As an entrepreneur, strategic communications professional, and policy wonk, I've worked on social innovations in the for-profit and non-profit world, helping to develop campaigns and solutions to social and natural resource challenges.

I'm constantly tracking and analyzing what make us as humans, inspired to act and respond to new ideas. This is where I share my thoughts and notes. 


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SXSW Interactive and PBS

Kudos to PBS for representing at SXSW Interactive, but even bigger kudos for enlisting the help of two of my favorite web television personalities, Zadi and Steve from  Wish I were joining the leading thinkers of the world of online video and technology, but joy of joys with the wonderful world of live video via the web, I'll enjoy SXSW by saving on fuel and money.  I'm tracking SXSW on Twitter and watching live broadcasts.


Small Wind Energy in Southern Maryland

Some times its nice to just pick up the entire newspaper and flip through it.  So I was pleased to have done so today when the Washington Post had a picture of a Southwest Windpower SkyStream on the front page of the Metro section.

Small wind turbines for residential use never cease to amaze me as a tool for community education, public relations, and oh yeah, producing enough electricity to power a home!  Even better, this  wind turbine  is the first of its kind in Southern Maryland and its clear that its already made a big impact. School kids from the local middle school Green Club were on hand for the raising of the turbine.  To boot, the article combined information about Clean Currents expanded and reduced rate renewable energy credits program for Maryland consumers.

There is one thing for sure, this turbine may power just the home its connected to, but the ideas that it is able to power in the minds of the regions readers, political leaders and community members is worth a megawatt or two of clean renewable ingenuity.


Individual Actions, Global Reactions

In the last two weeks the intensity of action around global environmental issues has increased its pace inside the beltway.  Its truly a sign that while the economy is struggling, people have a vision for what the new economy looks like and what it will take to build it.

The three videos are of the amazing individuals who I've had the chance to meet during the last few weeks and speak with about their journeys to challenge the status quo and prove that the impossible is possible. Each one of them have set out on what many might consider are outlandish journeys to help spread the word about environmental issues. 

Lelani Munter (Green Race Car Driver), John Francis (Earth Walker) and Roz Savage (Ocean Crossing by Row Boat) all have a story to tell and have decided to dedicate their lives to being a vehicle for a message.  It is clear that when people dedicate their minds, their bodies and their intentions to solving a problem,  anything is possible.


The Shifting Power - Powershift 2009

Our world is a complicated one. Achieving sustainability an even more complicated pursuit. Yet, at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C. this weekend Powershift 2009 showed that there is one thing that is very simple. We are part of a changing world. Seemingly more complicated, the writing is on the wall that our global energy portfolio is in the process of a seismic shift, and that is simple to see.

In the past, "student movements", especially environmentally focused ones, have been labeled as priveledged, white, liberal, and idealistic. The group of students at the front of the pack for Powershift gathering couldn't be further from that stereotype; under-resourced, diverse, progressive, and pragmatic. Over 12,000 college students converged on the nation's capitol this past weekend to take part in the largest climate focused college conference. These student leaders hailed from tribal nations, latino communities, coal country, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, rural areas, and under resourced communities in addition to thousands of students from every religion, race, political persuasion, and state in the union.

The generation in attendance at Power Shift 2009 is not a generation of black and white or even of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian. This is a generation of a bi-racial president, of tri-racial friends, and multi-racial familiarity and appreciation. A generation of “we,” instead of “us” and “them”, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the crowds of young people that are chanting to take the reins in a new era of civic responsibility. - Powershift Blog

Even with the snow falling on Washington, D.C. this morning the Powershift bunch is preparing for a historical undertaking, the largest student lobby day in history, full of meetings with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.  The convergence of students and young people to the nation's capitol has less to do with grandstanding and more to do with the very real issues that we are forced to deal with in our world. 

The complexities of the issues were on the table this weekend.  There wasn't a notion that our challenges will just disappear, in fact the students continue to address our nation's inaction in the face of this complexity, with the most simple action available to every one of us.  Giving it the good old college try.  And as time will continue to prove in our country, showing up to meet with your political leaders is one of the most simple and powerful actions we can take as citizens.


Bayou Bienvenue

There is a really good chance that none of my friends and colleagues in Louisiana and New Orleans will see this post today about the Bayou Bienvenue, for today is the final day of Mardi Gras season, known to most as Fat Tuesday. But if are like me and you live outside of Lousiana there's a good chance you're wishing you were in a second line somewhere in the Crescent City.

Let the celebrations reign as the Bayou Bienvenue makes a come back.  New Orleans and Coastal Lousiana have a long way to go, however, the Bayou Bienvenue and the green building efforts in the lower 9th Ward continue to regain the fertile grounds of culture lost with Hurricane Katrina's lasting impact. 

Roving DJ Booth on the Streets of New Orleans on Fat Tuesday | Photo Credit: Gabe Mondino

To all my friends working in and around New Orleans, I say take some time, dance a lot, and shake off the dust from all the work you're doing.  Keep it up.  We continue to root for New Orleans.