Listen to the episode with Astrid Scholz
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Show Notes

My guest today is Astrid Scholz, Co-Founder of Zebras Unite and CEO of Sphaera

In the episode, we discussed: 

  • Astrid’s past experience at Eco Trust (a conservation organization) looking for scalable business models that have landscape-scale impact. 
  • Her realization that organizations exist and create great innovations but they get siloed because it’s not the organization’s mission to go beyond.
  • Astrid’s idea of building a platform that makes it easy to discover, re-adapt, and discover what other companies are doing
  • Sphaera Solutions started as SaaS company with a public facing product where anyone can share company solutions, much like recipes. In essence a kind of open source platform for social change
  • Astrid’s experience of trying to raise money — “I ran into all the usual problems of raising capital while female” — experienced first-hand the biases and learned that the VC culture isn’t imaginative 
  • Jennifer Brandel and Mara Zepeda had similar experiences as female tech founders so together the three of them collaborated and wrote Sex & Startups
  • The women also realized that they didn’t want to compromise to pursue “growth at all costs” which led directly to the idea of Zebras Unite which is essentially that: “Companies can be built for profit and for purpose that have ambitious goals but don’t grow at all costs”
  • Zebras Unite has resonated with thousands of people and how has now grown to be a multi-state cooperative following the mantra of “Zebras fix what unicorns break”.
  • “People can be really deliberate about how they create their organizational culture… nobody forces you to pay you 500 times as a CEO what your lowest employee makes” 

Resources

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Listen to the episode with Rebecca Burgess
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Show Notes

My guest today is Rebecca Burgess, CEO of City to Sea, an environmental organisation on a mission to stop plastic pollution through campaigns. Rebecca shares her experience and focus within City to Sea while providing her personal beliefs on our climate emergency and the role plastic pollution plays.

In the episode, we discussed: 

  • Setting up behavior campaigns tackling items that are most commonly littered on beaches, rivers, and oceans (single use  plastic bottles, coffee cups, cotton bud sticks, and sanitary products)
  • How do you unlock businesses to drive social change – recognize the power, means, and money businesses hold to make change 
  • City to Sea’s focus on values — ‘be balanced’ — organisation is a critical friend and trusted peer to businesses finding the middle ground between criticizing that they’re not acting fast enough while also engaging with them and influencing within instead of just making everyone feel guilty 
  • Refill campaign around single use plastic water bottles — 30k businesses are listed on the app that offer to refill your water bottle for free instead of buying single use bottles
  • Benefits to a company on involvement in City to Sea campaigns — making change and leading to positive results, customer demand / concern on environment issues, and having the opportunity to lead something from the start  
  • Reasons for litter on the beach — education on throwing things away versus flushing down the toilet, infrastructure, and lack of care for the environment
  • Adapting to the pandemic — ex: Refill Day 2020 was cancelled which is a large opportunity for partners
  • Positive evolution of CSR teams — 5-10 years ago many were set up to be a textbook exercise without the authenticity and values piece that they have now 
  • Witness more companies investing in sustainability and being more responsible because it’s integral to their business going forward 
  • Main difference between B Corps and other setups is that the company is consistently getting reviewed and the B corp assessment is very rigorous
  • B corps must be committed to the end result because it takes time to complete the application and get accredited
  • Concern over affording reusable market and the need to scale this market based on customer demand 
  • Desire to see more ‘rent a reusable item’ systems in place — ex: rent a reusable cup and return it 
  • Changing the narrative from climate change to climate emergency
  • Closing the gap between plastic pollution and climate — use plastic sensitive as the first step on education in the climate emergency 
  • Importance of collaboration across businesses and nonprofits — come together, refine what we’re doing, and use your skills where you can add the most value 

Resources

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Listen to the episode with James Mayes
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Show Notes

My guest today is James Mayes, co-founder and CEO of Mind The Product, the world’s largest community of passionate product people that provides content, membership, events, training, and more.

James shared his excitement around working with product managers to solve problems and how we can think strategically within the climate change landscape. 

In the episode, we discussed: 

  • Bringing together like-minded product managers and people who are passionate about fighting for the environment through a slack community ‘How Might We’ 
  • Idea that people need to be passionate about the problem they’re trying to solve within the climate change landscape (single use plastics, clean energy, etc.) 
  • Discussion around environmental practices businesses can implement 
  • James’s observation that he runs conferences and has a carbon footprint 
  • James’s personal decision to offset his carbon footprint and bringing this discussion to Mind The Product 
  • Process of joining a community — what are you looking for within the community, what are you hoping to get out of this, and what problem are you trying to solve? 
  • Internal conversation around sustainable practices Mind The Product can implement at conferences such as increased use of video technology, green supplies within the conference center, and bamboo lanyards 
  • Evolution of business practices and ideas based on what works well and what can we improve upon 
  • Discussion on the future of in-person conferences and live events 
  • James’s hope to find a speaker with a credible story and a storyteller around climate change

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Interested in joining the How Might We slack community? Reach out to James by email on james at mindtheproduct dot com
  • Mind the Product website

Video Version

Listen to the episode with Julian Harris
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Show Notes

My guest today is Julian Harris, Advisor at Almond, an app that empowers users to become carbon balanced by helping them to ‘Buy Better, Act Better and Offset the Rest’. Julian is committed to using his skills to combat climate change. 

In the episode, we discussed: 

  • Julian’s personal experience of growing up in the mid-70s, reading a book that described pollution, and remembering how his interest sparked in the climate change subject early on 
  • Julian’s expertise in programming and using that skill to work on climate mission-driven projects 
  • Concept that it’s difficult for humans to think about and make decisions based on the long-term future — ‘not now but sometime in the future’ is an upward battle in a lot of topics including climate change 
  • The major upward trend of the term ‘extreme weather’ on Google search over the past 5 years 
  • Generational gap between peoples’ climate change mindsets based on the quality of life that one grew up in 
  • The idea that getting people to change habits towards something that’s uncomfortable requires an exceptional amount of effort 
  • Personal tipping point for Julian being the September 2019 Global Climate Strike 
  • People want to get engaged in climate change but they’re turned off by all the negative news — suggestions on what we can do about that 
  • Julian’s process of creating Flipboards that people can follow — Climate Hope and Climate Hopelessness — to read articles on the 2 sides of the news cycle
  • Relating crisis based industries such as firefighters and emergency room staff to climate change — how we can learn to deal with the fact that the job is ‘crisis as usual’ from these industries 
  • Discussion of looking for a new job at a company that aligns with your values and is doing good 
  • Acknowledgement that we all fundamentally live in communities and our actions impact other people 

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Video Version

Listen to the episode with Eduardo Gómez
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Show Notes

My guest today is Tim Frick, CEO of Mightybytes, a digital agency and certified B Corporation that helps great organizations create greater impact. Tim uses his business to drive social and environmental change. 

In the episode, we discussed:

  • The history of Mightybytes and why Tim made the decision to change the structure to a Certified B Corporation 
  • Tim Frick’s experience of personal sole searching and the realization that he gravitated towards working with organizations that drive social and environmental impact 
  • The unique structure and requirements of B Corporations which use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems 
  • Process of going through the B Assessments, which is an audit process every 3 years to ensure the company is adhering to B Corp guidelines
  • Using the B Impact Assessment in Mightybytes’ ongoing decisions (community, governance, workers, environment, customers)
  • Making decisions based off of the environmental review during the B Assessment — learned that the internet had a major carbon footprint 
  • Mightybytes’ focus on decreasing their internet carbon footprint through web optimization in performance and efficiency
  • Mightybytes’ commitment to using green hosting providers using the Green Web Foundation’s advice and guidance 
  • Declaration of a climate emergency within Mightybytes along with a communications toolkit that states this is an emergency and we need to treat it as such 
  • Goal of reaching net zero at Mightybytes through offsetting and decreasing travel, renewable energy hosting, analyzing office space energy uses, and more
  • 1% for the Planet Member — 1% of company profits are donated to environmental organizations

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

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Listen to the episode with David Henzel
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Show Notes

My guest today is David Henzel, CEO of UpCoach, an online coaching platform, and founder of TaskDrive, LTVplus, and Shortlist. David is personally passionate about fighting climate change, which led to intriguing conversations around these topics:

  • David’s personal lifestyle of veganism — “I heard someone say once, which makes a lot of sense to me…in 30 years we’ll look back at eating animals the same way we looked back at slavery … like how could we do something that cruel”. 
  • The theory of conscious capitalism: businesses can do good while still making a profit such as Whole Foods. 
  • Debate around for profits versus non profits.
  • The opinion humans are starting to ‘wake up’ and make climate change focused decisions in their personal lives. 
  • A call to action on starting the climate conversation in David’s organizations.
  • David and his wife’s eco village project with the goal of providing sustainable food and living in their local community. 
  • David’s entrepreneurial journey and why he decided to focus on a coaching software.

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

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Listen to the episode with Alex Wick
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Show Notes

My guest in this episode is Alex Wick, CEO and Co-Founder of Cascadia Carbon, an automated personal transportation carbon emissions calculator app.

In our conversation we discussed:

  • Cascadia’s app technology of tracking one’s carbon footprint
  • Unique aspects of B corporations, including reporting requirements, paid time off, maternity leave, and employee volunteer opportunities
  • Raising capital and finding value-aligned investors
  • Living a low carbon lifestyle through limiting flying, driving, and meat consumption
  • Carbon footprint of the internet
  • Average carbon emissions output of driving vehicles and how you can decrease or offset these emissions

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Video Version

Listen to the episode with Alex Wick

Listen to the episode with Eduardo Gómez
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Show Notes

My guest in this episode is Eduardo Gómez, Co-Founder and CPO of Emitwise, an AI-powered software company that helps companies achieve carbon neutrality.

In our conversation we discussed:

  • Eduardo and co-founder Mauro Cozzi’s brainstorming conversation that led to Emitwise
  • Eduardo’s personal passion for fighting climate change
  • Distinguishing the 3 scopes of emissions
  • Current discrepancies between companies’ carbon emission tracking and reporting versus the actual carbon emissions
  • Process of working with investors and fundraising for Emitwise

Resources

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Show Notes

My guest today is Richard de Nys, founder and CEO of Award Force, an Australia-based, remote software company.

In our conversation we discussed:

  • Richard’s background as a product designer and how AwardForce came about
  • The issues around planned obsolescence and consequently how designers have a direct impact on sustainability
  • How remote or distributed teams can be climate positive
  • AwardForce’s attempts and drive to be a carbon neutral operation

Resources

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Show Notes

Jordyn Bonds is co-founder and CEO of TallyLab. I got to know of her after my interview with James Christie. When I saw that she had given a talk about the web’s energy (in)efficiency I had to speak to her as the carbon footprint of the web an elephant in the tech industry’s room that is largely ignored.

Our conversation touched on a number of issues including diversity, privacy, and how certain key infrastructural choices in how the web and web apps are designed can have an order of magnitude’s difference to energy consumption and efficiency.

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Video Version