“I am cautiously optimistic about our chances to create a sustainable energy future on a healthier planet. I am looking for partnerships with scientists, policymakers and business people who feel the same way.”

How can we exploit rapidly advancing computing power to create a faster, more sustainable transition to clean energy and mobility? For more than a decade, this question has consumed my attention. I am Chaired Professor of Information Systems at the University of Cologne and serve as Coordinator of its Key Research Initiative Sustainable Smart Energy and Mobility. I am Director of the Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business and Academic Director of the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics, both at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. I am also an Energy Policy Adviser to the German government and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council.

More importantly, I am a dad. I am trying to ‘walk the talk’ in my personal life – creating a home and transportation lifestyle for my whole family that is as efficient as possible, using smart EV charging and smart tech. But we are also taking some old-fashioned low-tech routes to sustainability: flying less, buying less and repurposing.

Climate change presents an unprecedented global economic and environmental challenge. Nothing short of a revolution in how we produce, distribute and consume energy is vital to prevent catastrophe. Three coordinated, global changes offer us hope:

  1. an electricity market shift toward demand response,
  2. a radical increase in renewable energy production and
  3. the widespread introduction of autonomous information management of electricity systems.

I believe we can prevent catastrophe. I also believe we can provide future generations with a better quality of life than we now have. Are you a scientist, researcher or academic interested in collaboration? Contact me via Twitter or LinkedIn.