How Can We Be Radically Inclusive In Our Approach to Climate Tech?

Juan Barraza
How do we get proven climate-friendly technology like heat pumps and induction stoves, into every home? It starts by making sure that climate tech teams are radically inclusive from the beginning so that the teams developing climate tech have lived experience with diverse communities with needs that may be very different from those of an affluent suburban homeowner.

Session Description

Most climate tech, from electric vehicles to heat pumps to induction stoves, are designed and built for people who look like the engineering teams that designed the products: highly educated, living in single family homes in affluent neighborhoods, with disposable income to put towards greener solutions. But when it comes to fully decarbonizing our society, that’d not going to be enough.

How can we ensure that climate tech gets implemented everywhere? How do we overcome the barriers that make it harder for some people to get access to proven technologies like heat pumps and electric cars, that are poised to go mainstream if the products are accessible and economical enough?
It starts by supporting entrepreneurs who understand their own communities’ needs, and can design accessible, economical solutions that make sense for the community and for the climate as a whole. For example, encouraging private van drivers in Mexico to switch to electric vans is a win-win-win for the van drivers, Mexico City residents and the climate, because the vans lower costs for the drivers, improve air quality in the city, and lower carbon emissions.

Juan Barraza will share his thoughts on how we can be radically inclusive in our approach to developing climate solutions that work for everyone — not just Silicon Valley engineers.



About Your Speaker

Juan Barraza is the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at VertueLab.

In this role, Juan is responsible for envisioning, creating, delivering, and continuously improving upon the support programs we offer to innovators and entrepreneurs, either on our own or with partners.

Juan joins VertueLab from Portland State University, where he served as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. He believes that entrepreneurship is a great equalizer in society, and that any individual with an idea or concept and a strong work ethic can create a great venture with a direct economic impact on family and community.

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