Jim Balsillie to start work at eco-tech non-profit government agency

By Simon Sage on 25 Jun 2013 02:23 pm EDT
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It seems a little early to be busting out the "Where Are They Now?" episodes, but BlackBerry's ex-co-CEO Jim Balsillie has just taken on a five-year term as the chair of Sustainable Development Technology Canada. The SDTC has about $325 million of the government's money to put towards funding clean technologies that fix issues with climate change, air, soil, and water contamination, and improve the the economic and environmental health of Canadians. That mandate spans projects like solar power, waste management, agriculture, transportation, and lots of other areas. 

Though Balsillie has a ton of experience on the business side of Canadian technology and will no doubt settle into the role comfortably, eco-friendliness has never been a big part of BlackBerry's story, and it should be. I've needled BlackBerry reps about the materials they use in their devices before, and there's not a lot of information to be had. When you contrast this with the initiatives launched by other manufacturers (Sony's old GreenHeart program comes to mind), you've got to wonder what's the hold-up. 

In any case, even though Balsillie doesn't have any more official ties with BlackBerry, it's interesting to see where folks go after such a high-profile position. 

Press Release

SDTC Welcomes Appointment of Jim Balsillie as Chair

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 25, 2013) - SDTC is pleased to welcome Jim Balsillie as Chair of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Balsillie has over 20 years of experience at the senior executive level. He is the co-founder and former co-CEO of Research in Motion (BlackBerry), and the founder and current Chair of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

"This is an exciting time for SDTC, and for cleantech in general, as we set our sights on the dynamic trillion-dollar global cleantech market," said Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. "Mr. Balsillie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to SDTC including a deep understanding of the challenges of commercializing innovation, an awareness of the international drivers for sustainable development, and a demonstrated commitment to strong leadership and governance.Together with the Board of Directors, I warmly welcome Mr. Balsillie to SDTC."

51 comments

QuIcKsIlV3r

I read this earlier, I think this is a great fit for him, and i hope he does well at it

web99

+ 1. Hopefully he will do very well in his new endeavour.

Posted via CB10 from my spectacular Z10

Niktou

True.

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MadMarti

And that's why Crackberry should not stop to ask such delicate questions. Simon, keep on needling them and don't be shy about this. Maybe you must ask them more resolutely. This is a topic which will get more and more pressing fast. While BlackBerry keeps on moving they should show that they care about our resources and environment. And that's why the Q5 should get a big malus in the review regarding the non removable battery. That's something BlackBerry should not get away with as much as I like the company.

So, don't be too kind on this regard, Crackberry! Even if they still have to recover from difficult years it's better they start to act like a green company sooner...

Playbook007

Considering you are forced to buy a new ipod, ipad, macpro,and iphone every year, and they all contain batteries that you cannot remove, besides the fact that the devices use heavy metals, then I would say Apple has a much greater environmental impact on the environment due to hardware turnover for massive profits, bar none

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Playbook007

Not to give you a hard time, but companies strive to earn profits yes, and we must! However, I own a company and I do take offense to the general belief that this is a bad thing! I would advise anyone never to work for a company that doesn't if you have a choice. Please don't confuse good companies to bad companies. What is a bad company? Well the list can be very long, but there also is a massive list of companies that are good.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

fast666

Good

ChannelX C000D3759 We review channels

cheadley1

Most green initiatives end up costing more and use more energy than they save.

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rally5464

Absolutely, should not focus on sustainable development rather sustaining the impact.

bpmg4u

That's a REALLY simplistic, closed-minded and VERY much a blanket statement from a distinctly capitalist (i.e. historically "American" but now also "Eastern/Chinese") p.o.v. which is solidly rooted in "REactive" (i.e. remedial) eco-activities.
Looking around to other parts of the world, where more eco-centric thinking and action is fostered, you will find that "PROactive" eco-action is MUCH more effective & immediate, efficient, and cost-effective.

Same principle as when you host a large party at your house: if all the guests throw their waste in the right bins (trash, recycling, etc.) AS they finish with it, YOUR clean-up after everyone leaves is good-as-done - all by itself.
IF, on the other hand, everyone leaves "that" stereotypical dorm-room post-party garbage-dump, you're gonna be cleaning until WELL after your hangover disappears.

Especially the Europeans have really mastered this with minimal 'extra' action and costs, yet with great impact and effectiveness.

CarGuy1368

If BlackBerry starts using more environmentally friendly materials in their phones, I can see it as a great marketing campaign. There are a lot of environmentalists that would go with a company that's trying to help our planet!

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thedose

What makes you guys think this has anything to do with BB using more sustainable materials? Don't you guys remember that Mr. Ballsack DUMPED all of his shares in 2012?!

http://crackberry.com/former-co-ceo-jim-balsillie-now-totally-disconnect...

maddie1128

Sadly, I have to agree 100% with @cheadley1.

Playbook007

Yes, but most people don't get that. We waste a lot of energy trying to recycle, but that is OK. Eg newspapers. Most wind up in landfills, out of the public eye yet collected by a special truck! You can only recycle so much paper!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

mr_zed10

I wonder what phone mike and Jim use, especially Jim.

Wonder if they have taken warmly to bb10..

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RubberChicken76

BlackBerry 10 was Mike's baby so pretty sure he supports. No idea about Jim

Jim Wolfson

Hopping onto the globaloney-warming scam wagon. Follow the money.

Houshinto

There couldn't be more wrong with that statement.

Jim Wolfson

Algore agrees with you, and he's made a hundred million from the scam. People still buy his nonsense, too! I hope you at least agree that carbon dioxide is fundamental to life, is not and has never been a pollutant.

Simon Sage

You must have missed the memo where basically the world's entire scientific community agreed that climate change was man-made. 

M--Canuck

Good for him.

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Jimberry Storm

I'm sure the green issue with BlackBerry is the green$ themselves.

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BB30000

Congrats Jim. If only you weren't so aggressive with purchasing an NHL team...could've had a shot. Continued success to you! BlackBerry is in good hands with Thorsten.

Posted via Naked BlackBerry Z10

RubberChicken76

This is such a naive comment. I agree Thorsten is in good hands, but how do you know how much of his day was spent on an NHL team and how much was on BlackBerry?

Schmurf

I researched the environmental friendliness of BlackBerry not long ago and found that in general mobile device manufacturers were not very environmentally friendly. However RIM (the name at the time) was among the best of the lot. If I can find the link, I'll post it.

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MadMarti

Interesting. Have you found the link?

Simon Sage

Yeah, I would be curious too. Last I heard, BlackBerry wasn't doing so well.

Houshinto

Congratulations to him.
His experience and skills will suit nicely with his new role.

jic999

Constructive Alignment with Carriers was his key for Global carrier partnerships

bizzyqu

I for one look forward to seeing another eco-company get driven into the ground

martinjdub

Lets hope he doesn't regurgitate Storm 3.0 made out of Storm 1 and 2's

qbnkelt

Perfect.
Someone with forward vision on a role that again requires vision.
Another one bites the dust......

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Double_J75

Best of luck I wish him well

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lang007

And this is BB new because.......?

Pete The Penguin

Wasn't this the guy who used RIM as his personal bank?

Posted via The Force.

BB30000

Rubber, I meant he could have had a shot a a team, not more success with blackberry.

Posted via Naked BlackBerry Z10

Dirtymike14

I wonder how long it will take him until he puts this project aside and attempts to bring a hockey to Hamilton again

My z10 is a Leafs fan

eddy_berry

If you guys want to see some reading material about BlackBerrys sustainable practises go to blackberry.com and scroll to the bottom. Under the 'Corporate' section you will see a link called 'Corporate Responsibility.' Just a little something I came across a few weeks back. Thought it was interesting. This article reminded me about it.

adonesc

No worries, he'll ruin them like he almost ruined BlackBerry, then he'll retire with a generous severance package and continue nursing his dreams of owning an NHL team...

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Gugui1969

Good, the farther this guy is from BlackBerry the better... Fu***ng idiot that almost destroyed RIM with his BS hubris. Good riddance !!!

kevinnugent

Non profit will be great for Jim. That's where he was taking RIM too.

cribble2k

You know the company you work for is useless, when things like "sustainable development" are used to describe it.

SDTC is a waste of tax payers dollars.

Jeffrey Selby

I'm glad he's found something... I'm more excited that he left BlackBerry! Because it allowed Thorsten to take command and sail the ship. Jim was focused too much on the NHL... the NHL wasn't focused on him.

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BruvvaPete

The negative comments on this topic reminds me of someone who can't let go after a bad breakup. Get over it and stop being so bitter.

He moved on. Take the high road, wish him well and move on.

adonesc

We should keep to mob rules, and never speak the names of rats, stooges and other generally nefarious characters . So let's not mention him again...

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Supa_Fly1

Simon .... btw its was SonyEricsson's GreenHeart ... since the split Sony took over; need to be clear on that. Ericsson made the phones in that partnership while Sony designed the latter few years of them.

jimbowman111

I wonder if he uses the new BB10 devices. Just out of curiosity.

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