Saul Griffith

Makani Power/Squid Labs

Energy Literacy
40 minutes, 18.4mb, recorded 2008-03-04
Saul Griffith

Saul Griffith’s game plan, a solution framework for the climate challenge, begins with a 6-step model. Assume changes in CO2 cause climate changes. Choose a temperature where we’d like to set the planet. From temperature, calculate how much carbon we can burn. Figure out what fuels we can burn. Analyze new energy sources. Finally calculate a new, survivable energy mix. His primer on energy units makes his model accessible to all, no matter their level of technical knowledge.

Griffith then shows the audience how he calculated his personal energy consumption based on his lifestyle and the changes he will need to make to use no more than his share of the total energy resources coming out of his model. He describes the engineering task of creating the new energy mix and ideas that industry could undertake. He ends with a striking object lesson involving a bottle of energy water and finally his sense of what will be the hardest part of implementing his solution.


Saul Griffith is an inventor whose innovations span industrial design, technology, and science education.  Through a variety of endeavors at MIT and as a principal in Squid Labs, Griffith demonstrates his boundless energy for inventing across diverse disciplines in the global public interest. Griffith has multiple degrees in materials science and mechanical engineering and completed his PhD at MIT.  He is the co-founder of numerous companies including: Low Cost Eyeglasses, Squid Labs, Potenco,, HowToons and Makani Power.  Saul has been awarded numerous awards for invention including the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Collegiate Inventor's award, the Lemelson-MIT Student prize, and a 2007 MacArthur Fellowship.  A large focus of Saul's research efforts are in minimum and constrained energy surfaces for novel manufacturing techniques and other applications.  Saul holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, nanotechnology, and energy production. 



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