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."