Gavin Starks, CEO of AMEE (a platform that seeks to, quite literally, measure all the energy data in the world), followed SF Mayor Newsom this morning on stage, to kick off the GreenNet09 gathering of tech oriented change agents.
AMEE is a great and obvious idea – after all, if any company, government, NGO, or your Aunt Marge wants to collect meaningful data related to energy or emissions on a global scale, the data has to be standardized in a way that allows you compare it to the data of others. More importantly – anyone seeking to mitigate the risk of climate change needs access to reliable data to understand if they’re moving in the right direction or spinning their wheels.
But what caught my attention this morning was not just the common sense of what AMEE provide, it was the passion and deep urgency in Stark’s delivery. Take a look at the image above – my favorite slide from this morning’s presentation – which has less to do with AMEE and more to do with the greater costs of taking little or no action to the planetary and climactic threats at our doorstep.
Incidentally, AMEE stands for “Avoiding Mass Extinction Engine”. Now we’re talking.
Simply put, doing nothing sends us on a path toward massive resource consumption and depletion (not just peak oil, but water, minerals, uranium, you name it…) and closer to shortages, rationing, increasing conflict and ultimately global war. Not too nice.
Paying attention to the gravity of the situation does not foretell doom, it simply lights a needed fire under our feet to lean toward doing something about it. A move toward a service economy (already well underway in the US and Europe) and investments in technological innovation (entrepreneurs jump in here) combined with a more philosophical transformation on what we really value… lest I digress.
So what’s the business take-a-way? First of all it’s the realization that there’s immense value in the measurement of consumption, emissions etc.. According to Stark the vast majority of people specifically want more accurate data on their personal energy consumption – they want products the tell them how much they’re using and wasting. They want products and services that are smart enough to use energy only when it’s needed. They want their house and car to deliver this data to them and let them react to it. Secondly, there’s immense value in the larger scale tracking of all this information – whether we like it or not, this standardized data is going to be the backbone of international agreements that will have huge negative impacts on the ill-prepared company.
More take-a-ways to come!
See the rest of the Powerpoint here: