Thursday, September 30, 2010


Guest post from Welectricity

The GE Ecomagination contest comes to an end today and I'd like to make a few comments about it.  It's been an incredible ride and I sincerely commend GE for their own innovation - not in launching the contest, but in making it a global contest.  That was a master stroke.

I would also like to applaud the work of the many people who have submitted their ideas.  The variety and depth of the ideas and innovations presented demonstrate that there's no shortage of imagination, the raw material of progress.  I've voted already for my favorites and I'm really sorry I didn't have enough time to go through many of the others, as I'm sure I would have cast many more votes.

I  also want to say something about a topic that has been much mentioned within the past few weeks - the voting patterns that have been observed among the top 10 contenders.

From the beginning, my strategy (which was first suggested to me by my wife) to get votes for Welectricity was to share the idea with the people of my country, St Vincent & The Grenadines, and the wider Caribbean, and to mobilise national pride in one of our own.  St Vincent & The Grenadines (SVG) has a population of only 100,000 and our people are generally very proud to know that a son of the soil is engaged in prestigious matters on a global stage. 

Our outreach has been to businesses, colleges and high schools as well as to the general public.  Our method has been to try to make it easy for people who want to vote, to be able to do so.  So, on Saturday August 21st, we set up a voting booth on a busy street in the main city, Kingstown (photos here ).  It was just two tables, some chairs, several notebook computers manned by friends, and a billboard.  We explained Welectricity to passersby and we got a great response.  Some people had already heard about it from the radio spots I had been doing. 

We did that every Saturday following, and we're doing it again today.  I also did the same at the SVG Community College, the Teachers College and at a few other business and institutional locations.  So, to the observers who mention IP logging as a means of determining the validity of votes, I just want to point out the reason why some of our votes have been generated on the same computers during the course of a single day.  Yesterday for example, at the Teachers College, I had four notebooks set up and got over 100 votes between 10 am and 7 pm from students who were very enthusiastic about the idea and pleased to have the opportunity to support a local innovation on the global stage.

Apart from that, I have used the normal channels that others would have used: Facebook, Twitter, the mainstream media, personal contacts. 

The response has been fantastic and I want to thank all of the people who have supported and voted for Welectricity.  I believe Welectricity can and will make a difference in its own way, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in this contest.

Herbert A (Haz) Samuel
Welectricity.  Energy Efficiency, meet Social Networking (TM)


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