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"We are who we have been waiting for..."

Whatever you think of his politics, you can?? deny that Barack Obama?? got a way with words. His speech after Super (duper) Tuesday was full of aphorisms and inspirational phrases. The one that struck a chord with me was the line above: ??e are who we have been waiting for???/p>

It resonates on many levels. Everyone’s been talking about the surge in “conversation” and “participation” and “customization” and, yes, “user-generated”. Essentially, there’s been a radical shift in relationship between company and consumer. Given that I’ve been so focused on sustainability issues of late (see yesterday’s post), I couldn’t help but think about Obama’s words in relation to the green movement.

A study by the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) in Clearwater, Fla. found that when equipped with real-time energy feedback devices (such as the down-home styled, upcoming EnerJar or the rather slicker PowerCost Monitor we featured in this slideshow of hot green products ), some homeowners reduced their energy consumption by more than 15%. Ok, so the AESP is hardly an impartial body, but that figure is significant. And it’s a salient reminder that *we* — humble, individual mere mortals — can make a real difference in the push towards a sustainable world. We don’t have to be paralyzed by the magnitude of the problem; we can make a difference. Suddenly I feel like I swallowed a manifesto, but the knock on effect is also invigorating: if we do something, then businesses wanting to deal with us will have to do something too.

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