Tag Archives: technologies


Waste management is an important issue faced by many countries and cities around the world. As populations grow and consumption increases, the amount of waste generated also rises significantly. Traditional waste treatment and disposal methods can cause environmental pollution and waste of resources. Therefore, researchers and companies are working on developing innovative technologies that offer more sustainable solutions. Some of the most promising new waste treatment and disposal technologies include:

Plasma gasification- Plasma gasification is an emerging thermal waste treatment technology that uses plasma torch powered by electricity to gasify solid waste at extremely high temperatures reaching over 2000°C. At such high temperatures, molecular bonds in waste break down and syngas is produced. This syngas can then be used to generate electricity. Plasma gasification efficiently converts over 95% of waste into syngas with minimal emissions and residues. It is a versatile technology that can handle almost any type of municipal solid waste or hazardous waste. Several companies are building and testing large-scale plasma gasification plants.

Biofuel from waste- Another technology aimed at resource recovery from waste is the production of biofuels like renewable natural gas or renewable diesel. Anaerobic digestion and thermal conversion processes are used to break down organic waste into biogas which can then be upgraded into transportation fuels. Companies like Agilyx, Fulcrum BioEnergy, and SC Johnson are pioneering technologies to convert post-recycled municipal solid waste, food waste, agricultural waste etc into drop-in biofuels. Integrating existing waste management infrastructure with biofuel production facilities allows generating renewable energy from waste.

Conversion to hydrogen- Waste-to-hydrogen is an emerging approach focused on producing hydrogen gas through the gasification of municipal solid waste or sewage sludge. The syngas obtained can be further processed to produce hydrogen through techniques like steam methane reforming. Hydrogen produced can be used as a zero-emission fuel in transportation and industrial sectors. Companies like EnviTec Biogas are developing large systems to generate hydrogen alongside electricity through thermal conversion of organic waste streams.

Advanced recycling for plastics- Due to the difficulty and costs involved in traditional mechanical recycling of plastic waste, less than 10% of plastic waste globally gets recycled. New chemical recycling technologies aim to improve this. Companies like Eastman, Vadxx, Synata Bio, and Agilyx are developing advanced recycling processes using techniques like depolymerization, methanolysis and hydrolysis to break plastics down to their basic molecular building blocks which can then be used to produce virgin quality plastic resins and polymers. By allowing recycled content to directly substitute fossil feedstocks in new plastic production, advanced recycling could significantly boost plastic recycling rates.

Digital waste management- Leveraging technologies like IoT sensors, RFID tags, computer vision etc allows implementation of smart waste management solutions. Connected waste bins can detect fill levels and optimize collection routes to improve efficiency. Landfill gas and leachate levels can be digitally monitored. Advanced analytics helps identify waste generation patterns, forecast demand and optimally route trucks. Some cities are piloting digital platforms that allow citizens to book and track waste collection services while generating insights to guide future infrastructure needs. As waste infrastructure shifts towards automation and remote monitoring, digital connectivity opens new frontiers.

Biological technologies- Researchers are also exploring biological and microbiological solutions for sustainable waste management. Methods are being studied to use waste-eating microorganisms like bacteria and fungi to aid in composting and accelerate the natural decomposition of organic materials. Biotechnologies also offer pathways for converting agricultural, forestry and food waste into higher-value bioproducts like bioplastics, solvents, animal feed ingredients, using techniques like fermentation. Advances in synthetic biology and microbial engineering fuels the development of such biological conversion processes.

While these technologies are still under research and development or pilot-stage adoption, they represent promising new directions that can augment today’s waste management infrastructure and allow maximum resource recovery from waste. By diverting organic materials to production of renewable fuels and chemicals, and employing chemical and biological techniques for advanced recycling of plastics, cities of future may significantly reduce the burden on landfills whilst minimizing environmental impact of waste. Integrating digital connectivity can enable optimized operations and planning. Emerging technologies thus provide a pathway for transition towards more sustainable and circular models of waste management.


Governments can provide direct funding for research and development of renewable energy technologies. This includes funding for basic science research at universities and national laboratories that advances technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, tidal/wave, and other renewable sources. Long-term, sustained funding is important to support innovative research that will develop newer, more efficient, and lower cost technologies. Some key research areas could include new battery technologies for energy storage, advanced solar cell materials, larger and more efficient wind turbines, and methods for renewable energy integration and grid modernization.

Governments can offer tax credits and incentives to businesses conducting renewable energy research and development. This includes tax credits for eligible research and development costs incurred by companies. It also includes investment tax credits that allow companies to deduct a percentage of their investment in renewable energy property from their taxes. These types of tax policies help motivate private sector investment in advancing renewable technologies.

Loan guarantee programs are another policy tool to support renewable technology development. Governments provide loan guarantees for demonstration and deployment-scale projects that help companies secure better financing terms as they work to commercialize newer technologies. Many innovative renewable projects face challenges securing financing due to perceived technology risks, so loan guarantees can help overcome this obstacle. Some countries have created very large loan guarantee programs specifically focused on renewables.

Governments implement various policies to incentivize the deployment and adoption of existing renewable technologies at commercial-scale and in end-use applications. This includes Renewable Portfolio Standards which require electricity providers to source a certain percentage of power from renewable sources by a certain date. Feed-in tariffs also drive renewable adoption by offering long-term power purchase agreements and guaranteed prices paid per unit of renewable electricity generated, providing market stability and investment predictability. Renewable energy certificates and net metering programs also incentivize renewable deployment.

At the consumer level, governments establish tax credits for individuals who install certain renewable energy systems, such as solar water heaters or solar PV panels on homes and businesses. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs also allow property owners to fund renewable upgrades through long-term financing repaid as an assessment on their property taxes. Rebate and cash incentive programs further reduce the upfront costs of renewable technologies for homeowners and building owners.

Governments implement renewable portfolio standards and clean energy standards that require utilities and electricity providers to generate or procure a certain minimum amount of electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, by a future date. This creates long-term guaranteed demand for renewable energy and drives new investment in large-scale projects. Some jurisdictions have established even more ambitious 100% clean energy or carbon-free electricity goals and mandates.

In the transportation sector, governments establish low carbon fuel standards that require the fuel mix supplied to vehicles to meet certain limits on carbon or renewable content over time. Standards that progressively increase the required renewable or low-carbon content year over year help grow markets for biofuels, renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and other clean alternatives. Tax credits and other incentives also make electric vehicles more affordable and encourage the adoption of electric buses and vehicles.

For building codes and standards, governments implement policies that promote renewable-ready building design and construction. This includes things like mandating that all new buildings include renewable-compatible components like solar-ready roof design or provisions for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Governments can also establish efficiency performance standards that indirectly advance the deployment of renewable building technologies by reducing overall energy needs.

Strategic international cooperation and investment programs are another tool. Joint clean energy technology development partnerships and financing mechanisms between governments help accelerate innovation. International financing platforms that mobilize public and private capital for large-scale renewable deployment in developing nations are also important to promote global diffusion of clean technologies.

A mix of market-pull policies like renewable energy standards, technology-push policies like R&D funding, financial incentives, and enabling policies around infrastructure, codes, and cooperation can strategically and comprehensively support renewable energy progress. Long-term policy certainty and coordination across multiple levels of government are also vital to provide consistent and scalable support for the transition to renewable energy systems. When developed and enacted prudently through all levels of government, policies hold immense potential to transform energy systems worldwide.


When making purchasing decisions, individuals have a significant opportunity to support companies developing green technologies by choosing environmentally-friendly products and services. For example, customers can opt for renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind power for their homes instead of sticking to traditional fossil fuel-based electricity. They can also purchase electric vehicles to replace gas-guzzling cars once electric options become more widely available and affordable in the coming years. Individuals have the power to influence producers and manufacturers by demonstrating consumer demand for sustainable products. If more people support companies innovating in spaces like clean energy, energy efficiency, green building materials, and zero-waste practices, it will incentivize even greater research and development investment in these areas.

In terms of daily habits, individuals can adopt low-carbon lifestyles by making green choices in their transportation, food, and consumer goods. Examples include walking, biking, or taking public transit instead of driving whenever possible to reduce personal vehicle emissions. Homeowners can upgrade their appliances to energy efficient models and insulate their houses well to minimize energy consumption and bills. Eating a plant-rich diet is healthier for both people and the planet compared to high meat consumption. Reducing food waste and composting organic scraps also helps. Avoiding excessive consumption and opting for durable, repairable products that produce less waste over time is a sustainable approach. Individuals have the power to collectively drive down global emissions through widespread adoption of low-impact lifestyles.

On the civic engagement front, individuals can raise awareness and put political pressure by voicing support for green policies, regulations, and investments to decision-makers. For instance, residents can ask their local governments to source higher percentages of renewable energy for public infrastructure and shift city bus fleets to electric models. They could also urge representatives in state capitals and Washington, D.C. to pass legislation and budgets that accelerate the transition to clean technologies through incentives for consumers and industry. Participating in marches, rallies, and other advocacy events is another way for individuals to demonstrate the political will for climate action and demand a just transition to a sustainable future. By joining or donating to environmentally-focused organizations, concerned citizens amplify efforts to systematically mainstream green solutions.

Individuals have a role to play in changing social norms and mindsets through leading by example in their social circles. Whether it’s installing solar panels and sharing the experience, bringing reusables to the grocery store, or hosting documentary screenings on green issues for friends and neighbors, personal actions can inspire others in the community. On social media, people can generate positive peer pressure by posting about sustainable lifestyle choices and the benefits of various green technologies. Educating family, peers and the next generation is pivotal for accelerating cultural shifts that support broad adoption of renewable solutions. Individual attitudes and conversations influence consumer trends, political will formation, and ultimately, the transition trajectory of whole economic systems.

Individuals can contribute their skills, time and expertise directly to the development and deployment of green technologies through partnerships with non-profits, research institutions and startups. For instance, talented engineers, designers and policy specialists could provide pro-bono consulting to solar entrepreneurs or emissions tracking non-profits. Environmentally-minded professionals also have an opportunity to work for or invest in cleantech companies driving solutions. Students can advance knowledge through thesis research on green innovations. Volunteer initiatives are another avenue for hands-on assistance with projects like community solar panel installations, electric vehicle infrastructure developments, or pollution monitoring programs. Direct involvement multiplies human capital supporting climate solutions.

So While governments and corporations certainly play a large role in the energy transition, focused and coordinated action by individuals has enormous power to both directly drive and socially mainstream adoption of green technologies through informed consumer choices, lifestyles, civic participation, social networking, skills-offering and more. Small personal decisions compound into widespread changes as more people embrace sustainability in their daily lives. With numerous entry points for contributing time, money, skills or voice, all individuals have agency to meaningfully accelerate solutions through their individual actions which together can shift economic and political tides in favor of a livable future. Taking advantage of opportunities to participate where able is well worth supporting urgently needed climate progress.


Governments and educators play an important role in facilitating the adoption of disruptive technologies. There are several key strategies and policies they can implement to help smooth the transition to new technologies and ensure societies reap the full benefits of innovation.

Workforce Development and Reskilling: Many disruptive technologies will change the nature of work and require employees to learn new skills. Governments can help workers transition by funding workforce development and reskilling programs. These programs teach soft skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration alongside technical skills for growing technology fields. Reskilling tax credits or subsidies for lifelong learning courses and certifications can help workers continually adapt. Educators also have a role to play through vocational and technical schools that offer short-term credentials tailored for emerging jobs.

Partnerships for Technology Exposure: Governments and schools can partner with private tech companies to provide exposure to new technologies through apprenticeships, internships, lab spaces and hackathons. This gives students and workers hands-on experience with technologies like AI, robotics, blockchain and virtual/augmented reality. It also allows companies insight into the skills needed for their future workforces, helping education better prepare graduates. Partnerships may involve companies donating equipment, offering tours of facilities or having employees teach short courses.

Funding for R&D and Innovation: Significant and sustained public funding for research and development is important to drive technological progress. While the private sector leads commercial development, there are social and economic benefits from early-stage exploration. Governments fund basic research through grants to universities, start-up accelerators and public sector pilot programs of emerging technologies. Educators train the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators critical to national competitiveness in a globally innovative economy.

Ensure Equal Access: Not all regions or communities may have the means or infrastructure to access and adopt new technologies at the same pace without support. Governments can help address digital and technological divides through programs that expand high-speed broadband access, especially in rural areas. They fund computer and connectivity programs for underserved schools. Subsidies, grants or tax incentives encourage businesses in lagging areas to invest in new technologies. Equal access ensures equal opportunities for participation and benefits in the digital economy regardless of geography, income or other factors.

Development of Ethics Frameworks: With great technological power comes great responsibility. Government oversight and guidelines help steer technological development and adoption along ethical and beneficial paths addressing issues like privacy, security, bias and environmental impact. Educators play a role in developing curriculum that cultivate skills for the ethical design, application and governance of technologies. Frameworks and standards provide responsibilities for all participants and reassure public that precautions are in place to maximize benefits and mitigate potential harms.

Strategies for Technology Diffusion: Promoting awareness, demonstration projects and incentives accelerate adoption of value-adding innovations. For instance, governments acted as launching customers for green technologies to lower costs through scaled production. They support education and extension programs to spread knowledge of promising new tools. Subsidies, tax breaks or low-cost loans encourage businesses and consumers to experiment with novel technologies. Educators incorporate learning about technologies into curriculum to expose more people to possibilities and merits at an early age. Widespread modeling and positive experiences build network effects driving broader uptake.

Continuous Public Engagement: An informed and understanding public is more welcoming of changes brought by disruptive forces. Governments regularly engage citizens through town halls, reports and online forums to discuss technology trends, gather perspectives and ensure transparency. They commission national technology assessments and roadmaps open for feedback. Educators structure projects and activities fostering dialogue between technologists and communities. Exchanges create shared visions for best navigating short and long term impacts – building consensus for policies guiding introduction of innovations in a socially optimal way.

Through workforce development investments, public-private partnerships, funding for R&D, equitable access programs, ethical frameworks, strategies for diffusion, and ongoing engagement, governments and educators play a vital role in ushering societies smoothly into a tech-driven future with minimal friction. Proactive multi-stakeholder involvement paves the way for maximizing societal returns from transformative technologies by having people ready, willing and able to participate fully in related opportunities on offer. Coordinated efforts across these fronts help ensure the promise of innovation is broadly fulfilled for current and future generations.


Colleges have an important responsibility to develop and utilize AI technologies in a responsible manner that protects students, promotes ethical values, and benefits society. There are several key steps colleges should take to help achieve this.

Governance and oversight are crucial. Colleges should establish AI ethics boards or committees with diverse representation from students, faculty, administrators, and outside experts. These groups can develop policies and procedures to guide AI projects, ensure alignment with ethical and social values, and provide transparency and oversight. Regular reviews and impact assessments of AI systems should also take place.

When developing AI technologies, colleges need processes to identify and mitigate risks of unfairness, bias, privacy issues and other harms. Projects should undergo risk assessments and mitigation planning during design and testing. Approval from ethics boards should be required before AI systems interact with or impact people. Addressing unfair or harmful impacts will help build student, faculty and public trust.

Colleges should engage students, faculty and the public when developing AI strategies and projects. Open communication and feedback loops can surface issues, build understanding of how technologies may impact communities, and help develop solutions promoting fairness and inclusion. Public-facing information about AI projects also increases transparency.

Fairness and non-discrimination must be core priorities. Colleges should establish processes and guidelines to identify, evaluate, and address potential unfair biases and discriminatory impacts from data, algorithms or system outcomes during the entire AI system lifecycle. This includes monitoring deployed systems over time for fairness drift. Diverse representation in AI teams can also help address some biases.

Privacy and data security are also critical to uphold. Clear and careful management of personal data used in AI systems is needed, including obtaining informed consent, limiting data collection and sharing to authorized uses only, putting security safeguards in place, and providing options for individuals to access, correct or delete their data. Anonymizing data where possible can further reduce risks.

Accountability mechanisms need implementation as well. Colleges should take responsibility for the proper development and oversight of AI technologies and be able to explain systems, correct errors and address recognized harms. Effective auditing of AI systems and documentation of processes helps ensure accountability. Whistleblower policies that protect those who report issues also support accountability.

Transparency about AI technologies, their capabilities and limitations is important for building understanding and managing expectations. Colleges need to clearly communicate with stakeholders about the purpose of AI systems, how they work, what data they use, how decisions are made, limitations and potential risks. Accessible explanations empower discussion and help ensure proper and safe use of technologies.

Workforce considerations are also important. As AI adoption increases, colleges play a key role in preparing students with technical skills as well as an understanding of AI ethics, biases, fairness, transparency, safety and human impacts. Curricula, certificates and training in these fields equip students for careers developing and overseeing responsible AI. Colleges also need strategies to help faculties and staff adapt to changing roles and responsibilities due to AI.

Partnerships can amplify impact. Colleges collaborating with companies, non-profits and other educational institutions on AI responsibility multiplies their capacity and influence. Joint projects, research initiatives, policy development and resources promote best practices and ensure new technologies serve public good. Partnerships also strengthen ties within communities and help address societal AI challenges.

Through proactive governance, risk assessment, public engagement, accountability mechanisms and workforce preparation, colleges can help realize AI’s promise while avoiding potential downsides. Integrating ethics into technology development supports student and community well-being. With leadership and vigilance, colleges are well-positioned to establish frameworks supporting responsible and beneficial AI.