NY Times' Thomas Friedman part of focus on new green revolutionSeptember 5, 2008
EVENT: Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman will be in Michigan to outline an emerging agenda that will make "green power the next great global industry.''
The program featuring Friedman and remarks by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon begins at 12:20 p.m. Registration for The Michigan Business Review Innovation Experience begins at 10:30 a.m.
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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. He newest book, "Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How it Can Renew America'' is the focus of his address, organized by the Washtenaw Economic Club, the Michigan Business Review and Michigan's University Research Corridor as energy has become one of the top election year issues.
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: The Business of Green 9.17, a day-long event brining 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 I.T. 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 class 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.
PLACE: Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.
TICKETS: 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 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:
SPONSORS: The Washtenaw Economic Club, the Michigan Business Review and presenting partner, the University Research Corridor.
Partners: Michigan Economic Development Corp., Butzel Long, Cleary University, Detroit Regional Chamber, Consort Display Group, Eastern Michigan University, National City, NextEnergy, Russell Video, HP, and Washtenaw Community College.
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