I have been following the work of Shai Agassi, the former VP of Products at SAP… he is the founder and CEO of Better Place. I have also been reading his blog. I have to say I am impressed, no wonder he was positioned to become the CEO of SAP but he quit that job founded Better Place and is on the way to change the World or at least some of the bad habits we have formed in the last century… Driving Gas Guzzling Cars. here is a video that describes what is A Better Place
I want to try to get this concept implemented in Iceland, I am not sure how susceptible the Government of Iceland is going to be for new investment given what has happened to Iceland economically… but I think the best way to get out of the current condition in Iceland is to look for bold ways to invest and get out of the financial mess. The world is changing and I believe a better way to change is to lead and define how history will remember you. Was it not Winston Churchill who said “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it!”?
Here are a couple of bold steps for Iceland:
1. Be the first country to be totally Oil Independent – It is easier to do in Iceland because of the size of the country and given its rich resources in renewable energy and in using it.
2. Be the first country to convert 95% of all its vehicles to Electric power – Again easy to do and makes economic sense as electricity in Iceland is the cheapest in the world.
The above two ideas are achievable in a single term i.e. 4 years, lets think about it… main use of Oil in Iceland is for vehicles, trawlers and some industrial machines. I don’t have the facts but I can bet without looking at the numbers that over 60% of oil is used for Vehicles, if Iceland can stop importing 60% of the Oil, the country will have a much higher trade surplus which would help it support its own Currency. There is a huge debate going in Iceland related to joining the European Union, in my view the options are very clear… the only way to keep the Icelandic Krona is to invest in new technology, be hyper productive thereby creating a demand for the goods and services being produced in Iceland. This cannot be achieved without investment and the original argument of going back to the roots of Iceland being a Fishing Nation is not valid in the current context, if the country wants to be just a fish processing country why build so many universities and have such a highly educated work force? I am sure majority of Icelandic population is happy that Fish as a resource has helped Iceland but would rather do something else than process fish.