will.i.am at Fortune Brainstorm Green conference

will.i.am at Fortune Brainstorm Green conference

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Will.i.am, Bea Perez from The Coca-Cola Company and Dean Kamen joined Andy Serwer on stage at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference yesterday (1st May) to discuss design, innovation, and sustainabilit.

Click to read more for an unedited transcript.

will.i.am:  (In progress) ‑‑  sit down and pitch it to you guys at Coca-Cola.  She never heard the idea, but she was open minded enough to be like, okay, I’ll set up a meeting.  So, I didn’t think that was going to be the result.  I thought I was going to get like the traditional, okay, let me contact your manager, or the blah, blah, blah.

So, I had to make my deck.  I was on the road.  I made my deck.  I made my presentation.

ANDY SERWER:  Sounds familiar to other people out there.

BEA PEREZ:  Yes, but I have to interrupt him.  That wasn’t any deck.  We’re talking about a hand-carved booklet, of course, with a nice green cover that said “Eco Cycle.”  And every page you turned was a narrative.  And it was unfolding a picture of how Will wanted to paint a better place for the future generations.  It captured your heart, your soul, every emotion you could even think of.  And I’ll let you keep telling the story, but it was the most powerful thing, not just any deck.  I’ve never seen any deck like this one before.

will.i.am:  It’s intimidating, you know, to be in front of like all the top Coke execs.  So, I’m sitting there.  I wasn’t sweating, but I was sweating on the inside.

ANDY SERWER:  I know that feeling.

will.i.am:  Because you don’t want to show it.  And I presented the concept.  And the big catch for me was how to convey around the concept of sustainability, how does Coca-Cola become a verb.  And if you don’t believe that verbs are important for companies to become, you should Google it.


will.i.am:  So, verbs are important today.  What’s the action from a brand?  What does it mean?  How do they become pillars that hold up the tent around society?  So Eco Cycle was that verb, taking Coca-Cola, taking the word Coke, flipping it, becoming ecoc, and you could have eco cycles, eco consciousness, eco consumption, eco cool, eco credibility, eco centers.  You could do things like that with your verb, becoming a verb.  And the technology allows you to do that, to take plastic bottles and turn them into pants, to take aluminum and turn them into glasses, and creating a commodity out what one would call waste.  So, it’s only waste because you waste the opportunity to turn it into something else.  So, that was the concept.

ANDY SERWER:  And so some of the specific things that you’re doing right now?

will.i.am:  So now, since 2009, we’ve ironed out, fix, fix, fix, all the holes in what I presented in 2009, and I was touring so of course there were going to be holes.  So, we fixed those holes.

BEA PEREZ:  There weren’t that many holes.

will.i.am:  So, we fixed them.  And now we have Beats Eco Cycle as a partner, we have Ruka Eco Cycle, MCM Eco Cycle, Levis Eco Cycle, Case Made Eco Cycle, New Era Hat Eco Cycle, Adidas Eco Cycle, and now the NBA Eco Cycle.

ANDY SERWER:  All right.  We’re going to ask you to flesh some of that a little bit more, and I’m also going to ask you where you got that jacket, because I’ve got to get one.  I’m sure I can’t afford it.  It’s awesome.  I mean, really.  I don’t think I would wear it quite as well, but that’s a whole other thing.

Dean, so the same kind of question for you, and w want you to talk all about Slingshot.  It’s just really super cool.  It’s just another thing that you’ve done that’s kind of mind-blowing.  Can you talk about the genesis and also how you connected with Coke?

DEAN KAMEN:  I’m happy to tell you how we connected to Coke ‑‑ (off mike) ‑‑

ANDY SERWER:  His mike is not hot.  Heat up his mike.

DEAN KAMEN:  It’s not plugged in.

ANDY SERWER:  You’ve got to lean in.  You knew we would have to say that at some point in this conference, right?

DEAN KAMEN:  How’s that?

ANDY SERWER:  Good.  Sorry about that.  Okay, go ahead.

DEAN KAMEN:  I’ll be happy to tell you how we connected with Coke, but I also have to for one minute tell you how we connected with Will.  He reached out to Coke in ‘9, and in ’10 I get a call from Will.  He had known a little about FIRST, my program for kids and technology.  And out of the blue, hey, Dean, you’ve been making statements that kids have the wrong heroes.  They’re all from one industry, entertainment.  And I figured, oh-oh, here’s an entertainer about to beat me up.  He said, I agree with you.  And I love technology.  How can I help?

Well, Will, I just heard you’re going to do the halftime show for the ultimate of all sports in this country, the Super Bowl, why don’t you finish that in January and then in April do a whole halftime show at the Championship of FIRST?  And he said, okay.

ANDY SERWER:  Does everyone know what FIRST is?

DEAN KAMEN:  FIRST is a program that gets kids excited about science and technology.  It’s robotics.  This year we had 29,000 schools from 69 countries, about a million kids, but we filled the arena under the arch in St. Louis, and Will and the Black Eyed Peas back then came and did an entire show for us.  And he’s been a big supporter ever since.  He was with us at this year’s championship a couple of days ago.  So, thank you for that Will.

will.i.am:  He’s being modest about what FIRST is.  U.S. FIRST, you know when you watch television and you watch the news, and we’re talking about this American educational crisis, and we talk about how America is not leading when it comes to kids compared to the developing world.  Well, if there was a fix where you could actually just plug it in and change America like that, it would be U.S. FIRST.  Before I said, okay, I’ll perform at the U.S. FIRST halftime and do a Super Bowl for the Super Bowl of the Mind.  He was like, you need to come by and check out the kickoff.  So I went to New Hampshire, and I saw ‑‑

DEAN KAMEN:  In January, he leaves LA to come ‑‑ now that’s commitment ‑‑ to New Hampshire for my kickoff.  And, by the way, he shows up and we have thousands of corporate sponsors, literally thousands of them there or this night to kickoff the new season with the new rules and the new game.  And at the end of the evening, he was staying over as a houseguest, because it was last minute.  And everybody leaves, and I figured, boy, he must be charged up.  And I said, Will, now you see the excitement, can you really make this thing cool to kids, because we’re the best kept secret in the world except for those schools we’re in.  And he looks right at me, I’m sure you remember this, and he says, Dean, I can’t make this cool.  And I’m thinking, oh, no.  He said, I can’t make this cool.  It’s already cool.  But I can make it loud.  And he did.

will.i.am:  Yes, we were in his library.  And there were magnificent people in the room.  I’m like, wow, you’re from the Department of Defense.  It was like the wizards of the world.  So then I’m like, I know how to make it loud.  Why don’t we put it on TV?  They were like, we’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to put this on TV or we would have had it on TV already.  I said, no, no, no, we’ve got to rethink it.  I’ll come back to you and figure out a way to do it.

So, I went back on tour.  I didn’t know how I was going to get it on TV, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do the show.  So, I brought our whole tour stage and landed it at the U.S. FIRST Championships in St. Louis, not knowing how I was going to pull it off, but after we filmed all the content I called up ABC and bought the time myself.  I said, hey, why don’t I just call ABC, call them on the phone, we just did the Super Bowl, and ask them if I could buy an hour worth of time and turn it into a Back To School Special.

DEAN KAMEN:  By the way, the hour of time he bought, I’ve come to know, I don’t know much about TV, was something like seven o’clock Sunday night, which is their sacred hour for kids, and all that.  He bought the hour.  And then I started calling all our big sponsors and say, you’re all going to buy an ad to make this thing work.  And every one of them did.  So, it was great.

will.i.am:  But you’ve got to see these kids.  Two years ago they were like nine to 18.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a six-year-old, building.  He was like, we’re getting even younger, we’re going to get these kids started at an even earlier age so that when they get 12 it’s already ingrained, and they know exactly what they want to become.

BEA PEREZ:  Even with Legos, because he’s the first Lego ‑‑

will.i.am:  Just amazing.

DEAN KAMEN:  One of our partners is the Lego company, and Kjeld Kristansen, Chairman of Legos, flew over.  But this year we had 21,000 FIRST Lego.

ANDY SERWER:  Can the three of you guys just move to Washington, D.C., and run the country, because I think would work a lot better than what we’ve got right now.

I do want you to talk about Slingshot.  I’m sorry, go ahead.

BEA PEREZ:  But it is connected.  As you talk about Slingshot, that generation, those are the kids that turn into adults who are changing the world, who I’m convinced they will all work for Dean at some point and build 1,000 more Slingshots, or whatever they become.

DEAN KAMEN:  So, truth be told, we didn’t start out trying to figure out how to make potable water for the world.  I’ve spent 30 years; my day job is mostly building medical equipment for most of the big guys in the pharmaceutical companies, medical products companies.  And with one of my partners we pretty much ‑‑ they supply virtually the world of home peritoneal dialysis.  We delivered more than 250 million therapies.  And many, many years ago I went back to them after we made the first practical, small, home device that you could dialyze yourself, get out of these centers, have the dignity, have a quality of life.  And it works.  The trouble is, every day you need to cycle through that machine about four or five gallons, and I don’t mean pure water, like we have drinking water, we take it for granted in this country.  You try to take tap water from anywhere in this country and run it through your veins you’re not going to be living in a few minutes.

So, I said, look, the next thing we ought to do to advance this dialysis even further is figure out how to not require, once we place a machine in somebody’s home for the rest of their life, or until they get a kidney transplant, not require shipping tons and tons of bags of sterile water all over the world to hundreds of thousands of patients.

I said, I know what we’ll do; we’ll just filter it.  Well, it turns out, you can’t as a practical matter filter your way to water for injection.  The U.S. pharmacopoeia standard is high.  You can’t do it.  I said, all right, we’ll use the gold standard that’s used in the pharmaceutical industry; we’ll distill the water.  But, I’ve got to make a small, simple, quiet, reliable device that can make pure water even out of the tap water you get, absolutely pure water anywhere in the world, from any local water.  And it has to be something you can plug into an ordinary outlet in a home.

And it was simple.  After about 10 years we were just about there and then I realized, wait a minute, it not only will take pretty good tap water, since it’s a distiller, and make it pure.  If the inlet water is a latrine, if it’s a chemical waste site, if it’s salt water from the ocean, if it’s toxic waste, it’s the gold standard.  We make the world’s purest water out of anything.  And I said, I can certainly make the lives of a couple of hundred thousand patients a lot more convenient by giving them this, but they have another alternative.  There are a couple of billion people that are sick every day.  There are a couple of four or five millions kids that are dying every year, because they don’t have clean water.  This thing could be scaled, actually, from where it was it could be scaled up a little.  It could make 1,000 liters, 250 gallons a day, enough for 100 people.


DEAN KAMEN:  Per day, I said, each ‑‑ and if you’ve got a village that’s 200 or 300, or 500 people, use two or three or five machines.  Get some competition going.  So, I immediately started figuring how to scale this machine so it would be small enough you cold carry it, but big enough that it would meaningfully supply, let’s say, per machine 100 people.

Here’s the rub.  Once I knew I could make a machine at that scale, I went to all my ‑‑ the industry I know, the medical companies, and they all told me the same thing.  Dean, we love you, we love you, but we know why you come to us.  We’re giants.  We serve people in 40 countries, 50 countries, 60, all of Europe, and North America, and Japan.  But, of the 206 countries on the planet, even the biggest of the pharmaceutical companies don’t have great effective reach into 150 of them.  They just don’t go there.  Those people don’t have sophisticated medical technology.

So, I’m thinking this thing is going to remain a science fair project for a long time.  What am I going to do?  I went to the United Nations.  I went to the World Bank.  I said I’ll give it to you.  I don’t want royalties over this.  I can use it for my medical clients.  You can get it out there.  They all said, yes, it’s a great idea.  We don’t have any more capability to put products in the world than you do.

And suddenly, because of FIRST, I’m down in Atlanta, I see that big Coca-Cola.  I mean, Coca-Cola, they’re not really a soft drink company.  That’s their sideline.  They are the world’s largest logistics footprint.  They bottle their product in 206 countries.  There’s no village you can go to in the world, if there’s one product you can buy anywhere it’s a Coke.  So, I went to see them and said you’ve got a system, what if you could help us put our machines in places around the world, and give people life.  I mean 50 percent of all the hospital beds in the world have people in them, because of bad water.  So, Coke, you could become the world’s largest healthcare provider, just help me get these machines out.

ANDY SERWER:  Right.  So, Bea, what did you guys say?  Did you think it was a wacky idea?

BEA PEREZ:  Well, every idea that’s wacky also has a good purpose behind it, especially when Dean is involved.  And I’ll give credit to our CEOs.  And it was now Muhtar Kent who said we’re going to take this idea and we’re going to scale it.  And you heard over the last few days here this notion around self-interest, and that that’s okay.  Well, there’s a couple of things that are happening here.  One is, I think everyone knows that 90-plus percent of this product is water.  And we are going to grow our business.  We’ve publicly claimed we’re going to double our business by 2020.  How are we going to do that?  We’re going to do it in a lot of these countries that are dealing with water stress.

So, we have an accountability to make sure that before we even open up a new operation that we’re mindful of what’s happening in that community and that we’re putting in the water infrastructure, helping to replenish those communities, and bring them access to fresh, clean drinking water first.  Then, down the road we can have a viable business.

So, there’s some self-interest, because we know water is the single most important issue that we face around the world, and it’s solvable.  We absolutely know that.

And leveraging Dean’s technology he gave us an additional way to leverage technology, to bring it into these communities that a lot of people won’t go into.  And that was pretty powerful, because we do have 400 water projects in 96 countries.  What this added in was this gave us the ability to localize in school in Ghana, in the video that was running here, five schools instant access.  You saw the kids turn on the taps.  If you could see their faces when they turn on the taps it was the first time that one of those kids didn’t have to walk five hours in the morning to go collect water that was clean from a nearby village.  And they were able to stay in school, which meant that they didn’t fall behind in their grades.  And then they could still participate with their family activities.

So, it’s a game changer.  That’s what Dean brought to the table.  We have a CEO who I think everyone probably who reads our annual reports knows that we don’t just have pure business objectives.  One of our six critical objectives that every executive in our business is held accountable to is called Planet.  And we have very distinct goals.

ANDY SERWER:  Can I ask you guys just to give rapid-fire specs on where you actually stand?  You said 1,000 liters a day.  How much does it cost?  How much does it cost to run?  It is really being rolled out?  How does it work?  Do you just ‑‑ are you just giving these things to villages, or can you guys talk about that quickly?

DEAN KAMEN:  So, if you looked at that video, a couple of years ago when Coke said, great, we’ll give it a try, build us some prototypes, you saw them moving them there, six feet high, and they weigh about at the time 600, 700 pounds.  It had the identical performance of what was in here, but it was all handmade stuff.  We put those in Ghana, and between November and March, last year, we produced 140,000 liters of pure water in five of these schools.  And each machine worked flawlessly without a hiccup.  So, then Coke came back and said, all right, Dean, we’ll give you some support to tool it up, make it smaller, make it lighter, so we can move it around.  This machine weighs substantially under 300 pounds.  It does produce 1,000 liters a day.  It will run on less power than a handheld hair dryer.

ANDY SERWER:  Per day, that’s the run rate.

DEAN KAMEN:  That’s what it runs.  It needs no filters, no membranes, no chemicals, no chlorine, nothing.  And the goal is you can let it sit out there and with very minimal oversight.  You don’t have to pretest the water.  It doesn’t matter.  Organics, inorganics, cryptosporidium, hexavalent chrome, arsenic, we don’t care.

BEA PEREZ:  And to answer Andy’s question, to this point, it’s really easy, I think, for corporations to give up and find 200 reasons why something can’t be done.  And you know, you pointed out; it’s not cheap to invest in this.  Dean already invested 10 years in helping that technology become what it is today and to take it to this next level.  What Coca-Cola did is we said, yes, okay, so we learned a lot from the test in Ghana.  And some things didn’t work out the way we all planned.  I mean we didn’t plan to have a forklift to have to put it into a certain location.  We want the community to be able to manage it.

There were many things ‑‑ what I really am proud of my company for is, instead of saying, okay, well here is the report on all the things that went wrong and let’s just shut it down, Muhtar Kent said, no.  Let’s keep investing, innovation is so important to society and to where we’re headed, and to sustainability that we need to invest and take this to the next level, and that’s when Muhtar and Dean sat in a room and said, we’re going to scale this to the point of offering a 500 million liters of water, as we start to scale these machines, in countries that a lot of people will not be in.  So, you can start to ‑‑ your brain can go a little wild.  We haven’t announced all our countries.  But, what I will tell you is that right now we have one unit in Paraguay that we’re testing out this evolution.  We have three locations in Mexico we’re going into.  We’ll be in South Africa very soon.  And the list goes on and on.

So, those are the ones we’ve publicly stated.  And it’s the same thing, as I look at ‑‑ I feel very fortunate to sit between two phenomenal inventors and creators, and passionate people who innovate on a daily basis.  And it’s not unlike the programs we have with will going on.  I mean asking manufacturers to change how they manufacture their jeans, or their headphones, things are going to go wrong, absolutely.  It’s how you build the bridge and the partnership to deal with things when they go wrong, to ultimately improvement, to not give up, because if we give up, we’re giving up on society.


BEA PEREZ:  And that’s what I think ultimately we have to understand.

ANDY SERWER:  Let me ask will, so how involved, and there are a million questions, like how does it work, will, how involved are you in the actual processes in terms of getting materials, understanding what materials are used to make what products?  How hands-on are you?

will.i.am:  So, the wonderful thing about Eco Cycle, we don’t claim that we’re the world’s fist company that makes products out of sustainable materials.  What I learned was, in my travels, that X company will make one item that’s green, out of sustainable materials and it gets swallowed by their business.  So, they’ll do one little thing here and it’s kind of cool.  I prefer the one that’s not green, because the style and design that they put for the green stuff it ain’t cool.


will.i.am:  And the stuff that is cool you find in Holland, you’re on a trip in Holland you’re like, wow, look at these shoes.  Those are made out of tires.  Then you bring them home and you really can’t find them anywhere.  And they cost you ‑‑ those tire shoes cost like $1,000 and they made like 10 of them.  So, I’m like, wow, I went to Barney’s.  I saw that shirt that’s made out of plastic bottles.  It didn’t really look at good as the one made out of silver cotton.  So, I was like, you know, let’s make this Eco Cycle thing that allows brands to bring their sustainable efforts in and under this umbrella called Eco Cycle, around these sensibilities.

So, to answer your question directly, I put my hand in the sensibility that companies should follow suit to make it this uniform concept.  And if Ruca does a pair of shorts, they’re going to benefit from Beats headphones, they’re going to benefit being associated with Levi’s 501s.  They’re going to benefit from Adidas shoes and jerseys that we’re going to do for next year’s NBA season.  So, it’s like this uniform around agents of change.

ANDY SERWER:  Right.  Let me ask you a question, will, how did you get your mind into this particular cause, for lack of a better word?  I mean, in other words, some people care about hunger, some people care about politics, but you chose to sort of go the sustainability route.  What spurred you to do that?

will.i.am:  I get involved in politics, but I don’t like to call it politics.  I just call it social activism around community, and how paying attention to certain things would change your community and your tomorrow.  So, I get involved when I see my fit, being authentic.  So, this particular venture and passion point came from three things, really:  One, that trip to Holland when I saw those tire shoes.

ANDY SERWER:  That was for real?

will.i.am:  Right, that’s for real.  And then ‑‑

ANDY SERWER:  I thought it was a metaphorical.

will.i.am:  No, I do metaphors sometimes.

ANDY SERWER:  We all do.

will.i.am:  But, this it was for real, for real.  And then I went to CGI, Clinton Global Initiative, and I sat and I heard about the G8 Millennium Goals of 2008.  So, I’m like, wow.  This is right after we did the Yes, We Can for Obama.  And I’m sitting there in New York, and I’m learning about how certain companies should adhere to the millennium goals and Coke being zero waste by year 2020.  And other companies, and things they have to do, and how crowded the planet is going to be in the year 2020, and how are we going to feed everybody.  So, I started like it really hit me.  And then right after that we had a concert and usually when we have a big concert in a stadium, we do a quick out.  Like, we’ll be like, I’ve got a feeling, and the music stops, and it will play again, and we duck out the back and ride away.  And everybody is like, oh, they’re coming back, but we’re gone.

ANDY SERWER:  That’s how it works?

will.i.am:  No, because then you’re stuck in traffic.  So, this time we missed the quick out.  We’re like darn it.  So, now we have to wait two hours.  So, it was the first time I sat and saw the aftermath of our show.  So, we’re back stage.  We’re like, okay, let’s just party on the stage and bring people from the audience to party with us.  That sounds like a good evening while we’re in ‑‑ I think we were in Chile or something.  So, we’re over there in Chile, partying, and I see just this sea of trash.  I’m like, wow, and I just remembered what I experienced at CGI.  And a lot of times we walk around elbowless.  What I mean by that is, when you walk around with no elbows all you can do is point at other people, because you can’t point at yourself.  So, I decided to bend a little bit and point at me as one of the people that contribute to landfills and waste, and the mess, via consumption, or bringing people together, and not being accountable.

So, I was like, you know, I don’t want to be one of those guys.  I’m going to point at myself, because I brought these people together.  One time I wrote songs that galvanized a whole bunch of people that caused a whole bunch of weight.  People went and bought things, and chucked them, with no type of sensibility in how to act when they’re at a concert.  There’s no responsibility, there’s no accountability.  We buy things.  We throw things when there are trashcans right over there.  But, why are they going to chuck them in the trashcan if nobody gives them a reason to take a couple of steps and put it in that recycle bin.  How does my activity and culture, and society lend the whole concept to I’m going to buy this water bottle, chuck it here, because it’s going to turn into something else.  So, that’s when it all came ‑‑ when I had the idea.


ANDY SERWER:  That’s great.  That’s a real epiphany, a real moment like that.  So, I want to throw it open to questions from the audience.  We’re going to turn the lights up for that.  Do we have any questions from the audience?  Right here, here, or here.

QUESTION:  Hi, Jeff Rochester with the Nature Conservancy.  Hey, Bea, could you talk a little bit about the implications of Slingshot and the kiosk to women, because I think that’s a very interesting story?

BEA PEREZ:  Yes.  So what Jeff brought up, and some of you may know, we’ve grouped our activities in sustainability into people, communities and environment.  And across the top, all with a vision of zero waste, across the top wellbeing, women and water are highly connected.

So, as Dean was talking to us about the Slingshot, and really coming up with a bigger idea, it was how do we bring our program to empower five million women by 2020 together with the initiatives in water as well as wellbeing because we know that half the hospital beds in the world are occupied by people with water-born illness.  How do you link all these assets together?

So, what Will referenced earlier, and he named it, we came up with a bigger idea.  You call it a kiosk, we now call it an Eco Center.  It was how do you bring a community in a box into places that lack access to water, energy, telecommunications, entertainment, education.  And so this Eco Center, which is a 20-foot container, inside of it has a Slingshot.  It can be powered by any power source, whether it’s solar panels or the Sterling engine that you might have seen outside, so any energy source.  It will have refrigeration for vaccines.  It will have TV units to either plug in remote education programming, or the World Cup, or one of Will’s concerts.  And so you’re bringing it all together.

It’s being run by a woman entrepreneur who we will be working on a business model to say, okay, how can she also sustain it over time.  So, what’s in it for her or for her community?  How is she going to generate some revenue to sustain it, and be able to sell goods out of it that are relevant to her local environment.  So, we have brought on some partnerships, because we know we can’t do it alone.  It requires partnerships.  You might have heard us talk about the Golden Triangle with business, government, NGOs, civil society.  And in this case we have partners like the Inter-American Development Bank for Latin America.  We have Africare in Africa.  We have Qualcomm for some of the communications.  NRG, I’m not sure if I can say them all, but we do have partners.  And you’ll be continuing to read more about it.

Our intent is to have this program be brought together so we can truly drive scale in some of the most remote locations.  And we recognize we’re going to learn.  So, we’re placing some of those first Eco Centers in Mexico and Africa very soon.  And as we continue to learn as we place them we’ll continue to improve and evolve them.

ANDY SERWER:  We had another question right here.

QUESTION:  Yes.  I’m Ellen Winerib (ph).  I have a question for Dean about Slingshot and the lifecycle of the product and the end of life.  I’m sure you’ve thought about that.  I wonder if you could address that, please?

DEAN KAMEN:  We can, and since you were looking for metaphors, the metaphor I’ll give you for that is, you can go up into the clouds and you don’t see osmosis membranes up there, you don’t see chemicals, you don’t see all the different systems we use to remediate different kinds of problems in water.  You asked how it works.  It works like nature does.  Nature takes water out of the ocean, and leaves the salt behind.  Nature will take surface water out of the most polluted latrine with bioburn.  Basically you go up into a cloud, and the only thing that gets up there is nice, pure, naturally distilled water.  It gets cold, it reconverts back to a liquid from a vapor, and it comes down.

Basically our goal was to go into the developing world, we figure they’re not going to have sophisticated ways to test for what’s wrong with the water, or figure out how much of this or that to use to remediate it.  We said the entire operating system or the instruction set would be, the little device has two hoses on it.  One of them you stick in anything that looks wet, and out of the other one comes pure water, like nature.  What we really do is, we run the water from any source through the machine, and then we, in a very concentrated way, very quickly vaporize it, quickly recondense it.  The magic, though, is that it takes an enormous amount of energy, normally, if you were going to literally do that to 100,000 liters of water, it would take 25 kilowatts of continuous power.

The magic in the closed system is we keep recycling the same energy.  In fact, once it’s running, we don’t even have any heaters, just the energy it takes to run the compressors is all it takes to keep the cycle going.  We have 25 kilowatts continually going through our heat exchanges, but virtually no heat source coming in.

Therefore, most of the machine, to answer your question, is now plastics, so that we don’t have corrosion problems, and we essentially levitate the one high speed rotating component, drive it magnetically with a system of motors that keep all the seals and all the moving parts away from all the fluid, both the inlet fluid and the outlet fluids, so that it should have very, very long life with very, very low maintenance.

But in the end we’re expecting it to run a million liters, a thousand liters a day for a thousand days minimum, three or four years, and then it will take probably a cleaning.  We don’t know what, if anything else, we need to do.  But the goal and with the help of Coke we keep reducing the size, weight and cost, and increasing the life expectancy before it needs to even be overhauled.

ANDY SERWER:  There is so much more to talk about, but unfortunately we are out of time.  And I thought this was a really terrific session, very inspirational, and a lot of great ideas.  So, please join me in thanking Dean Kamen, Bea Perez, and will.i.am.

Thank you guys.

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