Monday, September 8, 2008

Go Green!

Posted: Sunday, 07 September 2008 2:33PM

NY Times' Friedman To Focus On Green Revolution In Ypsi Speech

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman will offer the keynote at a day-long event focused on making green power the next great global industry.

The event, bringing together and recognizing Michigan's leading alternative energy companies, features remarks by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon in addition to Friedman. The program begins at 12:20 p.m.; registration starts at 10:30 a.m.

Friedman's No. 1 bestseller "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century," changed the national discussion on the opportunities and challenges of a global economy. His newest book, "Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How it Can Renew America" is the topic of his address, as energy has become one of the top election year issues.

The event is being organized by the Washtenaw Economic Club, the Michigan Business Review and Michigan's University Research Corridor.

Friedman's talk is part of a day-long focus on Michigan-based innovations forming the seeds of a growing green energy industry, including Michigan Business Review Innovation, bringing together Michigan's most innovative companies utilizing and supplying alternative energy.

The University Research Corridor will also make available a new report offering a break-out on Michigan's opportunities for developing green technologies.

Friedman's new book contends America has been overwhelmed with articles about "easy ways to go green'' and notes "green'' was the single-most trademarked word in 2007 but he complains the over-abundance of such articles shows the makings of "a party -- not a revolution.'' The real changes, he contends, will be hard, not easy, and most are yet to come.

Despite the increasing need for new green technologies, U.S. venture capital funds invested just $5 billion in green revolution investments last year compared to $100 billion invested in IT in 2000, the peak of the dot-com boom, Friedman notes.

"Anyone who looks at the growth of middle classes around the world and their rising demands for natural resources, plus the dangers of climate change driven by our addiction to fossil fuels, can see that clean renewable energy -- wind, solar, nuclear and stuff we haven't yet invented -- is going to be the next great global industry,'' Friedman wrote in a recent column. "It has to be if we are going to grow in a stable way. Therefore, the country that most owns the clean power industry is going to most own the next great technology breakthrough -- the E.T. revolution, the energy technology revolution -- and create millions of jobs and thousands of new businesses, just like the IT revolution did."

Friedman, the Times' foreign affairs columnist who has done his research in many countries around the world, argues that a population explosion, a "flattening world'' with China, India and their rising middle classes, as well as climate change have all converged.

Calling it a hopeful book, he argues that "if America seizes the opportunity to solve these problems it will be a huge engine propelling our economy in the 21st century."

The University Research Corridor, an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, was formed to transform, strengthen and diversify the state's economy. The universities are working together to leverage their collective assets and encourage collaboration with business, government and communities to help accelerate innovation and economic growth.

A limited block of 1,000 free tickets for the speech only are available to MSU, U-M and WSU students, faculty and staff. They are available at the URC campuses: At U-M, call (734) 763-5554 or visit the Michigan Union Ticket Office. University ID required (limit two tickets per person). At MSU, call (517) 353-9000. At WSU, call (313) 577-5284.

Tickets to the general public are $30.

Premium business tickets (including lunch and premium seating) are $120. For more information, contact Ashley Robinson, (734) 302-1726 or Karen Koziel, (734) 302-1719 for table sponsorships. For more details visit: or

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1 comment:

john said...

Can't wait to read the book.