Heard at VERGE: Highlights from the stage

Heard at VERGE: Highlights from the stage

Jason Crusan, Cady Coleman, Joel Makower
The Photo Group2015
NASA's Jason Crusan, director of advance exploration systems and Cady Coleman, astronaut, with Joel Makower

In just half a decade, the VERGE brand has shaped up from a movement into what GreenBiz chairman Joel Makower calls a market with "trillion-dollar opportunities." The event halls are buzzing as movers and shakers continue to connect the dots of the major themes: smarter and more sustainable cities, supply chains, buildings, water systems, energy, transportation and food production. In a show of hands early in the day, it was clear that most attendees this year are "VERGE virgins."

Below you'll find a choice chorus of voices from the mainstage and from Twitter. Watch on Friday for the GreenBiz 350 podcast here to literally hear highlights from the show. We'll also be publishing keynotes and other key VERGE videos throughout the months to come.

“I wish someone would develop a whitepaper that says solar does protect the roof.” — Robert Eckhardt, director of architecture and renewable energy, Bed Bath & Beyond

“Imagine if you called hotels bed sharing.” — Robin Chase, Zipcar co-founder

“Even without a drought there’s not really enough water for everyone to do whatever we want. We’re running up against peak water in the western United States.” — Peter Gleick, president and co-founder, the Pacific Institute

“[The drought] is the Godzilla of all wakeup calls because this is what climate change is projected to bring us every year.” — Felicia Marcus, chair, California State Water Resources Board

“The space station is our testbed to test some of these technologies before we take them into the future but it’s also your testbed.” — Cady Coleman, NASA astronaut

“If data are not connected, not moving, then you are leaving value on the table — and this is very much a cultural shift.” — Gavin Starks, CEO, Open Data Institute

“This is a way to upgrade the human driver here and today.” — Stefan Heck, CEO, NAUTO

“If you’re trying to find a way to build a great, beloved company that can compete for market share and hearts and minds, we know where the talent is. They just need a shot.” — Van Jones, president & founder, Dream Corps

“We’re looking at how we are tattooing the planet. ... We know the impact we are making is very real and we know we have to make a difference.” — Chris Luebkeman, fellow and global director, ARUP Foresight