We often get asked: “What is this cleanweb thing then?”, and the answer is usually different depending on who you ask. If I had to summarise it myself though (which I do), it would be something like this:
Cleanweb innovators use web technology to fight climate change, and build a more sustainable and resilient future.
Obviously this glosses over a great many things; just for one, climate change is simply the largest and most pressing of a number of environmental challenges, many of which cleanweb ideas could be applied to.
The fundamental thinking is this though: as technologists, we have incredibly powerful tools at our disposal, and we can use them to help solve the most challenging problems of our times. By doing so, we can make the future a better, smarter, safer place to be for everyone.
Cleanweb doesn’t imply a particular type of solution, or include political judgements on what that future should look like (though of course we all do as individuals). If a startup can cut emissions by making private aviation more efficient, that’s just as valid as another one helping build local food co-operatives.
So what does a cleanweb future look like?
Well, as I’ve said, the exact shape of the future is unknown; we’ll all find our way there together.
However, I believe that web technologies will be a vital component in the inevitable transition to sustainability, and cleanweb will be right in the middle of it. Over the next few years, I hope we will see a flowering of innovation, with thousands of cleanweb projects getting off the ground, trying to make a difference.
Most will fail, but a few will succeed, and a couple might just change the world. Wouldn’t it be cool to be one of them?