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 / Spring 2011 / Issue 62(originally published by Booz & Company)


Stan Ovshinsky’s Solar Revolution

At 88, Ovshinsky is well aware of the actuarial tables, and though he plans to go on working for years, he has structured the new company so that it can function without him. But it’s also clear that he cannot function happily without a group of like-minded souls striving to take his concepts forward.

“I never did this for awards, money, power,” Ovshinsky says. “I did it because it had to be done, and because of my social drive to make a better and more beautiful world. That’s what I started doing when I was knee-high, and I don’t expect to stop now.”

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Author Profile:

  • Lawrence M. Fisher is a writer and consultant based in San Francisco. A contributing editor to strategy+business, he covered technology for the New York Times for 15 years.
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  1. Hellmut Fritzsche and Brian Schwartz (editors), Stanford R. Ovshinsky: The Science and Technology of an American Genius (World Scientific, 2008): An introduction to Ovshinsky’s key innovations and inventions, plus a selection of his most important scientific papers and a listing of his patents by subject.
  2. George S. Howard, Stan Ovshinsky and the Hydrogen Economy: Creating a Better World (Academic Publications, 2006): A detailed account of Ovshinsky’s quest to make hydrogen practical as a transportation fuel.
  3. Eric Spiegel and Neil McArthur, Energy Shift: Game-Changing Options for Fueling the Future (McGraw-Hill, 2009): An overview of the sweeping changes under way in power generation and transportation, and the challenges and opportunities that governments and businesses will face over the next two decades.
  4. Stan Ovshinsky’s Facebook page.
  5. For more on this topic, see the s+b website at:
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