Meet Bill Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford and Executive Chair of the Ford Motor Co. As the head of a large auto company, one might not think he would have many environmental proclivities. However, from a childhood filled with fishing trips through the lake country of Michigan to an early fascination with H.D. Thoreau and Aldo Leopold, Ford has held nature as a powerful and formative influence on his life.
Hoping to leave a legacy that extends beyond gridlock and pollution, he hopes to institute smarter urban traffic systems, cleaner cars, and more efficient, smarter vehicle communication technologies. Once thought to have ideas too radical for the company’s old school corporate culture, Ford was told at one point in his career to stop associating with environmentalists. Now, his views concerning lowering emissions and untangling global congestion problems are attracting attention. To hear what Bill Ford plans for the future of his company and the worldwide auto industry, watch his TED talk, “A future beyond traffic gridlock“.
What are your thoughts? Can a car company lead the way for a more sustainable future, or do profit margins obstruct any positive progress? Should we invest in restructuring our cities to accommodate new vehicles, or work towards a higher quality public transport system? As a developed nation, do we have a responsibility to adopt cleaner technologies as a way to set an example for rapidly growing, undeveloped countries?