I’ve been asked about this a lot recently, so here are some of my thoughts. Innovation, to me, means doing something different. In the context of climate action, science and technology is just a catalyst to help people understand how their changes will accelerate overall progress. So my preferred and novel approach is empowering everyone to turn their data into information instead of relying on information shared by governments or other central organisations.
I have found it challenging to encourage everyone to change their behaviours today. Some people find it hard to imagine a future that is decades away, and this is a significant problem that needs immediate action. In the same way that tackling air pollution is often talked about as ‘making the invisible visible’, we need to use data and build models of how the planet will look 10, 20 and 30 years from now if just a tiny percentage of the global population make the changes needed now.
Climate change is an energy issue. Decisions taken today by the world’s population will be the making of all our futures. On a personal level, the energy we put into our everyday lives and our commitment to make changes will affect future generations immensely. Personal energy, pledges and action are crucial to preserving our planet and addressing issues around the consumption and production of energy as a commodity. To me, innovation is helping people understand their impact on the climate crisis by collecting personal data to tell their own stories, allowing everyone to become change-makers and contributing to the collective effort needed to make a difference.
At the November countdown to COP26, Boris Johnson noted the urgency to act as “climate change will remain the most enduring threat to the futures of our children and grandchildren”. This is my generation. We can catalyse the rate of response. We have the power to change the world, therefore, helping everyone to innovate and do things differently in their everyday lives.