London Brainstorm Highlights

                                                           
     

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This year’s first brainstorm took place at the top of the Heron Tower in London; the view over the city combined with the light bulb decoration helped spark some creative thinking and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Geoff Cutmore’s message from the future revealed the headline: In 2035, despite a ballooning population, the IT and mobile revolution has led to a 20% decline in emissions over the past 20 years. 

As soon as the brainstorm started heads were bowed around the room and a huge range of solutions, from automated adjustment of generators to apps utilising open data, were suggested.

Many tables talked around general themes such as freedom of information and the need for informed consumers, while some, like Table 11, recognized the paradox of increasing reliance on IT solutions while at the same time trying to avoid an increase in emissions from the computer sector.  

Molly Webb, from The Climate Group, presented Table 3’s suggestion that big data should be used to drive predictability in human behaviour, and by implication,improve efficiency and decrease waste. 

Table 10 took an optimistic view of human behaviour. Dr Mike Weston (UK ERC) argued that an open data policy would help make everyone a carbon stakeholder.  

Table 9 also thought big data was key to future success. Peter Hall (of Sheffield University) suggested that with this understanding, incentives could be launched by governments and businesses to encourage a change in consumers’ lifestyles. 

Several tables discussed the pros and cons of some sort of carbon initiative. Dr Tim Coombs (University of Cambridge) of Table 11 suggested that consumer awareness combined with dynamic carbon pricing would help create ‘smart individuals’ and‘intelligent energy storage systems.’ 

Dr Vili Lehdonvirta of Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford and spokesperson for Table 8 also advocated personal carbon credits, but the question of who would pay for these credits was something of a stumbling block. 

Tables 1 and 6 both felt that connected societies were an element of the solution.Fiona Harvey from The Guardian argued that energy literate citizens in ‘Smart Communities’ might work together to reduce emissions, while Elaine Weidman-Grunewald from Ericsson (and Table 1) thought that the networked society would lead to system-wide optimization. 

The vote was tight, with most tables falling within a point of each other. Lucky number 7 won out for Table 7 that gave us a 7 step solution  - starting with an‘Energy Wikileaks’ and ending with governments mandating the use of networked devices for an ‘internet of things.’ 

See all the ideas generated in the brainstorm

 Participants Viewpoints
Christele Delbe
Machine-to-machine innovation can help a company's carbon balance sheet.
James Cameron
New language is needed to encourage a positive change in society.
Louise Kingham
Energy use is opaque to consumers: industry has to use gaming and IT solutions to make efficiency appealing.
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More Features

The brainstorm experience

See how the full experience of the London 2013 brainstorm event on Empowering Innovation.

Participant viewpoint: Christele Delbe

Christele Delbe, Vodafone Group: Machine-to-machine innovation can help a company's carbon balance sheet.

Participant viewpoint: James Cameron

James Cameron, Climate Change Capital: New language is needed to encourage a positive change in society.

Participant viewpoint: Louise Kingham

Louise Kingham: Energy use is opaque to consumers: industry has to use gaming and IT solutions to make efficiency appealing.

London Brainstorm Highlights

This year’s first brainstorm took place at the top of the Heron Tower in London; the view over the city combined with the light bulb decoration helped spark some creative thinking and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.