This Week in MCJ (3/13/21)
Upcoming ESG show, mentors wanted, and more!
Another good week. The MCJ Live discussion on nuclear & climate was pretty fun! We are still a bit worried about recording them, as we fear it will water down the substance and serendipity of the discussion, but Tyler did a great write-up on it for those that missed it. If you like these write-ups, let us know so we will keep doing them for future shows! The next MCJ Live show is on ESG, and we will be announcing speakers soon.
We are continuing to chip away at our internal planning around the MCJ strategic direction, and feeling good about our progress. We want every week to feel jam-packed with events and learning/networking opportunities, the way a 24x7 unconference might feel, or summer camp electives, for anyone that went to one of those as a kid. One small step in that direction is that Thai put out a call below to expand MCJ office hours (which have been going great!) from just him to other volunteer mentors from within the MCJ community. If you are interested in becoming a mentor to other members (on whatever climate-related topic you feel well equipped to discuss!), get in touch with Thai via MCJ Slack.
Our core assumption is there is some small, lightweight structure we could add that would go a long way towards increasing the organic learning, serendipity, and connections that are already being made within the MCJ community. We will go over where we are at with everything at the next MCJ Town Hall on Friday, March 26. If you want to sign up, you can do so here.
Have a great week!
Here’s this week’s episode, in case you missed it.
Kate has spent the past two decades working at the intersection of climate change, energy policy, and economic development. She was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Climate by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7, 2019. Trained as a community organizer, and later in law and regional economic development, her focus has long been on bringing diverse groups together to work toward a more sustainable, inclusive economy.
I was excited for this one, as policy and government are such important levers for climate action, and the State of California has been leading the way on a number of fronts.
We covered a lot of ground in this one, and I hope you enjoy it!
Climate Careers is a bi-weekly show that provides insights and perspectives on working in climate-tech. New episodes every other Thursday.
Fiona is Chief Product Officer at Overstory, who’s mission is to become the standard in planet intelligence, monitoring all natural resources on Earth in real-time.
Prior to Overstory, Fiona was most recently COO at Meetup, and spent 14 years in journalism, in roles of increasing responsibility at The New York Times. In 2019, Fiona decided to transition into working on climate. Like so many, she found the transition to be a difficult one (because it is!), but she navigated it brilliantly, and landed in a terrific spot.
This episode is meant for anyone else who is thinking about doing the same! It covers Fiona’s reasons for wanting to transition into working in climate tech, how she went about the process, lessons learned, and advice for others looking to head down a similar path.
Populus, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2017, has raised $5 million from new investors Storm Ventures and contract manufacturing and supplier company Magna along with existing backers Precursor, Relay Ventures, and Ulu Ventures. Co-founder and CEO, Regina Clewlow is an MCJ pod alum, check out her and Jason’s conversation
This week, Shopify announced it has purchased more Direct Air Capture carbon removal than any other company in history. They just announced their 10,000-tonne purchase from Carbon Engineering, adding to their previous 5,000-tonne purchase from Climeworks. Check out more about their partnership with Carbon Engineering here, and you can learn more about Shopify CEO, Tobi Lütke here and Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham here, in their MCJ episodes!
Pachama has been awarded the Most Innovative company in the AI category by Fast Company! CEO & Co-Founder, Diego Saez Gil announced a partnership with Mercado Libre, Latin America’s largest tech company to deploy $8M to restore forests in the region. He also sat down with Jason in the early days of the MCJ podcast. Catch Episode 24 for more on Diego and Pachama.
💸Climate Tech Funding News
This week, Jeff Bezo tapped Andrew Steer from the World Resources Institute to lead his $10B Bezos Earth Fund. For more info, check out Jeff Bezos’ post.
Plan A, a Berlin-based automated SaaS B2B startup, has raised $3 million for its platform that lets companies measure, monitor, reduce and report their environmental footprint, thus improving their ESG ratings. French VC Demeter led the round with German VC Coparion; SoftBank joined the round as a strategic investor.
📰In Case You Missed It
Articles, content, and climate news from this week you might have missed.
The Biden administration took a crucial step this week toward approving the nation’s biggest offshore wind energy project, The Washington Post claims officials say this signals the start of a massive clean power expansion in the fight against climate change.
The Street announces Norwegian Oil Mogul Launches $58 Million Bitcoin Unit to Become 'Hodler'. The formation of the unit, dubbed Seetee, comes with the blessing of Aker ASA's majority owner, Kjell Inge Rokke. The billionaire is Norway's second-richest man and controls Aker ASA, a holding company that invests in the energy sector.
👋 Welcome New MCJers!
Below are new members who joined the community and introduced themselves in the past week. You can learn more about them on #introductions, where you can welcome them to the community, as well as in the MCJ Member Directory.
Mel Larsen: Mel works in CX at Whimsical.com. She’s interested in: meaningful ways SaaS businesses can help fight climate change (w00t Stripe Climate); used EVs; food co-ops; & solar. She’s always happy to help you with customer experience questions/tooling/ops.
Dan Carroll: Dan is a Helicopter/Drone guy. Dad of 1 girl, 2 in May. Dedicating next career move to climate change. Not sure how but he is here to learn as much as he can.
Sophia Cowles: Sophia works in tech strategy, interested in electrification + software intersecting climate. She hopes to connect w/ founders + investors in the space to eventually start something herself.
Emre Can Kara: Emre is an engineer and data scientist at eIQ Mobility. He is looking forward to learning a lot, exploring ideas, and contributing to this community.
Dai Ellis: Dai is a leadership coach and entrepreneur in the healthcare and education sectors. He is feeling ready to get back into building something and excited to make a shift into the climate space.
Emily Stapleton: Emily works in transit, car sharing, bike sharing, recycled plastic, and now final mile logistics at the world's largest retailer, Amazon.
Henrik Langeland: Henrik is working on a startup called Enode, which builds APIs that connect energy consumer products such as electric vehicles and smart thermostats, to energy providers. He is excited to meet more members.
Matthew Stieg: A recent-ish statistics graduate of the University of Michigan, Matthew is hoping to get involved in some projects closer to my heart - combatting climate change. Interests include sustainable construction, urban planning and architecture, and data-driven supply chain practices in the green economy.
Matthew Perkins: An ag-tech veteran, Matthew recently founded Macro Oceans. He is looking forward to learning from all the smart, motivated, and awesome people here.
Suzanne Doering: Currently, teaching secondary mathematics, Suzanne is in the process of retraining as a data scientist in the hopes of being more directly impactful in addressing climate change. She hopes to connect with anyone in the Warsaw/Poland area.
Paul Grana: Paul is the co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Folsom Labs, where we provide design software for the solar industry. If someone is working on a project or startup in the solar software/data space, please drop him a line.
Nick Chow: Nick is leading Plug and Play's Sustainability Ventures team in Europe. He has a particular interest in climate tech, digital catalysts, and accelerating a circular economy.
Vickesh Solanki: Vick is working on an app that crowdsources sustainability information on food products. He can't wait to connect with similar-minded people and learn from the community.
Here are some jobs shared by members of the MCJ community that we think might be of interest to you. Many of these opportunities and the MCJers who shared them can be found in #climatejobs in the MCJ Slack. Check out this google doc for the jobs from this week!
Below are some news and initiatives from members of the MCJ Community. MCJers mentioned can be DMed in the MCJ Slack.
🌱NYC Folks interested in Indoor Farming: Meghan Bush has put together a session with Leland Chamlin of Bowery Farming for fellow MCJ New Yorkers. Check out the channel to vote for a time that works best for you! The session will be held on Wednesday, March 17th.
💱Calling all cryptocurrency enthusiasts: No matter where you come out on this topic, join the #climate-blockchain channel if you want to learn more about it! The channel will focus on news and discussions related to the intersection of blockchain, crypto, and climate.
📋Survey Volunteers needed! MCJer, Fatima Walee is the founder of a start-up focused on providing the truth of how your clothing & products are made. Fatima needs some folks to take a quick 5-min survey to help them get things rolling. Survey here!
👨🏽🏫Mentors Wanted: MCJ has been experimenting with “MCJ Office Hours” over the past month and has been really pleased by the opportunity to engage with members 1:1 around advice and support for facilitating climate career transitions. To support the needs of more members, Thai would like to open up the office hours to additional mentors, who feel they could be of help providing advice. If you’re interested in serving as a mentor, please DM Thai Nguyen on MCJ Slack.
🌍Massive.earth launched this week! The world needs to mobilize talent on a much grander scale to work our way out of this crisis. With the first Massive.challenge, they’ve begun the process of transferring talent from the old economy to a new and more sustainable one. For more info on what they’re doing and how to get involved, check out their launch blog post.
Each week will highlight a few events. For even more events, members can check out the #events channel in the MCJ slack!
MCJ Live on Clubhouse (Wednesday, March 17th @ 9 pm ET)
This week, Jason will explore ESG! If you are on Clubhouse already, you can find the event here, follow our club (MCJ Live) to get updates on future events. If you are not on Clubhouse yet, you can find an invite in the #mcj-live channel on slack.
Carbon Collective presents How to be a smart investor who cares about climate change (Wednesday, March 24th @ 8 pm ET)
You'll learn: the basics of smart portfolio construction, how to evaluate the climate-friendliness of a mutual fund or ETF, and how to check if a bond fund carries fossil fuel debt (hint: many of them sneakily do!). You'll be taught by Zach Stein, cofounder of Carbon Collective - the first online investment advisor 100% focused on solving climate change. Register here!
MCJ Town Hall (Friday, March 26th @ 4 pm ET)
Join us for the March Town Hall! Town halls are an open forum to ask questions, share feedback, and get more visibility into what we’re working on at MCJ. RSVP here!
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