Together For ClimateTech — Lessons I’m bringing with me
I am honored to announce that I have stepped into the Managing Director role at Nextcorps new ClimateTech program that launches and funds ClimateTech innovators globally who are solving challenges for the Climate Crisis and environmental justice. To my new team at Nextcorps, who have been doing the hard work in the CleanTech and ClimateTech space for over a decade, thank you for this opportunity. To our supporters NYSERDA, thank you for setting us up for success with your strong vision for how to make New York State leaders in ClimateTech adoption and environmental justice. To our co-facilitators and core partner, Secondmuse, thank you for bringing me into your community — I am inspired by your view of the world and its potential. And, of course, a massive thank you to all of my Techstars, Revolar, and Teach for America communities, and to my family, mentors, and friends who have believed in me from the start. I can’t decide if it’s because it took a village to raise me professionally or if it’s because after all the hits, the reason I have been able to keep getting back up again is because you’re in the ring with me. Either way, thank you.
When I made the personal connection between the Climate Crisis, resource allocation failures, and how the most vulnerable communities are the ones most impacted by these issues, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life towards supporting innovation that makes our world healthier and more equitable. As I stepped into this role, I reflected and asked myself, “What was the one lesson I wanted to make sure I brought with me forward? What was the one mistake I didn’t want to make again?”
My Biggest Lesson (Failure): I was too competitive when it came to building Revolar. I should have viewed my “competitors” not as competition, but as future peers and colleagues on a mission to make the world safer with me, versus instead of me. When you’re tackling a systemic issue, either everyone wins or everyone loses. My competitive energy should have been channeled differently, but I let my ego and fear of losing blur my vision on how we could get there. My once biggest strength became my resounding weakness in leadership and vision. It’s a mistake I’m hoping to not repeat. And really what was I so afraid of? After selling our business, I finally got to meet some of our competitors and all I could remember thinking was, Why didn’t I reach out sooner? They were amazing and I’m disappointed I got in my own way.
My Biggest Takeaway (Learning): The Climate Crisis is the greatest problem of our generation, and may be the only one that matters. The only way to tackle such a global, pervasive, and complex problem is through extreme transparency and extreme collaboration. It’s going to take whole communities coming together, that have never worked together before, to create sustainable and equitable ecosystems. We will all win or we all will lose — together. In the words of our partners at Secondmuse, “We wanted to see if we could build new economic relationships without employing competitive frameworks. We had a theory of change rooted in collaboration and inclusion, and a vision of a prosperous future that was just and equitable for all.”
So this is me, evolving and imperfect, drawing a line in the sand. You are all my collaborators. We are all on the same team. This is me inviting you to the table as a partner. The world needs us, we need us, and we are capable of building anything we imagine, if we work hard enough. In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming of the world I believe is possible and focus on channeling all of my considerable energy into action. I can’t wait to see how beautiful, green, healthy, equitable, and collaborative the world will be ten years from now as a result of us coming together to support these founders and their incredible innovations!
If you want to talk to me about ClimateTech and how to get involved in our community, don’t hesitate to reach out!