Re-Energize the Americas–Focus on Border Energy, Water and Economic Development

The Water-Energy Nexus

Over two hundred attendees are expected at next week’s Re-Energize the Americas conference being held in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  The event being held on October 17-18 will not only focus on important facets of energy issues, including most aspects of conventional and alternative energy important to the border region, but will discuss the important interlinks between energy and water as well as opportunities for innovative economic development critical to the Americas. Continue reading

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Growing Our Own– Creating Young Entrepreneurs (Part II)

Elevator Pitch contestant during STEM3 Challenge competition

The young lady stood calmly before an audience of some two hundred and in 90 seconds explained how she could turn their investment of $750,000 into a new company with a new unique product that would save the US Postal Service hundreds of millions of dollars and get the potential venture capitalists 12 times their investment within 2 years–“We are Inkblot, a new startup!”.  Her poise and confidence seemed more akin to an aggressive entrepreneur ready to compete in the global market than the high school senior she actually was.  She was participating in the STEM3 Challenge— an exciting and unusual (if not unique) business plan contest— sponsored by the Upper Rio Grande Workforce Solutions and other public and private institutions.  This new entrepreneur Continue reading

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Growing Our Own — Creating Young Entrepreneurs (Part I)

Years ago (too many to recount!) when I completed my education and looked to enter the “real” world, my fellow students and I saw great opportunities but somewhat limited choices.  We all looked to land good jobs in big companies, big government or a prestigious university.  None of us looked at starting our own business.  Professors and mentors never mentioned such a pathway and, frankly, it never occurred to me.  Looking back I can only wonder what may have been had someone given me a slight nudge in that direction.

Today our world of global competitiveness is much different and at least some of our aspiring graduates look to be captains of their own destiny, choosing riskier but, perhaps, the more rewarding option of creating a new startup of their very own.  Institutions such as Stanford and MIT have long understood the opportunities for innovation from their research and education enterprises.  In their culture, entering students see themselves as failures if at graduation they aren’t part of a new startup–the next Google or Facebook or whatever. Continue reading

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Graduating Mexico’s Future

El Diario 2/10/12

Last week my wife and I went to Juarez.  While it was a short hop to our neighbor “sister” city, this was not a trip made lightly.   It was subject to a number of “friendly” husband-wife conversations, phone calls with family, and not a little angst.   Normally, in years past, this would have been a no-brainer, a short journey to a colorful city where in past years we had spent many afternoons and evenings with friends and families enjoying the unique pleasures of this ancient town.  The drug violence of the last several years have totally changed this. Ultimately, we made the journey and we are glad we did. Continue reading

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