360 Live Media
360 Live Media is an event strategy and digital marketing agency in Washington, D.C. serving association, professional society, and not-for-profit conferences.

Tapping into Humanity’s Potential

Have you ever wondered what happens to the water after it runs through a hydroelectric dam’s turbines? The wind after it passes through the blades of a wind turbine? Or sunlight upon energizing a solar panel?


The answer is, nothing.  Other than going about their merry way: water flows or evaporates its way back toward the ocean. Wind blows on across the fruited plains.  And sunbeams bounce their way back into outer space at the speed of light.


Some enterprising entrepreneurs have realized that letting these zero-emission natural resources get away scot-free like that does not allow them to live up to their immense potential. And they’ve come up with an ingenious, albeit counterintuitive, way to put these entirely renewable resources to work once more.


Turns out, many of our power generation plants have the potential to produce more power than can be consumed, but lack an effective and efficient way to store the excess electricity. As a result, once capacity is reached, hydroelectric plants divert water from their turbines to their spillway, untaxed and free to explore the country.  Similarly, wind turbines are shifted into neutral or locked in place until needed for power generation once more. Solar plants, simply let the sun shine away.


No more.  Similar to “give a penny, take a penny,” where consumers are encouraged to leave unused change behind so they and others can draw upon it in the future should they come up short someday, the aforementioned entrepreneurs intend to keep the turbines turning and the solar cells charging and use the excess electricity generated to power a motor or to lift enormous blocks of cement atop a giant tower made of entirely of similar blocks, or, perhaps, using the extra electricity to pump excess water uphill to an alpine reservoir.


As long as the surplus of energy holds, the tower of cement blocks would continue to be added to and the reservoir continued to be filled—creating in effect, gigantic batteries of stored potential energy, just waiting to be expended.


Then, in the event additional energy is needed, the tower would simply begin slowly lowering blocks. As the force of gravity pulled the blocks earthward, the very motor that hoisted them into place would now act as an electrical generator, disgorging electricity to the power grid.  Similarly, the alpine reservoir would open its spillways and channel the stored water through its own turbines, turning its vast stores of potential energy into actual, kinetic, energy.


Turns out this huge untapped potential resides almost everywhere and in everything. You just have to know where to look.


In marketing, for instance, it can be found in the whitespace of a blank page.


The potential that resides within that space is immense.  Utilized wisely, it can differentiate one brand from the next, create drama and visual tension that stops readers in their tracks, or, depending upon the organization and placement of the same twenty-six letters available to everyone, be the next creative breakthrough that becomes all the rage.


Which just goes to show, whether creating energy from a tower of bricks or words on the printed page, it’s nearly always the simplest things that have the greatest potential.