30 December 2008

2008: What a Year -- Bring on 2009!

Good riddance 2008.

It was a strange year, with many ups and downs for me professionally and personally.

I had knee surgery in January 2008, shortly after one of my largest long holdings, First Solar, took a nose dive. Then my Patriots blew a 16-0 season with a loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. I spent a lot of time in DC rather than home in Philadelphia, which kept me away from family too much. I tried to make change happen where change wasn't wanted and made some foolish decisions.

But I went to India, met some spectacular social entrepreneurs there and around the world, and spoke at conferences from Aspen to Salzburg. I had a poem in the American Poetry Review and did two phenomenal readings -- one in New York at the start of the year and at the University of Pennsylvania towards the end. And I got back to Alaska after ten years away, which renewed my soul.

I also built a team at Ashoka, where I was vice president for global development, and helped put together a major partnership with the Gates Foundation around entrepreneurial agricultural solutions in Africa and India.

Then I left that gig to start my own green energy investing biz. At the time oil was approaching $145/barrel and people were hot on the idea. In a matter of months, oil had shaved off 100 bucks and people began asking me "Does oil at 40 kill your start-up?"

A helluva year.

2008 was a year of adjustments, ambiguity, and ambition.

2009 will be a year of adjustments, ambiguity, and ambition, too.

What will be different?

For starters, I'm going to approach 2009 on my terms and with even more dedication to pursuing my idea.

I'm going to stay positive and focused and take the steps necessary to get this thing off the ground. Sure, I will make some adjustments to my portfolio, but I will keep focused on the long-term potential I know is there for clean tech, green energy, and energy efficiency. (And I'll keep trying to contribute to the excellent conversation going on over at stocktwits.com)

I'm also going to get both more global and more local, connecting with entrepreneurs and projects around the world, as I have in the past, but also more locally through things like Philly StartUp Leaders and other local networks.

I will keep trying to improve this blog, exploring the new green economy with a skeptical eye and a passionate heart.

Oh, and I'm going to find a publisher for my poetry collection, finally. (So if you're reading this, publishers, ping me an offer.)

2009 -- bring it on!

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