Dispatches from OpenWorld: What Does Green Mean to You?

The highlight of the Dell booth here at OpenWorld is definitely “the wall.” Attendees and other exhibitors are walking up, many sort of timidly, scoping it out, reading other entries so far; it’s a great conversation piece. The entries themselves, as more and more folks have come by, have provided interesting ideas and insight into the “state of green,” as it were, of those attending and presenting at the conference.  

The ideas range from the personal — “Better air for my kids” — to the proactive — “Buying CFLs” — to the theoretical — “Less consumption is the key to less recycling” — to the downright silly — “Kermit the frog” and “Soylent green is people.” While well-meaning and interesting, none of the ideas on their own are terribly earth-shattering, and picking one to serve as “the best” or “most important” or “most actionable” reason would be an exercise in futility, and just plain silly, really.

But that’s not really the point. The wall is a funny sort of antiquated user-generated content here at the technology conference. It’s a sounding board, to discover what people really think about this stuff. Proper context is important here; the people who are signing the wall aren’t all TreeHuggers, necessarily. Most everyone is a technology professional, generally concerned more with bits of bytes than shade of green, so the wall is a green anomaly in an otherwise digital world. Clearly, some of the comments show that they’ve been able to combine the two: a green, clean, energy-efficient thought process. Others’ comments show that they’ve taken it a bit less seriously, and there’s nothing wrong with that; green doesn’t have to be a myopic world of lowercase tree-hugging or any other old-school stereotype.

In any event, we like the wall; it shows that there are lots of ways to think green, and that thinking green can and should be a part of every conversation, whether it’s about rolling data centers or the planets’ ability to sustain our children, and their children. Taken in contrast to the other tech-focused exhibitions, keynotes and lectures here at OpenWorld makes it even more meaningful: just imagine if “green” was a consideration in everything…the wall is taking us in that direction.

There’s lots more green to report on here at OpenWorld; stay tuned for more of the green, coming soon!

About the Author: Collin Dunn