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Whatever you think of his politics, you can’t deny that Barack Obama’s got a way with words. His speech after Super (duper) Tuesday was full of aphorisms and inspirational phrases. The one that struck a chord with me was the line above: “We are who we have been waiting for…”
It resonates on many levels. Everyone’s been talking about the surge in “conversation” and “participation” and “customization” and, yes, “user-generated”. Essentially, there’s been a radical shift in relationship between company and consumer. Given that I’ve been so focused on sustainability issues of late (see yesterday’s post), I couldn’t help but think about Obama’s words in relation to the green movement.
A study by the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) in Clearwater, Fla. found that when equipped with real-time energy feedback devices (such as the down-home styled, upcoming EnerJar or the rather slicker PowerCost Monitor we featured in this slideshow of hot green products ), some homeowners reduced their energy consumption by more than 15%. Ok, so the AESP is hardly an impartial body, but that figure is significant. And it’s a salient reminder that *we* — humble, individual mere mortals — can make a real difference in the push towards a sustainable world. We don’t have to be paralyzed by the magnitude of the problem; we can make a difference. Suddenly I feel like I swallowed a manifesto, but the knock on effect is also invigorating: if we do something, then businesses wanting to deal with us will have to do something too.
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.