Climate Confident

What Could Go Right in Climate? A Chat With Author Justin Bean

December 21, 2022 Tom Raftery / Justin Bean Season 1 Episode 101
Climate Confident
What Could Go Right in Climate? A Chat With Author Justin Bean
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Show Notes Transcript

I recently came across Justin Bean's new book What Could Go Right? (non-affiliate Amazon link) - which asks what if we put aside #climate doom, and Pollyanna optimism, and instead picture an ideal world, and work towards it?

Intrigued to know more, I invited Justin to come on the podcast. We talked about the book, why Justin felt compelled to write it, the lessons he learned, as well as the books central thesis.

This was a truly fascinating episode of the podcast and I learned loads as always, and I hope you do too.

Justins Links:
LinkedIn
Twitter
And his website

If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message on my SpeakPipe page, head on over to the Climate 21 Podcast Forum, or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

If you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover the show. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Music credit - Intro and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper



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Credits
Music credits - Intro by Joseph McDade, and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper

Justin Bean:

The path forward is not just fighting the future that we don't want, but out creating, out, executing out, collaborating, out, communicating, those who are creating an unsustainable future so that we are creating a superior alternative that society naturally shifts over to. Right? Because if, you're creating an alternative, that's obviously better that's the best way to get people to transition.

Tom Raftery:

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you are in the world. This is the climate 21 podcast. The number one podcast, showcasing best practices in climate emission reductions. And I'm your host, Tom Raftery. Don't forget to click follow on this podcast in your podcast app of choice, to be sure you don't miss any episodes. Hi everyone. Welcome to the Climate 21 Podcast. My name is Tom Raftery and with me on the show today, I have my special guest. Justin. Justin, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Justin Bean:

Sure. Thanks Tom. Thanks for having me on and uh, hi everybody. So my name is Justin Bean. I'm the author of What Could Go Right, designing Our Ideal Future to emerge from continual Crises to a thriving world. I've also been working in sustainability strategy with Fortune 500 s and governments and startups to help them to get on board with sustainability, figure out what their path forward is and how that can make sense for them from a business and strategic standpoint, so that they can be more successful from a traditional business standpoint while incorporating sustainability or even by incorporating sustainability. So I've been doing this for quite some time now. I've got an MBA in sustainable management. Have done some executive trainings at Stanford and also INSEAD over in France and just really excited about what's going on in the world in this space, and excited to have this conversation with you today.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, and why? Why did you write the book? You know, what could go right? What was the thinking behind that?

Justin Bean:

Yeah. Yeah. What really started it for me was thinking about how we might build a better future. And so in doing that, I look to our stories about the future and what I found is not terribly surprising. We love stories about ourselves blowing up. And, you know, seeing the end of the world and, and how terrible everything is. And when you read the news, it supports that narrative, right? They're looking for clicks and so they're, they're giving us all of this terrible news that in many cases is true. There are some really, fundamental issues going on in the world and some big challenges that we have in front of us. But the problem with that is that it doesn't give us a better idea of what to build. It only tells us what to fight. And so sure that's a necessary step in the process, figuring out what's wrong with the world and, and what we want to change and standing up against you know, powers that be, or other groups that are, against sustainability or not helping us advance it. Sure, that's, that's a big part of it. But if we're only focused on that, we don't actually know what we're building towards or the path that we're moving forward on. So, what I wanted to do was, one, for my own curiosity and research and interest, was to figure out what are some better visions of the future that can help us better understand what it might look like if we got it right. And so it, it's kind of this difference between, you know, watching these great movies like Terminator or The Matrix or, you know, black Mirror or some, you know, some of my favorite movies and TV shows. But versus looking at Star Trek. Right, and, Star Trek has really taken this opposite view of the future really is could be great, and if we continue to advance technology in the way that it's advancing and we continue to advance our social systems to more egalitarianism, more education, more empowerment. Of all people, we can really reach the stars and explore, you know, things far beyond what we, what we think of today. Now that's centuries in the future and it's less actionable, but it's given us some ideas for things to create, right? The replicator you know, the being the 3D printer the tablet and smartphones, right? Coming from the communicators, phasers have you know, inspired tasers, right? Some non-lethal weapons to, and, and I actually saw a, a talk from the c e O of Taser who said that was his inspiration was reducing the number of deaths from police interactions. And so giving them a tool to, to stop people who are either mentally ill or dangerous to others without killing them. So, so these utopian futures and these, these positive views of the future. Not only give us a little bit of inspiration and make us feel better about what the future might be, it gives us ideas and gives us some tangible and specific technologies and things to build towards and new ways of thinking about economics and society. So that was kind of the genesis of it. I, I wanted to look into it. So I started interviewing a, a lot of people in different areas. And thinking through a few different things. The first is that mindset shift, right? So why is it important to shift from this dystopian view and this fear-based view into this, you know, creative and positive view of the future where we can we can have something to build. And then two, what are all the trends that surround us from technological trends to societal trends that are actually making the world a better place today? Right. We actually live in one of the most advanced and most empowered times in human history to do something about it and for everyone to participate. And so it's, it's actually a really exciting time despite some of the things that we, you know, see and hear on the news. And then third, practicing what we preach, right? And, and thinking about the future of society from a perspective of meeting needs. So I took the Maslow's hierarchy of needs and applied it not just to individuals, but to society. And so what might that society look like if we're able to meet people's physiological needs, community needs, education needs, all the way up to self-actualization. And interviewed experts in those different areas to, to get a sense of how they were thinking about it and the trends they were seeing. So it was really fun. And so that's, that's how the book kind of came together. It was it kind of took on a life of its own after the onset as many books do. And that's what I came to. And it's, it's an exciting read. And going back and reading it myself was like, you know what? This was really interesting. I really enjoyed these conversations and these were some really fun ideas to get out there. So, you know, love to share that with everybody.

Tom Raftery:

Cool. And so what were some of the learnings?. I mean, why is it important to change people's mindset? That was your first point.

Justin Bean:

Yeah. Yeah. So one is, like I said, the ability to create something, but there's also some neuroscience involved in this and some, you know, biochemistry that happens. So in the brain, obviously, when you're in this fight or flight mode and you're worried about cataclysmic disasters and society falling apart and everything that's, fearful and, and told to us your brain is actually less effective. And so it's estimated that you lose about 30% of your intellectual capacity when you're in that state. And so you maybe have more ingenuity in a quick second, right? To get away from a predator or to create something for you to path out. But you're, you're less safe. And so the, the parts of your brain that are really working are, are the ones that are just trying to keep you alive in the moment, right? And we see this in many cases and the stress that we have at work and the stresses that surround us and, and all of that. But in this case, when thinking about the future or trying to plan, we're so, we become so focused on the immediate danger and the fear that we don't have the courage to be creative. And so when you shift to inspired, creative and safe place of thinking about a, how good the future might be. It really activates a different part of your brain that's more creative and artistic and allows you to expand the boundaries of what you perceive as possible. And so there's, there's a whole emotional human aspect of it, but when we think about business also think about design thinking. This is an approach that's used by companies and governments and schools all over the world. And one of the most fundamental things about design thinking is first, getting to know the people that you're designing for. Empathy was number one, but the the second, and one of the most important parts of that is starting with what's desirable, right? And so we go through this process of desirability, feasibility, and viability. So, and you have to start with the first, with desirability. So desirability says if you were to solve this problem using any means out there. Let's say you've got, quantum transporters or you've got, any technology in the future, just imagine anything you can, right? Imagine we've got 10 earths that we can pull from. Imagine, you know, everything is sustainable and, and you can do anything. With that comes a broader set of solutions, which you can then whittle down to what is technologically feasible and what can actually be built, given the technology we actually have. Or we can, you know, tweak a little bit to, to build. And then next what's financially or from a business standpoint, feasible. So what can we create a business around that actually makes money and is sustainable from a financial standpoint? And so if you were to start from the financial standpoint, You would get far fewer answers, right? And so you would be, you'd be coming from a, a fear or conservation and holding perspective of what's gonna make you money, right? And so this is often why entrepreneurs or people who are just focused on, how can I make a million dollars next week are, you know, not terribly successful because it actually is focused on the wrong thing, which is the, the right thing in my perspective would be creating value. So how can you create value for the world? And it's a similar case if you just come from the technology perspective. And we see this with startups often. You know, an engineer will say, this is something we can build. This is so cool. And then they go out and build it because they can. But they haven't thought about who's gonna use it and why it provide value to them and how they can. Make it something that is making the world a better place. And so it's, it's so important to start from that desirability standpoint to one, create more solutions. Two, be able to have more creative solutions and, and more interconnections between them. Cuz you might see paths and connections between these different solutions that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise. And it makes you rethink the problem. And so if money weren't an object, if technology weren't an object, you might go about solving the problem in a very different way. So that's why it's so important. It's important for us, you know, in the way that we think and the way that we feel about a solution, and actually the way that we execute on it, and the way that we deliver value to the world.

Tom Raftery:

Hmm. Yeah, I mean, part of the reason that I started this podcast was because I was constantly hearing bad news about, what's going on in the climate space. And, you know, it, it has the potential to make you fall into a kind of pit of despair, throw your hands up in the air and go, we're doomed, we're doomed. And you know, there's this whole climate anxiety thing now that's coming to the fore as well, which is, it's a genuine problem, particularly for the younger generation. So, like I said, that's why I started this podcast. I wanted to highlight, good news stories because they're out there as well. And in fact, they're not getting the same kind of level of coverage. And so I wanted to highlight those. And at the same time, I wanted just for, being a little bit selfish, I wanted to go looking for good news stories for my own mental health as well. So

Justin Bean:

Right.

Tom Raftery:

you know

Justin Bean:

And by doing that, you're helping other people with their mental health. Right?

Tom Raftery:

true

Justin Bean:

thank you for putting this podcast together and, and providing that. I'm sure your listeners find it really helpful in the, in the same way that you did.

Tom Raftery:

I hope so. I hope so. But, There's, there's, I mean, you, you talked about Pollyanna a minute ago as well. There's this whole flip side of that in that there's a lot of techno utopian talk where technology will save everything and there's gotta be a middle ground somewhere, I gotta think where, you know, yes, we can do a lot and we have to do a lot. We can't throw our hands up on the air, but it is really serious and we gotta uh, roll our sleeves up. Right?

Justin Bean:

Absolutely. Yeah, I, I think one of the worst things to address your first point, the worst thing we can do is nothing, right? So if we just sit back and say, it's hopeless. So I'm just gonna go and set this barrel of oil on fire and go eat everything unsustainable and, and screw it. Just live the rest of my life contributing to the problem. That's the worst that we can do, especially as a society and especially as young people who are coming into new professions and education with, bright eyes and pushy tails about the world and lots of energy to to contribute and lots of expertise. You know, four year old children are probably more effective at using iPads than, than you or I right. because they've grown up in this world where that's immediately available to them, and that's an incredible. Value add to their ability to do something. And so, yeah, it's, it's really important to not go down the path also of Pollyannaism and believing too deeply that technology's gonna solve everything and it's gonna cure all ills and just, just let the technology do it and we'll be fine. And so it is really serious and I actually dedicated a a really interesting part in the book about what could go wrong. And so we went down the path of, extremely dystopian authoritarian societies, right? That we've got all this surveillance technology. It's, it's becoming easier and easier for a smaller number of people to kill a larger number of right? This technology empowers us in really good ways, but it can also empower us in really dangerous ways. And so today it's basically impossible for one person to kill a million people. A hundred years ago, it would've been totally possible for one person to kill 10 people with a, a rifle or, you know, a handgun. You know, these days it's easier and easier to get access to explosives and the knowledge around how to create it. And, and I think the knowledge is really where it comes from. And so it's, going in this direction, or it could go in this direction where you've got either extremely free people who have all the knowledge to do everything they want, and if they're disenfranchised and if they don't feel like they're a part of the society, they have a lot of justified anger and rage. It doesn't justify any actual violence. But you can understand how they would feel hurt and unsupported and, and feel their lives were in danger from being a part of that society. And so you will get more of that terrorism and more of the strong man authoritarianism to clamp down on that, and it could lead to a very, very dark place. And so we need to acknowledge that and we need to understand that. And yes, we should fear it and it should be part of our motivation.

Tom Raftery:

Mm-hmm.

Justin Bean:

But then what do you do about that? And so I think that's the most important question, is knowing that that is a possibility and caring to do something about it. Because we owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our children, we owe it to the, the earth and the, the animals around us that we love and, and and cherish. We owe it to all of, all of that to do something about it. And so what's the most effective way to go about it? Knowing it could go wrong, knowing it's not gonna go perfect. So if you're envisioning the ideal. Know that that ideal is probably not what's going to happen, but if you are gonna put your effort into it, you need to be as creative as possible and as innovative as possible to come up with these inspirational futures that you can then break into pieces and say, which part can I build? And which part is gonna inspire somebody else that's good at this other part? And because we are such a varied and diverse species, we're incredibly strong at this, right? Like we didn't become a successful human species because we're so good at fighting each other and violence and, building tools to kill stronger animals like lions and tigers, right? That helps us survive. But if that was all it was, we'd be still living in caves and and trees. But what makes us really successful is our ability to collaborate and communicate and work together to solve problems. And the fact that we have such a diversity of brain states. And emotional makeups and different perspectives coming from so many different people. That adds to our ability to innovate and how people think of new things and get excited by working on different parts of a solution, right? You've got people who get really excited about exploring what the possibility is. You've got people who are super excited about telling everyone about it, right? And, and cheering on the crowd. You've got people who are really good at analysis and breaking things into little pieces and seeing how they work and saying, here's everything that could go wrong with that problem. And these are really important people too, especially for those of us who are more on the explorative side to be able to, to break it down and say, Hey, this isn't gonna work. We probably want to do this and maybe this is a better way to go about it. And then you've got people who love checking off the boxes and just executing. Right. And so those are four sort of general groups and the more that we recognize each other's value in our diversity, in our difference of, of perspective and experience and opinion the more I think we can advance together and leverage our strengths as a species, which is to collaborate and communicate and find that innovative path forward. And so that's one of the tensions that I think happens too, is, you know, on a team or in larger groups too, you've got the explorers and the analyzers at each other's throats, right? Because this one's over here brainstorming. This one's saying that's not gonna work. That's not, here's all the reasons why that's stupid. This person feels shut down. This feels, person feels, you know, that everyone's naive. But if everyone kind of recognizes that they have value to bring to the table and they have a part to play in the process and that. You need to start with the exploration, otherwise you don't get anywhere. You need scouts that go out and figure out what the future could be, and then you need people who can tell people about it really well and communicate and market, and you've got people that can really break it down and figure out how it would work and why we shouldn't go down this really irresponsible path over here. And then people who are really good at just getting it done. And we all have all those parts to us, but there are some that we get energized more than others. And so going down that path of where you are energized and what you get excited about can really help you add that value.

Tom Raftery:

Cool, cool. And in the book you talk about an omni thriving society. What's that? And how would we get there? Cuz it sounds really cool.

Justin Bean:

Yeah, no, that I, I thought that was one of the most amazing concepts that kind of came out of the research and, and talking to people. And so Omni Thrive is this concept that looks at society as an organism. So similar to your, to your own body, for your personal organism, to thrive at its highest, all of your different organs need to be thriving at their highest, right? So everything needs to be in this optimal balance. It's not that your lungs are in, in competition with your liver in a fight to the death for resources. If that happens, you're gone pretty soon, right? Like you get cancer, you get some sort of disease and, and the whole organism dies. And so sure, there's a balance. There's, there's areas of competition, there's areas of cooperation, but really any organism needs its organs to be omni thriving. And so when each component of the whole is thriving at its best, the organism as an aggregate or as a whole thrives at its best. And so it's, translating that to society as an organism of individuals and of groups. And so, what we see is that when, when societies have all of their components and all of their groups thriving at their maximum capacity, not only is everyone happier and safer and all of that, the society's actually more productive. Because more of those groups, one, have the resources to focus on creation, and two, are taken out of that fight or flight survival instinct kind of mindset, and empowered to think about what they wanna do with their lives and educate themselves more and have access to all that information and to, to actually go out and create and, and be more effective with it. And there's a lot of directions to go there, but this, this whole concept of thinking about society as needing to omni thrive in order for the society as a whole to work well, I think is a good starting point. And then we can look at, what aspects of society are are not doing well, right? It's not about, Hey, we need this like really effective class or group over here that can really solve everything for us. We're not getting anywhere if we don't get there together, right? So one, there's a danger in societal collapse if some of these groups are not doing well, but these groups are hyper successful or hyper powerful, right? That's, that's an imbalance that creates instability in a social structure and it generally falls apart, often goes to strongman, authoritarian structures and doesn't play out very well. Right? And often that's sort of on a, a down curve. But. If you're in this space where you've got distributed resources and distributed empowerment for action, which I think we're moving more and more towards with the trends that we're seeing around us then you've got the capability for that, for everyone to feel like they're a part of that society and to see how their work is contributing and be excited about that contribution and about the future that we're all building together. And that's how I think we accelerate not only sustainability, but sustainable abundance. Cuz I don't think we can have one without the other. We're not going to be successful trying to go to a world of sustainability and extreme disparity. Right. The US is already operating at a point where if everybody had the same amount of wealth, we need four and a half planets, right? So like that unsustainable abundance is not going to work. But if we shifted to a point where everybody was poor and we're not bringing people out of poverty. Then society will collapse and that could create ecological disaster as well, you know, on top of the human tragedy and catastrophe. So, I think, and, and, and this is where the trends start coming in that are really interesting. I think we're actually getting to a point that is empowering us even further and further to get there. And some of those points are one, an immense focus on sustainability. Not only from a personal and cultural standpoint, but from a business standpoint that businesses are recognizing that sustainability is a strategic imperative. It's the future. If they don't wanna be the Blockbuster, or Kodak of the future, they need to get on board. And two, these are faster growing markets. They've got better access to capital, they're gonna grow into them. And, and these are the successful companies of the future. And so they're, they're getting on board there. Two, everything's becoming more distributed, right? And we're kind of seeing this with remote work that we don't really need these centralized places to come together and work. And through that we're realizing that people have the tools at their fingertips to actually do a lot of different roles and a lot of different work. And so this need for centralized control and management starts fading away as organized, distributed groups can actually collaborate together to get things done in a, in a really intelligent, even if it's not a essentially controlled fashion. Like you look at a, you know, behold, the slime mold, right? Nature's extremely intelligent brainless animal, right? And so this is a collection of cells that somehow demonstrate incredible intelligence through emergent intelligence. And so, for example, for anybody who hasn't heard of this scientists for example put nutrients at different points around a slime mold that align to a map of the Tokyo metro area, right? And so the slime mold grew into this, kind of distributed nutrient environment and found more efficient connections than the engineered and created city of Tokyo, right? And Japan is amazing and extremely efficient and, you know, well-engineered and riding the subway in Tokyo was super effective and easy and safe anyway, but the slime mold got it better , right? So the slim mold through this brainless, but emergent and distributed intelligence that it has with its distributed cells. Was able to create nutrient paths that were more efficient at transporting nutrients across the whole than the most intelligent species on earth. Right? And, you know, maybe we could get that right if we tried to engineer it a little better. But but I think the point stands that distributed networks, and imagine that with distributed networks of super intelligent beings like humans, right? Where you've got distributed networks that are able to understand the goal, understand where the nutrients need to come in, understand the, you know, overarching strategy and that they can optimize in this emergent strategy as a distributed network that can operate a business, operate a network, operate you know, different projects. And, and so we're merging into that. Another part is the democratization of capital, and so, not only is there more capital than ever available to entrepreneurs that are getting into, especially climate tech, but to entrepreneurs and innovators in general. Right? We've shifted from an operational economy to an innovation economy where we're getting our growth and our exponential growth and change out of new innovations and new businesses. And you've got crowdfunding that is you know, expanding out to the hundreds of billions of dollars in the next half decade. And so all of this wealth is not only coming to innovators, but to more types of innovators. And so that opens up it up to entrepreneurs who otherwise wouldn't be represented in the traditional economy, who again, have those different perspectives and, and a lot of new thoughts and, thinking to bring to the table. And so it enables that innovation and enables it from more people, from more backgrounds and different areas. But it also enables the people who are investing, right. And so with the US and, and Europe is doing this as well. We passed the job act I think it was 20. 12. And then it was updated in 20 14, 20 16 to allow non-accredited investors to do equity crowdfunding. So to actually invest in startups and in ownership of the businesses that are in seed stage AB rounds and, and growing up. And that's where, most wealthy people get all of their wealth from is through interest. Right? Not because they actually worked 600 times harder, but because they were able to invest. And that's great. And that's a participatory, capitalistic society. And so if we create more participatory capitalism and an ownership economy where all of the people can have some ownership in that society, especially in the high growth areas, and invest and vote with their dollars in sustainable innovations it not only enables more innovation from those entrepreneurs and the people who are out there creating it, but it enables that participation in growth and the enfranchisement that that brings socially and psychologically as well. So yeah, so there's, there's all of these , there's all of these trends going on, and in addition, we're rebuilding the entire economy to be sustainable. Right. We kind of, we built the trains, we built the electrical systems, we built this manufacturing base through the first industrial revolution. And you know, now we're kind of rebuilding the entire thing to be sustainable, and that's a huge trillion, multi-trillion dollar opportunity for startups, for businesses, corporates, everybody.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, we saw this before though, didn't we? I mean, we saw that there was a huge uptick in interest in sustainability around 2006, 2007, and then we had the crash of 2008 and sustainability died of death in terms of where it appeared on, the interest level of companies, for example. And now, interest is peaking again in sustainability and there's talk that we're headed into another recession if we're not in one already. So what are the chances that the interest in sustainability sticks around?

Justin Bean:

Hmm. Yeah, no, it's a really important point and I, think we maybe not, didn't see a death of sustainability, but we saw a reprioritization especially. Yeah. Cuz these companies wanted to survive and so they said, okay, we're thinking of sustainability as this nice little thing that we're doing. A lot of it was greenwashing and marketing. There was some, genuine investment and interest but also a good number of them weren't prioritizing. It wasn't part of their core business. That being said, a lot of companies that kept their investments in sustainable investing performed better during the last recession. And it came back with a fury, right? So I'd say it was less of a death and more of a dip and everything dipped at that time. And we saw a lot of financial innovations that came out of that because we saw a new problem. In the disparity and the disenfranchisement of the financial sector for everyday people. And that's where a lot of the Occupy Wall Street and a lot of the resentment and anger at the financial sector came in. And, and so people did something about it. And we saw things like Bitcoin and, and crypto and blockchain, which is a whole nother episode on, you know, good, bad and the ugly on that one. But but yeah, we saw an immense burst of innovation that came out of seeing that there was a problem and then people got creative about it. And so I think it was a, it was a really interesting time and it led to things like crowdfunding and more participatory financial sectors. And so I think we're seeing something similar where there's a resurgence of sustainability way beyond what we saw before. I think it's way more deeply embedded into the companies that are now operating. So from like E S G reporting the s e c obviously announced that it's gonna require and standardize ESG reporting, so that's good news for everybody. And, and so now it's, it's more and more in part of the fabric of doing business that think it's less exposed to those changes. And also I I think a lot of companies are recognizing that this is the safest place to be in this next recession. Right? A lot of the rebuilding of infrastructure and sustainable hardware is supported by government., The government's putting trillions of dollars into the build out of EV infrastructure, charging infrastructure into renewable energy. And you've got so many startups in climate tech now that this is one of the fastest growing sectors to be in. And it's something that is still maintaining a priority because the companies know that this is a great way to save money. It's a great way to get new customers, enter new markets, especially the millennials and Gen Z that are, you know, one of the wealthiest and becoming the wealthiest group in the economy. And so there's a recognition that this isn't just, and it can't be just a marketing program. It has to be something that you integrate into your core business. And it's really about business continuity. So business sustainability is business continuity. And so sure if you completely pull out of sustainability and you don't care about it for the next five years, like sure, you might get through the recession, okay, but you're gonna be five years behind your competitors who doubled down in sustainability and invested in their continuity and their efficiency and their people. Their retainment of people and getting into these markets that are actually growing instead of the markets that are sinking. And so the economy is a giant calico of many different sectors, and some of them are, are going down and definitely gonna be sinking over a few years, if not die out. But there's ones that are booming and a lot of those are aligned with sustainability. And I, I would say most of them are aligned with sustainability. But, to that point, I saw a report recently that the transition to sustainable energy globally is going to make around 11 trillion dollars worth of fossil fuel infrastructure obsolete and is gonna have to be written off as stranded assets. And so that is a big difficult a big pill to swallow for some of the largest companies in the world. And so what do they do about it? I mean, we, we've seen what we've kind of done in the past trying to extend those markets and keep, keep those going through information campaigns and disinformation campaigns and and through just shutting down some green technology. But there's too much momentum now, so it's, it's not gonna work. And, and I think that companies and leaders are realizing that that's not the way to go anyway. But the, the ones that get ahead and jump on the new curve instead of trying to, you know, fight over the shrinking island are are going to be the ones that actually see that boom, they have the least amount of pain in the transition and are able to catch hold of the new wave and the new trend that's climbing. And the countries and the companies that you know, stay behind are gonna be taken down the countries and the companies themselves won't be taken down. But a lot of that infrastructure and a lot of their financial value is gonna be taken down by having to write those off if they don't make that transition. So, so there's a real danger in it. And there's more pain for the world than actually for countries and the people who live in those countries, if they don't start doing that transition because it's changing. And granted, we'll always need oil, right? We need oil for pharmaceuticals and plastics and tires and all kinds of other things, but those things can be more circular built into a circular economy, and we can do that more sustainably. And that's all being innovated. But just set just the super valuable resource that was built over millions and millions of years. Just, you know, lighting it on fire is not the most effective way of using it. And I think we're starting to realize that we should spend that valuable resource more responsibly. And there's many more ways of getting energy than setting a oil on fire.

Tom Raftery:

Absolutely. We're coming towards the end of the podcast now, Justin, is there any question that I haven't asked you that you wish I had or any aspect of this we haven't touched on that you think it's important for our people to think about?

Justin Bean:

Yeah, it's a good question. Yeah, I think that, the way that an individual can approach this, right? So if I am a, you know, young professional, or I'm, you know, getting into college or I'm a seasoned executive I might wonder, cool, what, what can I do? Like, what's, what's my path into this, right? If I wanna make a career transition, if I want to, you know, get an education that prepares me for this new economy if I want to meet people and network in these areas, what, what can I do? And so I think the first, first and foremost is just read and get educated and, you know, listen to podcasts like this, right? Where you're, you're this, this is another part of it is the democratization of education and the democratization of, of knowledge. And so, like I said, thank you for doing this podcast and, and, playing a, a really cool role in it. And so I think one is just absorbing that knowledge and, and seeing what ignites you and what gets you excited. And, and that can help you choose which path to go in. You know, going to college is a great way to get an education in this getting a degree. But I think more and more so it's as important if not more important that you're getting education from everywhere you can. Right. And, and just immersing yourself in this and, and then finding the networks of people that share your desires and share your passion. But also who are, who are succeeding in it. Right? And again, it's easier than ever to network with people through LinkedIn or different professional startups networks and through mixers and meetups and, you know, it's all out there available for us. I think if we went back to 1850, And sat in an old saloon and complained about how terrible the world is, they'd be like, yeah, so what's wrong? Like, well, we, you know, we kind of solved disease. We've got these things that are called inoculations, right? And vaccines that kill these diseases, you haven't really figured out yet. And like child mortality has dropped from 40% to four. You know, they're, everyone has this thing called electricity that, you know, turns lights on and, you know, drives cars and does everything. But, you know, it's, it's just kind of, it's too hard. They would just, they, they'd probably, you know, take you out for at high noon for a shootout or just kick you out on your keystar, right? And so, so yeah, I, I think just this takeaway that we just live in this incredibly abundant time. With all these resources at our fingertips. And if we really get this wrong, it's on us. Right? And that doesn't mean that they're not more powerful people than us. And that, you know, there are dynamics at play there. But it just means it's the world is there for us to take action on and to go and build. And I think the path forward is not just fighting the future that we don't want, but out creating, out, executing out, collaborating, out, communicating. Those who are creating an unsustainable future so that we are creating a superior alternative that society naturally shifts over to. Right? Because if, if you're creating an alternative, that's obviously better. That's the best way to get people to transition. Not say you have to turn your lights off, live in a cold, dark, tiny apartment, eat terrible tasting food, never see your friends and family. That is not an inspiring future. And you know, nobody really wants to be a part of that. So focus all that energy on building a better alternative and, and just make the old one obsolete so we can move on and get to Star Trek.

Tom Raftery:

Love it. Love it. Great. Fantastic. Justin, that's been really interesting. If people would like to know more about yourself or about your book or any of the things we discussed in the podcast today, where would you have me direct them?

Justin Bean:

Sure. Yeah. So, Justin C. Bean dot com or check out my book on Amazon, what could go right by Justin Bean. And connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter at j Bino. And yeah, many, many ways to find me. So thanks so much for having me on and everybody for listening. And I, I hope it's been as fun a conversation for you as it has been for, for me.

Tom Raftery:

And me. Great. Super. Justin, that's been fantastic. Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today.

Justin Bean:

Thanks, Tom. Great to chat with you. Bye-bye.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about Climate 21, feel free to drop me an email to Tom Raftery at outlook.com, or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you like the show, please, don't forget to click follow on it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks, catch you all next time.

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