Since returning to Australia from the DLD conference
in Munich and the World Economic Forum
in Davos, my identity as an Aussie startup founder has had a serious shakeup.
The Australian delegation arrived excited, with fluffy koalas clipped proudly to all of our delegate lanyards. But by the end of day one, most of our koalas were in hiding. The people I met, all established and respected leaders in their fields, were well informed on the Australian bushfire crisis. First they first checked that my family was okay, and then a barrage of climate change questions began.
Why would Australians, whose habitat, wildlife and livelihoods are burning, stand by a political party that is doubling down on fossil fuels? And more importantly, how could we be so short sighted?
My answers did not satisfy their enquiries. Inevitably, they wanted to know what I was going to do about it. I was overcome with helplessness. What could I do?
Talk after talk, presentation after presentation, similar themes came up: sustainability, technology, transparency, and the colourful grid of 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
. I lost count of how many times I saw the bushfire photo with the kangaroo bounding away, and I was suddenly aware of the urgency of the situation.
My big takeaway was that the way we live our lives and run our businesses must change if we are to have any hope of reaching the 2030 global goals deadline. Purpose and profit must co-exist, because there will be no future of work if we don't get this right. Europe is all over this, but Australia needs to catch up fast. In 2019, purpose-led European businesses received six times more investment than five years before, up to 4.4 billion USD. The wave is coming, and we need to be ready to surf it.
I left Australia with a newly released tech platform and good intentions, but I have come back with an action plan. To start, we are cleaning up our own backyard and putting purpose at the centre of Codebots, ensuring that our products and actions contribute to achieving the global SDG goals. I am no expert on climate change or sustainability, but that's partly why we are all in this mess. We have delegated our power and responsibility to a system that doesn't always listen to the experts, especially when it's not in the economic interest.
At the dawn of a new decade, we now need to reduce emissions by 7.6 per cent every year until 2030. If don't achieve this target, we miss a closing moment in history to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The consequences of staying on our current path is nothing short of devastating as we will experience increasingly severe climate impacts, seesawing between fires and floods cyclones and heatwaves.
I am asking myself and my team, "What positive change can we make with the tools, resources and influence that are available to us?"
we have launched a champions program that gives purposeful humans that are pursuing the global goals access to Codebots technology, plus moral and tech support from a like minded community. We will be sharing their unique journeys, the solutions, and the struggles, bringing attention to the incredible work that they do.
We have committed to becoming carbon neutral in 2020, and will build an app on Codebots to calculate our footprint, and give advice for reducing it. We will make this app available on the Codebots platform so that anyone in our community can implement and build on it, and ultimately take ownership and responsibility. It will be a learning journey on our quest to climate enlightenment, and I'll blog as we go!
In the next few weeks, our team are embarking on a journey to define why we exist as a company. This manifesto will become a rudder to our ship, and a guide for which waves we catch and which ones we let go.