‘How We Survive’: Journalist-turned-VC Molly Wooden on local weather tech

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Excellent can’t be the enemy of fine. That’s the motto by which journalist-turned-climate-tech investor Molly Wooden makes funding choices.

Final month, throughout a keynote dialog at GreenBiz 22, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wooden talked about how her expertise as a multimedia enterprise journalist overlaying know-how, economics and the local weather disaster led to her pivot to work in enterprise capital. She is managing director at Launch, a VC that invests in early-stage local weather options. 

“I’m leaving media to change into an investor working with all of the local weather tech that I’ve gotten so obsessive about over the previous three years,” Wooden introduced in November when she made the change. 

Wooden is understood for incorporating the themes of local weather tech, local weather justice and resilience into her reporting. The “How We Survive” podcast with Market will get into the economics, tech and human tales behind local weather adaptation. She has additionally co-hosted some episodes of This Week in Startups alongside the present’s founder and CEO, Jason Calacanis. Wooden mentioned she actually needed to take the method of reporting on local weather tech by speaking about options, which began about 4 years in the past.

The motivation to get entangled within the local weather tech VC motion was private. Wooden mentioned her hairdresser launched her to local weather scientist Inez Fung, who basically has been saying, “We’re to the purpose the place we’ve got tipped on some stage” in relation to this local weather disaster, and we want new tech options now. This was when it clicked for Wooden that she needed and wanted to do extra about this drawback past preserving folks knowledgeable along with her reporting. 

How we survive with lithium batteries 

Wooden describes herself as a solutions-oriented lady who doesn’t like to speak about issues; as a substitute, she will get right down to fixing. Her long-form podcast “How We Survive,” which encompasses eight episodes, breaks down how tech options will have an effect on the local weather disaster, the likelihood for change and obstacles that would come up. The narrative focuses on batteries particularly, together with lithium mining and the lithium provide chain in the USA. When Wooden was researching renewable vitality, many roads led to lithium, so she adopted the subject in a method that may be interesting to the mainstream media.

“I’ve been obsessive about batteries for a number of years as a result of they appear like sort of a giant deal within the transition to renewable vitality,” Wooden mentioned. “Sure, it’s a podcast about lithium and batteries, but it surely’s about Indigenous rights, eco-terrorism, loopy enterprise espionage tales and it’s concerning the communities which can be impacted or determined for these options in numerous methods.”

As we take into consideration formulating options, we’ve got to be very trustworthy about who’s impacted, what meaning and the way we talk and speak about that.

As she explored this matter, Wooden mentioned what struck her essentially the most was “how human people are.” What she means is there are all the time reactions to peoples’ actions. She additionally mentioned creating actual options to handle local weather change requires extra honesty and making laborious decisions. 

“As we take into consideration formulating options, we’ve got to be very trustworthy about who’s impacted, what meaning and the way we talk and speak about that,” she mentioned. 

A few of these laborious decisions embrace the potential for lithium extraction in the USA, Wooden mentioned, which might be labor-intensive and never essentially the most environmentally pleasant follow. 

Wooden’s shift to the local weather tech VC house

Photo voltaic and renewable vitality are a few of Wooden’s major curiosity areas for enterprise capital investing. Loads of potential innovations can be game-changers, she mentioned, however she’s searching for those that may have essentially the most affect on customers and behavioral change.

“There must be Silicon Valley silver bullets. That is part of our resolution matrix. A matrix that features every thing, we want all of it,” Wooden mentioned. 

What’s going to it take to get us to the place we have to go? 

Wooden concluded her “How We Survive” discuss throughout GreenBiz 22 with a name to motion: We have to get to work now. She mentioned corporations creating tech options to handle the local weather disaster must be brutally trustworthy about what might be improper with their options — after which nonetheless share these options with the world as a result of they may also help in different wanted areas. 

“Excellent can’t be the enemy of the answer,” Wooden mentioned. “If there’s a solution, we want all of them.”


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