OK, first of all, I get to be a Grateful Dead fan, no matter what you uptight Wall Street guys may think. If Roger McNamee (the link is the Rex Foundation), Gary Bettman and Al Gore can be Deadheads, any modern businessman/woman can too.
But seriously my trip to the Green Earth Expo in Orlando was a bit strange. First it was the first booth that i’ve worked at a show since AutoFact 1986. Second it was the first booth/show that was for my own company that i arranged myself. Finally i was heading to alternative energy, sustainable business show it turned out to be more alternative lifestyle and products with a large minority of green energy and recycled products exhibitors. So it wasn’t quite the trip i was thinking it would be.
The event was at the Orange County Convention Center (WARNING - The center’s internet service provider, tells you that their $1000 wireless service isn’t really as reliable as their $1500 service. They don’t tell you they sell a $24 a day wireless, that seems to work fine) which is very large place with a lot of one way roads and driveways. The driving was quite annoying until the second day of driving there. This was my first trip to Orlando as an adult and while i hate paying 2, 75 cent tolls to get from the airport to the tourist area, it was a good experience aside from the driveways.
Now, back to the show.
I’m not against alternative lifestyles and other movements that seek to change people’s behavior. I’m not against hippies either. I’m just not sure we’re going to make much of an impact on the folks who drive SUVs, Fly around the world for fun or business and run their A/C full out any day it hits 75, by linking green with alternative lifestyle. Hell, i’m a guy who meet’s 2 of the 3 criteria above, i think i have a more typical american lifestyle than the alternate sorts. I want to save the world, i try to reduce my usage, but i like to have fun and live well too. I’m in favor of sustainability, not against consumerism and that’s where I think linking alternative living with alternative/green technologies doesn’t work at attracting the vast majority of the Americans that need to be engaged.
Now i don’t want this to sound like an attack at Green Earth Expo, it’s not. My friend went to a show in Chicago, that same weekend and had the same observation. Today i was meeting in Toronto (i’m happy to be able to take a train there) and my counterpart was telling me something similar about some shows he’s been to. I guess in short i’m saying the ‘business’ of fighting global warming should focused on environmentally friendly products not on ways to adapt your life to a world with less. While there is plenty of room for both movements, they don’t seem well matched to share a show.