Why do I care about “time to 1.5 °C” or any of this?
Frankly I don’t know, I just know that this is a problem that is so intricately complex, that I feel giddy about the idea of solving it. And ‘it’ consists of 1000s and 1000s of problems in the climate sphere. I joined Terra.do to get a sense of the landscape and I feel more lost than I felt before I started. But that’s a good thing! I am still processing the vast amounts of information that I have gathered and am gathering as I am still going through the course material and tuning in to all my favorite resources.
But I think I care about this most because I love the environment and I want to protect it - for myself and my community. Why? That, is rooted in my childhood.
Uncertainty and overwhelm is my state of being even now which is why I rather think of my action plan in 2 different stages and keep revisiting this space and keep iterating. What I want to and can do near term and what I can do or set myself up for doing in the longer term. I want to operate in a 10-year timeframe, until 2030 because we’re already 2 years into the most decisive, critical decade for action.
What I will do now (2022 - Jun 2023)
1. Find a job at an early stage Climate Tech startup
I know this is the kind of place I can have the most impact on the career end of things and where I will pick up the skills for my future actions. I don’t mind what sub-domain within climate-tech I get into, as long as it has a direct impact on 1) removing carbon or 2) offsetting emissions reliably. Preferably something in the enterprise SaaS space or one where they’re still refining P/M fit?
2. Lend my product management chops pro-bono to startups
Because there are so many cool startups out there taking novel approaches to these problems, I want to able to lend a hand in my capacity as an extra Product Manager at their disposal.
Find at least 1 startup to consult in Q3 2023
3. Move my money out of Wells Fargo by the end of the year
I have been looking into a few resources that can allow me to move my money out of the big 4 banks in the US that continue to keep funding fossil fuel projects. I recently read that every dollar in your bank account amounts to roughly $10 in loans, and I won’t have my money deployed disastrously.
I’m still and will come back to this space when I am done.
4. Convince at least 1 friend to move theirs too
After I go through the process myself and feel confident about what that entails for my money, for my day to day expenses and I have learned how to navigate these novel institutions, I am going to convince at least one of my close friends to do the same. I might even write a “How to?” for people exactly like me (tech employees in the Bay Area).
Frame a concrete proposal that helps communicate the idea Reach out to 5 people with this proposal
What I will do later (H2 2023 onwards)
The concrete action items here are missing because I think they’ll keep evolving and will refine as time goes on and I learn more about the world and myself. But for now I’d like to aspire to the following.
1. Learn how to angel invest in climate startups
Because there are so many problems and for each we will need multiple solutions and angles, I want to be involved in participating in the eco-system that enables such exploration and iteration. The way I think I will do that in the longer term is by investing my money in those explorations and those people bringing novel ideas to market.
2. Continue to consult but at a higher level
Once I gain some more footing as a PM in the climate-tech space, I would want to help startups in this space by sharing my learnings and war stories and using that inform their product strategy.
3. Start a climate venture or transition into VC
I would hope that through the next couple of years I gain greater understanding of a niche and problem area I think is underserved and then either build a solution that would serve it or use it to inform an investment thesis or find funds with a similar thesis and join them.
4. Make smarter purchases
I am leaving this broad for now because I still believe it’s not on the consumer or individual to resolve or influence the bulk of climate action, BUT, I could electrify my home, if I own, and advise other home-owners in my network to do the same.