19 episodes

At the intersection of climate change, technology, and parenthood.

Climate Papa is a home for the climate dads, climate papas, and climate papis. The climate abbas, the climate babas, and climate tatas.

We're here to gather folks sitting at the intersection of Emily Oster, Dr. Volts, Jason Jacobs, and Elad Gil. Maybe I’m the only one. Maybe there’s dozens of us.

Climate Papa Ben Eidelson

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

At the intersection of climate change, technology, and parenthood.

Climate Papa is a home for the climate dads, climate papas, and climate papis. The climate abbas, the climate babas, and climate tatas.

We're here to gather folks sitting at the intersection of Emily Oster, Dr. Volts, Jason Jacobs, and Elad Gil. Maybe I’m the only one. Maybe there’s dozens of us.

    #18: A very special Father's Day

    #18: A very special Father's Day

    This episode is a bit more papa and a bit less climate. Ben shares some family news and processes it with his 6-year-old and 3-year-old. They hit on some climate topics, the purpose of ants, and what was in the universe before earth. Kids are the best.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the fellow climate papas out there.



    Referenced in the episode:


    Last year’s Father’s Day special


    Astrophysics for People in a Hurry



    In other fun news, I made Bloomberg Green’s “13 Most Influential Climate Leaders to Watch in 2024”



    Hope to see many of you at the Bloomberg Green Festival in July in Seattle. Shoot me a note (ben@climatepapa.com) if you’re planning to make it. We may have some special Climate Papa meetups in the works!

    • 11 min
    #17: Why we must understand the present with Nat Bullard

    #17: Why we must understand the present with Nat Bullard

    The presentation: Decarbonization: Stocks and flows, abundance and scarcity, net zero

    In 1995, a Morgan Stanley analyst named Mary Meeker released a report called The Internet Trends Report. In 2001 it became a slide deck. Each year the release of the annual Mary Meeker deck was eagerly devoured by those trying to understand what's going on in technology1. It informed public market and venture capital investment decisions, led to board room strategy shifts, and rippled across the industry.

    Those of us interested in climate and the societal and infrastructural response to climate now have our annual trend report. Beginning in 2020, Nat Bullard began publishing a presentation about the state of decarbonization, and this last years deck, his 4th, is probably one of the most useful artifacts one could consume if they wanted to understand what happened in 2023.

    In this wide ranging conversation with Nat we intentionally spend little time on the content of the deck, but instead focus on how and why he makes this each year. Who it’s for, and how the process of making it each year makes him think about the moment we're in right now. We also talk about big life transitions, raising kids in Singapore, and how to feel about all of this as the years march on.

    Nat has spent nearly two decades at the intersection of climate, technology, strategy, and capital markets. He worked at BloombergNEF and Bloomberg Green for over 13 years, and finished his time at BloombergNEF as the Chief Content Officer.

    If you want more Nat unpacking a few select slides of the deck, I highly recommend the excellent two-parter on Catalyst with Shayle Kann.

    Referenced:


    Nat’s presentation


    Introducing Stepchange



    Get connected:


    Nat - LinkedIn | X


    Ben - LinkedIn | ⁠Climate Papa⁠



    To get in touch, email ⁠ben@climatepapa.com⁠

    Music: Slynk & Lazy Syrup Orchestra - Mellow Kinda Hype (Balkan Bump Remix)

    • 42 min
    #16 - Introducing Stepchange, our new venture fund

    #16 - Introducing Stepchange, our new venture fund

    As the first episode of the year, I’m focusing on a bit of a personal update. Today, I'm announcing the launch of a new climate venture fund, Stepchange. I use this week's episode to share the story behind the fund.

    I struggled with putting this episode out—I felt self-conscious spending the time promoting my work so publicly. But I believe that investing our money, our time, and our social capital in these startups is the best thing that I can do right now to make a difference. These companies will be critical to our energy transition and to addressing big elements of the climate crisis. This is how I’m spending most of my time. This is my toolkit, my hammer—and I’m going to swing it.

    So yes, this episode is me introducing Stepchange.

    The episode plays out in three parts:


    We review the Stepchange thesis on climate investing, discuss how the fund came to be, and chat with our venture partners: Anay and Arthur. We also meet three of our fund advisors: Steph, Ari, and Ian.


    I interview founders from the fund’s first four investments: itselectric, Bayou Energy, Line.Build, and Rhizome.


    I chat with fund collaborators and investors (LPs): Aaref from Bain Capital Ventures, Julie Sandler from PSL, and Marc Bridge.



    Thanks so much for listening today. I'm really excited to get Stepchange out into the world. Here’s to 2024.

    -Benben@stepchange.vc



    Referenced in the episode:


    Stepchange


    The Guide to Software in Climate Tech, written by Ben and Nathan


    itselectric: Tiya & Nathan


    Bayou Energy: James


    Line.Build: Dasha & Steph


    Rhizome: Mish


    Bain Capital Ventures: Aaref Hilaly


    PSL: Julie Sandler


    Marc Bridge (At Present)





    Music: Slynk & Lazy Syrup Orchestra - Mellow Kinda Hype (Balkan Bump Remix)

    • 1 hr 14 min
    #15: Making the climate revolution irresistible with Nicole Kelner

    #15: Making the climate revolution irresistible with Nicole Kelner

    See Nicole's work referenced here.



    The world of climate tech is small and something happened about two years ago. From climate newsletters to Twitter accounts and LinkedIn posts... everything became more...colorful. There were stunning watercolors explaining the carbon cycle in oceans, the carbon impact of a hamburger, or the way that heat pump works to magically transfer heat into a home. Nicole Kelner had arrived on the scene. Taking her unique water color style and combining it with a deep desire to understand, and communicate, climate solutions.

    In this conversation, Nicole shares her journey to climate tech artist, her process for coming up with new art ideas, and her love of running the business. We also cover why Taylor Swift should date a climate scientist, the role of AI in art, and how to make wind turbines into a beautiful neon mural.

    Nicole's created the first climate solutions coloring book, The Electrify Everything Coloring book.



    The next episode of Climate Papa will share more on my focus for 2024. If you haven’t already subscribe here to follow along.



    To see more of Nicole’s work:


    Her website


    Her Substack blog





    Referenced:


    Climatoonist


    Nicole’s IPCC Image | Original IPCC image


    You want to work in climate spreadsheet



    Get connected:


    Nicole - LinkedIn | X


    Ben - LinkedIn | ⁠Climate Papa⁠



    To get in touch, email ⁠ben@climatepapa.com⁠

    Music: Slynk & Lazy Syrup Orchestra - Mellow Kinda Hype (Balkan Bump Remix)

    • 46 min
    #14: The urgency of this decade and YC's role in climate tech with David Rusenko

    #14: The urgency of this decade and YC's role in climate tech with David Rusenko

    It was the summer of 2022 and David Rusenko had completed 15 years of a classic Silicon Valley success story. It started back in 2007 when he applied to the 4th batch of YC two hours before the deadline with his startup--Weebly. He grew Weebly, a website and ecommerce platform, to hundreds of employees and hundreds of millions in revenue and was acquired by Square in 2018. At Square he took on integrating Weebly and leading all of the growing company’s ecommerce products. When it came time for David to pop his head out to think about what was next he came to a familiar conclusion--he would deeply regret not spending this essential next decade working on climate.
    This conversation was filled with an abundance of agreement on the urgency to work on climate, founder-company fit, and the values we want to bring to our work with founders. We talk about some of the areas most interesting to us and the underrated role that YC has played in bolstering the climate tech ecosystem.
    As I've gotten to know David over the last few months, I've consistently found a kindred spirit--someone trying to take the last 15 years of product and company building and apply it to climate tech. Putting to use all the founder empathy muscles possible, and trying to dust off our electrical engineering backgrounds. We also love hearing our kids comment on the slow and smelliness of fossil fuel burning machines.
    David invites climate tech founders that are raising their pre-seed or seed rounds to get in touch at leapforward.vc--and to maybe look for some fun easter eggs on his website.
    Referenced in the episode:

    David's taxonomy of climate tech

    YC Request for Climate Tech Startups

    David’s talk on How to Find Product Market Fit

    Lazard Cost of Energy Report

    Guide to Software in Climate Tech


    Get connected:

    David - LinkedIn | Leap Forward

    Ben - ⁠Climate Papa⁠


    Feedback? Guest suggestions? Email ⁠ben@climatepapa.com⁠
    Music: Slynk & Lazy Syrup Orchestra - Mellow Kinda Hype (Balkan Bump Remix)
    Note: Nothing in this episode should be viewed as investment advice.

    • 54 min
    #13: Maximizing climate impact and minimizing parental jerkhood with Dimitry Gershenson

    #13: Maximizing climate impact and minimizing parental jerkhood with Dimitry Gershenson

    Ben sits down with fellow climate papa, Dimitry Gershenson. They head off the deep end into how to balance being a present father with being present for your start up ambitions. They explore if founding a startup makes you more of a jerk to your kids and the importance of vulnerability and apology when you mess up. They reflect on how those same skills make you a much better parent, partner, and leader.

    They then turn to the money that makes the world go round and the gaps in the climate funding markets where there’s not enough going around. Dimitry ramps Ben up on the unique ways that fintech tools like revenue-based financing can be applied to climate companies and how many other financiers aren’t doing this right—either giving out bad, dilutive, terms, or taking way too long to finance the companies that urgently need capital. These realizations have led Dimitry to start Enduring Planet to address the market gap.

    Prior to Enduring Planet, Dimitry led M&A and served as COO for Rango Wireless, an Enduring Ventures portfolio company. Before that, Dimitry built Meta’s Energy Access program, a $15M+ investing initiative that enabled energy access for 3M people and unlocked nearly $500M in additional capital in underserved markets like Kenya and India. While at Meta, Dimitry also led the development of multiple predictive ML products in the cleantech space and built corporate accelerator programs for impact startups in India and Puerto Rico.

    Outside of Enduring Planet, Dimitry sits on the board of Ecosafi, a Lowercarbon-backed climate startup enabling clean cooking in emerging markets. Dimitry holds an MS in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, a BS in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University.

    Referenced in the episode:


    Astrophysics for People in a Hurry


    Monk & Robot


    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind


    Enduring Planet Case Studies



    Get connected:


    Dimitry - LinkedIn | Enduring Planet


    Ben - ⁠Climate Papa⁠



    Feedback? Guest suggestions? Email ⁠ben@climatepapa.com⁠

    Music: Slynk & Lazy Syrup Orchestra - Mellow Kinda Hype (Balkan Bump Remix)

    Note: Ben is an angel investor in Enduring Planet. Nothing in this episode should be viewed as investment advice.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

nolastan333 ,

Goes deep while staying entertaining

This is my favorite climate tech podcast because Ben goes a level deeper than others. Instead of feeling like sitting in on a job interview like some other podcasts, these episodes are in-depth and collaborative.

sttevennnnnnnnn ,

Very interesting perspective on climate tech/entepreneurship

I’m not a father myself, but many of my friends are, so it’s very interesting to hear about climate tech through this personal lens.

Anushka123 ,

Excellent podcast

Relatable, interesting, inspiring, and fun to listen to!

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