A series of other thoughts about NAIAS 2018

January 19, 2018 by  
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Let’s start out with my in-the-moment string of notes during the Press Preview at this year’s NAIAS (Detroit Auto Show). This covers the main ideas about this year’s program at the time. I’ll add a few more comments and expanded thoughts at the end. Not sure if it’s an actual color trend, but there’s a lot of orange at this year’s #NAIAS #NAIAS2018 Attendance seems down and space more open at #NAIAS2018. Things just seem off this year. First thought it was decline of auto industry. There’s been gap-filling of various kinds over the last few years, suppliers and related fields, but not the vacant corridors this year. The concept of automotive ownership may be starting to decline, but it’s not to that level yet. More media info is being released directly from the companies’ media sites directly – cheaper and easier than preparing press kits. The political environment can’t help. I don’t have #NAIAS info, but my personal impression is that foreign journalist turnout seems low. Even the “rides” are empty. Maybe journalists are all jaded, and these will fill during the public show. But lotsa folks standing around. There’s a hominess to a number of the displays. Wood flooring, even on the turntables. And a giant cozy shadowbox wall display. Maybe fewer booth babes (of the stand next to the car on the turntable variety) at #NAIAS2018 Don’t know about public show in comparison. Pretty sure this display was also at #naias2017 so there’s some recycling going on, even if -green- is no longer part of the program. Again, I don’t have specific numbers, but there seem to be fewer cars per display. There’s a subduedness, even in all the flash &bombast Outrageous seems to be the antithesis of #NAIAS2018 There’s too much of it in the world already, and adding to it won’t go far. They get it. Not sure if #NAIAS is relevant to @ecogeek anymore. Transport is an important element in a greener world, but carmakers have moved on. It wasn’t the first thing that occurred to me, but gradually, I had the growing sense that this was not nearly as full of a show as previous years.  There are several things that could be causing that, and it’s likely some combination of all of those factors.  (And I could be completely wrong, the numbers might be different, but it’s my sense of what I observed this year.)  I’m fairly certain that foreign coverage was down from previous years.  The increased travel difficulties (getting a visa at all, let alone a working visa) mean fewer reporters.  A few years ago, I recall the big, welcoming banner in the giant media room with flags of many nationalities.  In 2011, I wrote elsewhere : “The polyglot nature of the show is reinforced both by the numbers of national flags hanging from the ceiling overhead as well as the languages one overhears walking through the room.”  There was none of that in 2018. The cost of travel could be another factor.  With the big automakers increasingly running their own media, the handouts and press kits are in decline.  Now, all a writer needs to do to get lots of press releases and images is go to the media website of the company (media.carcompany.com or some such) and download all the information they need.  No travel and dealing with Michigan winter required. Could it be that ownership of automobiles is beginning to decline, and with it a waning interest in cars in general?  I’m not sure that we are quite at that point yet, but there could be an overall fading of interest in cars, and a matching reduction in the amount of coverage that media outlets are willing to provide for it.  Even the local TV and radio stations, that have had a notable presence at recent years’ shows were less present this year. There were cars to be seen, of course, but very much a less compelling show, especially for an EcoGeek.  Sure, there are still electric vehicles as part of the mix, and some ongoing forward steps from a couple of the companies that seem to be doing some things toward being greener.  But, at the end of the day, not a strong show, and not one with much in the way of green news at all.

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A series of other thoughts about NAIAS 2018

7 meat-free startups changing the future of food

September 21, 2017 by  
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A look into the companies taking a bite out of the meat industry— and the big investors behind them.

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7 meat-free startups changing the future of food

Elon Musk is reportedly planning to dig tunnels and build his own Hyperloop

August 4, 2017 by  
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Back in 2013, Elon Musk detailed his vision for a futuristic mode of transportation called the hyperloop . Musk graciously shared his research with the public, because he had no intention of developing the invention – but that’s all changing now. Last month the Tesla Inc. CEO revealed that he received “ verbal government approval ” to build a hyperloop that can transport passengers between New York and Washington D.C. in a mere 29 minutes – and according to a confidante, Musk is planning to build the entire hyperloop system himself — from the physical infrastructure to the tube-encased train. The news came as a shock to startups that have been developing Hyperloops to Musk’s specifications. After all, Musk holds a trademark for the “Hyperloop” through SpaceX which could be used to prevent other companies from building them, according to U.S. public records. Musk acknowledges that his vision is now a direct threat to other start-ups which have raised hundreds of millions from venture backers. However, he is not discouraging other companies from developing underground tunnels. Musk said in a statement, “While we’re encouraged that others are making some progress, we would like to accelerate the development of this technology as fast as possible. We encourage and support all companies that wish to build Hyperloops and we don’t intend to stop them from using the Hyperloop name as long as they are truthful.’’ Among the three startups that publicly welcomed Musk’s involvement was Hyperloop One, whose chairman is Shervin Pishevar. Pishevar said on Wednesday that the company recently completed a second phase testing in Nevada, where a pod reached speeds of 192 miles per hour and traveled a distance of 1,433 feet. The company’s ultimate goal is to match Musk’s plan for the hyper loop to travel 700 mph. “It’s going to take many, many brilliant minds and commitment from many people to push it forward,” said Pishevar. “I’m a huge believer in him.” Related: Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop Hotel could be the future of travel Musk and SpaceX have a huge advantage over other companies striving to develop a high-speed hyperloop. Not only does SpaceX own @Hyperloop on Twitter, it also owns the website Hyperloop.com . SpaceX was also granted registration for the Hyperloop trademark in April. For this reason, other start-ups are considering adopting a new company name whilst utilizing Musk’s plans — or improving upon them. For now, Musk is focused on bringing the hyperloop to the East Coast whereas competitors are honing in on different regions. While it is more than likely the companies will find agreeable ways to coexist, all bets are off now that Elon Musk and his team are part of the race. Via Bloomberg Images via Shutterstock , Linkedin , TED

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Elon Musk is reportedly planning to dig tunnels and build his own Hyperloop

Sustainability leaders, note: There’s no more room for silence

June 14, 2017 by  
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More than half of U.S. employees want their companies actively address societal and environmental issues. Here’s how corporate leaders can respond.

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Sustainability leaders, note: There’s no more room for silence

4 big ideas for adjusting your sustainability strategy

June 14, 2017 by  
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Science-based goals, new models for reaching consumers, savvier marketing methods and the need for deeper collaboration dominate the conversation at WRI’s recent MindShare gathering.

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4 big ideas for adjusting your sustainability strategy

The potholes in Trump’s public-private infrastructure plan

June 14, 2017 by  
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Trickle-down infrastructure isn’t the path forward for sustainable development.

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The potholes in Trump’s public-private infrastructure plan

9 ways companies made a difference

January 18, 2017 by  
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How Whole Foods, Timberland, Apple and other companies across sectors left a positive mark on 2016. How will your organization make an impact this year?

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9 ways companies made a difference

How the Fed joined the fight against climate change

January 3, 2017 by  
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The Fed does not influence the opportunity cost of carbon — and whether companies account for it — it does influence the opportunity cost of financial capital.

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How the Fed joined the fight against climate change

Tech meets transparency: The rise of connected supply chains

October 28, 2015 by  
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Transparency has arrived — whether companies and their suppliers like it or not — thanks to technologies related to smartphones, Big Data and the Internet of Things.

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Tech meets transparency: The rise of connected supply chains

Eco-conscious GreenAdvisor app is the TripAdvisor for the environment

August 3, 2015 by  
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What would happen if a multitude of voices, voices like yours, started to demand a greener tomorrow? The GREENWILL organization has launched a campaign to develop GreenAdvisor , a TripAdvisor -inspired app that would allow consumers to rate the eco-friendliness of the companies and stores they frequent. Those ratings can be shared online and can empower consumers to pressure businesses and institutions into greener decisions. You can help support the app by backing the project on the GreenAdvisor Kickstarter . + GreenAdvisor Kickstarter The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Eco-conscious GreenAdvisor app is the TripAdvisor for the environment

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