By external blogger and PLGC preliminary jury member Jan Paul van Soest.

JanPaulvanSoestJan Paul van Soest

For the past couple of years, the month of August is Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Month for me. Literally hundreds of innovative ideas and businessplans find their way to the preliminary jury members, and I'm fortunate to be one of them. Each year is surprising and inspiring. Who else gets the opportunity of pre-selecting entries from all over the world, and by doing that getting a great overview of what's going on in the global arena of sustainable concepts and innovations? Well, my preliminary jury colleagues and I are in the privileged position to call this 'work'.

By external blogger and PLGC 2009 winner Dean Gregory.

DeanGregoryDean Gregory

This time of year is a little strange for me – this time three years ago, I was a bundle of nervous energy, getting ready to go to Amsterdam and present the concept of the RidgeBlade to the Green Challenge jury. Soon there will be a number of people across the world that are going through the same thing, half excited, half terrified and part of me envies them, but part of me is just happy to watch from the sidelines! 

We've been told that if you include a number in your blog title, more people will read it. But in reality, there are far more than six reasons to invest in women - particularly when it allows them to boost their education level or access cleaner forms of energy. Here, we've picked those that are most compelling to Empower Generation. For those who are not yet convinced, or need to be reminded, we thought we'd spend a few moments explaining why women are the world's true change agents.
Everywhere you look, women are the linchpins of their families and their communities. With education, skills and basic resources, they can become even greater catalysts for change.


energydisruptionMobile phone chargers as sold in Nepal by Empower Generation

By external blogger Bennett Cohen. This blog was previously published by Empower Generation

Most technology managers are familiar with the concept of "disruptive innovation". Harvard Business Professor Clayton Christensen coined the phrase in his 1995 article, "Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave", where he explains that most
"… disruptive innovations were technologically straightforward, consisting of off-the-shelf components put together in a product architecture that was often simpler than prior approaches. They offered a different package of attributes valued only in emerging markets remote from, and unimportant to, the mainstream."

By external blogger Marty Pickett

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) was honored to host the recent U.S. launch of the United Lotteries '2012 Green Challenge at the Empire State Building. How appropriate that the spire of the iconic building was lit in green in honor of RMI and the evening.

RMIThe Empire State Building design is a registered trademark and is used with permission from ESBC



By external blogger Ward van Beek

A month ago, Aart van Veller expressed in his blog the hope that all of us would agree that the transition towards a sustainable economy is a necessary one. He then goes on to ask: "How should we shape this transition? How are we going to change an economy that currently has a "take, make & waste" mentality and runs on fossil fuels towards an economy that runs on sustainable energy and recycles its resources?" In his blog he answers this question by promoting the sharing economy. 

By external blogger Aart van Veller

The unstoppable rise of the sharing economy

I hope you all agree with me that the transition towards a sustainable economy is a necessary one. The question is: How should we shape this transition? How are we going to change an economy that currently has a "take, make & waste" mentality and runs on fossil fuels towards an economy that runs on sustainable energy and recycles its resources? Fortunately, this necessary transition comes with many opportunities and I will advocate one of them here: the sharing economy.


By external blogger Marty Pickett.

Rocky Mountain Institute recently launched Reinventing Fire at National Geographic's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era is the culmination of RMI's years of work and many months of research and data synthesis about energy efficiency and renewables and their feasibility for the four sectors that use fossil fuels: transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity.

A month after winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2011, we asked Nick Christy how he's doing now and what has been happening since his trip to Amsterdam.

How did you experience the week leading up to the Green Challenge and the event itself?
The week before was a huge rush. I think I had 6 or 7 days between finding out that we were finalists to actually flying to Amsterdam. In that time we had to prepare the presentation and make travel arrangements so I didn't have too much time to think about it until I actually arrived in Amsterdam.

Plant-e | Marjolein Helder

““People simply didn’t – and often still don’t – believe it,” Marjolein Helder explains, “and can you blame them? Plants producing electricity seems ridiculous, yet that is exactly what we’re doing.” The technology was developed and patented in 2007 by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In 2008 Helder started her PhD and founded Plant-e shortly after in 2009. Since graduating in 2012, she’s devoted her time fully to Plant-e, which is now owner of the patent.

“No, that is not how it works!” Helder laughed when asked if Plant-e would allow you to plug your phone charger into some sort of device in the ground, which would then somehow be connected to a plant.

Of course that’s not how it works.