Accelerating sustainability solutions in an interconnected world. Highlights from VERGE 16 in Santa Clara along with ongoing coverage of VERGE topics.

A new venture, bext360, has developed a system that verifies beans using smart image recognition. The technology may allow buyers to track provenance of crops more closely, while promising faster payments for local farmers.
Apana, Shell and Veolia use circular principles to retain and recycle water used in farming, fracking and washing machines.

We so take the electricity infrastructure for granted that we fail to recognize it as a potent public policy tool for economic revitalization. Of all large infrastructures in the United States, nothing is more poised for transformative change, with a host of long- and short-term benefits, as today’s electricity delivery system — not roads, not information technology, not oil, coal and natural gas, not entertainment, not retail, not housing construction, not healthcare.

Illinois is centralizing investments in technologies such as the Internet of things, while allowing cities to prioritize according to local needs. Texas may be next.
New advances in technology are sparking efforts to use virtual reality to help people gain a deeper appreciation of environmental challenges.
Could this be the holy-grail application for distributed grid resources?