Fun @ the UBC Fizz Project Fair 2008

Kudo’s to the Fizz crew, Jon, Bernhard, Andre, Eileen, for on putting a great show. My daughter and I will be back next year.

As always, it was a lot of fun and mentally challenging 😉 Lotsa catching up with old friends, tapping into “kid energy”, and “brain pain” trying to understand the projects. On the technical fun side, I didn’t have a chance to ride in the retro-fitted wheel chair, but it looked cool 😎

This years theme “Sustainability in Energy and Design” fired up some emotions. Especially mine 😉 Amazing how different the conversation gets when a group moves from its comfort zone. The tone was very different — very different than the tone during the past non-controversial fizz themes of Space & Astrophysics and Nanotech.

It was the first speaker Duane Elverum, an Ass’t Prof at Emily Carr Institute, who stirred the pot for us engineer types. In his own world he probably wouldn’t have “rocked anybodys boat”. But he rocked mine. I think I’m pretty typical – making a difference means – I want to identify problems, build solutions, and sell them. I have a hard time listening to “shrill” messages of portending doom without an “olive branch” being given on the solution side.

I can see how art can motivate and educate people about the magnitude of the problem. For example, A project that maps how much of Vancouver will be under water because of global warming helps get the point across. 💡 ” But at some point “flaming the fire” gets old, someones got to work on “solutions”. I don’t want that picture to be reality. I don’t want scare people away from working on solutions.

This is where I see/feel a deep divide on this climate change & sustainability mega-topic. There are those who are strongly attaching to the shrill ( and getting shriller) messages of doom and pounding for solutions. Then there are those working on solutions. For example, there has been a ton of “cleantech” investment lately. Somebody thinks there is a biz case out there. Lots of really cool engineering is being done in the name of “climate change and sustainability” 💡 It would have been nice if this was addresssed. I believe Fizzers are ideally suited to work in clean tech.

On a parting note, it was interesting to see BC Hydro via PowerTech give a talk. I’ve been intrigued that the “stodgy” Hydro is getting out and making friends lately. Many of my ex-PMCS colleagues have chosen to to work there in recent years. There must be cool stuff going on for them to make that career decision. It’s too bad that point didn’t get across during the talk 😦 The content is there, a little “made to stick” is needed.