Another critical component of turning dream into reality: build on what’s already there. The good thing is, once the path is there, it’s easier to make people walk. In light of Denis’s lessons in leading by example, we can consider an ongoing environmental effort on campus: the student-led petition to replace Stanford’s grass landscaping with drought-tolerant native plants.
Ultimately Denis envisions entire green cities that function like ecosystems, exchanging materials and energy throughout the system in a self-sufficient way. Already there are experiments with sustainable buildings on a larger scale, such as the ecodistricts targeted for Washington DC and Los Angeles.