[00:00:01:00] Sarah Finnie Robinson, founding partner at WeSpire. I'm deeply involved in investments for our transition to the clean energy world. So that's traditionally known as green investing or sustainability investing. I blog. I connect people. I try to influence influencers who I know. Many of them are from the world of corporate responsibility.
[00:00:32:03] And I am also involved in Boston with the Climate Ready Boston plan, as a citizen and as a member of the Boston Harbor Now Climate Preparedness Committee. Luckily, we have a wonderful mayor here in Boston who's on board and on the steering committee of the C40 Mayors Coalition. So we're just starting to see plans and data coming forward and real organization from City Hall and also in the state legislature.
[00:01:08:19] I realized that there was a small, but strong and growing, community of corporate leadership on sustainability, in large part because of that whole investment angle. You know, you don't get very far unless you have those big financial players on board with you. So why not look into corporations as an answer here on global climate change?
[00:01:36:19] They're reading the newspapers, too. And so they want to know what to do. And my view has been not to come at them with a bludgeon-- and there are plenty of very smart and capable activist groups that are angry, and justifiably so. But my comfort zone is to come at them with a business case, and quickly on that, following with a solution or two.
[00:02:05:19] When I was in Paris on the occasion of the COP21-- and it was a fascinating place to be as those 190 plus nations all convened on this one document and said, yeah, we're going to do it. We're going to all, each in our own way, be part of the solution here on global climate change.
[00:02:27:00] And what you maybe didn't see from the news reports was that there was a whole community of financial leaders, actors, from Goldman Sachs to JP Morgan to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development sort of off to the side, but very much in their own conclave and conferring with one another-- almost circling like sharks, like very smart sharks.
[00:02:54:27] Because it's going to take on the order of-- I've seen $50 trillion. I've seen $100 trillion-- that's in dollars-- of investment shifting from the current way of powering the planet to the new way, which is to say without any carbon emissions, because the world, the earth, the physical earth, cannot stand any more.
[00:03:22:08] I've always enjoyed writing and communicating. And I started blogging a year and a half ago for Huffington Post. What I do is look for good news. I look for ways that people get themselves out of that depressing funk. Why are they motivated to create a solution? For example, the MIT Climate CoLab is just populated with all kinds of solutions. And I'm honored to serve as a judge for that.
[00:03:51:09] And that's how I discovered the Climate C program, which is phenomenal, because what you're doing is you're creating an arena platform for all kinds of different innovators and scientists and experts to compare notes from all over the world. So a great stream of positive news comes really from the technology that was created in our most recent amazing shift, which would have been the digital revolution.
[00:04:28:18] Now we are looking at another equally, if not much bigger, shift from the way we have been creating energy and enjoying a modern lifestyle to a new way of creating that energy and enjoying a modern lifestyle that does not, at the same time, make the situation any worse. And with nine billion people coming on board the grid, this is really a challenge that we all need to face.
[00:05:09:06] The company that I helped to build provides groups of people with the definite knowledge that together they're making a big difference and they're having a collective impact. And the reason that I was so attracted to the idea of WeSpire when the founder explained it to me was because her whole idea was to make the process of being sustainable and smart around environmental choices and taking great simple actions in favor of the environment.
[00:05:48:05] Her idea was to sort of take the itchy, grouchy, guilty, fearful, scratchy approach and just toss that right out the window and instead, lets make this social, fun, science-based. And I'm thrilled that we have something like 44 corporations, many of them names you would know on the Fortune 500 list, up and running and humming with their employees doing things like saving a ton of carbon each, or starting a compost problem.
[00:06:25:04] I really do think that we are at an existential tipping point. I believe that this is the issue of our time. And we just happen to be alive and ticking and healthy and educated and not trying to scrap together our next meal. So we're responsible for all of this. And those of us who are able to be part of the solution, we've got to be. We've just got to do it.