The World Business Academy's plan to create a green microgrid of electricity for the Santa Barbara area is exactly what every town and city and village in the world should be doing: taking the beautiful gift of sunlight and using it to create electricity where we live in a way that is clean, renewable and sustainable. As the Academy implements this plan, it can show other towns how to do it also and the result will be a massive global reduction in climate-changing greenhouse gases. It is simple, pragmatic, concrete, cost -effective over the long run and the responsible thing to do. The Academy's leadership in this is remarkable and very exciting.
When one wants to make a difference, it's important to align with like-minded souls. That's easy to do at the World Business Academy, because it only attracts the most committed, heart-centered and filled-with-integrity (and humor, thank God) people. Every time I attend a meeting, I leave renewed and inspired. And I love the inter-generational nature of the group, bound by a shared interest of serving the whole. It's rapidly becoming one of my favorite social gatherings as well. Thank you to Rinaldo Brutoco and his stellar team, led by a young and talented Executive Director, Matt Renner. Rinaldo and his wife. Lalla, have tirelessly and selflessly served not only Santa Barbara, but by extension, the entire planet for over 20 years. They have been the true backbone of it all. I am very proud to call myself an Academy Emissary, and hope I do justice to this position.
I've been a member of the Academy since 2011 and a Board member since 2014. What has both intrigued and impressed me have been the rigor with which the Academy conducts the research that contributes to making its White Papers, projects and "on the ground" initiatives so effective.
An example of this is evidenced with the work the Academy engaged in to hold Southern California Edison accountable for the extreme danger and extraordinary price tag of their faulty nuclear reactors in San Diego County - specifically San Onofre. As the only business group representing ratepayers in the oversight hearings at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the Academy's contribution was unique and powerful. The Academy gained intervenor status with the CPUC in order to successfully help make the case against restarting the dangerous steam generators and running them at reduced power, as Edison was proposing. Additionally, the Academy argued to reject Edison's minuscule $94 million proposed settlement and successfully secured for rate payers a $1.4 billion dollar settlement.
Building on the success at San Onofre is the continuing Academy Safe Energy Project. The Project’s goals are straightforward and achievable: to permanently close California’s remaining nuclear power plant and replace all energy derived from nuclear and fossil fuels with a 100% fossil-fuel free energy system within ten years, creating a replicable model for the planet. Bold, Audacious and Achievable!
Truly, the Academy lives the credo that "The Future of Business is Making the Future Its Business!"
As a young entrepreneur, running in to the Academy was one of my defining moments and something that helped propel me to a life of social entrepreneurship and personal satisfaction. In one place, a collection of people who had built values based business, intellectual stimuli and resources to address the most mundane and the most difficult challenges of our time. The inspiration from knowing there was a group of committed, dedicated, successful business people helping to change the world, has stayed with me. When I was asked to participate as a Board Member several years ago, I accepted with humility and honor. The mission of the Academy and the values that underlie it are crucial as we move through this most interesting time. As much as at any time in our history, we need new visions for the future and an understanding of where we are today, to insure our planet will provide what we want it to for our children. The Academy plays an important role in that process.