Friday, May 29, 2009


I just finished reading the new book from Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat and Crowded. It is a real eye opener and not  for those with a weak heart. After the credit crunch, he says we are very close to the climate crunch.


He makes it clear that the green revolution we need will be the biggest innovation project in history. It will change everything, from what you put into your car to what you see on your electric bill.


This is not going to happen overnight. He sees an important role for governments to facilitate all this. But that will be rather difficult, as most governments tend to favour the interest of the powerful oil and gas lobby. So, this comes back to the willingness of governments, of companies and of individuals to change. And most would like to see that others change first………


This is especially true in this area of energy consumption. People will only buy these new green products and services if they are better and or cheaper than what they have now.


Every major change comes from individuals who share a common vision. And when more people participate the ripple effect will do the rest. It was Gandhi who said “you have to be the change you want to see”. This means that the focus of new services should be to give the customers and consumers the motivation to change their behaviour. Once groups of individuals have changed their own behaviour they will push the governments and companies to do the same.


This also requires a bigger effort from service companies to educate their customers. Until you understand the urgency of the crisis, you will not act differently. This will be an extra challenge for marketing. The sharing of real information is crucial. And then the suppliers should also provide real green products and services. Why am I writing about ‘real’ products. Well it just came out that in Holland energy companies sold green electricity, but provided something else. This is killing for the motivation of consumers.


This all means that educating the public, providers, suppliers and customers about the need to really change to green is a prerequisite for a real change.


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