First Post

We live in an interconnected world, which leverages technology to extend our social and knowledge reach. The information we receive, however, is pre-digested and filtered through an algorithm meant to optimize the likelihood of us taking action on it. Not only that, but the internet could soon be monopolized by a few companies, if net neutrality is going to be cancelled. Is this anything new?

Probably not, American and international media’s independence has always been questioned. However, we should still preserve our ability to source the information, and to publish content in the same way as any other individual on the web does. The combination of this converging trends could seriously undermine our freedom to take action, particularly on the issues we care about.

We live in a filter bubble. Or maybe we tend to think that we are in a bubble more than what it really is. However, we don’t know what gets filtered out - what if outside of our bubble there is a solution that could prevent other damages from climate change?

We launch Potluck Energy in a world that is crowded with information and distractions. Yet when other successful enterprises started their own website they had the equal reach of any other websites. Is it now the right moment to take a collective action and help spread renewable energy, before our voices will be softer in the new web?

Solar energy has never been as affordable and accessible as today. Anyone, in theory, should be able to benefit from the stable returns of electricity produced from solar irradiation. Yet, solar is still in the hands of few privileged. The capital required upfront, the long-term commitment and the access to a suitable roof makes solar energy still a luxury product. A recent paper from Stanford’s researcher Jacobson showed that the state of New York’s 500,000 commercial buildings and 5 million houses, through their rooftops could power up the entire state, potentially replacing 5 large nuclear power plants. We can catalyze the power of online social communities to exponentially increase the access to solar-powered electricity. Through community shared solar multiple residents and businesses can tap into their town’s solar farm, without installing anything on their roof.

With annual weather anomalies in continuous increase and virtual consensus among scientists on the origin and cause of such anomalies, we must curtail the emissions from polluting power plants and cars. There are multiple ways to tackle this problem; shared clean energy is the only way, however, to capitalizes on the power of communities to spread emission-free energy. Rheinold (“How to thrive online”) illustrates how the currency of social capital are trust and reciprocity. If trust is fueling solar communities, this socially-driven innovation. can spread virally. This is what the world needs to preserve its environment.

The bottom online is: we need your help. Please join us to change your community electricity sources, protect the environment and invest in tomorrow's energy. 

Michele Lunati
Michele Lunati