The last two days have been a great mental break and an appropriate way to say goodbye to this beautiful city. We've shifted from political mechanics to culture, learning from experience rather than discourse.
I have one last meeting from Friday to share before telling about the weekend. We went to Munich RE, a US$60B company with nearly 45,000 employees, to learn about the DESERTEC initiative. Since they are global agency insuring "acts of God" they have a vested interested in climate change. To introduce their support for DESERTEC they shared that in the last 30 years geophysical catastrophes have remained level while weather related disasters have increased. This has been exacerbated by greater global wealth that allows a larger population to live on sea shores where the most damage is happening. They concluded that it's in their interest to help find ways to reduce global warming and reduce these catastrophes.
The DESERTEC Industrial Initiative is a private ambition to generate 15% of Europe's energy with renewable resources by 2050. A group of 12 companies is initially helping form the foundation and is raising $400B to make it happen. Interestingly there is no new technology necessary; all of it is proven in the market place. The biggest challenge ahead is the cooperation of European and North African nations. During the next three years they are focused on creating momentum for regulatory and legislation issues in the EU and partner countries so that the nations can share their power grids. You can read more here.
Saturday we toured the Paulaner brewery. Its one of six remaining breweries in Munich, originally established by Italian monks. Our guide told us that in 1830 the average person drank six liters of beer a day here! Today it's much less — only 1 liter. One of my favorite part of the tour was the brewing control panel. It was a combination of mosaic ceramic tiles and analog electronics illustrating the plumbing system graphically.
We started today a little later after a late night at P1. At noon we took a boat across Lake Starnberger to the Buchheim Museum to see a collection of German Expressionist paintings and pop art posters.
Now it's time for sleep. Tomorrow Thessaloniki.