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Lighting a New World
In what is being described as the First Continental Congress of Lighting, a proactive coalition of researchers, utility officials, government, state agencies, manufacturers, designers, and engineers gathered in October in Saratoga Springs to chart a new, socially responsible course for the field of lighting.
The Bridges in Light symposium was organized by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer and an advisory council comprised of leaders in the lighting industry and government.
More than 130 symposium participants discussed the formation of a new campaign to promote the value of lighting through marketing, education, communications, advocacy, and leadership. Most people view lighting as a commodity, said Mark Rea, co-chair of and director of the LRC. They purchase lighting products, but dont understand the true value of lighting, including its ability to affect our health, comfort, productivity, and even energy savings.
Keynote speaker and business strategist Paul Schoemaker of the Wharton School urged participants to re-inspire risk-taking in the industry and called upon them to come together to recognize the obstacles and drivers of change facing the industry today.
Internationally renowned designer William McDonough, recipient of the Presidential Medal for Sustainable Development, spoke about the need for the industry to design environmentally conscious manufacturing methods.
McDonough, who was named Time Magazines Hero for the Planet, demonstrated current industrial projects designed to produce no waste or pollution. NASA astronaut Nancy Currie, veteran of four shuttle missions, was the featured speaker at a dinner following the symposium.
|Rensselaer Magazine: Winter 2003|
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