Get The Idea?
IT was Matthew Fox, star of hit TV show Lost, who best summed it up when he said: “To connect with the great river we all need a path, but when you get down there, there’s only one river.”
His point being that while people can arrive at a single point under their own steam their goal is the often same. A bit like those people doing their bit to save the planet. Plenty of ideas and effort, all with the same ideal.
But no joined-up strategy.
As far as Robert Hokin, left, chief executive of ecoConnect is concerned, people needn’t do it all on their own. He offers a meeting place that not only helps people along the same path towards cutting carbon using the best ideas around, but in a way that is mutually beneficial too.
Enter ecoConnect, the newly established green technology melting pot for thinkers, doers, ideas and direct action. ecoConnect, he hopes, will be seen as an opportunity for like minded groups to work together to achieve more for the environment.
Primarily he is looking at the cleantech sector as the starting point for the venture he says already includes the like of Kyocera, Greenbang, Intelligent Energy, and Zac Goldsmith among its supporters.
But it has the potential to be much bigger than that if it can attract the kind of audiences who really do care about the planet and, more importantly, believe everyone can actually do something about it.
“We may blame past technology for creating today’s environmental problems,” Hokin says. “But I am absolutely convinced that green technology will help us shape a better future. There is clearly a hunger within the UK’s business community to implement eco technology into our lives.
“It is ecoConnect’s job to help them achieve that. We want to support and promote creative and innovative technological solutions and make them widely available in the UK and elsewhere.”
American born and spending his corporate life in both technology sales and international business development, Hokin describes himself as a ‘rainmaker’, helping likeminded companies and people connect with each other, this time about the environment.
A keen sailor, he enjoys being active but, most of all, good energetic conversation which is clear to anyone in his company for longer than five minutes, leaving them breathless his infectious enthusiasm.
But he isn’t just another do-gooder with a dream.
No, he has a huge contacts book brimming with names, a schedule that would leave Barack Obama shamed and a huge desire for progressive thinkers to work together.
“Environmentally-friendly technology is the key to reducing our carbon footprint,” he says.
“And ecoConnect is all about partnerships. We are creating a community to bring mainstream green technology into our lives and we will speak to anyone who is interested in working with us to get there.”
The mother-site – www.eco-connect.com - has a members’ area called the ecoSystem, providing a place where people can pitch ideas, ask advice, suggest topics of conversation and forge alliances.
There are opportunities to connect socially, too, as ecoConnect encourages anyone hosting or knowing of a good green event anywhere to post it onto their website for free.
There are plans for a business centre in west London to be used by start-ups, overseas
companies seeking a UK presence, as well as an Innovation Fund to support early stage technology start-ups.
A series of ecoConnect events, including the launch night at Kew Gardens in October and a buildings and technology workshop have already taken place and proven huge hits while attracting interest from the public and private sectors.
Each involves well-known industry speakers sharing their views on the future of green technology, where exhibitors have the chance to showcase their latest innovations.
They’ve included some established names
including Carbon Aqua, Intelligent Energy, Lightning Car Company, Polycom and Stormblade, to name-check just a few.
Hokin says: “The response has been overwhelming. We’re getting interest from all over the country, which is hugely encouraging. I’m really excited by the way it’s going and this is just the beginning. Who knows what we can achieve together.”
To find out more or join the ecoSystem, visit: http://eco-connect.com.