CeBIT: Green IT Village and Climate Savers Computing

Sunday, March 9, 2008 |
By Dileep Bhandarkar

This was my first CeBIT, and I was not sure what to expect. I had heard that it was a very big show, but you have to see it to believe it. With more thank 30 huge halls spread over a large area, it would be exhausting to walk corner to corner. There is no way that anyone can see every stall in every building. The halls are generally organized by themes. Inspite of the size and the large number of attendees, it does not feel crowded. They have 3 color buses running different routes for the attendees, and VW minivans that take exhibitors to any destination.

My visit started with the opening ceremony where my CEO, Steve Ballmer, gave the opening keynote followed by speeches by German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy. It was especially gratifying to hear Steve mention Microsoft's involvement in the Climate Savers Computing Initiative in his speech (of course, I knew he was planning to, but things can change at the last minute)!

There were plenty of signs all over the CeBIT campus pointing to the Green IT Village in Hall 9 with the Climate Savers Computing logo displayed prominently. We were in the back of Hall 9, but still had a fair amount of traffic in sporadic bursts. Allyson (renamed Allymore :-)) was on the front page of the CeBIT News on Tuesday morning. There were several TV stations and radio stations (that I had never heard of before) who came by and interviewed Kevin, Allyson or me. We had print reporters, individuals, and small companies visit the booth. Many signed the pledge. Companies promised to have their management look into it.

Several questions came up, but most were predictable. Some were skeptical. Some wanted to know how this would work in Europe. Were our goals too aggressive? How can we monitor if people really do what they say? I even chatted with someone from Greenpeace!

I was pleased that I had a full house (don't ask how big the house was) for my presentation. I proved to Barbara that I could do 20 slides in less than 20 minutes. I also had several questions, mostly from the moderator from BITKOM, who appears to be warming up to Climate Savers Computing. It will be great if our discussions with BITKOM actually result in them joining and helping us connect with their membership. BITKOM is a national trade association that represents information and communication technology, and new media companies in Germany, with over 800 members.

It is clear that we need a strong European leader to give us more credibility in Europe. The European marketing teams of our US members are doing a good job for us in Europe, but there is nothing better than having a local champion. I have a potential candidate, but don't want to count my chicken(s) too soon.

It will take more than a Green IT Village to save our climate!

From dreary Hannover,

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