Archive for the ‘VIP’ Category

The Future of Work

June 10, 2022

FountainBlue’s June 10 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘The Future of Work’, with opening remarks by Cisco. Please join me in thanking our executives in attendance for their remarks and input.Our executives in attendance all sat at different leadership seats through this pandemic, and shared many similar perspectives about how the pandemic has affected the future of work.

  • We are leveraging networking, collaboration and security technology more, making hybrid work scenarios work for each of us and our organizations.
  • There are mixed receptions to the range of company requirements on return-to-work policies.
  • We have raised our standards on the value of our health, our families, and the role of work in our lives. 

Below is a compilation of thoughts on opportunities around the future of work.

  • When a distributed workforce is hybrid, networks, devices, applications may all put individuals, teams and companies at risk for privacy and security breaches. Hence there is an opportunity to more proactively manage the security and privacy of individual users, and minimize the risk, and isolate and quickly recover from any breaches.
  • AI-driven bot solutions will continue to automate workflows and processes so customers are more efficiently served, so humans can handle more complex issues. (It also follows that the workforce of the future must be more prepared to address more complex issues.) 
  • Telepresence robots will help increasingly more employees participate in in-person activities which support collaboration, community-building, and engagement, but social and technical issues will still provide barriers to adoption – at least for now.
  • Creating and growing communities of experts will help distributed and hybrid workforces collaborate and connect with others to share best practices, while developing, supporting and influencing each other.
  • Securely providing access to common data and information will continue to support an organization’s collaboration, engagement and innovation goals.
  • Immersion AR/VR experience will take video-calling to the next level, adding more life-like audio and visual experiences. 
  • Solutions which enhance the employee experience and customer experience, providing them easier access to informed support, will drive customer and employee retention and engagement.
  • There may be a trend toward broader engagement from a wider range of people to manage cloud-based no-code and low-code solutions which manage the data captured.

It’s hard to make predictions on what the future of work will look like, but it’s clear that roles will change, tasks will change, and robots and automation will work closely with humans and that leaders must leverage technology to proactively manage and optimize employee and customer experiences.

Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions

May 13, 2022
FountainBlue’s May 13, 2022 VIP Roundtable: Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions

FountainBlue’s May 13 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions’, with opening remarks by GE Digital Grid. Please join me in thanking our executives in attendance for their remarks and input.

Our executives in attendance exclaimed many times about the major shift in focus toward  carbon-neutral energy solutions over the past decade. No longer do we need to make the business/social/ sustainability/practical business case about WHY we must adopt more carbon-neutral solutions.

Our executives agree that the focus will now be on WHICH options we adopt (try them all), WHAT we do collaboratively (everything) and HOW we can work better together to drive leadership and innovation to better adopt more technologies and solutions for each of us today, and for the future. Our executives are bullish about the market and technology opportunities over the next decade for carbon-neutral energy solutions. They agree that it will not be easy to implement and realize these solutions because they:

  • must leverage hardware and software designed to manage energy generation, storage, distribution, and usage. 
  • must support the reliability, sustainability, safety, sustainability, security, policy, affordability, demand goals from a wide range of customers. 
  • must collect and manage, filter and process huge volumes of data real-time in order to provide meaningful dashboards of information to stakeholders so that decisions can be made, actions can be taken.
  • must manage the integration of both traditional and renewable energy into a common grid, ensuring that customers only receive usable energy sources. 
  • must work with utilities and their customers, using the infrastructure around the electrical grid, and selectively integrating devices on the edge. 

Below are some thoughts on opportunities and innovations for carbon-neutral energy solutions:

  • Leverage digital twin technology may help utilities and organizations plan for energy management and distribution scenarios.
  • Gather data from the edge can better inform energy usage and generation patterns real-time and also make projections for future energy usage.
  • Connecting a network of disparate renewal energy generation sources so we can help better manage the energy in the grid.
  • Providing temporary power solutions to customers with utility/infrastructure challenges may be necessary if customers adopt solutions before the infrastructure/utilities are ready. 
  • Consider last-minute drone and robot solutions for providing more carbon-neutral solutions for the delivery of goods.

Below are thoughts on how we can drive innovation in this space.

  • Invite the participation of a wide breadth of scientists and technicians to collaborate on designing and implementing carbon-neutral energy solutions – from chemical engineers to data scientists, from physicists to pharmacists, from geologists to rocket engineers.
  • Technology will play a major role in creating, designing, planning, and delivering a carbon-neutral future. 
  • Create demand from the ground up, and visioning and execution from the top-down so we can drive more momentum for a carbon-neutral future. 
  • Be consistently vocal to policy-makers and influencers, and insist that they rise above the politics and support the carbon-neutral solutions which serve us all today and in the future. 

In closing, we agreed that there is no silver bullet, but we brainstormed what each of us today today to embrace and support carbon-neutral energy solutions:

  • Start now, and do something little and big every day.
  • Educate yourself on practical carbon-neutral solutions and integrate them into your day-to-day work and life.
  • Adopt electric vehicles which offer better torque/acceleration/power at lower cost.
  • Choose a role/job/activity/vision which would support a carbon-neutral future. 
  • Push for policy and legislative changes using your influence in ways big and small.
  • Push the boundaries on what’s possible.
  • Support your local utilities and policy-makers in upgrading and updating the infrastructure which will take us from here to there.
  • Be open-minded about the technology and market opportunities for carbon-neutral solutions. 
  • Collaborate with others to make commitments and sacrifices for the greater good.

It is conversations like this that give me hope for a better world – one that leverages innovation and leadership for the greater good. Please join me again in thanking our participating executives and the larger FountainBlue community for their insights and participation.

Leading Industry 4.0

April 15, 2022
Leading Industry 4.0

FountainBlue’s April 15 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Leading Industry 4.0’, with opening remarks by Intel. Please join me in thanking our executives in attendance for their remarks and input.

Water and steam brought on Industry 1.0, which brought people and things efficiently from place to place. Electricity brought power to a large mass of people, bringing huge transformations characteristic of Industry 2.0.Electronics and IT and the underlying networking around it enabled the advances for Industry 3.0. Now connected devices and networks are bringing on the Digital Revolution foundational to Industry 4.0. This revolution will continue to enable the convergence and acceleration within and between industries, even those not traditionally in tech. Specific advancements across industries include:

  • accessibility to data
  • mobility of devices and robots
  • simulations leveraging hardware and software
  • innovations on the edge
  • advanced connectivity
  • storage on the cloud and on devices

The opportunities are great, but the risks and challenges also exist, including the need to balance privacy, security and access, the need to manage data so that the relevant data informs decision-making, the need to overcome resistance to the adoption of digital technologies, tools and processes, the need to upgrade policies and protocols, etc.,
Below are recommended best practices for leading Industry 4.0 in manufacturing:

  • Manage a ‘dark fab’ which would best leverage automation, robotics and co-botics while also ensuring that humans are actively involved in the design and oversight of the same.
  • Optimize the supply chain to proactively plan to meet manufacturing and customer goals without compromising quality and integrity, while respecting the work-life balance for team members. 
  • Use scenario-based planning to optimize the visioning, planning and execution around manufacturing goals.
  • Leverage the expertise and insights of a wider range of backgrounds and industries – including chemical engineering, data science, energy generation, material science, – to more broadly address the challenges and opportunities.
  • Collaborate to design, plan and deliver solutions which are energy-efficient, cost-efficient, resilient and sustainable, while optimizing for performance and versatility.
  • Innovate in collaboration with others so that you can more effectively design solutions which address a broader range of needs for a longer period of time.

Below are examples of cutting-edge thoughts and ideas which will drive the next level of innovation around manufacturing:

  • Carbon-neutral technology which would help more efficiently and effectively support manufacturing goals
  • AR/VR Immersion solutions leveraged by field service engineers to more efficiently serve customers with personalized solutions
  • LEAN manufacturing solutions which help develop supply chain resilience and even at times make qualified projections for future needs
  • Industrial automation solutions which are seamless and integrated
  • Proactive waste management planning across the manufacturing process
  • AI solutions which help filter and manage data, and make recommendations based on data
  • ML solutions which make projections based on past data trends 

The opportunities and challenges are mind-boggling. But core to success is the ability to: 1) bridge silos and collaborate within and across teams, organizations and industries; 2) jointly create the infrastructure to enable innovation and the platform for collaboration; 3) focus on the ARR (annual recurring revenues) for the choices made for the short-term, while ensuring long term growth; 4) work with organizations to do the right (social, environmental, political, economic) thing by and for others and 5) invest in the people and leaders who will bring it all together, including each of the executives who joined our discussion today.
The bottom line is that the customers are demanding efficient and effective manufacturing to provide the high-quality, customized solutions they need to live and work and thrive. The winners are the organizations and leaders who can collaborate with others to best serve them.

Innovating on the Edge

March 18, 2022

FountainBlue’s March 18 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Innovating on the Edge’, with opening remarks by Micron. Our executives in attendance had a wide range of experience and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities around innovating on the edge. Below is a compilation of their advice.

About Edge Computing

With the continued evolution of technology, there will be continued consolidations, aggregations, innovations, etc., but edge computing will be a foundational piece of current and future technology trends.
Advice for Managing Innovations on the Edge

  • Strategize and manage to ensure optimization and continuous improvement, even when we can’t predict our future.
  • Take an end-to-end management perspective to oversee all the moving parts which could positively or negatively impact your ability to deliver customized solutions on the edge.
  • Design hyper automation (extreme automation) algorithms based on data delivered from the edge.
  • Look for areas where technology innovation on the edge could greatly improve a process, and more efficiently deliver an accurate result.

Thoughts on Challenges 

As we continue to develop more devices/sensors/phones etc on to the edge, there will be amplified needs to:

  • ensure the privacy, security and access for individual users while aggregating the most relevant content for immediate and future use
  • minimize latency times so that automated actions can take place – lives are at times at stake!
  • securely and efficiently manage the huge volumes of data for immediate, short term, and long term usage
  • manage multiple operating systems and applications on individual computers to ensure efficiency, productivity and security
  • integrate legacy and bleeding edge solutions into applications which serve current need
  • consider supply chain issues which would impact the hardware we design, manufacture and distribute to be placed on the edge

Opportunities for growth, including:

  • designing sensors which capture temperature, vibration, sound, photo and audio input
  • producing devices on the edge which can check their own status and even automate processes based on these checks
  • creating always-on sensors which use little power and only act when triggering events occur
  • offering predictive analytics based on volumes of data collected
  • managing collected data to ensure privacy and security while gathering relevant aggregated data  
  • focusing on specificities around locations which may help multiple entities manage solutions in specific areas

In the end, as we look at innovating on the edge, we must look at the journey of the data (as it touches the software, hardware, apps), the needs of the customers (for privacy, security and access), the infrastructure and requirements (policy, broadband), and need to manage the old and the new (tools, technologies and people). Now that’s a TALL order. The innovators and collaborators will have an ‘edge’ in this market.  

Supply Chain Optimization

February 18, 2022
Feb 18 VIP Roundtable: Supply Chain Optimization

FountainBlue’s February 18 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Supply Chain Optimization’, with opening remarks by Lam Research. Our executives in attendance represented a range of backgrounds, organizations and industries, but all are successfully navigating the supply chain challenges and opportunities to benefit their teams, products, organizations and customers. Below is a summary of their best practices for supply chain optimization:

Be Strategic

  • Provide a platform which would allow disparate corporate functions (such as manufacturing, operations, hardware and software development) to collaborate and proactively manage supply chain challenges.
  • Proactively manage the supply chain of the wide range of parts throughout the development, customization, integration life cycle.
  • Leverage technology such as AI to understand the current and future risks for your individual vendors, and consequently your own supply chain optimization needs for each of your product lines. 
  • Design foundational architectures which are modular, versatile, and dynamic, while also being easily integrated, easily replicated, and easily adjusted.
  • Upgrade or phase out outdated copy-cut/locked-and-loaded supply chain optimization strategies which served the needs of past products, past eras, past customers.
  • Consider working with simulators and models to plan-fully strategize on a range of supply chain needs.
  • Proactively manage and mitigate the risks around the supply chain flow, making vendor, process and people adjustments as needed. 
  • Work with business professions to ensure compliance with local, national and global part standards, especially around security, materials and quality. 
  • Practice AI-based hyper-automation optimization, enlisting the support of an ecosystem of internal and external stakeholders.

Manage Your Vendors

  • Map out all the individual parts needed for each of your product lines and adopt a multi-tier view for your vendors.
  • Diversify your vendor options, and ensure that your vendors represent the sustainability, diversity, and versatility requirements of increasing interest to partners and customers.

Customers First

  • Strategically plan for and proactively deliver to the needs of the customer, being as flexible and agile as possible to address their changing needs.
  • Manage your customer needs based on supply chain bottlenecks which are beyond your control.

Empower Your People

  • Respect the work-life integration needs of our people – supply chain optimization must be more plan-ful, less emergency-driven and less stress-inducing.
  • Build relationships of trust across ecosystems of vendors, partners, suppliers, customers. 

The bottom line is that leaders and managers at all levels must adopt collaborative, agile and flexible leadership and management standards which would 1) manage the risk, 2) maintain the security and functionality, 3) ensure the optimal amount of quality supplies and 4) ensure the people have a coordinated, informed view of the needs of the customer, and the ability to deliver to those needs. 

Data Meets Healthcare

January 14, 2022

FountainBlue’s January 14 VIP Roundtable: Data Meets Healthcare

FountainBlue’s January 14 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Data Meets Healthcare’, with opening remarks by Change Healthcare. Data is the photon that’s foundational to providing value for all stakeholders, providing energy to solutions which serve all. But the question is how do we optimize the data to provide value, optimize care at minimal costs in an industry with so many stakeholders and so much regulation? 
Although digital transformation has a huge potential to impact the healthcare sector, as it has done for other sectors, the challenges are much more complex in healthcare because of the needs of disparate stakeholders, the regulations around the industry, the slim margins of hospitals and clinics, the disillusionment of patients to the point of not engaging, etc.,
Below are some thought-provoking ideas from an engaged and informed set of executives in attendance.

  • Facilitate interoperability of data between payors, providers, patients, insurers, etc., 
  • Ensure patient ownership and access to their own data, but also provide regulations to ensure the safe, secure, and ubiquitous sharing of data which also protects the privacy of patients.
  • Address the needs of empowered consumers to provide personalized value-added solutions at scale in a way which is collaborative and scalable.
  • Support hospitals and healthcare centers to leverage data for better financial management, more efficient access and improved care metrics.
  • Use data to document and support the end-to-end patient journey from coverage and benefits to payments and insurance.
  • Invite the use of longitudinal care programs to provide ongoing personalized care and also to inform the care of others with similar conditions. 
  • Democratize and expand access to care.
  • Develop and design solutions which build patient engagement, build communities of care, and in general better leverage technology and innovation to optimize care for more people.

The pandemic has accelerated adoption of existing technologies like MRNA to accelerate drug discovery and improve care, and telehealth to expand access to care. 
The Silver Tsunami is coming with a large population reaching 65+ and therefore with the increased likelihood of chronic disease, and the need for constant care, monitoring and interaction. Let’s work together to focus on ensuring a healthy population by providing better clinical, operational and financial outcomes.

Leverage technology solutions to address any friction for providing digital services, leverage data to ensure accuracy and progress of treatments, leverage hospitals and healthcare systems to support patient acquisition and adoption of digital solutions, and work together to ensure that payers own payments, insurers embrace technology and data, and regulations facilitate the adoption of digital transformation in healthcare. 

Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

December 10, 2021
FountainBlue’s Dec 10 VIP Roundtable: Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

FountainBlue’s December 10 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Smart Cities, Smart Buildings’, with opening remarks by Intel. As usual, our executives in attendance had deep technical expertise and work with a wide range of business models, all designed to support specific and relevant use cases for today, and to create more integrated and robust solutions and opportunities for tomorrow. For decades, an increasingly larger proportion of people are moving from rural to urban and suburban areas, which necessitates companies, leaders, cities and governments to optimize our cities and buildings so that we can better connect, manage, secure and support larger populations of diverse people. Below is a compilation of thoughts and advice for creating smarter cities and smarter buildings.

  • Proactively collaborate to better manage your company’s strategy, plan, processes, and vision.
  • Manage manufacturing, supply chain, operational and distribution processes to optimize the end-to-end envisioning, development, distribution and integration cycles.
  • Create modules which would allow developers and partners to design custom solutions to solve specific problems, while addressing performance, power, cost, and integration challenges.
  • Be curious about the needs of the customer, as well as the trends in the market so you can offer practical solutions for current customers, while creating the infrastructure, products and support needed to serve future needs.
  • Collect the data and create algorithms focusing on the most relevant, actionable data, rather than working on assumption-based models. Look also beyond the immediate implications of the data to the longer-term impact and implications for the data collected.
  • Embrace the technology while looking also at the business models and market trends, and focusing on the longer-term impact of the solutions and choices we’re making today.
  • Empower lower-skill and new workers to collect the data and work with them to understand how that data can make our buildings and cities smarter, and why that matters.
  • Question not just why the technology is cool, but also how we can leverage the technology to serve a real-world need, making our buildings and cities safer, more integrated, more connected, more customized.

Today’s solutions will be complex – from a technology perspective with hardware, software, cloud and integration issues, from a business perspective with adoption, partnership, development and people issues, from an execution perspective with integration, infrastructure, implementation, operational and distribution issues, from a governance perspective with regulatory, compliance, alliance and other issues. And solutions will require individual leaders, teams, organizations, industries and countries to work together. But if we work together, we can leverage technologies such as AI and ML and edge computing and beyond, to better support the economic, environmental, social, and community needs of people in the buildings they occupy, in the cities where they live.

Data is the New Black

November 12, 2021

FountainBlue’s November 12 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Data Is the New Black’, with opening remarks by Coupa Software. As usual, our group of executives in attendance were seasoned with their experience, varied with their background, and thought-provoking with their comments. Our lively discussion was peppered with rich insights, varying responses, and diverse approaches toward the mining, management, adaptation and usage of data. Below is a compilation of thoughts and best practices.The amount of available data is overwhelming, and gathering more data is not the key challenge. The challenge instead is to ensure that the data is:

  • vetted to be correct, complete and consistent
  • collected and managed in a way which serves the product/project/corporate/customer objectives
  • filtered efficiently, especially when there’s an urgent need to have real-time data
  • leveraged to gain insights and actions which are relevant and useful
  • managed in a way which is ethical and sustainable

But with challenges come opportunities. Some of the questions raised in the conversation are listed below.

  • How do you efficiently integrate data sets to best inform and drive decisions and outcomes?
  • How do you ensure the integrity of the data, and the causality of the data?
  • How do you measure input and impact real-time?
  • How do you ensure that the connections/correlations between data are both intelligent and important?
  • How do you integrate historical data to plan for today and project for tomorrow?
  • How can you make decisions with minimal data?
  • How can you extend findings from one scenario/industry/product/customer to others?
  • How do you protect the privacy and security of customers while providing layered access to various stakeholders?

Specific examples of use cases around data include the below:

  • databases of bloodwork to document rare diseases
  • data on image insights
  • algorithms to modify facial features so we can track people while respecting privacy
  • supply chain predictions based on algorithms of past and anticipated future demand
  • leverage data to make the invisible visible so that you can gain insights and better manage health and disease

The conversation was eye-opening as well as inspirational. Clearly data is at the heart of how we as leaders, as organizations, as human beings will grow and thrive. The challenge is WHO will do WHAT to better serve us ALL with data?

Automation Use Cases

October 8, 2021

FountainBlue’s October 8 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Automation Use Cases’, with opening remarks by Automation Anywhere. We had a diverse entrepreneurial group of executives who had a wide range of perspectives and experience around automation use cases.

We agreed that automation makes it possible to deliver exceptional, high-quality technical hardware and software solutions more efficiently. It will become as pervasive and prominent as spell-checkers, something that will be ever-present and understood. The question just becomes ‘who will implement which automation use case in what way(s) which drive what results around efficiency and excellence’.

Automation Process Improvement (API) continues to provide prominent use cases as it makes sense to automate the repetitive, redundant, tasks to software bots (‘software elves’) and robots who can more efficiently and accurately perform these tasks. 

  • Although this doesn’t mean that humans will no longer be needed, it does mean that humans should get trained and experienced in tasks which aren’t as easily automated.
  • Some tasks are attended, and some unattended. Each task is managed by humans, providing reports on their work to humans. 
  • It also means that there’s a huge opportunity to delegate tasks which are redundant, hazardous or impractical to robots and software. 

Below are some thoughts on how to manage automation use cases:

  • If the bot or robot does the ‘wrong’, the program must be fixed so that the processes, the actions, the rules, must be changed so that they do the ‘right’ thing. 
  • Managers should learn about what the best workers are doing right, so that others can learn how to do work as efficiently and accurately. If it’s repetitive and redundant enough, the work might even be delegated to a bot or a robot.
  • Automation can be used to quickly identify and even filter out anomalies – products or solutions which do not fit the defined requirements. 

Below are some thoughts on some huge opportunities ahead:

  • From senior care to end-of-life care, automation in the healthcare space can ensure that regular procedures are performed to ensure a good patient experience.
  • Separately, there’s an opportunity for patients to more regularly and deeply connected with loved ones, even if it’s through online means.
  • Automation of robots and bots are currently successfully making 3D-printed robots to do specific things cheaper, faster, leaner.
  • Manufacturing centers may become smaller as the bulk of the product might be produced through automation, leaving the personalization/customization options for more specialized workers to do higher-end tasks.
  • AI is helping companies to more quickly understand the needs of the customer, and more quickly connecting customers to the support they need. 
  • Software and hardware product testing will continue to be largely automated. 

Then the conversation turned more serious. What are the ethical standards around automation? Will humans be replaced by robots? No is the resounding response. 

  • However, workers who have traditionally done the labor-intensive, low-skill, redundant work need to be skilled and trained enough to do work which can’t as easily be automated.

Humans will always be needed to 1) come up with original solutions, 2) represent multiple groups and individuals, 3) connect the dots in creative, original ways which aren’t necessarily based on logic and 4) be the ‘fall guy’, the responsible party should things go south.! See FountainBlue blog ‘Being Human in an Age That’s Digital’ https://fountainblue.blog/2016/07/12/being-human-in-an-age-thats-digital/

The bottom line is that automation will become ever more prominent, for it helps us all to more efficiently and effectively manage people, processes and products.

Power Optimization

September 10, 2021

FountainBlue’s September 10 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Power Optimization’, with opening remarks by PG&E.

We were fortunate to have a wide range of executives speaking on the challenges and opportunities around power optimization. It’s clear that our appetite for energy will continue to rise, and it’s clear that the infrastructure needs to be updated and upgraded in order to ensure access to reliable quantities of energy, preferably through sources which are renewable and less impactful for the environment.

Whether you’re looking at the energy challenge from the consumer or from the enterprise lens, there are technology, policy, and adoption challenges and opportunities around decarbonization, digitization and decentralization. There were many more questions than answers in this month’s conversation. Below are some of these key questions.


Decarbonization Challenges and Opportunities

  • What can we as consumers and as business leaders do day to day to manage our consumption, diversify our energy generation strategies, store and distribute energy, and keep energy levels reliable, safe and cost-effective, all while adopting sustainability-based business practices which decelerate climate change and support the earth?
  • What are the policy, technology, and infrastructure choices we need to make renewables options more attractive, more reliable, more efficient?
  • How can we better ‘educate’ decision-makers on the impact and ripple effect of their ongoing energy choices?

Digitization Challenges and Opportunities

  • How can we better optimize energy usage so it impacts our bottom line as well as our sustainability goals?
  • What can we do to facilitate adoption of the digital solutions which would help automate software and/or motivate adoption?
  • How can we progress from leveraging Artificial Intelligence models and its ability to understand historical patterns of energy usage to Machine Learning models which might factor in circumstances which have not occurred historically?
  • How would access to the wholesale energy costs impact the day-to-day energy decisions of energy consumers?

Decentralization Challenges and Opportunities

  • What policy, technology, and process changes need to happen to grow and maintain the core centralized network, which is essential even as we decentralize?
  • How can we better manage the growing base of energy-generators so that we can optimally store and fairly and efficiently distribute that energy?
  • How can we proactively predict and manage downtime and failures given the distributed nature of the energy generation system, and the structure and requirements of the grid? 
  • How can we better design and architect hardware solutions for chips and devices which optimize energy usage? 

The bottom line is that there will be more people, and there will be more people using more technology needing more energy. The choices we make around how we generate and use energy will impact our future and our earth. Nobody has all the answers. And nobody can do it alone. But if we focus on the real data and the real challenges, perhaps together we can make progress on this increasingly important challenge and make it into an opportunity to better support ourselves and our earth.