Friday, March 09, 2007

The next big thing

Spent the last few days at TED, a pretty amazing event that feels a bit like a meal. Presentations from movie producers, software engineers, poets, physicists, Paul Simon and Bill Clinton. The reference to the meal being that some of this has been like 'having to eat your greens,' while other parts have been like being given a great dessert. If there's one theme that has pervaded the event so far it is again that we all need to work on saving the planet. This was very much the message of John Doerr who ended his speech in tears and has been a passing reference by almost all the other speakers. From a communications perspective it's hard not to walk away from this feeling that for brands to succeed they must put greater emphasis on this aspect of their social responsibility if they are to succeed. Of course you may argue that consumers are the ones that will be the judge of that. I'd argue, having been bathed in the 'we have to save the planet' message for a few days by leaders from all walks of life, that this is not a passing fad. equally it's a message that is getting the attention of some pretty important minds. Therefore I'd argue that what we have here is something really important. It's what VCs have been searching for since the dot com bubble burst. It is the next big thing. Kind of funny when you think about it. The next big thing isn't some amazing new algorithm or financial model, it's the thing you've been standing on for most of your life - the planet.


Hamish said...

Once again, California is at the forefront of this next big thing - not only with conferences like TED, but even more encouragingly with an attitude towards energy which pervades everyday lives. For example, sales of hybrid cars in the Bay Area are at 20 times the US national average. But more impressively energy consumption in total less than 60% of the US national average

If the world's 7th largest economy can manage a dramatic consumption (and hence emissions output) saving like that, then the relatively lower target reductions set by Kyoto and more recently outlined by Al Gore seem distincly achievable. The US government appears to be shifting from the "it's not happening" stance to "it can't be stopped from happening". California can negate that attitude and be held up as an example for the world to follow.

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