Entrepreneurs with Conscience release Genie – 26th September 2007
One important result of the launch of Entrepreneurs with Conscience earlier this year in Bath, was that low carbon entrepreneurs Karl Watkin and Michael Edge rescued the children’s climate change book, The Genie in the Bottle, written by fellow event attendee, and intensive care specialist, Dr Hugh Montgomery. On hearing of Montgomery’s difficulty in getting the book published, Edge quickly agreed to underwrite the development of the book and teaching materials. Watkin became involved when the high printing costs being quoted by various printers threatened to delay or even cancel the book’s publication.
Montgomery wrote The Genie in the Bottle in order to educate, energise and empower children. The first test-run of 15,000 books is about to go to schools in the UK. In the next year Montgomery and Watkin plan to release the full print run of 2.85 million books into schools across Europe and the US, together with action plans for the children and their parents, and lesson plans for their teachers. Without Edge’s and Watkin’s intervention it’s likely that the project would have stalled and the chance to engage millions of young children and their parents in the fight against climate change would have been lost.
As Montgomery explained: “For some time now, entrepreneur George Polk has been an inspirational guiding hand and supporter of the project. Michael’s initial financial support was crucial in getting Genie to the point where we could contemplate a major print run of 2.85 million books, but there we were stuck until Karl got involved. One mobile phone call (between North London and the Kalahari Desert) and Karl agreed to underwrite the printing costs.”
Watkin’s support encouraged many others to step in with offers of support. The Norton Group took over management of the project and British Telecom agreed to build a website for the project. A film is also planned.
Said Watkin: “Make it happen is my mantra and I just do what I can whenever I see worthwhile projects - such as Hugh’s ‘Genie in the Bottle’ - struggling for lack of support. Entrepreneurs with Conscience is a great vehicle for bringing together entrepreneurs like Michael and me with climate change activists like Hugh. If more of the world’s entrepreneurs did what they could, the battle against climate change would be quickly won.”
Commenting on the value of the event, Montgomery declared: “I liken the Entrepreneurs with Conscience event to nuclear fission: put a group of highly energetic individuals in close proximity, and they reach critical mass.”