Austin explains how Climate Neutral aims to inspire consumers to factor a brand’s climate impact into their buying decisions. Climate Neutral software enables organizations to have a verifiable carbon footprint-and it also enables Climate Neutral-certified brands to buy carbon offsets that deliver carbon mitigation. He explains the operations of the carbon-offset market, the company’s approach to building a brand, and some of the challenges of building up the company.
Austin has worked in technology, climate and clean energy finance for two decades with many small and early stage organizations. He also earned an MBA from Yale. Before launching Climate Neutral he was Vice President at a customer intelligence software platform for utilities and energy service providers.
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Episode 109: Interview with Kevin Starr, the founder of the Mulago Foundation
46:39In this episode, we welcome back Kevin Starr back to the podcast to update us on the work of the Mulago Foundation. Kevin explains how Mulago’s focus has inevitably extended over time to take into account climate and the environment--the focus of Mulago's Henry Arnhold Fellows Program. Kevin’s main focus at Mulago is lasting change at scale and he explains how he thinks about scaling-- and the importance of structuring investments to make sure that profit and impact are aligned. In this wide ranging and stimulating interview, Kevin shares his perspective on the state of social entrepreneurship today, the reality of impact investment, and his evolving thoughts on measuring impact. Kevin is the founder of the Mulago Foundation, which funds early stage social entrepreneurs devoted to maximum impact at scale in developing countries. Kevin set up the Reiner Arnhold Fellows Program in 2003 to apply Mulago’s principles and tools to help social entrepreneurs turn good ideas into lasting change at scale-- and in 2016, the Henry Arnhold Fellows Program to add a focus on environmental solutions. Kevin was the primary instigator of Big Bang Philanthropy, a group of funders that work together to direct more money to those best at fighting poverty, Over the years, Kevin’s taught hundreds of social entrepreneurs
Episode 108: Interview with Jagdeesh Rao, Curator - Promise of Commons initiative, and former CEO FES
1:00:04The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) works on the ecological restoration and conservation of land and water resources in ecologically fragile, degraded regions of India, primarily through the collective efforts of village communities. FES is currently working with more than 20,000 village communities on more than 6 s million acres of common lands across 10 states of India. Jagdeesh has overseen the growth of FES over 20 years--his work has been widely recognized and he has received the Times of India Social Impact award, the Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom Award on Commons, UN’s Land for Life award, and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In this inspiring episode, Jagdeesh discusses FES' vital ecological restoration and conservation work in land and water resources in ecologically fragile, degraded regions of India, highlighting the distinctive way FES works with local communities, and its philosophy and approach to restoration. He also looks forward to his new role as Curator of the Promise of Commons Initiative in India.
Episode 107: Interview with Austin Whitman CEO of Climate Neutral, US based consumer-focused climate certification company
57:01Austin explains how Climate Neutral aims to inspire consumers to factor a brand’s climate impact into their buying decisions. Climate Neutral software enables organizations to have a verifiable carbon footprint-and it also enables Climate Neutral-certified brands to buy carbon offsets that deliver carbon mitigation. He explains the operations of the carbon-offset market, the company’s approach to building a brand, and some of the challenges of building up the company. Austin has worked in technology, climate and clean energy finance for two decades with many small and early stage organizations. He also earned an MBA from Yale. Before launching Climate Neutral he was Vice President at a customer intelligence software platform for utilities and energy service providers.
Episode 106: Kate Roll, Head of Teaching and Assistant Professor at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
53:13Today's interview features Dr. Kate Roll an Assistant Professor and Head of Teaching at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). Kate is a political scientist interested in how business, technology, and the state interact to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. Bringing her background in international development, Kate discusses inclusive business and the concept of bottom of the pyramid development and it's consequences for corporations and impoverished populations. Kate also shares her insights on what makes NGO and corporate partnerships succeed- and perhaps more interestingly, what makes them fail. Kate holds a BA in International Relations (honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from Brown University, and both an MPhil in International Development Studies (distinction) and DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford. She has taught both undergraduate Empirical Politics and Management Studies at the University of Oxford, and she continues to teach both at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and on IIPP's flagship MPA in Innovation at University College London.Her multi-disciplinary work brings a focus politics and power to questions such as 'who gets what after war?' and 'how should corporations work with those in poverty?' Committed to grounded research, she has conducted fieldwork in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Kenya. She currently leads research at IIPP focusing on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), with a particular interest in issues of financing and conflict (SDG16).
Episode 105: Aparna Hegde Founder of ARMMAN
1:01:11In this interview, Dr. Aparna Hegde, an internationally renowned Urogynecologist and the founder of the NGO, ARMMAN (Advancing Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity of Mothers, Children and Neonates) shares her insights behind building scalable programs using technology and partnerships to innovatively impact maternal and child health. ARMMAN leverages technology to design & implement sustainable interventions to reduce maternal, neonatal, child mortality and morbidity in underserved communities. Working in 16 states in India, ARMMAN's five programs have reached more than 18 million women and their children.Drawing from her hard earned experiences pioneering ARMMAN, Aparna discusses the impressive partnership ARMMAN has built with the Indian government. Aparna also details a key factor contributing to the growth of ARMMAN: deploying technology to meet women where they are. Driven by her passion to empower underserved Indian women through public health, Aparna's vision for ARMMAN is unshakeable.Aparna is TED Fellow 2020 and was awarded USAID ‘Social Entrepreneur’ award (2018), ‘Woman ChangeMaker’ award (Womanity Foundation, Geneva, 2017), Woman Icon Award in Asia by Nanyung University, Singapore (2016), ‘People’s Choice Award’ at Saving Lives at Birth event (Washington DC, 2011), among other awards. She has been featured as one of the five global women leaders in the Voice of America documentary, ‘A Single Step: Journeys of Women Leaders’ (2015). ARMMAN was awarded the British Medical Journal South Asia Award for ‘Maternal & Child Health Team’ (2018), WHO Public Health Champion Award (2017) & is the only Indian NGO to have ever won the ‘GSK-Save the Children International’ grant.
Episode 104: Celina de Sola, Founder of Glasswing International
45:43In this episode, Celina De Sola talks about the growth and development of Glasswing International, a non-profit which aims to address the root causes and consequences of violence and poverty in communities in El Salvador, and other Latin American countries. Celina talks about the importance at the outset of understanding the roots of violence, rather than the symptoms. She highlights the critical importance of applying rigorous tests to measure social impact. She shares her experience on how to find funding, form strategic partnerships and highlights the importance of establishing honest partnerships between donors and communities. Celina also discusses the strategy behind creating a robust program that involves multi-sector partnerships between the private and public sectors. Finally, she touches on the challenges of maintaining sustainable growth as a multi-regional social enterprise.Glasswing is a non-profit which aims to address the root causes and consequences of violence and poverty, by building partnerships across public, private, and civil society sectors to implement public education, health, and community development programs. Set up in El Salvador, Glasswing has expanded Glasswing to eight other countries in Central and South America. In their thirteen years of operation Glasswing has impacted 1.1 million people and mobilized over 120,000 volunteers.Celina de Sola has more than 20 years of experience in international development and social change. She’s worked as a consultant for organizations like the Population Council and family foundations. Celina was also a crisis interventionist for Latino immigrants in the US, and subsequently spent over five years as Director of Emergency Response for AmeriCares, leading responses to complex humanitarian crises. Celina is a Fellow of the Obama Foundation, Ashoka, LEGO ReImagine Learning, Penn Social Impact, is a Skoll Foundation Awardee and a Tallberg Global Leader. Celina holds a Masters degree in Public Health from Harvard University and Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.
Episode 103: Interview with Kendis Paris, Founder of Truckers Against Trafficking
51:50Kendis Paris is the founder of Truckers Against Trafficking, (TAT) founded in 2011. Beginning with the trucking industry, Kendis is building an anti-human trafficking movement model that could be applied across every mode of transportation in the US and beyond. Through TAT, Kendis is creating an entirely new role for truckers by targeting them in awareness-building campaigns about the issue; building a clear, safe pathway for them to act when they detect abuse; and using the trucking industry infrastructure as a strategic platform for the movement.In this interview Kendis talks about the origins of TAT and the process of building the organization into a non-profit that has trained 845,000 people including truckers and law enforcement officers in how to spot and take action to aid a potentially trafficked victim. Kendis shares the motivations of the truckers she has encountered through TAT, sharing that truckers have expressed to her, “I have a daughter, I have granddaughters, how can I be a trucker against trafficking?”Drawing from her systems change perspective, Kendis reveals the ways in which law enforcement and state agencies are involved in fighting human trafficking. Kendis explores the impact measurements that TAT tracks and her experience with creating policy change to further impact on state and federal levels. Finally, Kendis details the next steps to re-scale and recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Episode 102: Interview with Narayan Dhakal, Executive Director of Nepalese NGO, EcoHimal Nepal
50:38EcoHimal Nepal is non-government organization (NGO) founded in 2009 with the goal of achieving sustainable development through community empowerment in Nepal’s mountain areas. It has almost two decades of experience in livelihoods enhancement through sustainable development and community capacity-building, having worked in the region since 1992 as the Asian Regional Office of Eco Himal, an international non-government organization (INGO) based in Salzburg, Austria. As a national NGO, EcoHimal Nepal will support the Nepal Government’s policy and work as a development partner in building the nation. EcoHimal’s mission is a prosperous, empowered and self-sustained Nepali society free of poverty, injustice and social discrimination. It works to achieve sustainable development through community empowerment in Nepal’s mountain areas by improving local livelihoods ensuring management and access to natural resources by local communities, and reducing vulnerabilities of mountain communities to environmental disasters. In this inspiring interview, Narayan discusses the growth and evolution of EcoHimal and the organization’s current scope and focus. He discusses the roots of the environmental problems in rural areas in Nepal and EcoHimal’s distinctive, community-led approach to dealing with these issues—with a specific focus on education—and its work to enhance livelihoods of mountain communities. Narayan also talks about EcoHimal’s recent approach to funding and partnerships –including the success they’ve had with The Glacier Trust (UK) in enabling farmers to produce, roast and sell coffee as a climate change adaptation strategy.
Episode 101: Interview with Sue Riddlestone, OBE, Founder of Bioregional
52:05Sue is Founder of Bioregional, a UK social entreprise that, works with partners to create better, more sustainable places to live, work and do business. Bioregional developed BedZED eco-village the first of its kind in the UK and out of this the One Planet Living approach, ten interconnected and holistic principles to show people how to make sustainable living actionable and desirable. Sue was also instrumental in designing SDG12, focused on sustainable consumption and production – essential to One Planet Living. Sue is an Ashoka fellow.
Episode 100: Interview with Nadina Galle, CEO and Co-Founder at Green City Watch, an Amsterdam-based geoAI company empowering urban foresters to manage their tree inventory in real-time.
41:11In this inspiring interview, Nadina Galle, CEO & Co-Founder at Green City Watch, speaks to the growing trend of urbanization, and the key role that that urban forests play in greening cities. She explains how Green City Watch uses powerful AI and machine learning technologies to provide a cost-effective solution to oversee and manage urban green spaces and talks about the company’s first product focused on urban forests.Nadina Galle is an ecologist whose practice spans the fields of sustainability, technology, and urbanism. She is CEO & Co-Founder at Green City Watch in Amsterdam, a global, award-winning geospatial AI company focused on renaturing cities and development of urban forests. Nadina holds degrees in ecology, evolutionary biology and earth sciences from the universities of Toronto, Singapore, and Amsterdam. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecological Engineering, at University College Dublin Spatial Dynamics Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Senseable City Lab, and Trinity College Dublin.