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 two multi-layered days of panel sessions, workshops and “Great Ideas” from those who operate “on the verge” every day – collaborating across cities, transforming transportation, managing energy-consuming assets, engineering net-zero-energy buildings, making meaning out of data, and crafting creative communities.  Informed and inspired, I next spent a day in the massive Expo that is GreenBuild (more on that next year) and spoke with cutting-edge folks working concretely (sometimes literally) on new materials, new design and sourcing tools, and new ways to observe and manage our buildings.

While at the VERGE conference, I was privileged with a Press Pass that gave me access to and space for InnovatingSMART-style one-on-one conversations – personal stories with SMART innovators shaping the future.   The result is synthesized/aggregated in this month’s spotlighted story.  I hope you enjoy listening to these stories as much as I enjoyed collecting them!

Over the course of the week, I found myself craving a synthesizing picture that would allow me to see the core elements of this VERGE emergence all together, and in relationship to one another.   To satisfy the craving, I drafted the simple conceptual architecture shown here.

A former software architect (my colleagues and I did our bit to shape the commercial architecture of the Internet) I look forward to watching, and perhaps helping, the operational architectures of these SMART infrastructures take shape.   If we can get the architectures just right, the sustainability-creating SMART innovation that has already begun will surely be unleashed. Finally, we are standing on the VERGE of a SMARTer world. Time to get moving!


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Sue Lebeck 

  Cool Block Platform Director

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