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February 19, 2008

Join GM LiveChat to talk green

Gmnext_2 Want to influence GM's direction?  Join their conversations.   The GMNext website is an intriguing and proactive effort by America's largest car company to engage its stakeholders.  Using interactive media, GM is engaging in conversation with us.

This Thursday, Feb 21 from 1-2pm EST, WEs Bolsen, VP at Coskata will host a live chat on the company's partnership with GM.  Coskata plans to produce ethanol for under $1 (US) from any carbon-based material.  GM is working with Coskata to produce the next generation of biofuels - without using a food source - making ethanol economically viable and commercially available. This chat is part of a series of environmental discussions on To access it, go to and register on the site.  The chat is open to everybody, free of charge.  If you cannot attend, transcripts will be made available later.  If you prefer the podcast version, look here.

So far, the GMnext Virtual Media Forum conversations have explored topics related to car design, car technology, green topics, R&D ideas, as well as the company's global reach.  Past topics under the green banner have included:

  • Vehicle Emissions Issues by Bob Babik, Director
  • Powertrain Systems Research Laboratory, by Gary Smyth, Director, GM Research and Development
  • Flex Fuel Engines, by Henrique Pereira, Product Manager/GM Powertrain, Flex Fuel Specialist
  • The Future of Powertrains, by Rita Forst, GM Powertrain Europe, Executive Director, Product Engineering
  • GM Green Initiatives in China, by David Chen, General Manager, GM Beijing Operations

Seems like a pretty interesting forum to ask your burning questions directly to GM management and to interact with other people similarly interested in influencing particular areas of GM products. 

Another interesting area within GMNext is the Thought section, a bulletin board of conversations between GM managers and regular folks on the internet.  I thought some of the topics seem pretty sassy, raising the sincerity of this website up a notch for me.   These are actual topics on the forum, started by GM managers.

  • Does GM “greenwash” its image?
  • How should GM best address global energy issues we'll face for the next 100 years?

I can't believe my eyes... now that's the way to start a true cultural change.  If I find some spare time after all the school projects and homework, I am gonna surf this site more.  Seems like a treasure trove of conversations.    Way to go, GM.

If you are a history buff though, the Wiki section might interest you.  It touts itself as  "GM corporate history written not only by historians, but by people like you who helped make the history."  On this online "digital scrapbook", you can share your personal stories, factual information, photos and videos.  This interactive Web 2.0 site is pretty impressive.  Surf it and share your comments with us!


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