Official Carbon Voyage Blog

I’ve now started up an official Carbon Voyage Blog which will have all of the press releases as well as some more informal bits and pieces about what the company is doing. Also, we’ve now set up groups on LinkedIn and Facebook so feel free to join!!!

We’re now a week into our beta launch and fortunately there have been no major problems with bookings thus far, and more importantly we’ve had some really good feedback about the website and ideas about the service which is something that you can only start getting once people are using the service.

Other than that, EYP launched in Dublin last week and following that, we have some terrific momentum going there. The team that is running with things there is absolutely fantastic, and we have an exciting next event coming up in April. Following our launch in Dublin, we are planning additional launches in three more European cities before the middle of the year – so lots of work to do!

And finally, if anyone is in London next Wednesday night, come along to our next EYP event.

WeWantToSee

November 17-21 is Global Entrepreneurship Week which is aiming to foster enterprise and innovation all around the world. European Young Professionals is hosting a big event in London as part of this. If you interested in coming, you can register here. Our speakers include:

Shed SimoveShed Simove Sheridan ‘Shed’ Simove, otherwise known as the Ideas Man, is a modern day entrepreneurial genius. He’s a TV Producer (Big Brother, Big Breakfast, Space Cadets), a Bestselling Author (‘Ideas Man’, ‘Presents Money Can’t Buy’), a Product Designer (‘Cock A Doodle Pad’, ‘Control-A-Man’ & ‘Control-A-Woman’ Remote Controls, ‘The Designer Beaver’, ‘The Gaydar’), a successful corporate speaker and an award-winning stand-up comedian among other achievements…

Check his recent Channel 4 Three Minute Wonder piece here.

Sháá Wasmund

Shaa

Sháá Wasmund, best known for being the whiz kid who helped build the Dyson brand and being a leading internet entrepreneur, has many accolades to her credit including being named one of Management Today’s 35 women under 35, and one of Britain’s “Young Guns” – the brightest young business stars of 2007.  Sháá has advised many businesses, from the government to social networking phenomenon Bebo. Sháá is an intrinsic part of the new wave of UK Entrepreneurs combining real entrepreneurial drive and experience with a genuine desire to encourage and inspire others. Shaa’s latest venture, Smarta.com is an online business platform supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs.

This is a flagship event for Speednetwork the Globe, part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which was founded by Make Your Mark and the Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation dedicated to entrepreneurship. During the week, 17-23 November 2008, young professionals from around the world will be involved in thousands of events and activities celebrating enterprise.

In the lead up to this event, we thought it would be a great idea to establish a website where we could get people from all around the world to upload a quick video where they tell everyone what they would like to see – whether it be related to climate change, innovation, equality – or even making sure a sports team wins a competition. So check out WeWantToSee!

It would be great if you could take part in this and tell loads of people to participate as well. The site has just gone live, so there is not a massive amount of content just far.

Thanks in advance!

EYP Stuff and the Financial Crisis

This has been a big week for EYP. We had our monthly event at Zebrano, just near Carnaby St and somewhere just shy of 200 people in attendence. As per normal we did a few speed networking sessions which worked really well. Tonight we had our committee meeting, and were fortunately joined by our good friend Andy Lopata. Andy is always full of great ideas and we have some exciting things coming up in the next few months. Our next event will be a big one, and done with Make Your Mark as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. It will be in London on the evening of 18 November 2008.

I am continuing to play around with the various social networks and tools that exist. There was an interesting breakfast at WidgetWebExpo put on by KickApps and Clearspring. Clearspring do some very cool stuff with widgets – and with some things we are doing with EYP, widgets are about to get very important for us. Fortunately I have found a good widget blog – and more importantly a widget competition so I can get some money :p There are probably going to be some weird widgets appearing on the various social networking sites I use over the next week or two while I learn how to use them, so apologies in advance.

My sister and I listened to the video I posted a few days ago. It was hilarious of course, but again quite shocking that it was done a year ago or so. I discovered that the video has actually got a lot of attention, but one of the original posts is here and here. And just to add to the mix, another one from Bird and Fortune – again from a long time ago and also very spot on.

Technology stuff…

So I am looking at some options for EYPs technolgy platform at the moment as well as some of the social networking tools that are out there. A few of the bits and pieces that we are looking at include Kickapps and Webjam. With a group like EYP, we will always try and use the latest social media tools, including Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter and Viadeo. These are all great, but there are drawbacks – particularly wtih Facebook and LinkedIN… Facebook groups become problematic once you have over 1,200 members as you aren’t allowed to invite all your members to events, LinkedIN groups do not provide massive options for communicating with members (although recently this has improved) and neither is particularly useful in getting a good handle on who your members are – which is incredibly important when chatting with prospective sponsors and the like. We have around 7,000 members already, so we need something that can deal with a reasonable sized audience!

About one year ago or so on Gigaom (I think), there was a fantastic overview of social networking platforms including Kickapps which proved immensely useful for a consulting gig I did – hopefully a new overview of similar quality will come out soon which will make our job easier in finding the right thing to use. There was a great quote from Om Malik in Feb 2007 that said “It is time to start thinking beyond the web-page paradigm, and think of social networking as part of a larger “experience,” one that starts to blend the best of online and offline worlds.” In our case, we are seeking a good online presence to work alongside an already powerful offlne presence to build a really compelling proposition for our members. Of course, it is made more complex by the fact that many people are joined up on multiple social networks. Thus an important aspect of this going forward is to see whether our platform can easily integrate with other tools – I know for example that with KickApps, we can have widgets for WordPress and Twitter.

Am I finally being converted to Mac???

I have finally got to the end of my love affair with Windows Mobile… and particularly difficulties with synchronising to Outlook once you have too many contacts or too much going on. I recently won an iPhone courtesy of Handy Group, a cool mobile payment company, and so am going to finally pick it up this week. It will be interesting to see what it is like to use it (and I expect my dad to make some rude comments about getting a Mac device)…

And here is a happy snap from EYP‘s last event:)

Umm … a few random things

So I finally did my first ever radio interview today, although it won’t go on air for about three weeks. It was to promote GoLow and an event that is being run by EYP. The radio station is Passion for the Planet and they will be one of our media partners for our October EYP event, which is focused on environmental issues. We will be fortunate to have Dan Ilett from Greenbang as a moderator for our panel discussion which is shaping up to have some really interesting participants.

I think EYP is starting to mature in terms of some of the events that we are doing. Our next event is at the Kensington Roof Gardens, owned by Sir Richard Branson, and is almost fully subcribed after a few days of bookings being open. Our October event is looking really cool, and in November we are planning to do a massive speed networking in London in partnership with Make Your Mark for Global Enterprise Week. And we have some goodies lined up for next year.

A gluton for punishment, I have set up a more formal business GoLow blog – so now I really can’t be too slack with posting.

And finally, I really liked reading about the recently completed operation in Afghanistan where several thousand soldiers got involved in delivering a turbine to a key power station. Providing basic services to locals in such conditions can be quite a challenge but is so unbelievably valuable.

We have some technology!

So we now have our technology platform up for GoLow – there are still bits to do, but I suppose that anyone with a technology related business needs to be ready for changes and amendments. At least it means that we can still do a beta trial very soon. This will hopefully assist in our continuing fund raising efforts which all start ups go through. There was an amusing article this week that I was sent about a “green gold rush”, so it would be nice to see some of the money spoken about to go into a good home. The guys at Greenbang also covered this, although I don’t quite share their concern about Eastenders!

The rising price of oil should also assist – something which I believe is that given that oil prices are going up, transport services must either become more efficient or raise costs. The latter option is particularly difficult given the macro-economic conditions that exist at the moment, so I see a great opportunity as we are positioned to provide an answer that involves improved efficiencies. Part of the proposition is around improving fuel efficiency in vehicles which can provide significant savings and critically be far cheaper than not implementing solutions that generate efficiencies. A good friend has a large fleet of vehicles and in the last twelve months, his weekly fuel cost per vehicle has increased from around £180 per week to over £300 per week. In his case, putting in place a strategy to create efficiencies could provide an overall net saving of £50 per vehicle per week.

In the last few weeks I have started to travel all over the UK far more than previously and one of the interesting things to realise is that the choice of using public transport (particularly trains) can be immensely expensive. It is almost to the point of making car travel more economical and potentially take less time as well. It is a shame that the better environmental option is such a big cost as it doesn’t help in trying to move people into using better forms of transport.

I am involved in a green networking event on Wednesday and am chairing a round table discussion on low carbon transport which should be rather interesting (as long as I do some good preparation for it)! I have set the following topics for discussion – hopefully there might be some interesting points that I can share on here afterwards.

Emerging Trends in Transport Usage
Transport is a significant, and growing, contributor to Greenhouse Gas emissions in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Economic conditions combined with environmental/ sustainability issues and government policy have created a situation where the way in which people use transport will need to shift.
• What are the existing barriers to this occurring and how can they be addressed?
• What easy wins exist within the transport sector?
• Have issues such as the use of bio-fuels and carbon offsetting negatively impacted on sustainability goals? Are there any other potential areas for similar concern?

Reporting
Present corporate accounting standards for transport related emissions do not necessarily reflect actual emissions (particularly in terms of Scope 3 emissions). Is this a fair criticism?
• What should and shouldn’t be reported?
• How granular should reporting be – vehicle emissions, embodied energy etc?

And finally, EYP is gearing up for our next event which will be on the Queen Mary, which is moored alongside at Victoria Embankment which should be lots of fun. If any of you are in London, please feel free to come along (although you should register first)! We have just got on Twitter (and so have I actually), so we are experiencing the twitter phenomenon.