I had the privilege of giving a talk on Green Innovation to students from the National University of Singapore, where I summed up some thoughts that my team and I have had over the years we have had in this space.
Take a look at the whole presentation below (and answers to the Q&A at the end):
I've also penned some reflections on how we would like people to take action to drive positive environmental outcomes, while being able to sustain themselves.
In Bill Gates' newest book "How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need", he explains how there is a way to combat the potentially catastrophic rise in global temperatures. He also emphasises the need for scientific breakthroughs, technological innovations, and global cooperation on a scale previously unseen.
The notion that something needs to be done is not new; the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report highlights how climate action failure is the second most likely event, which would result in serious negative impacts on our lives.
So it's no secret that something needs to be done. This is where Interseed comes in.
Interseed's mission is to help founders and talent grow their impact, and drive positive environmental outcomes through Green Innovation.
Interseed /ˌɪntəˈsiːd/: Intercede + Seed
Intercede: To make an intervention (an active choice to take action)
Seed: Planting knowledge and ideas to grow into insights and companies (a progressive journey)
Our approach is centred on three measures, within three areas of opportunity.
Measures: What Challenges Need To Be Addressed?
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
From carbon dioxide to methane, Greenhouse Gases trap heat in the atmosphere and result in temperatures rising.
Whether we're looking at renewable resources or finite materials, from soil to steel, we need to take precautions to make sure we have enough materials and resources to continue surviving and thriving on Earth.
Opportunity Areas: Where Can Change Occur?
The circular economy approach is all about designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. This is crucial for us to be able to continue having an economy at all, but to have one that does not pollute, and would continue sustaining for centuries to come.
Clean Energy Transitions
We need energy to power our economy. At the same time, we need to ensure that we move away from pollutive and greenhouse gas emitting ways of generating this energy, and make an absolute transition into a non-pollutive and carbon-neutral energy system.
Future of Food & Agriculture
Food is a necessity for all humans, and (almost) every living thing. However, it is not distributed efficiently, the way we produce it is prone to disruptions and harmful emissions, and we are using our natural resources as if they will never run out. All this needs to change, and soon.
How Do We Think You Can Drive Change?
If you've made it this far into the article, you're probably thinking that there is a need and an opportunity to make a positive impact, and are probably wondering what's the next step.
There is no one-size-fit-all answer to this, but part of driving Green Innovation is that we are looking for technical and business-driven solutions to advance these environmental outcomes. To do this, we need talented individuals from all walks of life to build yourselves up with technical, business, and societal know-how!
We see everyone's journey in the Green Innovation space falling under one of three phases:
Phase 1: Understanding why there's a need for Green Innovation, and scoping a specific challenge to concentrate on
Phase 2: Taking action in some limited way (some ways include building a product, conceptualizing a service, advocating and raising awareness for a specific issue, or writing about specific topics) on the side. We envision people falling under one (or more) of three categories in this phase:
Phase 3: Taking a calculated risk, and jumping into a Green Innovation endeavour full-time (as an entrepreneur, as a key decision maker in a larger organization, or in many other ways)
We have been working hard getting Interseed up and running over the past few months, and there was a sense of validation when we found our approach to be aligned with Bill Gates, in that we recognise that there is no magic solution to end environmental challenges and the climate crisis.
“When people think about climate, they think about making electricity and about passenger cars mostly. They aren’t aware that there are many other sources of CO2 emissions including when we make cement or steel or when we grow cows -- in some countries to eat beef.
Electricity, transport, food, buildings and manufacturing are the biggest areas of emissions. The challenge to get to zero is you can’t skip any of these areas of emissions. You have to do even the hard ones.”
- Bill Gates (2021)
At the same time, our team shares his optimism that we can make a tangible difference, and address the most pressing and defining challenge of our time.
We hope that you share it too, and will walk together with us to drive Green Innovation wherever you are and however you can. 🌱🛠💪
Sustainability takes forever. And that's the point.
- William McDonough (2014)
You've reached the end of the article! We just launched our monthly publication here at insight.interseed.co to make it easier for folks in the Green Innovation space to navigate the space and gain insights on how other companies create impact!
If you find value in it, you can choose a monthly/yearly premium subscription to access the premium articles and support us as well 😌
25 out of the first 100 yearly premium subscribers stand a chance to win a Kindle Version of Bill Gates' "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" book (worth $25) if you subscribe before 31st March 2021🙌