Big Change

Dream big… solutions are out there!  I’ve come across a few different things over the last couple of weeks that have made me stop and think, “wow”!

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Yesterday morning I was privileged to hear Tiffany Easthom, the South Sudan project Country Director for Nonviolent Peaceforce speak.  She talked about the organization’s efforts to find a solution to the violence happening to women and children in South Sudan following the country achieving their independence in 2011.  Since then the violence still persists, with women and children being preferred targets.

I was really struck by one of Tiffany’s statements — “sustainable change comes from within”.  What Nonviolent Peaceforce is doing in South Sudan is providing a proactive presence and protective accompaniment for vulnerable civilians, and, perhaps more importantly, advocating for and training the vulnerable in techniques that will enable them to protect themselves.  Change coming from within the South Sudanese society is a big important change!

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Watching Bill Clinton be interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, I heard Mr. Clinton mention the Clinton Global Initiative.  The 2012 annual meeting was just held in September, with a theme of “Designing for Impact”.  Thought leaders from all over the world convened to present their ideas.  Ideas with potentially huge impact — how can you not be energized and inspired!

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And, one more thing I ran across.  The dream of being able to drive a totally electric car across the country is moving one step closer to reality.

The Tesla Model S sedan was introduced in June, and in September Supercharger solar powered charging stations were unveiled.  There are six stations up and operational now in California.  Tesla plans to expand the network in California and targets having charging capability available across the country by 2014.

Dan McDermott covered the story on this google+ post.

Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk said there are three reasons people don’t view electric cars as practical. Then he proceeded to solve each one.

1) “The range is too short.”  His new super charger will give high-end Teslas a 150 mile trip on a 30 minute charge. “You could drive for three hours, stop at a rest area and recharge for 30 minutes and be ready to go again.” There are six stations already deployed in California. “This is not some figment of imagination that may be happening at some point in the future. We built these up in secret and we are unveiling them for the first time tonight…Within two years we will cover almost the entire United States with Super Chargers. You’ll be able to travel practically anywhere. Our long-term goal is (within 4-5 years) to cover the entire United States and the lower part of Canada.” Europe and eventually the entire world are planned as well.

2) “You are just burning fuel at a power plant instead of the car.”  The super chargers will be powered by solar panels from Solar City and “are designed to generate more power than required for the cars so the Super Chargers will actually put more power into the grid than the cars use.”

3) “Electric vehicles are trendy but too expensive and not worth it.”  The Tesla Model S cars equipped with the Super Charging technology will be able to use the stations at no cost. “You’ll be able to travel for free, forever on pure sunlight. It’s pretty hard to beat that. Free long distance? You’re not going to be able to get that with gasoline.”

At the start of Elon Musk’s presentation, he plugged in his car.  After 10 minutes the car had enough of a charge to drive for 50 miles.  So, stop at a station, plug in your car, grab a cup of coffee, and continue on your way.  How cool is that!  And, how huge this could be for doing something about climate change!

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