Shaping the Future
The future is shaped by the choices and actions of individuals. Our relationship to energy, the choices we make and the actions we take regarding our sources of energy and how we use it, will drastically shape our lives and the life of the planet in the future. By our choices and actions as individuals, cities, and countries, we will create that future, either intentionally or by default. The best time to actively engage in creating the future you want is right now.
We have chosen to use the term BLUE ENERGY as a way to reframe the conversation, to focus on the importance of the choices and actions by individuals in shaping the future. Whatever the key factor is in how we see our future, whether intelligent buildings, energy security, vibrant development, clean tech or green tech, from jobs created out of the new energy economy to organic local food, we encourage everyone to engage and participate in the shared opportunities of Blue Energy.
The core inquiry is not what to we mean by Blue Energy, but what does Blue Energy mean to you? It is your future, so who better to shape and define it than you. Please let us hear from you on our Embassy facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/finland.usembassy
Bold innovation is required to create a BLUE ENERGY future, and bold innovation requires a bold mindset, willing to risk failure.
In Ambassador Oreck’s words:
As U.S. Ambassador to Finland, I am often asked what it is about the American entrepreneur that has allowed the United States to be so successful in business for so many years. It’s a great question and I think the answer is not what most people expect.
Americans have no monopoly on good ideas or innovation. But what we do have, perhaps in more abundant supply than in any other culture, is a willingness to take risks, which includes of course, a willingness to fail. In America, failure does not necessarily carry a negative connotation. Rather, our mindset is more that while a product or project may not have succeeded as hoped, it is truly only a failure if one does not learn from that which did not work.
I have been in Finland for just over a year. During this time I have met so many incredibly talented businesspeople, innovators, engineers, and young people with compelling business concepts. I always encourage people to pursue their ideas, regardless of how difficult the task may appear -- and to be willing to accept the risk of failure. From our viewpoint, failure is not the opposite of success. Failure is a step toward success. The willingness to fail and the acceptance of failure, over and over again, produce business ideas that are sustainable, strategically mature and good enough to flourish the world over. Successful American entrepreneurs did not simply get lucky. They became successful through perseverance.
I am a lawyer by education and trade, but I am also a businessman and my heart is in the business world. I enjoy making a better product and I enjoy taking the risks that are necessary to do so. When I have hired people to work for me, I have not asked them only about what success they have had, but also about their failures. Somebody not willing to risk failure is far less likely to achieve great success, because you have to look beyond what has been done already and strive for what remains undone.
There is no stigma in business failure in the United States. Everybody with the will to continue can create a second chance. The important thing is not to surrender to a failure, but to continue along the road to success until you have achieved what you set out to do.
Let the Work Begin!
- How did the League of Green Embassies originate? What about the bipartisan nature of this Green Embassy initiative? An excerpt of a interview with Bruce J. Oreck, U.S. Ambassador to Finland and Michael M. Wood, former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. Watch the YouTube video (1:55)
- League of Green Embassies: Passing the leadership from Stockholm to Helsinki. Watch the YouTube video (3:35)
- U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck explains about the renovation project, which will transform U.S. Embassy Helsinki into one of the greenest U.S. embassies in the world. Watch the YouTube video (0:58)