Sue Lebeck's Blog (86)

A New Cultural Narrative for Sustainability

Last year at one of the many sustainability-focused conversations I joined, a wise woman in the audience expressed well the conundrum we are living.   Despite our talk and activity around sustainable practice, our current cultural narratives of consumption and narrow measures of success are working against us.  We have no narrative for creating a world with regenerativity and sustainability at its core.  Without a new story, we are well-intended players trapped in an out-of-date…


Added by Sue Lebeck on April 3, 2012 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Half-time? Or Game-change?

What a difference a year makes.  While last year’s SuperBowl ads optimistically touted the latest in “green” cars, this year’s most-talked-about SuperBowl ad called the alarm on our current social crisis.  Yes, Clint Eastwood’s “It’s Half-time in America” pep-talk…


Added by Sue Lebeck on February 8, 2012 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

100 Years of Innovation

In the after-glow of holiday magic, we are reminded of our power - and responsibility - to create magic in the world.  Suspending disbelief, we stretch our imaginations and, at least for a time, expand our view of what is possible. 


Recently, my colleagues and I answered an invitation to consider how to expand our collective view of what is possible in the field of commercial space.  In responding to DARPA’s One…


Added by Sue Lebeck on January 3, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments

On Being Santa

As many of you know, my mid-life crisis came early.  After fifteen years in the networking industry commercializing and connecting people to the Internet,  I stepped back in the mid-90’s to look at the people we were connecting and, well, people in general.  For several years, I directed my creative energy to parenting, studying psychology and seeking the meaning of life (or at least the meaning of mine).  I did not find the meaning of life, but I did learn how we create meaning for life. …


Added by Sue Lebeck on December 20, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

"What Part of You is Not for Sale?"

Today's perspective comes from guest blogger Alyson Greenlee, a newly-minted twenty-something MBA who immediately impressed me.   I enjoy Alyson's thinking, so I asked her if I could share one of her thoughtful and provocative questions here.  Enjoy! -- Sue


What part of you is not for…


Added by Sue Lebeck on December 6, 2011 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Sustaining Thanksgiving

A story in today’s New York Times caused quite a stir.  The headline: “A Blow to PinStripe Aspirations”, a.k.a. "Wall Street Layoffs Take Heavy Toll on Younger Workers".   Have a quick read, and then check out the passionate reaction it elicited.   The word “schadenfreude” was used several times to describe what was unfolding.  (Schadenfreud is not a word in my vocabulary,…


Added by Sue Lebeck on November 22, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Thank you, Team!

As we all prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, join me in thanking the InnovatingSMART all-volunteer creative team. Their generous contributions of time and talent over the past year-and-a-half made and make our all-volunteer publication possible.

You guys rock! Thank you!




Added by Sue Lebeck on November 22, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Prosuming and "Liking" it

Our readers know that Alvin Toffler invented the word, but I might be the first person to "verb" it.  From our friends at Wikipedia:

The term [Prosumer] has ... taken on multiple meanings in business and economics: the business sector sees the prosumer (professional–consumer) as a market segment, whereas economists see the prosumer…


Added by Sue Lebeck on November 8, 2011 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How would Nature do your job?

These days such a statement might make one a little jumpy.   But in this case, there is no need to panic. Nature is not jones-ing to downsize your position.  Instead, as a result of an increasing number of human apprentices, Nature's genius is on-deck to help YOU look brilliant.

As regular readers have detected by now, I am an unabashed fan of the concepts and potential of Biomimicry, the human practice of…


Added by Sue Lebeck on October 25, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Celebrate! the California Benefit Corporation

News from our friends at B-Lab -- Woohoo!

Check out also our new Video addition to the B-Labs innovation story!…


Added by Sue Lebeck on October 11, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Designed from Nature "Nightlife"

One of my favorite organizations reaches out in collaboration for yet another great-looking event.  Check out the Biomimicry Institute at the Cal Academy of Sciences on October 13!

From our Biomimicry friends:

Great design often takes cues from nature— get your hands on real products inspired by natural forms and speak to the folks at Ask Nature and the…

Added by Sue Lebeck on October 11, 2011 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The Biggest Risk of All

Like many, I have become discouraged, even angry, in the wake of Silicon Valley solar manufacturer Solyndra's filing for bankruptcy. 

Unlike many others in the blogosphere, I am not angry with the government loan guarantee program for backing Solyndra.  I am not even angry with…


Added by Sue Lebeck on October 11, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Creating our 10,000 Year Legacy

This past weekend, our Airbnb guests had come to town for the Mechanicrawl 02011 event hosted by the Long Now Foundation, whose mission is balancing “faster/cheaper” thinking with its “slower/better” counterpart.   It prompted me to take another look at my copy of…


Added by Sue Lebeck on September 27, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

The World is Ripe

Sometimes you just cannot be everywhere you want to be.  The eighth of September was one of those days for me, as Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV) held a workshop on Designing for Sustainability through Biomimicry, and I was not available to go.  I heard from colleague Diana Lee of the Biomimicry Institute that SSV Executive…


Added by Sue Lebeck on September 14, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Nuclear Risk Engineering -- applying Secured Environment's technology

SMART innovator Eddie Leung of Secured Environment will be setting up a degree program in Hong Kong on nuclear risk engineering and give a seminar on pollutant valuation.  A description of that Seminar is below.



Added by Sue Lebeck on September 2, 2011 at 4:47pm — No Comments

Going Back to the Future -- with Nuclear Energy

In the wake of Fukushima, I can hardly believe I’m saying this. 


Nuclear energy – that field I’ve loved to hate, that clean-energy-with-the-out-sized risks, that “nuclear” word which nearly dissuaded me from having children back in the 1980’s – nuclear energy (of a not-often-heard-of type) could come back out of hiding to address our urgent need for clean, plentiful energy in the 21st…


Added by Sue Lebeck on August 30, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Sprint - Your Partner for Smart Grid Innovation?

Brian Huey from Sprint took the time to answer InnovatingSMART's questions regarding communications support for Smart Grid innovators and entrepreneurs.   Check out Brian's detailed answers below.  THANK YOU, Brian! 


And check out The Sprint Open Solutions Conference Nov. 2-4, 2011, in Santa Clara, Calif. Registration is now open for the conference -- Half-off…


Added by Sue Lebeck on August 16, 2011 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Scaffolding for the Smart Grid

My husband and I are repainting our historic Victorian home, and hold grand visions for what will emerge.  Today, the workmen came to put up the scaffolding necessary to get the job done. 


After a day of them erecting metal structures and laying down planks into strategic and stable configurations, I behold in amazement the result.  There now exist pathways and bridges providing access and support to the painters for every stage of their work to come -- whether removing…


Added by Sue Lebeck on August 16, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Going the Distance

This past weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of hosting guests from London who came to town to participate in the annual San Francisco Marathon.  As a former three-miler (make that two) and a current hill-climber (the urban kind), I fell naturally into a state of awe and admiration. Twenty-six-plus mile-markers to be overtaken by foot in the terrain of the cable-car seems…


Added by Sue Lebeck on August 1, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Free to Be Customers (Again)

While musing about independence on the 4th of July, I found myself inside of an unexpected but provocative question.  Asked then: “What is our modern tyranny -- the ‘arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power’ from which we seek freedom” today?


After sitting with this question for a couple of weeks, I…


Added by Sue Lebeck on July 18, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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