There was lots of passion on display at Tuesday’s Clean Technology event at the Harvard Club (disclosure: sponsored by Beaupre and Brodeur Partners).
Marc Gunther, Fortune magazine’s senior writer and sustainability expert opened the session with a talk called “The clean technology revolution: bigger than the Internet?” He said five pivotal forces will make this a reality: science; scale; stimulus, security and generational change. Here are some Gunther sound bites:
- “Cleantech hasn’t had its Netscape moment yet.”
- “The science is so compelling it’s hard to turn back.”
- “This has become personal to them (CEOs). They are, on some level, thinking about their legacies - what kind of world they’re leaving for their children and grandchildren.”
- “This is the growth sector for America.”
- The pace of change isn’t fast enough, but New England is off to “a fantastic start.”
- If Obama is elected, it will be positive for clean technology, “We’ll look back in six months and be amazed.”
- The revolution will occur via 100,000 “small garages” vs. a Manhattan Project-like effort.
- We’ll need unprecedented private sector creativity and public sector political power working together like they’ve never done before.
- Investment and growth for cleantech is markedly different vs. the software industry.
- The VC industry is ripe for upheaval; a shakeout is looming.
Clean technology media pioneer Scott Clavenna said “We lost eight critical years. We need leadership from the top, at the White House. We need our (new) President to say, “This is what we’re going to do” and then stick with it. It’s time for a bold step.”