hosted Lanthe Chronis of the MIT Media Lab on my HighTechFever TV show tonight. Lanthe described her work with Anmol Madan and Sandy Pentland in the Human Dynamics group on hacking mobile phones, specifically iPhones from Apple. And experimenting with dozens of test subjects! Very promising emergent area of Systems Sociology research! We also discussed her experiences with extracurriculars at MIT, specifically her time as past President of Random Hall, one of the undergraduate dormitories at the Institute. It is difficult to overstate the powerful and formative role such experiences -- beyond the lab and classroom -- play in the development of MIT talent! (Something I documented in my thesis on The Innovation Institute, btw!-)

Victoria's Circuit ~ Wearable Energy Solutions for Women...

The ever-vigilant Paul Hsieh from GeekPress spotted an uplifting article in Slate entitled Victoria's Circuit: Harnessing the untapped power of breast motion by Adrienne So, an athletic woman who wants to, as she says, "put the girls to work" for more than their three baby-feeding years. Enter wearable power generation systems capable of harvesting the oscillatory energy built-up through sport and other vigorous engagements. Enough to power an iPod, Adrienne hopes. The various university researchers she polled are optimistic that the kinetics can indeed be captured. Who else, however, but intrepid MIT engineers could best lay hands on the problems involved and pursue the intensive, iterative experimental research and development required to fully harness such frequencies of nature? Surely this is a task for Media Lab Professor Joe Paradiso whose group captured shoe power over a decade ago? Possibly the MIT Sports Innovation Lab could take this on as their contribution to the MIT Energy Initiative? Maybe Professor Dava Newman will embed such circuits into her spacesuit designs? There are billions of otherwise wasted Watts-gone-wild worldwide!

Water ~ Key Emergent Venture Sector Worldwide

In my last two Recommended Readings posts, I noted that...
James Flanigan in the NYTimes writes that Keeping the Water Pure is Suddenly in Demand, about a spectrum of tech suppliers and operators, large and small all profiting from aquatic action. And Leila Abboud in the WSJ writes that French utility Suez to Spin Off 'Green' Unit creating Suez Environment focusing on water and waste treatment services. These are exciting developments in the eco-sector!
...and that...
Jeanna Russell writes in the Globe about visionary water engineer Thomas Baron in All tomorrow's water. Baron has a century-long perspective on waterworks and the infrastructure of urbanization and is urging a multi-decade plan to ensure adequate future aquatic supplies.
And I was chatting with MIT Entrepreneur in Residence and Sloan Senior Lecturer Bill Aulet yesterday about this very sector since he wrote a compelling Xconomy post just recently entitled The Next Big Thing in Energy Innovation and Investing? Let’s Talk Water.

These emerging water-related venture opportunities represent an enormous multi-US$ Trillion global sector including massive gigaproject infrastructure works as well as
highly distributed technology, product, and grassroots venture opportunities. For instance, MIT Civil & Environmental Engineering Senior Lecturer Susan Murcott of the Water & Sanitation group has long championed off-grid solutions to deliver clean water to One Billion people in developing countries!

24 June 2008

Dynamic Skyscrapers ~ Each Floor Rotates Independently...

BBC has a video and story about Dynamic Skyscrapers designed by David Fisher to be built in Dubai and Moscow. Plus Evelyn Lee in inhabitat wrote about these a year ago in an article entitled Twirling Wind-Power Tower. Here's an additional video simulating the concept...

International Development Design Summit @ MIT Summer 2008

Preparations are well under way for the second International Development Design Summit (IDDS) to be held at MIT this Summer 2008! Pulled together by Amy Smith and colleagues from MIT, Olin, and CalTech, the IDDS draws together "students, mechanics, social workers, doctors, carpenters, farmers, and professors" from nearly two dozen countries and regions "to build technologies to improve the quality of life in the developing world." Here are the latest details, including info about last years people and projects.

Building a LEED Campus ~ MIT as Predictive Microcosm

I'm quite interested in going beyond one-off LEED Buildings and towards weaving together an entire LEED Campus (and ultimately developing LEED Cities and an entirely regenerative LEED Civilization). Click here to review all my posts on this topic;-) Let's start at MIT!

George Carlin ~ R.I.P.

Sad to say it: Carlin's gone. CNN's Peter Dykstra rightly called him a Standup Scientist. For those of you who can tolerate a few four-letter words and some rude humor, here's a parting shot from George (in which he pretty much offends everyone;-) about Religion...

23 June 2008

Extraordinary Forgiveness ~ Moving Beyond POW and Other Horrific War Experiences

While I'm quite ambivalent about John McCain's US Presidential candidacy, I've been quite moved by his and other POW stories of forgiveness. I was introduced to the compelling and important moral domain of Prisoners of War and other sorts of "war enemies" by no less than James Clavell as immortalized by his epic Asian Saga, which included both his World War II experience in Changi Jail on Singapore and subsequent effective reconciliation with his former Japanese captors. Jim Halperin's First Immortal also features a tremendously powerful forgiveness meme with an even more personal story. And we have several public case examples of former enemies at Pearl Harbor or other war fronts reconciling and, in a fundamental way, moving on towards a better, more cordial, gracious, friendly, even loving future. There is something extraordinary here which must be understood and captured fully in order for humanity to advance as a species and move beyond such despicable situations as exist in today's oppression and conflict-zones. And this also includes understanding the truth & reconciliation efforts in South Africa and Ireland and other challenging national and ex-colonial situations.

Economic Cities ~ KAEC in Saudi & Beyond...

As I've written about before, the development of the King Abdullah Economic City or KAEC (pronounced "CAKE") is a very exciting gigaproject. The BBC surveys the latest in an update by Crispin Thorold entitled New cities rise from Saudi desert. I'm interested in this because such Economic Cities are relevant not only in the KSA but more generally in the MENACA region, from the Moroccan-Med cities to the Vital Levant to the Boom Cities of the Gulf to the emergent developments along the New Silk Road.

22 June 2008

Recommended Readings... 080622

A few more interesting reads lately...

Mixed-Use in Bangkok ~ Creative City Spaces !-)

A Bangkok railway + marketplace... Again, I found this thru Destroying My Art!

War Movie on a Budget!

I first saw this making-of a war movie on Destroying My Art and think it's so remarkable it deserves further attention. Three guys plus costumes, a plan, a couple locations, SFX gear, and a suite of digital editing tools replicate D-Day!

21 June 2008

Broken Clockwork ~ Okay, I'm a Russian Now ;-)

After a thoroughly tepid, uninspired, dispirited, borderline incompetent and losing performance by Marco van Basten's Dutch team, I'm now a temporary Russian in support of their Dutchman coach Guus Hiddink's team!-) This other White-Blue-Red team really performed well today and I look forward to seeing them in the rest of the Euro2008. And it's excellent to remember all the ties between Netherlands and Russia, including Peter the Great's incognito trip to Holland in 1697 which laid the foundation for so much Russian development. It is very much worth reinforcing these historic links and supporting current progress.

Swiss Venture Leaders 2008 ~ Key Entrepreneurs Visit Boston & MIT

I was pleased to meet the eighth class of Swiss Venture Leaders hosted in Boston by Pascal Marmier of swissnex, the Swiss Consulate / Knowledge Network! Pascal and I thought they might enjoy my MIT Innovation Tour, a walk around our campus where I could spotlight the many startups and businesses created by MIT faculty and alumni -- e.g. Cambridge Innovation Center, Biogen, Genzyme, iRobot, Texas Instruments, among others -- and also discuss emerging research themes and the entrepreneurship ecosystem here. And, of course, as proof the Venture Leaders were actually here, I took a photo in front of the MIT dome!-)

19 June 2008

Future of Energy ~ Economist Special Report

Nice survey of the energy landscape in the latest Economist entitled The power and the glory. Several emerging energy innovation areas are covered, including a healthy number from MIT! I'm especially interested in the percentage shifts over time -- i.e. the changing fraction of total usage provided by what power source -- and comparing this to other changes over the long-haul, for example as relates to the sustainability of economic growth.

18 June 2008

The Ross Sisters ~ Amazing Contortionist Performers!

Starts deceptively slow then, wow!

Lemelson-MIT's Joshua Schuler on HighTechFever!

I hosted Lemelson-MIT Program Executive Director Joshua Schuler on my HighTechFever TV show today! Josh spotlighted the full suite of inventor-support programs which Lemelson-MIT runs at the Institute and beyond, including the major $500,000 inventor prize, $100,000 sustainability prize (won this year by KickStart founder Martin Fisher!), the student inventor prizes, the high school InvenTeams program, and the finale celebration next week Thursday & Saturday called EurekaFest...
...a multi-day celebration designed to empower a legacy of inventors through activities that inspire youth, honor role models, and encourage creativity and problem solving!

MIT Enterprise Forum Global ~ Celebrating Entrepreneurship Everywhere!

I was delighted to participate yesterday in the MIT Enterprise Forum Global Board Meeting -- and the afterparty on the roof of MIT's Baker House -- where we both celebrated four years of Joe Hadzima's service as Chairman and Beth Garvin's key support as CEO of the MIT Alumni Association! Plus we discussed major initiatives -- boosting the number of international chapters, engaging with up-and-coming entrepreneurs from MIT and beyond, sharpening up global branding dramatically, crafting tremendous educational and inspirational content in partnership with local chapters for worldwide distribution, and more! Plus we elected multi-company entrepreneur Rich Kivel as our new Chairman together with an all-volunteer slate of entrepreneurs, investors, and new venture mentors as new Board members.

17 June 2008

Wear Orange! ~ The Crazier the Better!

The Times gets it (mostly) right with an article by Damian Whitworth entitled A Brit turns oranje for Euro 2008: What's a guy gotta do to support Holland? Act ‘craazee' while wearing an orange wig, apparently! Quoth he:
...a spokesman for the Dutch embassy said that I would be welcome to join the Oranje order. “Dutch people are really proud and happy with English fans saying they support our guys.” His advice: “Wear orange. The crazier the better.”

...how to be more Dutch? “We're a little bit crazy. We work very hard, then we go nuts for a while. Then go back to work.” He looks me up and down. “You need to be orange!” I go to a fan stall and buy a Holland T-shirt and baseball cap. Vrijs then donates his own orange wig to the cause, pulling it down over my cap. “Ja! Fantastic!”

I cannot understate how seriously the Dutch take their orange outfits: orange Elvises, tangerine suits, men in women's traditional Dutch dress complete with pigtails and false breasts, orange popes (singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life) apparent escapees from Guantanamo Bay in orange jump suits. And the hats. Cowboy hats, Mexican hats, Viking helmets, traditional bonnets, crowns. Hats with soft toys, hats with cheeses, hats with hammers, hats with antennae, with hands, feet, penises. Then there are the glasses. A man could write a thesis about the glasses, which range from the Dame Edna to the downright ludicrous.
The true goal, of course, is to encourage the jonges to keep scoring like this shot by van Persie which made it 2-0 NL vs Romania...

16 June 2008

Xconomy Replicates! ~ Now Boston & Seattle too!

Bob Buderi & company at Xconomy have replicated their original Kendall Square (now generalized to Boston) site and launched in Seattle! This primarily online business -- plus high-quality ultra-local event-experiences -- is pushing towards a different media-engagement future than that represented by either Scott Kirsner's Boston Globe colleagues (although Scott does quite interesting things with his own Innovation Economy initiative and with FutureForward colleagues), or Doug Banks and his MassHighTech / BostonBusinessJournal colleagues, or, for that matter, Jason Pontin and his Technology Review colleagues. I'm curious when we'll see Xconomy in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Zurich, Amsterdam, Berlin, Moscow, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Bogota, Santiago, Sydney, Bombay, Manilla, Bangalore, etc, etc...

15 June 2008

Technology Adoption ~ A Century of Diffusion of Innovations!

I most recently ran across this really lovely graph about the adoption of new technologies since 1900 in the United States on the Visualizing Economics site (plus here's the NYTimes source; and, also the creator's website, Nicholas Felton's feltron.com)... What's especially interesting is looking at both the pace of adoption and whether it's gotten faster, and at decomposing the adoption to the level of multiple generations of a product. For instance, 8086 PC's versus 286 versus 386 and 486, etc. Or different videogame consoles, etc. Even more interesting is seeing this century-long diffusion plotted for the worldwide population of Earth, not just the rich US.

William Barton Rogers ~ MIT's Founding Father

Very cool that MIT's homepage today honors and spotlights our Founding Father, Willam Barton Rogers! His persistence and bold vision for a new kind of Institute lead to MIT's formal birth in 1861 and operations in 1865 (after the US Civil War). Rogers stayed intimately involved with MIT for the rest of his life, including personally selecting and recruiting the remarkable Francis Amasa Walker as President in the early 1880's.

Skyscraper Boom ~ Building More Dense Cities

Amy Cortese in the NYTimes discusses how our ever-more urbanized humanity needs (and is building) dense developments and tall towers which are Scraping the Sky, And Then Some. Most of these gigaprojects are in emerging markets, including especially the "petro-fueled economies of the Middle East and Russia"... Is dominant mode of western public opposition to such mega-construction projects an indicator that the US and yesterday's rich countries are stagnating? On the other hand, Scott Van Voorhis writes of the Building booms in Boston: 60 projects, worth $4B, going up in the Boston Herald, which strikes me as a positive counterpoint to the worry that the boom is increasingly outside the US.

Recommended Readings... 080615

Some more interesting reads lately...
  • Clifford J Levy in the NYTimes writes that Free and Flush, Russians Are Venturing Abroad, an excellent indicator of prosperity and the growing normalcy and integration of Russia into the global economy.
  • Jeanna Russell writes in the Globe about visionary water engineer Thomas Baron in All tomorrow's water. Baron has a century-long perspective on waterworks and the infrastructure of urbanization and is urging a multi-decade plan to ensure adequate future aquatic supplies.
  • Globe Ideas columnist Kevin Lewis spotlights how our MBA students at MIT misunderstand accumulation dynamics in this weekend's Uncommon Knowledge column.
  • The Observer Sam Allis sides with Legal Sea Foods owner Roger Berkowitz in the battle royale between Berkowitz's fishy advertising humor and the humorless union hacks at the MBTA. As Allis says, Quit crabbing!
  • Anna Fifield in the FT writes Wake up and smell all the fun about the vibrant cafe society in Tehran, Iran. Youthful Iranians are the future and at this oldest of social institutions -- Persians have been consuming coffee for 3,000 years or so -- perhaps we see in these cafes the future, an ever more vital and engaged and creatively positive Iran. Just a thought.
  • Roger Blitz in the FT writes that a Veteran of pitch battles has advice for business players. Retired soccer-football ref Pierluigi Collina singles out how building up and earning trust is central to leadership.
  • Following up on a previous week's news of Abu Dhabi agri-projects in the Sudan, Andrew England writes in the FT that Saudis plan to grow crops overseas elsewhere in the MENACA region. Since these are long-term investors with deep pockets and wisdom, I expect that the natural corollary to such Saudi agri-projects are investments in the necessary roadways, railways, ports and other vital infrastructure gigaprojects.
  • Clive Cookson and Andrew Jack in the FT assess the evidence for why peer review is under pressure in Science Stifled?

14 June 2008

Moments of Science ~ Innoculating Our HighTechFever with InDemoVeritas ;-)

My compadre DRo -- a.k.a. Daniel Rosenberg -- and I had an intense chat this afternoon at Charlie's Kitchen, our venue of choice as discerning consumers of carbs and proteins in the form of Stella Artois and Double Cheeseburger Specials;-) Our top talking topics? Moments of Science. In Demo Veritas. HighTechFever. Builderati. Maximizing Progress. Are these all labors of love or is there an economically rational reason to continue developing these inspirational media initiatives?

13 June 2008

RISD Works ~ Showcasing the Product's Products!

I had an excellent chat with Beth Garvin this morn about MIT alumni initiatives, but her next move naturally got me thinking about RISD and Providence (and comparing with MIT and Cambridge which I'm inclined to do anyways for the sake of my Understanding MIT class). She noted that in addition to private-reserve "insider" blogs there is also an outward-facing our.risd.edu! So I went surfing. President-Elect John Maeda's opensource administration and grassroots approach to engaging the RISD community is a breath of fresh air in contrast with the blackhole of feedback and top-down style of the current regime at the 'tute. Maeda's blogged already about dozens of RISD experiences and interactions, including a serendipitous connection with a visiting newly admitted student, an emergency call with the campus safety officers, and other very intentional explorations. From this view through the blogoscope many things excite me about RISD, but one tidbit stands out just now, namely RISD Works, an art and design retail gallery featuring works from both students and alums worldwide. How cool!

P.S. John Maeda writes just now glowing support for AS220, a Providence community arts space -- a place unjuried and uncensored -- a forum for exhibits and performances. They call themselves...
...a kind of an anti-institutional institution. We've done our best to present the various facets of the organization without using the word "program" to box in what are simply organized human activities in pursuit of a common mission. AS220 is part Incubator and part Bazaar. We also build new audiences and infrastructure for artists to stimulate the cultural mulch in Rhode Island.

Ocean of Orange! ~ The Better Red White & Blue!

I'm a post-nationalist except when it comes to playing soccer-football and cheering on fellow Dutchmen in their 4-1 masterclass conquest over the French;-) Our Ocean of Orange drowned Les Bleus today in Euro2008! It was great gameplay too, pretty clean and lots of action, as others have lauded. All the goals were very impressive sweet shots, including... One fan noted:
The national team represents an attitude towards life. We all stick together and are a massive band of the young and old.
P.S. And this includes the kids! One of the great elements of the Cup are players families and the post-celebrations with the children too...
P.P.S And it also includes host countrymen, the Swiss! Having lost early on in the tournament, many Swiss are becoming honorary Dutch, wearing Orange, and urging on the Netherlands team!

Bob Langer ~ MIT's Millennium Institute Professor!

Institute Professor Bob Langer at MIT is one of my favorite people ever! Yes, he's generous and thoughtful and supportive of young talent, and he's also prolific and inspired as inventor and scientist! Winner of multiple honors, including most recently the Millennium Technology Prize...

12 June 2008

Modified Howtoons Marshmallow Shooter!

Saul mods the Howtoons Marshmallow Shooter at Maker Faire 2008...

Great EuroCup Cut!

Spike Lee ~ Hypercrit Hypocrite ?-)

Hollywood Reporter reports that talented actor-director Spike Lee slammed talented actor-director Clint Eastwood for not featuring any African-American actors in his Iwo Jima sagas. Eastwood responded Lee should "shut his face". Lee said Eastwood "is not my father, and we're not on a plantation". Now the Italic Institute of America weighs in that Lee has anti-Italian racist proclivities and "fails to practice what he preaches". Is hypocrisy infectious? Can't we all just get along?!

Role of Peacekeeping ~ Proactive, Interventionist?

Recent discussions about Bjorn Lomborg on Global Priorities and Paul Collier on Africa's Challenges have inspired my interest in Peacekeeping and the more general suite of diplomatic engagements and military interventions. It's remarkable just how many historical and currently on-going initiatives there are just run by the UN (versus EU, Nato, African Union, or individual countries) as you can gauge from this map...

Moment of Ovulation ~ Amazing Imagery!

New Scientist just reported on the clearest photos ever taken of the moment of ovulation, the essential beginning of every individual!

Urban Ring ~ Transport Solutions for Vital Boston

The Metro today spotlights the Urban Ring project in Boston, an effort to go beyond the hub-and-spoke nature of the current MBTA underground lines in Boston-Metro. The proposed lines near MIT are of special interest to me, but I support the enhanced network overall!

CO2Stats.com Calculates the Carbon Economy

Repeat HighTechFever guest, my MIT alumnus entrepreneur friend Alex Wissner-Gross's CO2Stats.com has a prototype product used by the Virtual Energy Forum which was featured on CNN's Situation Room a couple days ago! Check it out...

11 June 2008

Kiril Alexandrov of BigSkinny.net & IEAlliance.org on HighTechFever

I interviewed Kiril Alexandrov, Executive Director of the International Economic Alliance (IEA) and Founder of Big Skinny wallets, on my HighTechFever TV show tonight! I've known Kiril since his days as co-founder of EyeGen, winner of what's today the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Most recently, with the IEA, Kiril has helped dial-up this Harvard KSG spinoff from its founding roots running the Russia Investment Symposium in 1997 to creating practical Pathways to Prosperity via their upcoming Global Investment Symposium this September. With Big Skinny, Kiril has brought his great design aesthetic to a product everyone needs. I think this is the beginning of a very compelling family of accessories and up-and-coming smart fashion brand. Check out his infomercial v.1.0 ;-)

Sustaining Growth ~ FT's Wolf on Commonwealth

Martin Wolf writes in today's FT on Sustaining growth is the century’s big challenge. Following on last weeks Growth Report discussion, Wolf spotlights Jeffrey Sachs new book Common Wealth, and the balance between economic growth and global sustainability. In light of my previous posts on long-term economic convergence, I was especially interested to see the upper-left GDP/capita forecast graph looking out to 2050 in the FT article's infographic...

10 June 2008

DNA of Entrepreneurship ~ MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge

I'm sitting in Kirsch Auditorium at MIT's Stata Center listening to my big idea, incarnate: a wonderful tag-team of two pairs of two generations of entrepreneurs at the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Innovation Series event...
  • George N. Hatsopoulos, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Thermo Electron Corporation
  • Marina Hatsopoulos, Founding CEO of Z Corporation
  • Gabriel Schmergel, Former President and CEO of Genetics Institute, Inc.
  • Greg Schmergel, Co-founder, President, and CEO, Nantero
Some interesting tidbits are that the fathers were immigrants, Schmergel from Hungary, Hatsopoulos from Greece. The Schmergels are both Harvard alums; Hatsopoulos' both MIT. A fascinating mix of experiences and lessons learned, including tips on hiring great people, the probabilistic nature of business deals, reverse psychology, and other delighters!

P.S. Photos I took at the MIT Enterprise Forum R&D Pub Reception afterwards! Special thanks to event sponsor Foley & Lardner...

Make Like a Cylinder and Graduate! ~ Hector Hernandez Defends...

Just saw my MIT friend Hector Hernandez defend his doctorate! His world of extremophile organisms and biochemical pathways is beyond my merely 7.01 and 5.12 understanding, but he made a great presentation and showed some remarkable visualizations of chemical binding sites, plus lots of experimental data. As his advisor Prof Cathy Drennan pointed out, Hector's a get-it-done kinda guy and he cranked on a wide variety of experiments and instruments. Several hilarious Hector interludes, including his mentioning productive hours at the MIT Muddy Charles Pub while struggling to figure out what the hell was going on with his experimental system! His thesis co-advisor was the one who finally told him "Make like a cylinder and graduate!" after nearly 8 years;-) Congrats, Hector!

P.S. At the afterparty at Tommy Doyle's;-)

09 June 2008

Recommended Readings...

Some interesting reads lately...

Orange Crush! ~ NL vs IT in Euro2008 ;-)

3-0! Glorious! Check out this Wesley Sneijder goal...