Can Children’s play produce power? Could theirs be a new renewable energy source to provide clean power in remote, off grid locations? Much to my surprise, yes, today’s technology can turn enthusiastic energy from youngsters into electricity.
I watched the story with interest, and hope for an entirely new source of human capital value, not only for off-grid locations to produce and store power; but also as a potential exercise-based method for people in developing countries to make a living by riding bicycles and other devices that generate power, and can be sold for a profit.
After searching a bit more, I discovered that the idea was patented in 2006 by a University of Michigan professor, Dr. Shunmugham Rajasekara Pandian. Pandian noted that “one to two minutes of playtime can power a 20-watt light bulb for two to three minutes”, in an interview with The Michigan Times.
It’s an interesting example of how play can produce value, and if desired be monetized by transforming it into energy that people want and are willin to pay for. It’s also an example of a new option for developing countries with poor electrical infrastructure. For example, The Wall Street Journal’s Livemint reports that while Indian electricity grew by 4.4% in October of 2008, the power production is still tens of thousands of megawatt hours less than desired targets. India, home to some of the worlds finest software programs, cannot grow effectively without electricity. With labor costs low, I wonder how much this can represent a new business model that creates power while creating a profitable business – not just for children playing, but for “banks” of adult bicyclists peddling for profit and stable electricity for their customers.
The Scientific Leader’s new valuation technique, called the Cue See Model(TM), is an approach to define, measure, and improve the ability to determine the value of investments of all types. Including the value of human activity such as children’s play turned into electricity, it considers the Quality, Cost, Quantity and Cycle Time of all assets working together in combination. Considering the value flow of children’s play, when mixed with Pandian’s invention, it provides yet another example of the ability for inventions to create new business models and solve problems, profitably, and without damaging the environment. Cue See provides a framework to look prospectively, and retrospectively at the value of a buisness or other organization as it transforms raw inputs (e.g. human play) into outputs and outcomes valued by customers and stakeholders. The Cue See Model (TM) is detailed in the forthcoming book, “Leading Scientifically: Managing Risks and Increasing Returns”, to be published in 2009 by Prentice Hall / Pearson Education.
Are you optimistic about this technology? Intrigued by the business potential of it?
Technorati Tags: Energy, Human Capital, Children, Play, Playground, Renewable, Green, Cue See, Intangibles, Valuation, Developing, Power