by Brian McKenzie, T'14 & CB&S Fellow
As we head back to school this fall, many of us are taking stock of what we’ve accomplished over the past year (or longer, for dual-degree folks like me!). A few weeks ago, I bravely looked back at my admissions essays to remind myself of why I decided to give up a well-paying job for the life of a grad school student. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my goals haven’t changed that much. I remain firmly committed to playing a role in changing the way electric power is generated and distributed to consumers and contributing to a global shift toward cleaner energy. My motivation to do so is rooted both in business and societal objectives.
As a businessperson, I believe that clean energy holds the key to the next wave of economic growth throughout the world. In its absence, higher costs of energy combined with punitive taxes and restrictions will halt growth and leave few options for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Clean energy is the key to sustaining the quality of life we enjoy in the developed world, and to enabling less developed nations to catch up. Not only will the sector itself generate growth, but more importantly it will enable the development of newer, better, safer, and more sustainable products and services.
As a member of society, my motivation to work for a cleaner energy future comes from my fear that we are irreparably harming our planet and putting future generations at risk. I am a believer in climate change, though I don’t claim to have the science all figured out by any means. I’m not willing to take the chance that the worst-case scenario will come true. But, whether you believe in climate change or not, it is difficult to deny the many harmful impacts of burning fossil fuels that are directly identifiable, such as pollution of our air, land, and water systems.
The vision I have for my career is to somehow play a role in paving the way for a cleaner energy future. I’m focusing much of my attention on how electric power is generated and distributed to end-users. My hope is that through my work, I will in some small way contribute to putting the world on a more sustainable path for future generations.
My greatest motivation comes from the two members of the next generation that I wake up to every morning, my two daughters (featured below) Audrey (3.5 years old) and Georgia (1 year old). They and all the other current and future generations of kids deserve a cleaner, more sustainable world to grow up in.