renewable energy

Sandra Kwak: #WeStandWithHaiti & #4thWorld as U.S. Solar Energy Policy Erodes [Ep. 100]

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If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.

 

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Executive strategist and systems thinker, Sandra Kwak is applying disruptive innovation to create a regenerative future. Before launching 10Power, she scaled AutoGrid from prototype to a global brand, creating automated intelligence out of big data from the smart grid. Prior, as Co-Founder / President / COO of energy efficiency company Powerzoa, she brought building management hardware and software tools to market. Sandra has also served as CEO of a software company producing the world’s first mathematically lossless video codec. She worked at Pacific Gas & Electric implementing the ClimateSmart program and has consulted with clients including Mitsubishi, the Transamerica Holding Company, and The San Francisco Foundation. Sandra has an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in Political Science and Visual Art from Emory University.  10 Power is an investee of LIFT Economy’s Force for Good Fund.

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Some highlights from Andrew’s interview with Sandra include:

  • Sandra describes how part of her inspiration for creating 10Power grew from her observation that concerted efforts to elevate social equity was missing from CleanTech sector as thousands lack access to electricity and all that affordable electrical infrastructure affords

  • With Haiti importing most of its energy, Sandra enumerates emerging opportunities for solar in Haiti including building virgin, state of the art infrastructure and innovative financing to increase affordability

  • Sandra laments Trump’s imposition of tariffs on solar panels, counterproductively backsliding U.S. energy policy as Haitian President Jovenel Moïse boldly removes tariffs entirely from solar panel imports with promises of rapidly electrifying Haiti with renewable energy

  • Deriving much of her hope and inspiration from youth, Sandra offers advice to anyone wanting to make a difference in CleanTech or in general, advising us to treat every experience as a learning experience, to find or create the conditions that enable us to thrive, and to elevate positive solutions

  • As they continue recognizing, investing in, and scaling solutions, 10Power will be raising a fund later this year (subscribe to LIFT Economy’s monthly newsletter to stay tuned for opportunities to support!)

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

Tom Steyer: Climate Change, Trump, and How to Create Prosperity for All Americans [Ep. 62]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview


Tom Steyer is an active citizen, business leader and philanthropist working to ensure that everyone shares the benefits of economic opportunity, education, and a healthy climate.

Tom’s dedication to public service is greatly inspired by his wife, Kat, the co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank in Oakland. They founded the nonprofit community bank in 2007 to provide loans to the underserved in California and along the West Coast.

In 2010, Tom and Kat pledged to contribute most of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes. That same year, Tom worked to defeat Proposition 23, an attempt by the oil industry to roll back California’s historic plan to reduce pollution and address climate change. Later, in 2012, Tom led a campaign to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in California schools annually by closing a corporate tax loophole.

Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded and was the Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management. Currently, Tom Steyer serves as the President of NextGen America, an organization he founded to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. Tom also serves as co-chair of Save Lives California, the coalition to prevent teen smoking and fund cancer research.

Some of the things we discuss in our interview include:

To learn more about Tom, check out his official Facebook page and his bio at NextGen America.

In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Sandra Kwak: Solar as the Backbone for a New Economy - in Haiti and Beyond [Ep. 34]

“Solar is the backbone of an economy.” - Sandra Kwak

 

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Erin Axelrod, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Sandra Kwak, Founder and CEO of 10 Power, a woman-owned company that finances renewable energy in developing communities.

 

Sandra and Erin discuss the opportunities of bringing solar to countries like Haiti - where the most recent Hurricane Matthews has caused an extraordinary amount of devastation and destruction and yet where there is so much potential to build a regenerative economy leveraging cutting edge renewable energy technology.

 

As you’ll hear, Sandra is enthusiastic about the promise of solar, especially for the potential it offers to communities who are currently lacking access to electricity. For these countries, it offers a way to modernize in a more efficient, cost effective, and sustainable manner than what fossil fuels have offered since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

 

In this interview, Erin and Sandra discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How “third-party financing” spurred the adoption of solar in the US, and how 10 Power is leveraging that to springboard adoption of solar in Haiti.

  • Why solar is the backbone of a local, living economy

  • The importance of building ownership. The 10 Power model fosters local ownership of the companies and all installations are done via a pay-to-own model.

  • Why fossil fuels are “not a good investment anymore.”

  • The importance of the divestment movement - the largest movement to divest from fossil fuels in financial history.

  • Gender equality as a key element that is driving 10 power’s business model

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

 

In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is a shepherdess, indigo farmer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Blake Jones: Employee Ownership and Extreme Transparency as Competitive Advantages [Ep. 32]

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Shawn Berry, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Blake Jones, the former CEO and Co-founder of Namaste Solar.

Blake Jones is the President of Namaste Solar, a 100% employee-owned solar electric company based in Colorado. He began his career working as a civil engineer in the oil and gas industry. He then spent time in Nepal implementing solar, wind, hydro, and electric vehicle technologies.

In late 2004, he returned to the USA to co-found Namaste Solar which has installed more solar systems throughout Colorado than any other company. Due to its unique business model, Namaste Solar has earned widespread recognition.

In this interview, Shawn & Blake discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Their company culture based in extreme transparency

  • Transitioning away from his former role as CEO

  • Slow decisions and fast execution

  • Enhanced work life satisfaction from working with a strong team

  • The solar buying cooperative they helped start

  • The pending launch of the Clean Energy Credit Union

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article. If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview

In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Shawn Berry is a Partner at LIFT Economy, where he works as an organizational strategist inspired to harness the power of business to create resilient local economies as patterns to be documented, open sourced, scaled globally, and adapted regionally.

LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @sd_berry or email him shawn@lifteconomy.com.

Kat Taylor: Can a Bank be an Agent of Radical Social and Environmental Change? [Ep. 22]

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Ryan Honeyman, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank.

Beneficial State Bank is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. The bank’s revolutionary ownership mandates that any distributed profit be invested in the low-income communities it serves and environment upon which we all depend.

Kat is also a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF), dedicated to inspiring a sustainable food system through ranching, training, tours, research, and school food and garden programs. TKREF owns the social enterprise LeftCoast GrassFed, humanely raising cattle and other livestock for the benefit of people and the planet.

Kat serves and has served on many non-profit boards including the Harvard Board of Overseers, Ecotrust, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, ProPublica, CuriOdyssey, Insight Prison Project, KQED and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She graduated from Harvard College and earned a JD/MBA from Stanford University. Tom Steyer, Kat's climate/energy activist husband, and she have four grown children.

In this interview, Ryan and Kat discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How Beneficial State Bank is addressing systemic challenges in our financial system

  • The debate about growing her bank or staying the same size, and why she believes that it is hard to shift economic prosperity without at least some growth

  • Why Kat and her husband Tom Steyer are focused on banking, climate change, and regenerative agriculture

  • The books, organizations, and thought leaders that have influenced her thinking

  • The one thing that anyone listening can do to make a difference in our financial system

  • And much more

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

In addition, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

$20 Million & Change: Phil Graves on Patagonia's New Venture Capital Fund [Ep. 10]

Phil Graves, Director of Patagonia's $20 Million and Change, and Ryan Honeyman, Partner at LIFT Economy, discuss:

  • Why did Patagonia start to make venture capital investments?

  • What types of investments has $20 Million and Change made? What types of investments does it plan to make?

  • Why is a clothing company looking at expanding into regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, waste reduction, and conserving water?

  • How does this venture capital fund align with Patagonia's overall mission to use business to help solve the environmental crisis?

To listen, please click the image above.

You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on your favorite podcasting platform, including: iTunes, SoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.