Whew. Green:Net, the first green conference for the Internet industry is done and done. As twilight descended onto the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco’s Presidio last night, the 400-plus attendees at the sold-out event were able to grab a glass of wine and reflect on the day’s happenings. Everyone I talked with seemed to agree that it was a success and filled a niche for entrepreneurs focusing on the intersection of information technology and green technology.
There were a lot of highlights: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom gave the opening remarks, which featured how he’s using IT for green aims in San Francisco. Later, in a video interview with me, he unveiled a partnership with Cisco to create an eco-map that would pinpoint greenhouse gas emissions and told me how he would put green tech issues at the forefront of a gubernatorial race. Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, gave his (somewhat controversial) thoughts on “Enernet,” or the next-generation energy network. The always-inspiring Saul Griffith, founder of Makani Power and Wattzon.com, rocked. Jonathan Koomey, project scientist and professor with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, delivered all the hard research on making IT infrastructure more energy efficient. You can find a bunch of the speakers’ presentations here.
But beyond the heavy hitters, it was the entrepreneurs with early-stage, passionate ideas about using IT to reduce energy consumption that really embodied what the show was all about. The Almanac, one of our LaunchPad 10, might not have won over the judges, but it exemplified the essence of what we wanted to do with the LaunchPad: bring young, early-stage companies together and connect them with resources, feedback and ideas. If we’d had a host’s LaunchPad award, I’d have given it to them.
Lastly, we can’t say thank you enough to all the sponsors, attendees, speakers, vendors, press and the GigaOM crew. Thanks to Stacey and Erin from Magnify Communications for making the trains run on time, Liz and Stacey for their live-blogging prowess, Chris for being our MC that can crack anyone up, Josie and Celeste for their kick@ss interviews, Carolyn and Chancey for being the glue always, and the entire business and sales team for selling and managing the show: Surj, Joey, Mike, Nick, Paul Irving and of course, CEO Paul Walborsky. Finally, thanks to Om Malik, our mostly fearless visionary leader, whom I joined almost three years ago this summer, and who trusted me enough to take a chance on a different kind of conference. I think he had fun — even if he had to mingle with the treehuggers and lefty types. And, to answer one of the most-asked questions at the show: Yes, there will be a Green:Net 2010.