Climate Connectors

Climate Connectors

‚ö°The Climate Crisis is a crisis of disconnection.

We’ve become disconnected from the natural world, so we trash it.

Disconnected from each other, we don’t want to help strangers.

Disconnected from thinking about our own mortality, we don’t do things for our grandchildren.

Disconnected from facts and solutions, we lose all understanding, and hope.

This week at Innovation Zero, I saw plenty of hope, and understanding. I’ve never had much time for “optimism”, because optimists get dragged into pub bore conversations with “pessimists”.

Instead, I prefer positivity. And I saw a lot this week.

In 2008, I trudged the aisles of a vast trade expo in San Francisco. It was like the opening scene of a Tom Hanks film where the everyman dreams of escape. In a distant corner, sat a tiny “Tech for Good” area. It was like a petting zoo; all hay bales, cookies, and milk.

When Innovate UK called us after that first WebMission, to see if we’d like to do a “clean tech” version, I had to Google it. I thought it was something to do with washing machines.

Many years, and several spin cycles later, Tech for Good is on the main stage.

Nobody puts Clean Tech in a corner.

Indeed, #InnovationZero was teeming with investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers, learning from each other.

And yet climate change, and Clean Tech especially, now faces a crisis of connection.

If we are to scale these mountains, we’ll need experts. But we’ll also need fresh talents, ideas and networks.

Serial entrepreneurs who decide to make that tricky second album about the tricky world problem of climate.

Rockstar investors who move from funding the entertaining to backing the world-changing.

Politicians and business leaders who aren’t scared to say “I don’t understand. Teach me”.

?We need a Large Human Collider.

A massive effort to spark world-changing connections.

Serious effort to connect changemakers to the people they want and need to meet. Social Capital alongside Venture Capital.

Serious effort made not by “someone”, but by everyone.

Too often, these things are dismissed, like the fluff in a tumble-dryer. The oddly satisfying byproduct of something else.

A Large Human Collider should be seen as the motor itself.

“What does this look like?”, our questioner asks. Is it a place, a bus, a space?

Instead, I’d argue that we need a generation of Climate Social Capitalists, committed to making useful introductions to solve climate change.

Combine this with an array of techniques and platforms (I’ve always thought that the humble hashtag was underrated) making it easier than ever for innovators to share what they need, and the scene will be set.

?Every major corporation having a Climate Connector programme.

?Every funder with its own Connector Partners driven to make a difference.

?Every climate scaleup with a dedicated “WLTM” page on their website, and an accompanying “Help Us” box.

Climate Connectors unite.

?Our world needs you.

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