Jen's MEM Journey

World Turned Upside Down
by Jennifer Weiss -- February 11th, 2011

How I learned in less than 60 minutes that the global energy economy is on the verge of a transformation.

“Tell me what you know about the future of energy and how can I get myself there?”

This is a question that Joe Stanislaw, the CEO of JA Stanislaw Group LLC, invariably gets asked at some point during his many lunches and dinners with clients.  On Wednesday, about 50 Energy & Environment students got treated to the answer without having to pick up the check.

As he introduced the concept of the “Great Game 2.0”, Stanislaw predicted that more money will be invested into the energy industry in the next 5 years than has been invested in our history.  And, how will this money be invested?

Information Technology

Why IT?  Besides the obvious energy technology improvements and economies of scale that IT brings us, it also enables us to focus on energy demand.  Or rather, how to reduce energy demand.  IT is the greatest enabling energy force, and it hasn’t even begun to see its full potential yet.

To make his point, he held up his cell phone and called it the future of energy.  We will have access to everything on our phone (yes, even more than we do today).  Health care records, current energy use, the best time to run the dryer …. basically, all the information we need to control our own energy future.  A true Smart Phone.  This is the Power of One – each individual or organization making changes in their own use of technology that will have the greatest impact on the energy we use as a global community.

Stanislaw believes we’ve been asking and answering the wrong energy question – we’ve been focusing too much on the supply of energy and not enough on energy demand.  Other counties, especially China, India and counties in the Middle East, have started to realize this and have started investing in long term demand side solutions.  The US has been slow to make this change and will need to catch up or risk being left behind.

Unfortunately, our time with Mr. Stanislaw was short and we all had to run to another class. But, I can tell you this.  I would be willing to pick up the dinner check any time to hear more!

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