A few good words from my official AjP for Energy Ambassador 2013 Facebook page. The message: Better communication, storytelling, reaching people without PhD's is the only option cleantech has. Cleantech needs to relax, break free, go mainstream. Be cool. And then people will start to care and understand.
Dear Cleantech Friends. It’s Thursday. Day 11/14. Through out the AjP for Energy Ambassador 2013 campaign my message has remained the same: Cleantech can save the world. But that cannot, and will not, happen without a radical change in the way that cleantech issues are talked about.
There is always an exception somewhere but the big picture, the one that really matters, is this: Even today, in 2013, engineers are talking to other engineers. Scientists are lecturing to other scientists. Researches are researching studies made by other researchers. And every now and then all those engineers, scientists, researchers and others alike will meet up in conferences that they later read about from a newsletter, blog, magazine or a book that is written by one of them and targeted to anyone of them.
Let me be clear about this: There is nothing wrong with the engineers, researches, scientists or others alike. What they do is as important as anything in the history of human kind. But the dark reality is that outside those tiny professional circles, not too many people of the global audience, close to seven billion that is, actually care about cleantech related issues. Not yet at least.
They don’t care because they do not understand.
They don’t care because they do not get the message.
They don’t care because they do not even know they should care.
That, of course, is a major problem that can only be solved with better communication, including different forms of PR, such as currently ongoing Energy Ambassador 2013 competition.
The good news is that fixing the problem should not be too complicated after all. With a lot of help of professional communicators cleantech needs to look into the mirror. It needs to break free from the prisons of the conferences and enter the real world with the real people. Let me give you a modern online example with a dirty word: One of the coolest things on Facebook is the group called “I fucking love science”. It’s a community webpage where complicated scientific matters are often shown in simple and funny ways. The last time I checked “I fucking love science” had 5,256,981 “likes” which means that more than five million people are following the group daily.
Now, I am not necessarily suggesting that there should be a group called ”I fucking love cleantech” on Facebook. But then again, there really should be a group called ”I fucking love cleantech” on Facebook. Why? Because cleantech needs to relax. Cleantech needs to be cool. It needs to start to talk the language that ordinary people without PhD’s and briefcases from the 80’s will understand.
In other words: Cleantech needs to go mainstream, as should Energy Ambassador 2013, by the way. From the day one of this clever competition I have made a firm decision not to reach out, at all, to those who already understand the potential of cleantech. Instead, I have tried to talk to the rest of us: Women and men. Young and old and teenagers. Hipsters, japsters, athletics, artists, bus drivers, poets, students, designers, construction workers, photographers, bass players, bankers, teachers, doctors, hockey fans, nurses, journalists and every other profession and human group there is. I believe I have done pretty good job with my campaign. Many of you seem to agree. That makes me happy. Happiness gives hope. Hope is good.
It’s Thursday, day 11/14 of the campaign. At this point there are only 15 excellent candidates left for the Energy Ambassador 2013 job. Many of them are engineers, soon-to-be engineers or environmental experts. I am not. I am a professional writer. And that is exactly why I believe I would make the best possible Energy Ambassador 2013.
Why? Because, for this job, my background is perfect: I have studied journalism in three universities in two countries and worked with some of the best media organizations and advertising agencies in Finland. Because I am someone with an ability to tell the stories that Energy Ambassador 2013 needs to be able to tell.
Engineers will save the world. But not if the world does not understand it needs to be saved. It really is as simple as that.