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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 23rd, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

The New York event took place at the Austrian Consulate General, Monday,  October 21, 2013, and was hosted by Consul General, Ambassador Georg Heidl.

Leader of the group was Josef Mantl, the Editor of the “Communicating Sustainability” volume published in Austria, CEO of JMC – Communications that Moves – and a spokesman for the Al Gore campaign for Sustainability.

With him came to the US Mr. Mario J Mueller, General Manager of SFL Technologies (Green Tech Valley of Styria based in Graz); Klaus Tritscher, CEO of EnTri Consulting (Environmental and Infrastructure Services) & Co-initiator of Vienna based “Green Tech Bridge USA-Austria; Gery Keszler, Founder of the Vienna Life Ball – an organization that has a US admirer in the personality of former President Bill Clinton; they were joined on the panel by American partners – Robert Bell, Co-Founder of the Intelligent Community Forum & Co-Author of the volume “Seizing Our Destiny” – Helen Todd, CEO of Socially Squared Social Media Management, a Media Consulting firm – and Leo Borchardt, a New York and London Attorney an associate in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department assigned to the Mergers and Acquisitions Group and for the panel tried to analyze the difficulties that sustainable development encountered .

While most of the speakers dealt with communication issues – two of the Austrian members of the panel are represent active technology companies.

SFL is a company that looks at buildings’ envelope for potential to save energy in passive ways, but also with photovoltaics in order to find new ways to provide for the structure’s energy needs. I understood they are active in Hungary as well. Mueller spoke of Smart Cities of the future and the fact that we do not have an energy problem but an energy harvesting problem. Ultimately all energy comes from the sun and it is good for millions of years.

ENTRI are Project Financing specialists and moved into the Renewable energy area. Sustainability makes economic sense and Dr. Tritscher told us about the example of Haiti that was the sugar supplier of France. People made a lot of money in Haiti and France from the sugar cane industry but the clearing of forests in order to have more sugar producing land has impoverished this wrong headed economy and turned Haiti from a rich island to one of the poorest countries in the world. The lesson is that it is not only environmentally wise, but also economically wise to invest in Sustainability. His company just helped organize financing for photovoltaics in Senegal.

Robert Bell was the first to speak after the host and Mr. Mantl. He introduced the concept of Sustainability and what we can do with it. We want to learn to create growth by using less resources and creating less waste. He as well spoke of homes and cities and the vision that people who care for their homes are stronger people. The volume he co-authored with John Jung and Louis Zacharilla  – “Seizing Our Destiny” – tells the story of seven cities that managed to keep pace with a more innovative world. In the process, they offer lessons on how to innovate in governing, how to build political will for change, and how to understand and adapt creatively to the demands of the new century. The seven cities are Quebbec City, Riverside Californis, Saint John New Brunswick, Stratford Ontario, Oulu Finland, and Tuichung City Taiwan.  None of these are big cities in their respective countries, but they have been able to grow against the world trends.

With the UN making Vienna to its hub for SUSTAINABLE ENERGY 4 ALL Austria will become a focal point for above topics.

 

 

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