SmartPlanet: What keeps you up most at night?
Alan Salzman: Fortunately, it’s more excitement than fear. I think we’re at the early days of transforming the largest industries on the planet. And it’s for the good of all of us, both from a health and well-being viewpoint, but also it’s going to make stuff better and cheaper. I think that’s really exciting.
There are stumbling blocks along the way. There’s an established [system]. Incumbency never wants to change. There’s a heavily regulated environment. It’s not easy getting this technology to work. It’s hard. It’s risky.
If the prize is significant enough, than it’s worth the effort. We think this is the granddaddy of all transformation. We think it is a tremendous opportunity to see the next set of Googles and Ciscos and Amgens emerge that will in fact be bigger than many of those companies, because the industries they’re playing in are bigger.
And we think that it’s important from a societal viewpoint that you embrace the future. We can all argue about the societal contributions of your cell phones playing Lady Gaga when somebody calls you. But I don’t think anybody’s going to argue against clean, inexpensive, nontoxic materials for the planet.
That’s our point of view and we’re sticking to it.
Dr. Stephen R. Humphrey, Director,
School of Natural Resources and Environment,
Box 116455, 103 Black Hall, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-6455 USA
Tel. 352-392-9230, Fax 352-392-9748