Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Virtually Teaming and Green Redevelopment


I managed to stop by the Davis Square Lofts (see logo at right) yesterday afternoon to check out one of the latest green redevelopment efforts in the greater Boston area. Though I did not delve into the technical aspects of what makes the redevelopment "green", I did notice a few things that certainly make it better than a 3,000 sq-ft colonial in the 'burbs; 5-minute walk to the Davis Square T stop (I'm not exaggerating this, as is sometimes done in real estate ads, where "steps to public transportation" could be 10,000 steps or one mile, whichever comes first) ans easy access to a small fleet of Zipcars parked in the building's lot. I don't know if living in the development includes a Zipcar membership, but that would certainly be enticing for urbanites.

The scale of the development, somewhat smaller than the 800 unit development under construction in Lawrence called Monarch on the Merrimack, seemed more "home-like", not quite so starkly former industrial and isolated. Though lofts may appeal to younger and older couples without children, what do the schools' status mean to the people potentially buying the units?

The first online session for my business school experience came and went last night. It was a bit of a trial since the teachers discovered that there was a fair amount of confusion about assignments due to technological challenges. Apparently there was some errors uploading information to the site for student access that caused assignments to be switched around. I found it to be interesting just to listen to the questions from my other classmates and type inane references (just like in third grade...hmm..is there a pattern here?) on the classroom bulletin board. Given some of the comments that I heard, perhaps I am more proactive and prepared than I give myself credit for. There was also a bottleneck to access the session through a portal; I am no techie, but I imagine that the site did not have the bandwidth to handle the influx of people accessing it. Overall, since the session was an introduction, having hiccups now was a good time to have them.

There was something very cool about having people from all over the US and Canada collected together in this small virtual group. I thought it would be somewhat stale and technologically distant, but I have to say that when I logged in I found it exhilarating to be somehow connected to these folks. Given the development of the web of information connecting all corners of the globe (something that can certainly help reduce the need for business travel and the related CO2 emissions) my ability to learn to navigate virtual teams and effectively participate in them will be extremely useful in my career.

Heck, Microsoft is stepping up to offer something to compete with Google's online document sharing services. I have not used either of these services, but their usefulness may be something I investigate in the next few weeks.

News flash re: climate change invsting indices, HSBC Launches Climate Change Investment Indices

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