TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Tore Land, Director, GE Ecomagination Challenge

We at GE want to give our heartfelt thanks to the TED community for participating in this conversation. Your ideas and insights -- ranging from home automation and discussions about a two-way grid to apps and gaming methods that can drive behavior change -- have been fascinating to read and stimulating to respond to.

On a personal note, as the host of this conversation, I want to thank you for your participation and fresh thinking here. And on behalf of the whole ecomagination Challenge team, we look forward to working with you to help imagine and build technology that can meet these pressing environmental challenges.

GE believes widespread adoption of clean energy technology will start in the home. And we believe the second phase of the ecomagination Challenge will help drive that change. We invite you to continue to follow this project via our website:

http://challenge.ecomagination.com/home

We're currently reviewing the submissions to the challenge and, together with our partners, will evaluate the most innovative. We'll be announcing the winners next month -- stay tuned for the announcement!

Home energy is a critical global challenge, and we want the TED Community to know we are committed to building -- and scaling up -- innovative solutions.

Thank you for letting us pick your brains!

Sincerely,
Tore Land
Director, GE ecomagination Challenge

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    Mar 5 2011: There are already a host of emerging technical solutions and new ones coming along almost daily. I saw your panel discussion at CES and have visited with one of your co-panelists since - Neil McPhail from Best Buy. I think the big gap in getting this market and movement started is in the business model as presented to the consumer. I feel like the current model as a "do it yourself" home ROI based model is too hard to grasp and uncompelling.for most people.

    Consider an alternative lens/approach. The home budget is owned and operated by women, not men. The DIY model is very male-centric. I think we need to re-engineer the consumer presentation at the retail level and target women. This will mean that we need to reframe the model in terms that motivate and inspire women. At a minimum a transformative home energy solution will involve both home decision makers.

    Here's a nugget to chew on - discovered by an all female design team at Volvo - "Designing to meet the needs of women will exceed the needs of men." Assume its true. So if the home energy business model is designed for female home budgeters,it has the chance to meet all needs.

    I discussed this with McPhail and his colleagues at BB and they are intrigued. In fact they may see a way to re-configure the presentation through the Geek Squad and their Magnolia "store-in'store" concept to re-present home energy management.

    Love to chart more. I can be found through the TED community.

    Mark Dawes
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      Mar 9 2011: These are interesting points you raise. You are right that home energy solutions will involve both home decision makers. If a DIY model won't appeal to all decision makers, what kind of approach do you think will appeal more to everyone? Do others agree with this assessment? By the way, unfortunately I was unable to attend CES but I believe my colleague David McCalpin (GM, Home Energy) was on the panel you attended. I will make sure he sees your comments as well.
      • Mar 11 2011: I agree with Mark's idea! While the household management is generally a female domain, energy management nowadays could not be more male-oriented.
        I am no specialist, but maybe instead of (or along with) gadgets and control, solutions should be marketed around empowerment, durability, sustainability, health, savings, user-friendliness, flexibility, multitasking, even decoration or home-madeness (such as my own compost as opposed to my own remote control of the sprinklers in the house)...
        Also, women are probably more likely to cooperate in projects to pool and share resources. This could be used for developing a completely different line of products and solutions, not home-centered, but community-centered.

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