Sunday, August 16, 2009

The 100th Monkey

In 1952, a group of scientists were conducting a study of macaques monkeys on the Japanese island of Koshima. For years, these monkeys had been eating sweet potatoes without washing them until one day the scientists observed a single monkey that began to wash his sweet potatoes before eating it. Day-by-day this monkey began teaching other monkeys until something very strange happened. When the total number of monkeys on that island that were washing their sweet potatoes before eating them reached about 100, thousands of monkeys on nearby islands began to do the same. Somehow the new-found idea of washing the vegetable before eating it had migrated instantaneously into the minds of monkeys that were miles away, separated by vast stretches of sea. Today this phenomena is referred to as "The 100th Monkey Phenomena".

Little Green Genie is a 100th Monkey idea. Already users of the software are telling us that because they use their computers everyday, that zero carbon email signature on their outbound emails is a constant reminder of their power to impact the environment. Since using the software they have replaced light bulbs, or turn things off where previously they didn't. More than that though, they are raising their general awareness about climate change - which can't help but raise the awareness of those they interact with.

I wonder - will we see a mass and sudden migration to green in the coming years purely by more of us raising our awareness about the issues? Let's hope so!

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