Durability 2.0

iFlickrWe all know we have to be very careful with energy due to the warming up of our planet, dependency on energy from areas in the world you do not want to be dependant on and other reasons. But we also know that it is very hard to find the incentives to stimulate people to save energy here and now. Problem is that there is too much of a time lag between the action to save energy and the advantages acquired.
Recently I held a key note presentation at the conference “Greening the enterprise 2.0“, focused on how to save energy in office environments. Especially in offices it is hard to stimulate people to save energy because they do not have to pay the energy bill themselves. Automatic systems are usually circumvented (people open windows in completely controlled buildings because the intelligent control mechanism for temperature is less intelligent than the maker thought) and therefore seldom delivers the result that we think of beforehand.
And people are lazy. The picture on this post is from my own re-chargers in my office. I once placed a switch there to switch of the electricity. But after two cases of dead batteries that I needed at that moment I always have it switched on.
Focus of my presentation was how to use social networking aspects to stimulate people to save energy. By sharing best practices but also by more direct feedback on individual actions and results (and some peer pressure maybe …).
Here are the sheets.


While scanning through some of the articles I missed during the holiday season (you really do not need a computer on a terras in Barcelona eating Tapas and drinking wine) I came across this Article from Nicholas Carr (Is Google making us stupid). Central them of the article is that due to jumpy way we read on the Internet (following another link after some paragraphs of reading) our way of thinking may be changing. More and more it is becoming difficult for a lot of people to concentrate on long texts, let alone long books like war and peace.
I do think this is a risk we are facing at the moment. In workplace research there is something that is called Attention Deficit Disorder. What it means is that people are so accustomed to browsing and wandering of a subject, checking mail all the time, reacting to chat and other disruptions that in the end they are not capable anymore of creating things that need concentration for a longer time. They are reacting instead of acting. I myself can sometimes feel this way: you have to force yourself to stay away from email and chat for several hours do finish something that you really have to think about.
A lot of our philosophical heritage is coming from people that were accustomed to do a lot of thinking without interruption. Of course, Plato and Socrates had little choice without broadband Internet available to them… What does this fragmented way of collecting information and maybe the resulting fragmented way of thinking lead us to in the future?
There definitely are positive aspects too. Now it is much easier to connect different information parts because they are all easy to find, or somebody else already connected them for you.
At the least this new way of reading and its consequences for our way of thinking is something we need to take into careful consideration when designing our new tools for the workplace.
Interesting read and food for thought. Do not forget to read the whole lengthy(?) article …