reflections on the technium

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay

Brown Bag at the Movies – Selected technical topics(23)

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For this installment of Brown Bag at the Movies we will be viewing (abstract below):

03-13-2012  +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-


Dan Roam on “The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures”

“Dan Roam, author of the book, ‘The back of the napkin’ talks about how to use pictures to clarify and solve problems and how to sell ideas to who ever it may be. The selling ideas bit is extremely important for everyone, and we all know how important this is while working in user experience. There’s always something you are trying to sell at whatever level you are to your product manager, project/ program manager, client, business head, the list goes on and on. This presentation shows how to use the pictures you can create to persuade other people to take action.
About Dan Roam
“Dan Roam is the founder of Digital Roam Inc <>, a management consulting company that helps business executives solve complex problems through visual thinking. His business book “The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures” was published March 2008 by Penguin Portfolio.
“Dan received two degrees at the University of California, Santa Cruz: one in fine art and the second in biology. This combination of creative art and hard science began Dan’s cross-disciplinary approach to problem solving that is the backbone of his work and seminars. Dan has applied his business-oriented visual thinking skills while living and working in Switzerland, Russia, Thailand, France, Holland, and the US.

BOOK: Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work
BOOK: Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures
BOOK: The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures



FUTURE CANDIDATES  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr.



It might sound strange coming from the scion of a family whose name is synonymous with cars, but Bill Ford is worried about a world with too many automobiles. “Even if we clean up our cars, 4 billion clean cars is still 4 billion cars,” he told a Climate One audience in San Francisco on October 27.

“Most everybody has been focused on CO2 and fossil fuels and the effect that has on us politically and environmentally. That’s absolutely an appropriate focus,” said William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Co. “But I have started to realize that there is this other looming issue lurking out there that nobody was focused on, and that’s what I started calling ‘global gridlock.’”

“In our lifetimes,” he said, “the world is going to go from about 7 billion people to about 9 billion people. While that’s happening, the number of cars is going to go from just under 1 billion today to 2 to 4 billion.” Complicating matters, people around the globe are increasingly moving to cities, with 75% of those 9 billion people living in urban areas.

“How are they going to move? How are we as mobility providers going to provide solutions, and not be part of the problem?,” he asked. His answer, to a large degree, is technology. Ford gave an example. His company is testing a fleet of demonstration vehicles outfitted with vehicle-to-vehicle information technology. Say you are about to enter an onramp for the freeway. Five miles ahead of you, another car rolls to a halt in stop-and-go traffic. You would receive an alert about the traffic jam and be given an alternate route to save time and prevent a larger back-up.

Climate One’s Greg Dalton asked if Ford and other automakers feel threatened by the increasingly popular trend of urban car-sharing. Without hesitating, Ford said: “I think it’s a great opportunity.” He recounted getting to know the CEO of Zipcar one night over dinner. A short time later, in August, Ford Motor Co. and Zipcar announced a two-year partnership under which Ford will offer its Escape and Focus models to Zipcar customers at 253 college campuses nationwide. “It’s really a good thing for urban mobility,” Bill Ford said. “People don’t have to own cars; they want to have access to cars.”

Beyond giving customers access to mobility, Ford stressed his company’s commitment to changing the way cars are fueled. It is investing in R&D in compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, fuel cells, and biofuels. But “we are making big bets on electric,” he said, with an all-electric Focus coming later this year and a plug-in model next year. Unlike some of his competitors, who are building purpose-built electric vehicles, Ford said his company decided to electrify a mainstream product, the Focus. The aim being to make the car affordable for, and available to, the masses. In coming years, he said, Focus customers will be able to choose among 40-MPG internal combustion, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric models.

Ford said that his company is also committed to improving the fuel economy of every model it makes. Research confirmed that the No. 1 reason customers rejected Ford was fuel economy, Bill Ford said. Four years ago, the company set a goal of being the fuel economy leader in every model category. “Coming from us and our background” – maker of the Excursion and the ubiquitous F150 – “that wasn’t certainly our strength. It’s certainly not what people would have expected from us,” said Ford. Ford is investing in a suite of technologies, Bill Ford said, because “we really don’t know how the world is going to break out.” He added: “Until this nation has an energy policy, which we desperately need, all of this is going to be sub-optimized.”

If the customer choice is for electric cars, Ford said, big questions remain about building out the smart grid, and deciding on the power plants feeding into that grid. “Are they going to be coal-fired? I hope not. Are they going to be nuclear? Well, that’s an ethical discussion we need to have. Will renewables do it for us?,” he asked.

“As a nation, there are some discussions we need to have, and we need to have them pretty quickly.”


Greg Dalton
Gregory Dalton is chief operating officer at the Commonwealth Club of California and Director of The Club’s Climate 1 Initiative. He previously was international editor at The Industry Standard magazine, an editor for the Associated Press in New York, and a correspondent in China and Canada for the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper.

Proficient in both Mandarin and Cantonese, he is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

William Clay Ford Jr.
As Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford, Jr. is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. Mr. Ford joined the Board of Directors in 1988 and has been its chairman since January 1999. He serves as chairman of the board’s Finance Committee and as a member of the Sustainability Committee. He also served as chief executive officer of the company from October 2001 to September 2006, when he was named executive chairman.

As CEO, Mr. Ford improved quality, lowered costs and delivered exciting new products. During his time in that position he took the company from a $5.5 billion loss in 2001 to three straight years of profitability. Through the years, his vision for the company has remained unchanged.

Mr. Ford joined Ford Motor Company in 1979 as a product planning analyst. He subsequently held a variety of positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development and finance. During the breakthrough 1982 Ford-United Auto Workers labor talks, which launched the employee involvement movement that revolutionized the industry, he served on the company’s National Bargaining Team.

In 1983 he began a 12-month course of study as an Alfred P. Sloan fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was elected chairman and managing director of Ford Switzerland in 1987. As head of Business Strategy for the Ford Automotive Group in 1990, Mr. Ford helped develop guidelines for establishing low-volume manufacturing plants in emerging markets.

After being appointed general manager of Climate Control Division in 1992, he led a profit turnaround and a major improvement in product quality. He also established the company’s first wildlife habitat at a plant location and the first automotive plant in the world to use 25 percent post-consumer materials in all of its plastic parts. While he was general manager the division won the President’s Commission on Environmental Quality Award for replacing a hazardous chemical in a production process with water.

Mr. Ford was elected a company vice president and head of the company’s Commercial Truck Vehicle Center in 1994. He left that position in order to assume the chairmanship of the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee in 1995.

A lifelong environmentalist, Mr. Ford is committed to increasing shareholder value by developing products that please customers and benefit society. Under his leadership, in 2000 Ford Motor Company published its first corporate citizenship report outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of company products and operations around the world. In 2004, the company completed the world’s largest brownfield reclamation project, the restoration of its Ford Rouge Center in metropolitan Detroit. Mr. Ford also championed the Ford Escape Hybrid, the world’s first hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle, which was named North American Truck of the Year in 2005.

“We want to be green, global and high-tech,” he says. “We are using our global resources to produce innovative technology for safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.”



Written by Chuck Petras

December 1, 2012 at 18:35

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