01 May 2015
Being asked to give a short keynote at the New Energy & Cleantech Awards made me revisit some of my thoughts on the area, and on the introduction of new technologies generally. Here is what I hoped to say!
11 November 2014
One of the joys of being out in the wild is that I meet a wider variety of people and learn more – and from a different perspective. Several recent conversations have caused a number of ideas I have run into over my career to converge. The final trigger was a presentation on “subtractive” manufacturing – it was about advanced machine tools. That we have to rename the past to accommodate a potential future struck me as worth thinking about.
15 September 2014
I was speaking at the Ambient Assisted Living Forum in Bucharest recently and was wondering how add an extra 10 or so minutes to the Epidemiology of Innovation talk that I had been invited to present to fill my allotted time slot. A quick conversation with my 87-year-old Mother gave me all the information I needed, but I had to reach back to one of my first encounters I had with the dark arts of marketing to give her story a framework. The challenge as I understand it was of layered customers and choice editing.
16 October 2010
A couple of meetings this last week made me go back to work I was involved in a few years ago and revisit the basic ideas. We are well used to thinking about running out of oil – there have been articles and books written about it for at least 30 years now. We are getting used to the idea that we are running out of the capacity of our atmosphere to absorb different gases and not change its properties. The one we mostly don’t think too much about is running out of the stuff that makes up our planet.
30 April 2008
Yesterday, I got to take part in the launch of the Resource Efficiency Knowledge Transfer Networks report on “Materials Security” – available here. Followers of this blog will know that Materials UK has a long-standing interest in this subject and so, it didn’t take too much effort by Arnold Black, the energetic Director of the KTN, to persuade me to say a few words. The meeting was fairly crowded with a cross-section of MPs, Lords, public servants and businesspeople, and the resulting discussion, chaired by the host Barry Sheerman was spirited and informed. I hope the KTN is suitably proud.
20 December 2007
Anyone who has been anywhere near Materials UK over the last year will know that I am a big fan of the work of Tom Graedel. I first met him at an American Chemical Society meeting in Washington several years back. His down to earth approach and rigour of analysis made a large impression on me.
10 March 2007
Last week, just before the snow confined me to quarters, I was lucky enough to see Al Gore’s climate change presentation – live. The meeting, hosted by global law firm DLA Piper, Yorkshire Forward, Renaissance South Yorkshire and the University of Sheffield was held in Sheffield’s Octagon Centre on March 7th. The event, which filled the 1000 seat venue, was packed with businessmen, scientists and not a few politicians, including David Blunkett, Yvette Cooper and John Prescott. Although the “support acts” tried hard to keep us attuned to their message, the truth was that everyone was here to see the presentation that might gain Gore an Oscar and a Nobel Prize.