TEDxNewYork is held at GreyNY, 200 Fifth Avenue. We meet every week (mostly) on Fridays now and (mostly) from 1-2pm. We are open to the public. If you want to attend, send a note to admin@tedxnewyork.com (that's Don McKinney & Chel O'Reilly) with your vitals. Our biggest limitation is space so give us plenty of notice and we'll do our best to accommodate. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

TEDxNEWYORK 5/28/09 Jacqueline Novogratz (2003)

This week's TED Tuesday was, of course, on Thursday as the holiday weekend threw everything a little off schedule. We watched what I believe was Jacqueline Novogratz's first TED talk, from 2003-- not available online, but thanks Don for loaning us the dvd. On the TED website you can find her talks from 2005, 2007 & 2009 and I recommend all of them.

I'm currently reading her book The Blue Sweater, which is far more compelling than I expected (and I was expecting it to be good anyway) and I recommend that as well.

A few small, quick notes from the post-talk conversation:

Ms. Novogratz is always pushing to make philanthropy as empowering and effective as possible; she learned about course-correcting-- methods that are tried, but not always true. We talked about that on many scales: life at large, small projects, large organizations, these happen in many ways. When you stop to assess how you're progressing on the road towards a goal, you may change how you're going to get there. It's important to not become paralyzed by how overwhelming a situation might be. Interestingly enough, a few hours later Cameron Sinclair's article The Tugboat & The Tanker showed up on the Huffington Post with an excellent analogy on the hows/whys of course-correction.

The conversation didn't exactly meander, but somehow we do find ways to include a lot of topics in what was ultimately about 40 minutes of talk time... Come, see what we mean by that.

til next week,

PS check out the news of the world in the posts below from Don's trip to the World Business Summit on Climate Change!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Presented Climacide and the need to re-brand global warming to the World Business Summit on Climate Change today. Great response. We'll see going forward if the world business leaders are serious. Stay tuned.

Thanks to Daniel for the photo.


Oddly enough, we were the only ones.

P.S. Yes, we are giants.


The panel this morning is getting serious.

On stage is:
Anders Eldrup, CEO and President, DONG Energy
Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place
Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers
James E. Rodgers, Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy
David Blood, Senior Partner, Generation Investment Management
Anders Eldrup, CEO and President, DONG Energy
Yoichi Funabashi, Editor-in-Chief, The Asahi Shimbun
Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme, James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization, Oxford University
Moderated by Nik Gowing

These CEOs are calling for a higher global price on carbon to push innovation. However, there is little faith that politicians will ratify anything that makes life uncomfortable.

Shai Aggassi: "A $200 tax per ton of carbon would raise the price of oil $2 per gallon. That price increase results in a 0.4% reduction in driving." In other words, a tax, in Shai's opinion is not going to get it done.

Sir Crispin Tickell: "People have to be told that there is a price for the carbon they put in the air."

David Blood: "We must expose the organizations and people who are lobbying against regulation." He continues, "Investing in companies that do not address these issues are bad investments. They are sub-prime assets."

James Rogers: "I had a shareholder meeting this year that said I was wasting money by going out and talking about this issue."

Shai Aggassi: If you emit tons and tons of carbon and you cut that by 10%, you get a lot of credit. If I go out with cars that don't emit any carbon, I don't get any credit. What I need to do is buy up all the emitting cars and replace them with non-emitting cars, just so we can get the credit."

Interjection from the audience: "I'm very disappointed in this conference. We aren't talking about the effects. I'm from South Africa. We're the canary in the coal mine. Next year we will be out of water. There will be six million people with no water. Do you want to put that on the agenda?"

Another from the audience: "We must get back to business leadership. There are parties in Australia who are willing to say 'if you regulate us we will leave' that isn't leadership, that's fear."

Sir Crispin Tickell: "The fundamentals of economics are broken. We have to re-examine economics if we want to fix this."

David Blood: "Business owners understand the problems. Investors and asset managers do not. Investors are lagging behind."

James Rogers: "What we think of energy conservation now will be seen as very primitive soon. We need to break away from short-term thinking."

David Blood: The best way to run a company is long term. Asset managers must get back to long-term thinking. We need to realize that climate issues have been seen as an issue from the left. This is not a liberal issue. That thinking has caused a lot of cynicism. We need to look at this from an economic standpoint not as a partisan issue.

Shai Aggasi: Capital is hard to get. If you wait till tomorrow, you'll get a better price per share. As long as they see the market going down, they will hesitate.

James Rogers: You can give investors a speech about the long-term, but investment terms have gone from five years to 18 months.

David Blood: We must include the developing world. If we do not engage them we will fail in December.

The final question: "Have we been bold enough?" The panel was split.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Harish Hande, co-founder and managing director of SELCO Solar Light, came out swinging with the declaration that most businesses have no clue because most businesses have not been affected by global warming.

"We make products for the rich, packaged for the rich."

Harish broke it down simply. 1.5 billion people do not have a voice. They cannot make choices because another 1.5 billion have the money to move the market in their direction. Most decisions, Harish contends, are made from glass offices at the top of buildings removed from the poor.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Giovanni Bisignani CEO, IATA

We all know aviation is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some numbers given by Giovanni Bisignani:

2.3B people flew last year with just 900 fatalities.
Fuel efficiency has improved by 70% in the last decade
32M tons of CO2 has been saved through best practices in the last 4 years

Mr. Bisignani set several goals he would like see hit:
25% improvement in fuel efficiency by 2020
70% use of alternative fuels such as biofuels by 2020
50% carbon reduction by 2020

Mr. Bisignani went on to say that while we must ensure positive economic outcome, we must have regulations to add structure to the voluntary actions currently being taken by the airlines to "link government targets with the good work of the airlines".

Biofuels were mentioned several times as an important part of meeting the above goals. Biofue;ls can reduce the carbon footprint in the aviation industry by 80%.


GREYnyc is in Copenhagen for the Summit this week. I will be posting from the conference.