The Intersection of Diversity, Inclusion and Climate with Taj Eldridge
Today's guest is Taj Eldridge. He calls himself the DJ Khaled of climate and you’ll know why when you hear him speak.
Taj’s professional portfolio spans a variety of roles that live at the intersection of diversity, inclusivity, and climate. He’s currently involved in three exciting pursuits. As general partner at Include Ventures, Taj works with a team of experts to build a large and dynamic platform of women and historically underrepresented fund managers and founders, with the goal of opening new market opportunities for investors and driving alpha, environmental, and social governance. Taj is also leading CREST or the Climate Resilient Employees for a Sustainable Tomorrow out of JFF Labs, which is a program that prepares people for climate resilient jobs in the United States and India. Lastly, Taj supports Klean Energy Kulture, an organization on a mission to transition black communities to clean energy by kicking off a series of experiences that tour historically black institutions and leverage music, gaming and sustainable fashion to promote sustainability and opportunities as a way of life.
These topics are each so important and they're also undeniably interrelated. In this conversation, Taj walks us through ways to think about diversity and inclusion, how they go together, and what types of initiatives can be most important to bring about the progress that we all desire. Jason and Taj have a great discussion about his personal journey, what motivates him, and how his theory of change has evolved from when he started doing this work many years ago to today. Then we talk about each of the initiatives he's currently involved with and also his framework for thinking about how to allocate his portfolio of time. This is a really exciting and insightful discussion. Enjoy!
In this episode, we cover:
[4:31] Taj's portfolio of climate projects
[7:25] His journey at the intersection of inclusion and climate
[13:50] Inclusivity and how Taj's thoughts toward it have evolved over time
[17:32] His views on the state of the climate emergency
[21:07] How we can collectively balance the transition with education
[25:13] The role of pop culture and media influencing consumer decisions
[27:48] Taj's decision making process for projects he focuses on
[31:46] The exciting youth climate movement
[33:43] Frustrations around privileged climate conversations and the need for more inclusivity
[36:05] Blind spots in building a more diverse climate community
[42:23] The opportunity to create measurement tools for climate investing
[44:26] Innovating climate solutions outside of Silicon Valley
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Episode recorded on October 12, 2022.