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April, 2009:

Guest Post @ Slice of MIT

In case you are interested, I wrote a guest blog post over at Slice of MIT on the Masdar Institute as a follow-up to my post on the Masdar Initiative taking place in Abu Dhabi.  The Masdar Institute is going to serve as the epicenter of learning, innovation and venture creation on green concepts, processes and technologies.

Slice of MIT is a new blog that is out discussing (or should I say “giving a small taste”) of MIT life, happenings and what is going on with MIT and alumni.  I’ve been an active reader for the past couple of weeks and it gives a good perspective on the things going on around campus.    Enjoy.

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A Project to Root For

Reading the latest issue of the MIT Technology Review and there is a good article about the Masdar Initiative. I find it hard to not root for success of the project: A $15B investment in aims to create a zero emissions city, a green metropolis as they refer to it. If you haven’t read about the project, I recommend the article as it gives a good outline of how big they are thinking. Common sense says that it is hard to imagine the project achieving success but then curiosity and hope make you root for it. And the ancillary benefit I really am intrigued about this project is that there will be an immense amount of industrial and green environmental learning from not only the results but the planning and construction of such an initiative. Kevin Bullis wrote an editorial covering the project and echos this sentiment:

One of the best things about the project–which I’ll write about more in the coming days–is that it provides a much needed way to test ideas for renewable energy and efficiency at a large scale. The hope is that the technology tested here can be applied throughout the world.

Bullis is concerned about some of the applicability of learning due to the climate conditions of the region. This is true but I tend to believe if you can achieve a degree of success and learning in the harshest of conditions where energy consumption is necessary at high levels, surely one benefits where the challenges are less intense. Nonetheless, I love to see the “big bet” thinking here. I recently wrote about the renewable energy grid that has been discussed, another “big bet” project. This is what it is going to take to make huge strides in innovation, particularly in this market sector. It is great to see Dubai who has placed other big bets in a variety of other projects place such a bet on getting a project off the ground where the world can benefit from what it learns; it could be a big step in the right direction.

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Nano Tweeting, the next little little thing

Many have seen the video already but I think Slate’s video about Flutter is too good not to post. If you haven’t seen it, are a Twitter fan (or not!) and want something to make you smile on a Tuesday, take 3:44 of your life to watch this video.

People simply do not have time any more to read 140 characters. Classic good stuff.

Putting a business hat on for just a moment, I can’t believe Slate didn’t name the parody company on a URL that they own and could market around in some way. Re-direct to a betting site?

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