If you have children, are about to have children, or… I’m inclined to say have an ounce of brains, foresight, compassion in your being, then climate change and its effects worry you – and, Leonardo DiCaprio’s impassioned plea to world leaders at the United Nations aside, you’re probably feeling pretty miserable about humankind’s efforts to take the condition of our communal habitat seriously.
Ready for a reason to smile, hope, hold on to your optimism?
Laurence Kemball-Cook, if you haven’t heard of him already, is an example of the type of entrepreneur and leader we need to help us all combat climate change and alter our energy consumption. Anger toward governments and businesses dragging their feet or obstructing promising solutions is just more wasted energy. Encouragement for innovators like Laurence is passion more constructively channeled.
You can read more about all the accolades Laurence has been racking up, even watch his Tedx talk, here. The press and honors he’s received have been thanks in large to his company Pavegen. Focused on clean tech, Pavegen has been developing a flooring tile that converts kinetic energy from humans walking into renewable electricity.
Imagine powering our world through the simple act of stepping forward. Poetic, right?
A single footfall can’t light your home, but when the product of collective movements is added together – think people strolling across tiles placed along city sidewalks, airport walkways, etc. – the resulting kilowatts generated will brighten your outlook on our future.
Watch this video from Stephen Hawking’s series Brave New World for a glimpse of Pavegen’s technology in action. This isn’t a pie-in-sky proposal. Already, the flooring has been tested out in schools, London tube stations, businesses, on marathon courses and soccer fields.
Besides harnessing energy, each tile collects data that will allow the company to maximize energy production and figure out both where and how to install tiles most effectively. Each installation is also intended to encourage and inspire local entrepreneurship.
Regarding a project based in Rio, Laurence says, “Entrepreneurs should know no rules and overcome all barriers. We have taken this idea from a bedroom in London to a football pitch in Brazil through our partnership with Shell, encouraging young innovators of the future to make a real difference in their community.”
Pavegen hopes to continue expanding into more communities and mass produce their tiles. Partners, anyone?
Changing human habits is so difficult. What’s remarkable about Pavegen technology on top of creating an alternative to fossil fuel is that it compliments the most ordinary of our human actions, requiring little adjustment to our behavior. So it stands a good chance to succeed.
Still, this is hardly an opportunity to cut ourselves slack. Interest drives change. We need to all be talking more about endeavors like Laurence’s at Pavegen.