GoingGreen: McDonough, Davis and the Auto Garden


William McDonough, the architect and author of sustainable design book Cradle to Cradle is so old skool he was building solar-heated homes in the 70’s and carbon offsetting his buildings in the 80’s.

He showed off some of his designs in an inspiring speech for the opening night of Always On’s new GoingGreen conference, held on the UC Davis campus. McDonough, who tends to speak in a series of yoda-like calming proverbs, had a lot of gems to throw out to the audience on designing green and eco technology, and managed to cover everything from Thomas Jefferson, to Einstein, and bedouin tents to cherry trees.

McDonough also knows the value of financing when it comes to the cleantech world — he has been a venture partner and senior advisor to VantagePoint Ventures, helping the firm place investments in the emerging green tech industry. During the reception (and a mouth full of crab cake) I asked McDonough if he could talk more about his work at VantagePoint and what industries or companies he is working on. McDonough said he had several projects he was knee deep in, but couldn’t yet talk about them. Well, I tried.

The two-day GoingGreen event starts this morning, where we’ll be checking out the presentations from the startups execs. Expect some news from the show — on Sunday night we wrote about how solar thermal startup Ausra, received over $40 million in funding from Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, Caulfield and Byers. And last Friday we wrote about solar installer SolarCity raising $21 million.

The conference also set up this ‘Auto Garden’ outside, where conference-goers can check out examples of eco-friendly cars. Not sure yet why the Dodge Viper was there — flex fuel? — but we’ll be sure to find out today.


Myers Motors




Auto Garden






Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid

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