Should we sit back, be do-nothing-Luddites or likewise tremble at an Orwellian future? Nope. Our glass is always half full. Call us eco-optimists.

How could we not be when people like Richard Branson pledge to use “green aviation fuel” on Virgin Atlantic planes within 2 to 3 years. Virgin Atlantic already has invested $1.4 billion on ultra-efficient jet engines which decreased its dependence on fossil fuels this year. Many MacArthur “genius” grant awards this year went to individuals thinking out-of-the-box for creative change in education, technology, the environment and more. Innovative entrepreneurs like Lynn Jurich of SunRun believe in the future of solar and have taken it to the streets literally by providing residential solar-as-a-service.

It’s not just the dreamers who recognize the needs for the future. We’ve all heard the gloomy Armageddon-like forecasts about mass baby boomer exodus from the work force. We prefer this practical, commonsensical utility company executive’s optimistic straight talk about taking the long view and planning for the “nexters” of change.

Loud voices in America call for public policy changes from the top down and the grassroots up like Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund manager, now a major player in philanthropy at The Center for the Next Generation. Matt James, the former Kaiser Family Foundation executive and president of The Center is a passionate voice for moving us toward an advanced safe, reliable energy economy and issues that reflect the well-being of children and families – who are our future. We say to our entrepreneurs and innovators –our world needs you. Keep surprising us with sparks of brilliance.

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