It's day two of the 10th annual Wall Street Green Summit here in NYC. Thus far the sessions have been jam packed with information, some of which is relevant to our industry (like the macro trends affecting the global landscape) and some less so (like the nitty gritty of the carbon market), but a few themes have emerged across the board, and it's been eye opening to get a glimpse into the world of green financing. A few takeaways and intereesting tidbits thus far…
1. No one's too confident that federal regulations will come in and save the day
2. China, China, China…and Korea
3. Lock down your solar panels, apparently a real market has emerged for stolen PVs
4. Sobering statistic: one third of all people in the world are expected to be without fresh water by 2020
5. Environmentalists are starting to object to wind and solar farms for land use reasons
6. Clean tech is now the largest global VC category; 2011 exits will drive capital formation
7. Jersey is leading the way on solar…who knew?
8. Pay attention to the other forecast: more than 30 percent of the global economy is impacted by weather
9. Building in NYC? Check out the Brownfield incentives.
And the last bit of knowledge I'll take away from this conference is that just because they're in green, doesn't mean they get it: one woman asked a question about ethanol yesterday that stunned me…it went something like this: "I know hunger and food shortages are an issue in other parts of the world, but that aside since that doesn't affect us at all, why aren't we growing more corn in our many open acres of land?" It's all interconnected…we're all interconnected….socially, physically, and yes, economically. If you haven't gotten the memo by now lady (and majority of the global population that's in power and making policy and business decisions) we're in bigger trouble than even I thought. One of the speakers yesterday made a distinction to say ecological rather than environmental to place the focus on systems and design, and designers that's where we come in. Designing not just prettier hotels, but hopefully better systems, better solutions, and ultimately a better (and yes lady, a more profitable) world.