Reading Calacanis’ popular and excellent post on “The Future of Startups,” and more and more announcements like the one Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, gave to his employees last week, has given me the feeling we still have not yet seen the bottom of this particular barrel. Thus, I do not envy President-elect Obama. Though I doubt it is ever easy to lead a large organization or country, to lead the U.S. right now is most likely the hardest job on the planet given the death spiral we are in.
There are so many important issues to address, how does one choose and make sure one’s actions are successful. Looking at the list of “agenda” items on Change.gov, it is a daunting task. My guess would be the economy and the war are top of everyone’s list given their far reaching causes and effects. (As a sidenote, I see here, that someone is finally making some sense on the proposed automakers’ bailout.)
Two issues close to my heart and, in my opinion, the most important to our future success as a viable country, are the Environment and Technology.
During this week’s Governor’s Global Climate Summit, Obama sent along an inspiring vidcast of his objectives for this agenda item, the highlights of which include:
- Federal cap and trade system
- Target 1990 emissions levels by 2020, 80% reduction by 2050
- $15b/year investment
- Create 5 million green jobs
Given the response at the conference, these kinds of far-reaching, specific targets are just what we need to make a difference. His environmental team is also saying the right things, especially by seeing the need to work across traditional government silo’s in order for programs to work.
As for technology, Obama will be the first U.S. president to understand the power of “being digital,” and how it can return power to the people and trust in government. It is my sincere hope that rather than giving up his Blackberry, he instead pulls our government into the 21st century by making the necessary changes to antiquated rules and regulations, appointing a cabinet-level CTO and driving an appropriately open technology platform upon which we are all able to make our voices heard and be effective in fixing all that is broken together. The BBC has a nice summary of the issues and great comments from some of the visionaries in the field, like O’Reilly and Battelle.
In order to rise from the ashes, we must make significant progress on these fronts. They are the source of new jobs, new ideas and a sustainable way for us to exist. The question is how…
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