Featured Blog Posts (38)

Dreams Come True on the Cool Block

Ten years ago, a Big Idea constellated in the mind of pro-social behavior change researcher and innovator David Gershon, CEO of the Empowerment Institute. The idea was to operationalize the modest goal of keeping the planet viable into the long-term future and improving the quality of life for humanity at the same time.…


Added by Sue Lebeck on March 28, 2017 at 2:18pm — No Comments

Rich Toolkits for Tomorrow's Civic Innovators

As enthusiastic hackathon teams gathered in Richmond, California for the second annual Meeting of the Minds (MotM) Civic Hackathon in mid-October (find the story here), the energy and creativity levels were high. “I’m very impressed at the creative applications that were directly relevant to the city of Richmond’s needs,” observed MotM Executive Director Jessie…


Added by Sue Lebeck on March 28, 2017 at 2:17pm — No Comments

Three Mantras to Guide You to 2050

This post is written in response to the Meeting of the Minds October 6th group blogging event, “Dear 2015”, which asks, “The year is 2050. Write a letter to the people of 2015 describing what your city is like, and give them advice on the next 35 years.”…


Added by Sue Lebeck on March 28, 2017 at 2:16pm — No Comments

New Years and New Babies

Happy New Year 2015!  

At InnovatingSMART, we are greeting the New Year with excitement as we continue the creative journeys we embarked upon this last year.   Indeed -- 2014 was a year for new babies in the InnovatingSMART team!

For Editor Nathaniel Gloekler, this development was quite literal, as he is now the father of a beautiful almost-one-year-old baby boy.   Contemplating this most potent of transitions, Nathaniel shared his meditative musings on Birthing…


Added by Sue Lebeck on January 6, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

My journey to: City Protocol Task Force

I am writing today to THANK YOU each for joining me in the InnovatingSMART adventure, and to announce where it has taken me personally and professionally.  …


Added by Sue Lebeck on July 23, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Giving Thanks

InnovatingSMART has sent me on a journey. From high-performance materials and…


Added by Sue Lebeck on November 18, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Making Change Together with the Cool City Challenge

At this morning’s EPA webinar (part of a dynamite series by EPA's West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum), Annie Leonard shared what she has learned on her journey…


Added by Sue Lebeck on September 9, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Incubating Nature

Because nature has proven so successful in her engineering over the last 3.8 billion years, "asking nature" and mining her expertise has become a smart tactic for innovative businesses.   A critical part of that business innovation will be to sort out how to translate Nature's…


Added by Sue Lebeck on July 16, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Transportation Revolution

My husband and I are active participants in the now-familiar data-informed “sharing economy”-- a collection of cloud-based networks matching temporarily available assets with the people who need them now.  Avid AirBnB hosts, my former home office frequently holds vacationers and future San Franciscans as they discover The City.  ZipCar members now too, we let go of our rarely needed second car (a sexy 300ZX) with…


Added by Sue Lebeck on June 10, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

From Consumers to Citizens

Consumers.  When did we the people become so thoroughly downgraded in our primary societal role?  I explored this state of affairs one recent fourth of July.  The CEO of Patagonia captured the spirit of my angst more succinctly at the…


Added by Sue Lebeck on May 14, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Creating with Constraints

Upcycling is a creative business practice with the power to literally transform our material world.  Adam Wegener and Scott Hamlin are the creators of two young businesses which are applying upcycling principles to innovate the very way they approach product innovation. Adam is out to inspire a generation of future upcyclers, while Scott is out to change the way the apparel supply chain is materially sourced. The “waste” materials they are…


Added by Sue Lebeck on April 9, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Mo'Data, Mo'Data, Mo'Data

Sustainability is, at last, becoming deeply embedded into business decision-making and practice.   "Mo'Data" is my translation of the mantra I heard from business leaders last month, as they described what is needed most to get this job done. From KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) to…


Added by Sue Lebeck on March 12, 2013 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Risk, Resilience and Love: Lessons from Woodstock

As GreenBiz unveils its State of Green Biz 2013 report this week, risk and resilience emerge as new touch-words for sustainability.  The implications for business will be further explored at the …


Added by Sue Lebeck on February 13, 2013 at 3:00am — No Comments

New Year, New World

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!"  Such was my personal soundtrack during a road-trip move across the country with my family in 1989.  And such is an appropriate soundtrack as we begin this next cycle of the Mayan long-count calendar.


New worlds and new times invite -- nay, demand -- change.  We've often offered…


Added by Sue Lebeck on January 9, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

On the VERGE of a Smarter World

Warmed up by Clean Tech Open last month, I next had the pleasure of wallowing in the creative juices of GreenBiz’ VERGE@GreenBuild conference.   This was PlayLand for anyone interested in building a smarter tomorrow.   Focused on the built environment, VERGE opened with a 48-hour marathon of creativity referred to as HackCity. It continued with…


Added by Sue Lebeck on December 4, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Giving Thanks for Tech Ingenuity

As the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am grateful for the technology ingenuity that is busy at work, helping us break down the man-made walls separating us from our own smarter future. 


One great way to thank our technology innovators is to join them on their “Hero’s Journey”. This is the raison d'être of the Clean Tech Open, the world-class mentorship program for the clean tech…


Added by Sue Lebeck on November 14, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Concentrated Solar at the Micro Scale

According to award-winning Sollector Systems, optimally effective micro scale concentrating solar energy technology is found at approximately 3 meters in diameter. This is much smaller than most popular CSP systems, which we consider to be significantly less efficient with respect to energy collected and expended to run its systems.

Find a sneak preview here:…


Added by Eckhart Beatty on October 9, 2012 at 12:11am — No Comments

Creative Spaces: Summertimes and Showcases

Ah, summertime!  A vacation to Tuscany, a visit from my daughter, a publishing break – such are the spaces that allow creativity to thrive.   And yet, we close our summer breaks fittingly with a celebration of Labor and the generative fruits of our work – which often have their genesis in the creative spaces of summer.  We highlight two such initiatives today.

The first creative initiative comes from the always-generative…


Added by Sue Lebeck on September 4, 2012 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Wisdom for Aspiring SMART Innovators, from IBM SmartCamp

“Be passionate but realistic. Learn to adapt, and don't give up. It’ll take longer than you think, but you'll change the world.”

Those were some of the words of wisdom passed on from the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators at IBM’s SmartCamp Global Finals here in San Francisco on February 2nd, 2012. 

Get the full…


Added by Alyson Greenlee on March 5, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How Might Biomimicry Help Create a Better Battery?

Posted by Diana Lee, of the Biomimicry Institute.  

Be sure to check out the PDF link -- fascinating learnings from nature!

Biomimicry rocks!   Cheers, Sue


---------------------  From Diana:

As part of our work with New York State Energy Research and Development Agency, in June we held a workshop with New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium to begin to plumb the biological…


Added by Diana K.H. Lee on August 31, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

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Efficiency gains and clean power investments are adding up for companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, but the pace of digital expansion is making it tough to keep up.

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