Van Jones is a rising star in the green economy. As the founding President of Green for All, he is a doer. As the author of “The Green Collar Economy” he is a spokesperson and advocate. But he is actually much more than that. He’s actually Innovation 3.0.
Nancy Pelosi calls him a “magnificent disrupter”. If she means that he eloquently navigates new paths (job creation) and connects new ideas (environmental consideration) to age-old issues (populations in poverty), then she is right.
In a recent interview with David Gottfriend, CEO of Regenerative Ventures, Van spoke of the need to revision the way we do things. He spoke of soul level redemption. And he spoke of the need for human recovery. Listening to him you can’t help but be caught up in his articulate passion and belief that there is a better way out of this mess we’re in.
But you quickly realize that he is more than just an activist when you read his story and listen to his perspective. This “shock to the system” we’ve received is actually the necessary catalyst for changing our behavior and getting out of the self-destructive rut we were in. Human behavior is evolutionary. We will not act on new choices until we are forced to. This crisis presents us with a million opportunities to implement new methods that yield new results and ways of thinking. Creating a green-collar jobs movement is just one of many new ideas that can re-structure our future and re-ignite a more fully participatory economy.
As a recent appointee to the White House Counsel on Environmental Quality, it is exciting to think what might be possible with a real innovator at the table. We need new ideas that leverage the principals of a sustainable economy but we need the practical trappings of good business, structure and an engaged, working society.
Van Jones gets that Innovation 3.0 will be about building on clean energy and technology trends. And he’s already shown that break-through ideas can start by addressing our most pressing issues.