A viable approach to increasing STEM starts with empathy
How Can Private-Sector Energy Companies and Government Work More Symbiotically?
Fellow panelist Micah Remley's company EnerNOC works at the other end of the energy problem, on infrastructure. Remley looked around Reagan Airport's Historic A Terminal, pointing out the less-than-smart ways in which energy was being used in the conference room itself. That's where EnerNOC's technology could step in, asking the question, "How could we use the energy of this room better?"
The panelists admit there's no silver-bullet technology to the energy problem. "A portfolio of options is the only option that makes any sense," said Giudice, responding to a question about whether increased natural gas fracking is a good thing. "Cheap gas is one piece of the mix."
That mix includes not only a smorgasbord of technology innovations but also distribution channels, infrastructure, and, above all, policy.
The technology exists, but the policies aren't in place to leverage them, said Giudice.
When working for Governor Patrick of Massachusetts, he saw firsthand a state government creating demand for alternative energy. "They used the tools in front of them and created very inexpensive programs that were implemented well." Giudice isn't holding his breath that such practical implementation could happen at the federal level.
Panelist Cheryl Martin came to the defense of government in the landscape of energy innovation. "There's a unique role in how government can catalyze energy innovation," said Martin, who works at the government agency ARPA-E, the descendent of DARPA, the government agency that created the Internet. According to Martin, scientists at the three-year old agency don't ask, "Will it work" before beginning a project but rather, "If it works, will it matter?"
- A love of all things innovation is what first drew Laura to Ashoka, where she works to identify and connect leading social entrepreneurs--innovators applying new solutions to some of the oldest and most entrenched societal problems. She also serves as managing editor of Ashoka's StartEmpathy, the forthcoming online home of a movement focusing on educational innovation. Before coming to Ashoka, Laura worked as Communications Director of a mobile health technology start up building products to bring primary care into the 21st century.
Learning about innovation from the DIY solutions of hobbled citizens