Al Gore

Al GoreI had the opportunity to skip out of work this afternoon to see Al Gore’s keynote at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. First time seeing a Nobel Laureate in person!

Regardless of your political feelings, seeing Al Gore on stage was electifying. Funny too!

Gore spoke about emerging green tech and specifically about CO2 and the fact that it’s invisible. It’s invisible to see and smell and invisible to the markets and market control since there aren’t any economic incentives to control it.

He talked about asking the right questions to solve these problems and related a story of an electronics company that, while trying to find a replacement to CFCs used in cleaning circuit boards, asked the question “why did they need to be cleaned in the first place?” and came up with the “no-clean” process.

What resonated most to me was his call to use information technology to “make the invisible visible.”  That’s not something I had thought of.  Feels like I should put some more thought into that.

ps.  He came across as very country, very Tennessee.  Even wore boots.  Totally worth playing hookie for a couple hours this afternoon!

Update: CNET has an excellent article on Gore’s talk and does a better job covering it than I did.