1. Have you driven the freeways around the Bay Area lately, wondering how we will ever get out of this mess? Commute traffic continues to worsen. Car pooling and HOV lanes have not worked. Light rail has not worked. BART is expanding but has limited coverage. What hope is there?

    Dr. Stefan Heck, co-Founder & CEO of Nauto, a Palo Alto-based autonomous vehicle software company, will kick off a new series on the Future of Transportation in the Bay Area, produced by the MIT Club of Northern California’s Energy & Environment team.

    Dr. Heck, a true visionary and a dynamic speaker, believes that a convergence of innovative new technologies, consisting of autonomous driving, vehicle sharing, connectedness and rapid growth of electric vehicles will create a revolution in how today’s current single car drivers will view their transportation options in the near future and that, although implementation will sometimes be challenging, there is room for cautious optimism in the Bay Area and elsewhere.

    Stefan Heck is CEO and co-Founder of Nauto, a Palo Alto-based autonomous vehicle technology company. Nauto connects fleet managers, insurers, commercial vehicles and drivers through a deep learning platform that makes roads safer and helps businesses run more effectively. At Nauto’s core is a perpetually learning artificial intelligence system and network which learns from drivers and events in real time, allowing drivers to stay one step ahead and gain a precise, comprehensive view of driving activity and behavior.

    Until recently, he was Consulting Professor at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University, teaching courses and conducting research on innovation, energy and resource economics.

    Previously he was a Senior Partner at McKinsey and co-founded and led their Cleantech and Sustainability practice, working with many large companies globally. He is on the Board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and is an angel investor in disruptive technology companies.

    He received his PhD in Cognitive Science from UCSD and a BS with honors in symbolic systems from Stanford University, focusing his research on deep learning.

    # vimeo.com/202307579 Uploaded 46 Plays 0 Comments
  2. Can a poor diet be just as bad as smoking cigarettes for your health? What can we do to protect our DNA and minimize the effects of aging and chronic disease?

    Professor Bruce Ames, from University of California, Berkeley, the inventor of the “Ames test” —a simple assay for detecting DNA mutagens, knows a thing or two about carcinogens. He helped establish the first evidence that carcinogens mutate DNA and then helped create a catalog of mutagens, including cigarette smoke, permanent hair dye (aromatic amines), and flame retardant used in children’s pajamas (tris-BP).

    Professor Ames developed a theory that DNA damage and late onset disease are a consequence of a"triage mechanism" developed during evolution to cope with periods of micronutrient shortage. Hear about the discoveries supporting his hypothesis which explains why diseases associated with aging, cancer, heart disease, and dementia, may be unintended consequences developed during evolution to protect us from immediate harm.

    # vimeo.com/198500192 Uploaded 7 Plays 0 Comments
  3. It’s an election year. Are you tired of the insults and focus on personalities rather than matters of substance? Do you want to hear about and discuss energy policy facts, alternatives, pros & cons? Then come to our informed and professional discussion about where energy policy should go.

    This distinguished panel of policy experts from four parties (Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians & Greens) will present and discuss their view of government policy (subsidies, incentives, taxes & regulation) in areas such as energy security, generation, efficiency, distribution, storage and transportation.

    Subsidies for renewables & EVs: how much and for how long?
    What role should policy play with respect to storage?
    Cap & trade vs carbon tax?
    How to maintain the grid?
    High speed rail?
    Nuclear?

    Please join us for a lively panel discussion with energy experts as they provide their take on the best policy alternatives going forward.

    Nancy Pfund (Dem) – Founder & Managing Partner, DBL Ventures
    Jim Sweeney (Rep) – Director, Stanford Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
    Josh Miller (Libertarian) – EVP & Country GM, Zapper
    Mark Roest (Green) – Energy Entrepreneur - SeaWave Battery, ex-Intel
    Moderator: Jeff Byron – CA Energy Commissioner (2006-11), NRG, EPRI

    Co-sponsored by the Energy Interest Group of the Band of Angels

    # vimeo.com/188371444 Uploaded 42 Plays 0 Comments
  4. China’s energy system is changing rapidly on many fronts. Slower economic growth is calling into question the need for sustained expansion of the energy supply. At the same time, the structure of the economy is shifting away from energy-intensive, export-led growth in favor of domestic consumption. Severe local air pollution and its public health consequences are creating pressure to reduce reliance on coal, especially in the populous eastern coastal provinces. China has also pledged to mitigate global climate change by reaching peak CO2 emissions by 2030, by reducing CO2 intensity by 60-65% by 2030, relative to 2005, and raising the contribution of non-fossil energy to 20% of the nation’s primary energy mix by the same year.

    What do these developments mean for China’s energy system over the next 15 years? Prof. Karplus will discuss what it will take to reach peak CO2 emissions in China by 2030—and why there is a good chance that this peak will arrive early. The presentation will begin with an overview of China’s energy system and the policies and institutions that will influence the nature and pace of a clean energy transition. She will then discuss analysis by the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project on what China’s climate pledge, economic growth and structure transition, and ongoing energy system reforms will mean for the pace and difficulty of achieving a transition to cleaner forms of energy. She will also elaborate on what climate policies focused on CO2 will mean for air pollution and efforts to meet near-term air quality improvement goals.

    The presentation will conclude with a discussion of why a clean energy transition will not be quick or easy. Using examples from China’s experience in recent years, she will discuss the on-the-ground implementation challenges that advocates of transition face, including monitoring, reporting, and verification of CO2 emissions data, conflicting incentives, and the need for greater policy coordination. A discussion of the main uncertainties involved will complete this tour de force of China’s energy future.

    Valerie Karplus is an Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She studies resource and environmental management in firms operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with a focus on the role of institutions and management practices in explaining performance.

    She is an expert on China’s energy system, including technology and business model innovation, energy system governance, and the management of air pollution and climate change. From 2011 to 2015, she directed the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project, a five-year research effort focused on analyzing the design of energy and climate change policy in China, and its domestic and global impacts. Through continuing collaboration with Tsinghua University, she studies the technological and organizational challenges of managing energy and its environmental impacts in China.

    She is a faculty affiliate of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the MIT Energy Initiative. She teaches Entrepreneurship without Borders, New Models for Global Business, and is currently developing a new course on Global Energy Markets and Policy. She holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a PhD in engineering systems from MIT.

    # vimeo.com/174944089 Uploaded 25 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Please join us for a lively panel discussion with energy access leaders and policy makers as they describe the challenges and opportunities for providing clean and sustainable energy to more than a billion people in developing countries.

    Joshua Pierce – Co-founder & CTO, Off-Grid Electric
    Sandhya Hegde – General Partner, Khosla Impact Fund
    Brian Warshawsky – COO, Fenix International
    Lesley Marincola - Angaza
    Moderator: Lisa Ann Pinkerton – Technica Communications

    According to IFC, 1.6 billion on the planet have limited or no access to electricity. They spend almost $37 billion annually on traditional energy sources, primarily kerosene. This is almost 10% of a household’s monthly cash outlays. In addition, indoor air pollution from traditional lighting and cooking fuel results in 800,000 premature deaths and 300 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

    Several innovative technology solutions - e.g. solar and rechargeable lanterns, solar kits, solar and battery nano- and micro-grids are increasingly being adopted as a preferred alternative. In addition to lighting, these solutions are also enabling mobile phone charging and appliances like fans, TVs and water pumps, transforming their lives. Not only they provide a more sustainable alternative, but the opportunity is estimated to be $31 billion. In 2015 alone, this sector attracted $112 million in venture funding.

    # vimeo.com/162771325 Uploaded 14 Plays 0 Comments

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