10 green ideas that will change the world

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Articles - June 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7. THE POWER OF SHARING

0612 10Transformative 07Sharing is on the rise in Oregon. In Portland alone there are organizations that facilitate tool sharing, food sharing, toy sharing, and clothes sharing. But apart from car-sharing companies, few entrepreneurs have figured out how to monetize a model that relies on people not spending money or not buying things. Bright Neighbor, a Portland-based “social network for the transaction of barter,” launching in July, aims to change all that. Oregon Business chats with CEO Arnold Strong and founder Randy White.

White: We will be the first mobile peer-to-peer lending app out there. You launch, take a video of that bike in your garage, and suddenly you have a mobile device that makes it easier to inventory things to rent, lend, sell or barter.

OB: How will you monetize the service?

White: Three ways. For those transactions that are rental based, we will take 15%. Another line is a partnership with insurance companies. If you break my John Deere lawnmower, you want it insured. The third item is a transaction on deposit. If someone is going to engage in a sharing behavior, they want to make sure that person is not going to take off with it.

OB: What market niche does Bright Neighbor fill?

Strong: the ability to borrow, lend or trade instead of spending capital is really the market we feel is ready to be unleashed. All of these are ways to unlock value from people’s garages, kitchen shelves, to make sure you’re maximizing value out of everything rather than having it sit in the shed.

8. FOLLOW THE WATER

0612 10Transformative 08International aid organizations typically measure the impact of their clean water or sanitation programs via surveys, which are expensive to execute and often produce inaccurate results. Portland State University engineering professor Evan Thomas, in partnership with Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, has developed a sensor platform (SWEETSense) that will deliver real-time data about the use of water purification filters, high-efficiency cook stoves, and other products used in global development initiatives.

Since the platform is compact and inexpensive, it can be installed on a large scale, says Thomas, who will deploy the sensors this fall in Rwanda as part of a project distributing water filters to more than 600,000 households. The sensors will measure
usage and performance, allowing aid workers to monitor the effectiveness of the filters and tweak education efforts accordingly.

Lack of access to clean water is one of the major causes of death and disease in Rwanda, says Thomas. “We think this [technology] will lead to significant health improvements.”



 

Comments   

 
Tats
0 #1 VP, Castagra ProductsTats 2012-05-29 23:59:08
Great list. I'm excited to see how these trends progress.
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John A. Ward
-1 #2 10 Green IdeasJohn A. Ward 2012-05-30 05:53:18
Great Article, in the first 4 points I learn that Solar is the most Expensive way to generate electricity, That LEDs Save 195 million in electricity while COSTING the USERS 1 BILLION EXTRA for the same light, that smart phones will allow for more information flow, while an old netbook would provide more access for less money, and the electric car is an expensive FLOP! do you people ever wonder how your ideas will fare, when the bankrupt Federal Govt. STOPS giving you money for your hair brained ideas!!?
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kiel johnson
+1 #3 business ownerkiel johnson 2012-05-30 17:24:45
I wish that bicycles had made the list. It seems to fit in perfectly with the quote at the end,

"For whatever reason in our culture we are always looking for that magic technology to save us..."

Bicycles have been around for 150 years. Portland has shown that not only are there lots of positive benefits to bicycling but that it is also great for business. In the last 10 years I can't think of any other technology which has transformed businesses in Portland more except maybe the iPhone. From cargo bikes, to encouragement programs, to how we design apartments and parking. And there is plenty more opportunity.
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Linda Baker
0 #4 managing editorLinda Baker 2012-05-30 17:57:20
Kiel,

Bikes did make the list. See number 4, "The Mobility Revolution."
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Jonathan Maus
0 #5 Publisher of BikePortland.or gJonathan Maus 2012-05-30 18:07:58
Thanks Linda for pointing out that bikes do get a mention. It was such a minor mention — and stuffed in between all the excitement about cars — that I actually missed it the first few times I read the list.
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Arnold
+1 #6 CEO, Bright Neighbor, LLCArnold 2012-06-01 20:18:51
We are so proud to be considered one of the top ten green ideas that will change the world. Come join four other Portland-based social innovations and Bright Neighbor as we launch at the Portland State University Social innovation Incubator Pitchfest on June 29th. We look forward to seeing you there!

Maximize Your Neighbors, with Bright Neighbor!

Arnold Strong
CEO, Bright Neighbor, LLC
503.428.0579
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Bonita Steers
0 #7 Home Energy RX, PrincipalBonita Steers 2012-06-04 03:42:16
I specially want to emphasize #10 improved building standards, such as those used in Passiv Haus and other passive designs which can save up to 90% of energy used for heating and cooling. In other countries, new construction is required to meet new standards of construction. Also, Energy Audits as part of Real Estate transaction disclosures would give home buyers a better idea of what they are purchasing related to energy consumption.
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