Tom Darden’s Approach to LENR

UPDATE: As I mentioned in the transcription thread, I went through the new video posted by the MFMP (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYIZxb96LXg) and found some clarifications and a whole new section of the speech that I had not seen yesterday. It gives an additional aspect to Tom Darden’s message, and I added a new heading below (see Scientific Promulgation). Also, the new video clarified what he said about large companies (see Business Approach)

There’s been a lot of discussion about Tom Darden’s message to the attendees at ICCF19 yesterday, and I’ve been rereading his comments to try and get a better feeling for what might have been his motivations for going to Italy and making the speech. Below are some of my conclusions about his message and overall philosophy based on what he said yesterday.

Environmental Concern

For about half of his speech, Darden focused on environmental problems, and his own history in working to solve them. His credentials in this area are very solid, and  I think this is what he considers to be his life’s work. His interest in LENR stems from his hope that it can be a tool to eliminate pollution. We know he is a friend of William McDonough, who he quoted in his speech; McDonough’s book Cradle to Cradle envisions a world without waste or toxicity in manufacturing, energy production or any other activity in daily life (For McDonough on cold fusion see here).

Diversification and Expansion

I think one thing that was clear in Darden’s speech is that he does not believe in putting all his eggs in one basket. We learned yesterday that Cherokee/Industrial Heat invested in two other LENR groups prior to investing in Andrea Rossi — and the message yesterday that they were prepared to fund many more.  He said, “We also don’t believe there is one solution, we believe there are many solutions to these problems.”
I think there was an implicit invitation made at the meeting to the attendees, that Cherokee/IH is interested in working with them, and treating them well when he said:

We’ve had some success, and we’re expanding our work. We’re collaborating with and investing alongside fellow researchers and developers. Scientists compete to be the first, and they count on potent sharing of what has been discovered to advance the process. They want to be able to be able to share their work in an environment where why they do what they do, truly matters . . . they want to know that their work will be funded and their ideas will be merit tested, and advances merited, and they will be rewarded fairly. We’re privileged to be creating that kind of environment at Industrial Heat.

I think it’s clear now that Darden does not have a Rossi-only strategy, but wants to open up an umbrella under which other LENR researchers in the field can gather and collaborate.

Business Approach

Darden showed that Cherokee/IH will follow a commerce-based philosophy when it comes to business operations. Andrea Rossi has often defended this approach as being the most efficient way to gather the necessary capital to diffuse a technology widely, and this means protection of intellectual property and industrial secrets. Darden echoed this sentiment when he said they had looked at alternative approaches, but determined that:

“We engage with the large companies and we all need them to achieve ubiquity for your ideas. We want to work in a collaborative way with many more large companies, and we want to help others do that.”

When Darden talks about ubiquity here, he means, I believe, getting this technology out everywhere as quickly and efficiently as possible. It sounds to me that the engagement with large companies has begun — perhaps companies that have the manufacturing capacity to help produce IHs E-Cats and other LENR devices. Partnering with established companies would be much more efficient than IH trying to build manufacturing and distribution capacity on their own.

Scientific Promulgation
An intriguing part of Darden’s speech was when he talked about the responsibility to think of the needs of society and of others first. He said this:

“You have the ability to give the world a healing gift. Many also will have the opportunity to benefit from that. I’m a businessman and I believe business is usually the most effective means of achieving social or environment reform. As well as for implementing technologies — business is usually the most effective means of achieving social or environmental reform — I believe that. But we must always think first about the needs of others, about the needs of society, the needs of our planet. I do not want success if it comes at someone else’s detriment. My goal is to give your science away, to get out broadly and equitably to the world, to see you receive honor and rewards for your efforts.”

I am curious about how IH intends to do this.

Confidence

I think yesterday’s speech was given from a sense of confidence in the reality and utility of LENR. I don’t think Tom Darden would have flown to Italy to speak to an LENR conference if he was unsure of whether LENR could make a difference. When he talked about paradigm shifts, ‘abundant non-polluting energy’, a ‘tipping point’, and the ‘signs of progress’ being ‘so significant’, I think he was basing that assessment on what he knows — and I think this is probably largely based on what Andrea Rossi has demonstrated, and perhaps he has seen progress in other of his LENR investments.

Darden laid out his vision yesterday of using LENR to “to pass on a world that is better than the one we received.” I don’t think there are many who are positive regarding LENR who would disagree with that. However I am sure that the Cherokee/IH approach to reaching the goals of a clean and prosperous planet will be debated for a long time to come. There is a strong ‘open source’ sentiment among many who are in the LENR community, and we see every day people sharing ideas and discoveries to help in the spreading of knowledge about LENR widely and openly. I think we will see this parallel-track approach to LENR continue — some in the business camp, some in the open source camp, and some in both camps.

Where it all ends up, I don’t know — but there is certainly plenty of new energy surrounding the field today, which I think bodes well for the the future of LENR.

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