Autonomous Big City Travel

A week in Paris has opened my eyes on how inevitable the autonomous driving future really is. I live in the South of Holland and try to live a Practice What You Preach live because I am very concerned by the prospect of what our continued Western lifestyle will mean for the future of planet Earth. So I took the train to Paris for a week long holiday. 
Traveling by public transportation means planning ahead so days before my trip I looked the departure times of the trains and I got the scare of my life: In order to be in time for my 12:00 pm Thalys from Rotterdam to Paris I had to leave my house at 8 AM because half way my journey a bridge was being repaired. It meant I had to leave 2,5 hours earlier than if trains ran regularly. Just to get to the starting point of my journey.

I decided that starting the day with the delay risk of 4 train switches was not going to increase my relaxation I decided to drive my hybrid to Rotterdam, create some unnecessary CO₂ and park there. Practice what you preach goes a long way but I don’t go so far as to ridicule myself.
The Thalys was right on time although I don’t understand why I had to be at the platform half an hour early. The coffee in the station was great and I got on my first High Speed Train ever!
Within minutes of departure the train was comfortably blasting with 300 km/h in the direction of Paris, first stop Antwerp. There the train had to wait for a full hour because between Antwerp and Bruxelles an accident had happened. 

This was when I realized how highly inflexible the railway infrastructure really is: hundreds or thousands of people are stranded because somewhere in the system somebody didn’t look out and got run over by a train. All Trains on both sides of the accident have to wait till the track is made available again. On a highway you get a traffic jam but at least 2 of the 3 lanes are usually available shortly after something happens and you can take an exit to drive around a problem.
Anyways, we arrived fossil free in Paris an hour late. No big deal because I was in holiday mode. The total travelling time (6:40) from my house to Paris was substantially longer than had I driven point to point. How would this travel scenario roll out in a not so distance future autonomous EV world? Would I order a vehicle to bring me from Weert to Paris in 4,5 hours while I was enjoying blogging in the back seat? Absolutely!

I walked to my hotel with my roller suitcase, enjoying the Big City sound, smell and buzz. My eye immediately caught the numerous Toyota Hybrid cabs (mostly Prius), busses, botched cars and triple wheel motorcycles. My hotel was just ten minutes walking from Gare du Nord, in the middle of a busy neighborhood.
The next morning I got myself a public transportation chipcard (valid for ten years, 5€) and ordered a 1 week unlimited travel fee for just €23 and was ready to go. Paris had an amazing subway network and you can get from anywhere to anywhere and the frequency of the trains is amazing, can’t remember having to wait more that 3 minutes.

I really enjoyed the rides to get around town. But once you get back out in the streets you notice that there is an even denser network of buses overlaying the subway network. The sound of the buses is everywhere and the (tourist) buses are followed by at least ten taxis and 50 personal transportation devices (including occasional public bikes). In numerous streets you see really dirty shared public EV’s charging and occasionally you actually see one moving. The idea is cool but who wants to drive such a dirty not looked after piece of shit?

Paris is a pandemonium of people moving around all the time and I sat down at one cafe to think out this blog….
Just close your eyes and fast forward 10 years:

  • all the taxis are replaced by autonomous Uber/Tesla EV’s. Not Model S, not model 3, but more something like a Smart. Taking up no space and moving 2 people at a time over empty boulevards
  • All the dirty public EV’s are gone, because they are charged and maintained outside the city 
  • Nobody uses buses because point to point travel with an app is way easier and cheaper
  • No cars parked anywhere
  • Air quality improves big time
  • Noise level improves big time 
  • I think metro will survive because it is already fully electric, quiet, fast and really cheap

I am sure this city is absolutely ready for this autonomous EV revolution. They have done many experiments with public and shared services and paying for taxis. Autonomous EV’s will revolutionize the Paris experience, in a very good way.
If you want to enjoy the diesel noise and smoke and a million dented cars, you better hurry, they won’t last.

PS. For the major Paris : immidiatly forbid new fuel powered two/three wheelers and mandatory replacement by 2020, quickest win for cleaner air and less noise,

How much energy will a Fossil Free society need?

Interesting discussions I have these days. Where climate change deniers usually just ignore the question of energy security (Big Oil will deliver) pro-nuclear folks acknowledge the climate issue and the scale of the needed transformation. That makes them good discussion partners.

Pro-Nuclear points out that if every kWH of energy used today needs to come from alternatives, “the renewables” are going to be highly inadequate and only nuclear can deliver the required base load. This is where the subject of this blogpost comes from. I want to show that a Fossil Free economy needs massively less energy, that can be supplied by the Renewables.

The point is that the Fossil economy is exactly that: an economy running on Fossil Fuels so it’s no wonder it uses a lot of energy. But what if we think of a fossil free society, what chunks of energy will just drop out of the equation?
I don’t have figures (yet) so it’s going to be quantitatively at this moment, if you do have figure please share them with me.

Fossil Mining requires massive amounts of energy, in drilling, blasting, digging, breaking, transporting cleaning and refining. In a FossilFree society the activity ceases to exist. As resources become ever less in quality the energy per unit of product will soar, even to the point where energy out < energy in (only sustainable by accruing debt)

Transport of energy sources
Transporting all the fossil fuels uses a lot of energy : truck diesel, train diesel, pipeline pumps….no longer needed

Fossil mining and transport industry
Coal diggers, mega trucks, oil tankers, storage tanks, pipelines, deep sea platforms, off shore helicopters, tugboats … Not needed anymore… We will need fewer Iron Works, steel factories, machine factories, maintenance crews, security groups,

Energy infrastructure
All the above are hard at work to feed these: the coal plants and oil refineries. No more coal harbors, compression stations, oil refineries. The highly inefficient coal plants and gas stations (turning 50% of the embedded energy into waste heat) can shut down.

By now we must have saved absolutely massive amounts of “energy”, but it gets better

Food production
The world on Fossil Fuels, Monsanto and Unilever is supposed to eat processed foods and minced cows. The embedded energy in a hamburger is absolutely horrifying : the industrial wheat, transported across the globe and made into highly refined flour for the buns, the cows eating fossil fuel created corn that came half way round the world. The whole processing and packaging, freezing and storage industry….. Waste, waste, waste to,create empty calories that turns your body in a hunger machine : waste food in, more hungry feelings within an hour, fat stored in your body. A fossil free society will eat locally produced real food.

Global transport (sea and air)
$0,25 garbage toys from Shanghai thrown away broken after 10 minutes, brought into first world harbors by the container load. It will stop. It has no value. Flying on tax free kerosine? A memory of the past. Tickets that have all embedded social costs calculated into them? Unaffordable. Flying as we know it will stop. Massive amounts of energy saved again.

Civilian transport
Walkable neighbourhoods, Cities with integrated work/living areas, transport by cycles, e-bikes, EV’s, hybrid busses, light rail. Obscene amounts of energy to be saved here

Urban transport
Last mile transport with electric vehicles, absolute nobrainer.

Household appliances
PassivHaus, Heatpumps, LED-lighting, hotfill washing machines and dishwashers, OLED-TV’s, 5V central charger with house wide distribution: saving possibilities by the shipload

Electricity production
After we’ve created our Fossil Free society we will need some power to keep it going. With all the aluminum smelters and refineries gone we will need energy mostly for households. We make is with wind, solar, biogas, algae diesel, molecular heat storage, hydro, reverse osmosis, tidal and what makes sense locally. The massive amount of EV’s will buffer and redistribute all this abundant energy so that the lights stay on at night and in the winter.

I’ve fired all the rednecks and oil tanker captains, what are they going to do?

New industries
Electricity generation
Wind farms, Solar PV farms, CSP farms, biomass production……loads of jobs here.

Electricity storage
We need bio plant operators and workers to create algae diesel, power2gas, elephant grass, cannabis fibers. We need lots and lots of hands there to maintain these systems.

Local food
People will quickly adopt to Grasshoppers (chocolate dipped or plain) and fish. The energy per Calorie is orders of magnitude lower than Fossil Meat. Towns will be full of mixed agricultural activity with chicken and pigs, rooftop agriculture.

Repair/Circular economy
Things break, but because in a FF-society we make repairable goods we get a whole, refurbishment industry. Lots of work for creative people. Having a circular economy will keep the energy embedded in products in the system in stead of dumping it in a landfill after initial use.

Community services
Because we no longer are relying on Big Banks supported HealthIndustry to “cure” sick people created my Monsanto, McDonalds and Unilever we can have community based health centers where broken bones are healed and I’ll people are cared for regardless of income or social position.

So the point I’m trying to make is that Nuclear may not be that necessary in a society that said goodbye to Chevron and Shell, maybe we can even do without it as the great yellow fusion reactor gives us way more than we can ever use. Just capture, store en distribute.

….And we live happily ever after and tell our children horror stories of the a black world where people believed they needed Hummers to drive 50 miles to Malls to buy new plastic dolls each and every Christmass and eat boxes of Chocolate coated corn flakes jus to be happy.


Opportunity to become part of BStriker

Regular readers know by now that I crowdfund invested in a disruptive Dutch software startup called BStriker. Since this was my first investment ever I was not well prepared for what was going on in startups, so I got in touch with the founders. There was a lot to learn for me. As an early investor you hope that 1 round of funding will be enough to concur the universe, but that is wishful thinking of course. Building an enterprise takes time and thus money. “We” already have a sell-able product and customers paying the bill, so that part of the plans has worked out fine. Now BStriker is looking for extra funding to accelerate growth and they’re doing this using a convertible loan. This is a smart idea because it protects current investors (me) from watering down at too low a valuation (now) and gives new investors (you) the opportunity to become shareholders at a nice discount.

Below you will see one of the regular updates the CFO John Berkeljon posts to the current shareholders in which he invites the inner circle to help fund this growth. It was OK to share this one with you, so this means it is available for all serious parties. Normally this type of loan is only available to professional parties, but now you can participate for as little as 5000 Euro.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Remember : only invest what you are prepared to lose!
More articles about BStriker


John =

Lars =

Update 15-12-2014: Two more customers boarded our ship today!!

Pork Cycle meets Peak Oil

The pork cycle, one of the few credible economic theories I know: a high market price for a product signals producers to invest in production capacity, by the time the capacity is available massive amounts of products enter the market leading to price drops. Prices fall so low that for some producers not even the marginal costs are recovered: they go bust. The stocks of the product run down, prices start rising. Shortages occur signaling producers to…..boom bust repeat

The fossil energy market has been very different: after the Second World War massive fields were brought into production (Ghawar in Saudi, Texas, later the North Sea, Alaska, GOM) that could be switched into a higher gear by just opening the throttles. The guy with the biggest throttle (Saudi) determined the price, it adjusted the flow of oil (almost realtime) to such a level that the market was (more or less) in balance at a price it desired.

This worked nicely for over half a century, but then came 2005. Economies were soaring, demand increased to unbelievable levels but Saudi stuttered. It couldn’t open its valves far enough to stabilize the price. Prices started rising. Two years later oil cost 147$ a barrel. Economists (the talking heads on TV) had always said that the global economy ran on 30$ oil. Oops.
Lehman fell, central banks started to fix the problem with massive amounts of free money for the banks.

Now a historical interpretation from myself: fracking as technology had been known for a long long time, but it was way too expensive to actually use. The free money flooding the investment market suddenly made fracking viable. BUT:

Now a technology was introduced into the Fossil Fuel industry that resulted in oilfields without a tap: development was so expensive (way higher than offshore) that production was always flat out from the start.

We have been in the first up leg of the Fracking Pork Cycle: consistent 100+$ shale oil invited everybody and his mother to start fracking. The market saturated. Saudi now needs every dollar it earns for its exploding population and is NOT throttling back anymore:

Now let’s apply some economic theory and do some predictions:
* prices plummet (happening)
* countries relying heavily on oil revenue (Saudi, Russia) will start looking for ways to increase the oil price : wars in Ukraine and Iraq?
* countries that dislike Russia and Saudi will do everything they can to keep the market flooded, leading to economic havoc there

In the long run low prices will kill frackers: their need for free (QE) money is starting to hurt the western economies because low rent causes bad investments being made. Once QE stops fracking instantly dies leading to soaring oil prices, killing western economies.

My advise? Stop free money, don’t start fracking elsewhere, oil prices will slowly increase. Renewables, already delivering cheaper energy than oil and coal, will quickly pick up the gauntlet. We transform away from fossil society. Russia and Saudi see what’s happening, get a last shipload of money from the expensive oil and can prepare.

We live long and prosperous and have at least a fighting chance to save the planet. Or so.


The difference between Perk Hunting and Equity based Crowd Funding

I’ve written about it before, but I feel like doing it again: Crowdfunding.

Just after Kickstarter changed its rules so backers of projects can sue the project owner for not delivering we are bombarded with the Greatest Kickstarter Project Ever. Because I’m very interested in CF I checked out what was going on. It … Was ….. A … Coolbox.

I turned the video upside down, but it was still a coolbox, I reversed it, it was still a coolbox. 13.3 million dollars. For a coolbox. I used to have respect for American entrepreneurship but this Kickstarter hype puzzles me totally.

Can someone please explain me why you are willing to pay hundreds of dollars in advance on “the greatest wet fart ever” only to get it delivered sometime in the future in a version 0.1 alpha. You are allowed to pay extra. This gets your name on the wall, or you get a T-shirt, or if you pay double you get your name on the wall AND a T-shirt. Why is it that Americans totally loose their mind once somebody hypes something and declares it the next greatest “gottahavethis”.

What confuses me even more is that the whole financial industry is so intrigued by all this perking. Because what happens : Some dude has a brainwave and his friends tell him to try to Kickstart it. Without any experience, just reading the intro of “Kickstarting for Dummies” a business plan is made and for 300$ they have a flashy video made in India. And there we go, 25.000, 50.000, 100.000 dollars, maybe even 1,2, 5 or 10 million is collected.

And there is the young entrepreneur with a trunk full of cash and no experience who needs to suddenly build an enterprise, delivery channels, manage suppliers. So Kickstarter just released new contracts that rids Kickstarter from any responsibility if projects go bust. And when the the project succeeds? Then the young company gets bought for an obscene amount of money and everybody who backed the project is left behind empty handed.

That’s all pretty negative isn’t it? I’ll cheer you up with how we CrowdFund in Holland.

We have Equity Based Crowdfunding….. Scary isn’t it? You give money and you get shares. Period. You don’t want to lose your money? You do due diligence! You read his business plans, you try to understand how he is hoping to monetize his ideas and what potential shareholder strategies could be to convert the shares back to money. If you have questions you call the entrepreneur. This should lead to a lot of rejections, making good plans is difficult. That’s good, it means the plans fail before money is seeded.

But some ideas are genuinely unique,may be even market disruptive, and if these ideas are managed by experienced entrepreneurs, we might have ourselves a new Apple or Google at hand.

So if your beer is cold enough and you are looking for a thrill seeking adventure where YOU can be the angel investor, and not some Silicon Valley hotshot, go look at Symbid projects and start reading and see if there are ideas that trigger you.

I invested in in January. The founders are very experienced entrepreneurs and they used Crowdfunding to pay for the development of a revolutionary software test manager form alpha to 1.0. Features are added on a predefined schedule, no deadline had been missed and “we” are monetizing already, 9 month after the formation of the company.

Good hunting!


P.S. I’ll buy coolbox 2.0 with a bread toaster in stead of the mixer, so I can roast Pop-tarts. And have you seen that it also doubles as a portable toilet? It’s really remarkable versatile!


Dreaded Demonized Deflation

When I was al little kid I found German stamps in my grandaddies stamp collection. They were 1 billion Reichs Mark stamps. I was amazed btw the pages full of wealth he possessed. He only lived in a small house, and it wasn’t until High school that I understood why: the stamps were only worth the paper they were printed on. Economics teachers preached that inflation ruins economies, look at Weimar, people ran to the store with their salary to buy goods because their money would be worthless later on the day.

I started reading newspapers and was utterly confused that governments will do anything possible to create inflation, on the one hand to keep the sheeple poor, on the other hand to hide that our governments have been living on defecit spending for ages. Their wars, megalomanic monuments and other great accomplishments that they want recorded in history are payed by borrowing from us (in The Netherlands we have a mandatory pension plans and the monthly payments are converted to governments loans). The only way governments can pay this money back is by steep inflation that ruins the value of the loans. Nobody in charge says it aloud, but oh boy, they’d love to see those Weimar 10,000% inflation rates! The whole government deficit repaid for the price of 500 stamps!

And so I was even more surprised to learn that there is one thing that governments dread more than free Marihuana, promiscuous presidents and ISIS incarnations of Guantanamo Bay videos. It’s called DEFLATION.

Because if the economy gets into a deflationary state (money gaining value as time goes by) the treasurer of the state gets caught with his pants down: the debt has to be payed back eventually. The fact that you and I have to pay back our study loans and mortgages in 30 years means shit to them, not all pigs are born equal. Governments want to have their toys, JSF, Obamacare, bigger-smaller-bigger groups in school, peace keeping missions. That’s what makes their hearts tick faster, not something boring as being a responsible book keeper.

And so the central banks will use all their (not democratically obtained power) to do whatever it deems necessary, as long as it creates inflation. Inflation keeps dropping due tot the single, double, triple dip. The most logical solution to create inflation is by the Weimar method: print money, drive it to the mall, dump it in the central hall and refill as soon as it’s gone. But that method is not chosen because the 1%’ers don’t go to malls & miss al the fun. Method of choice number two is also not used: rise government employee salaries. No, in stead they give TBTF-banks free money (interest 0%) so that they can “invest” and Trickle Down Economics can once again do its wonders. That it hasn’t worked for 6 years doesn’t mean they’re not going for it with six-fold enthusiasm this time round.

Al this stupid blindness for the obvious! We the people have been accustomed to hyper deflation for decades and we love it! My first flat fee 64 kbit ISDN subscription cost me 50$ a month, twenty years later I still pay 50$ but I now have a 64 Mbit fiber connection, 1000x the performance same price, hyper deflation! That 47″ LED screen I’ve been dreaming of for over a decade? It cost as much as a kitchen when It came out, and now look, less than 500$! Solar panels on my roof for free energy? Not possible with huge subsidies until recently, now cheaper than electricity from coal, and for sale in the DIY-shop around the corner.

And so we arrive at “wage restraint”. The ultimate recipe of the Fortune 500 for improving profits, but my salary hasn’t increased with 1$ (nominal) in 5 years and I am DYING for some solid deflation, so I can buy the same number of pies and comic books as I did 5 years ago. Alas, MegaCorp is so addicted to low wages and tax deductions that they don’t know how fast they have to vomit there complaints out over MSM if labour unions try to get the subject on the table.

And deflation and my savings account? Don’t worry mr minister. I’ve removed my money from my TBTF account and gone into crowdfunding.
We the people can fix this mess all on our own, we don’t need your monetary policies to get the small businesses back on their feet. Just a little while longer and TBTF is To Big To Be Relevant.

An energy source for the industry ? : Lifter Plants – Thorium

Households will have no issue whatsoever to decarbonize. Their rooftops will catch all the energy they need from Fusion reactor number 1, and community windmills will fill in the gaps when the sun is down. Our Tesla batteries store energy for half a neighborhood and in case we want to go all the way in reliability we will place flow batteries in every street.
If energy is in tight supply our smart neighborhood net will follow the programmed heuristic to lower power demand by switching of washing machines, boilers and lowering power usage of heat pumps. No doubt in my mind that “we the people” can be fossil free within 15 years. The most expensive part of the energy infrastructure (the low voltage distribution network in towns) will loose their goal and be decommissioned. We only need to connect with our neighbors in a mesh network to distribute our local power.

Not so for the industry. 365×24 aluminum smelters, paper mills, nuclear fuel processing plants, steel factories, manufacturing industry, they are desperately dependent on stable and MASSIVE amounts of cheap and stable energy. It is this group that screams from the rooftops that “Renewable is not feasible”. It is this group that has the lobby power to keep coal taxes low. It is this group that has Energy Ministers in their pocket to give of fracking permits. I’ve been angry at them, for refusing to modernize, for refusing to rethink, for only thinking about short term solutions.

But if you truly want the whole world to decarbonize there is no other solution than to think for these mastodons. So last week I came across a solution that is so beautiful in its simplicity that it really a shame that I didn’t come across it earlier**. The reason for this is because when you research the technology Google trashes you with documents laced with these words:
Forbidden Words
I’ve made it a picture so Google can’t index them.

Point is, there this an element number 90 (look it up) that in 100% pure form, when mixed with a minute amount of waste U233 that acts like a catalyst, magically starts to give of HUGE amounts of energy that can be harvested in a completely safe way, without the risks associated with “Fossil” Nuclear Power plants.

I always used to be very very anti-Nuclear, for the right reasons, but researching Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR, or “lifter”) I must conclude that this technology should really be framed as “iNergy” in an Apple style glamorous setting if it actually made true it’s promises.

This is because the physics look rock solid based on 100% pure Thorium, accidents like Fukushima can’t happen (no pressure, no massive amounts of radioactive pollutants). And in case of complete systems failure it shuts itself down, even if all pumps were Tsunamied away. It needs Nuclear Waste to get started and burns the shit away if the starting material is 100% pure! The waste that comes out of a Thorium plant (if any) is safer than the ore it originated from within 300 years. Any how, Google Thorium LFTR, ignore the ’50’s and ’60’s frame and look at whats there**

A rock solid energy source, extremely expensive to develop and based on 100% clean fuel sources, but if we let the MegaCorps bite that bullet (it’s called investing), thats really OK, because they will get what they so desperately need : unmeasurable amounts of free energy! Check it out!

** since Thorium is ratio active (it falls apart) 100% pure is not possible and the contaminants make the whole idea utterly unfeasible. That is the reason that after 50 years of research the “fast breeder” reactor was buried on economic grounds. Only India pursuits the idea. And even if it would work it would take centuries to “breed” all the Uranium needed to start these reactors. Looks like industry has to rethink the sun anyways.

Stop development of fuel efficient cars (Jevons Paradox)

The IPCC’s latest report is out and creating a lot of fuzz around the globe. Summary of the report : 2 degrees temperature rise seems inevitable, and to stop temperatures from rising over 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels we need to take serious action, and do that very quickly.

After I got over my anger of “2 degrees is going to happen anyways” I started thinking about the adapting, coping and mitigating strategies that pop up everywhere.

Adapting and Coping
Humans can adapt to climate change quite easily because we can add or remove layers of clothing, make adjustments to our houses (air conditioning) and habits (Siësta). For the one billion people to poor to invest in their well being coping is the paradigm. The fact that ecosystems cannot add air conditioners or take of clothes is hardly mentioned. How we are going to live in a world with failing ecosystems is a complete puzzle for me. But since we are optimistic humans and 99% of us will not live to see the devastated planet we are more than happy to engage in…..

Mitigating climate change
Mitigating is taking (in this case) reactive actions to repair something that is broken. What I see happening is that massive amounts of public money will be made available to mega Corporations to develop more fuel efficient engines and coal plants. But there is a problem here, and that’s called Jevons Paradox. This 19th century English economist saw that, as steam engines became more efficient to prevent expenses on coal to explode, the total amount of coal being used INCREASED with engine efficiency, in stead of decreasing. This paradox is rather trivial : as an engine becomes more efficient more people can buy one because operating costs are lower, and so total usage of coal increases. The effects of this paradox were again seen in the oil age.

Stop investing in fuel efficiency
And so we come to my main point : pouring massive amounts of public money into fossil fuel energy efficiency research and development is not going to help us one little bit! If we succeed in making cars twice or three times as efficient as today (very well possible if you ask me) then cars will become affordable for billions of Chinese and Indians. Demand for fossil fuels will soar. The same applies for things like gas turbines and airplane engines, and given the building rate of coal plants in China, coal plants too.

What I want to propose is an outright global ban of further state funded development of fossil technology, be it the mining, storage, transformation or usage technologies. Private (car) companies will of course try to keep market share, and it’s fine if they try to do better, but we must not use public money to help do this. Public funds must be directed towards Fossil Free projects.

It sounds unrealistic at first, and I was confused by my own idea, but it is really the only way forward to mitigate climate change if you really think about it. So it’s OK to invest in new technologies as long as they stay far away from any fossil fuel involvement.

Technologies that have a fixed installed base, and no risk of exponential growth that use fossil fuels can be optimized though. I’m thinking that for gas heaters and furnaces in homes it’s OK to make these more efficient, together with enhanced isolation of buildings. The focus should be on net-zero-energy here too, by the way.

We need to turn our attention to that Yellow Fusion Reactor passing overhead every day screaming : “I’ve powered the human civilization for 50.000 years up till 1750, and I’m willing to do it again!”


Decision making for Junior Venture Capitalists : a model

How to choose the business opportunities that have a higher chance of succeeding. @MattOgus at TechCrunch proposes to use Multi Factor Decision Analyses:


He has a point : following gut feeling or listening to successful people may not be a broad enough basis to base your decisions on.

Time to beef up my own Excel-sheet for my next investments 🙂

Read the whole story here

On Stakeholder Engagement: do it or they will do it to you

MOOC’ing my way to a new job in “Sustainability”, and learning lots of interesting stuff. This week had “Stakeholder Engagement” on the menu. We learned about standards for doing this (AA1000ses), reasons to do it and ways on reporting on the interactions with stakeholders and the showing the results. All rather dry and theoretical but interesting anyways.

I woke up this morning, finding my Twitter timeline filled with references to a Greenpeace report on the sustainability of IT companies. And that put all the newly learned stuff in perspective. This is exactly what stakeholder engagement is about: open, honest reporting on where you stand, what you communicate, what the results are and how you compare to your peers. But Greenpeace reverses the roles, and does a great job at doing so. I work for HP, so you can imagine that I have a story for my boss tomorrow: we need to get our act together, because if we don’t the customer will know where its IT can be serviced in a sustainable way, and believe me, customers are going to make this an important selection criterium.