Announcing the Climate Draft: Mobilizing top talent to work on climate
It's an all-hands-on-deck moment for the planet. Climate Draft helps talent translate their passion into action
By: Joel Wishkovsky
October 7, 2021
The conversation around climate change feels more defeatist every day: between reports from climate scientists and the deluge of news on record fires, floods and hurricanes, it’s hard to see how we, as individuals, might make a dent in our planet’s seemingly dire trajectory.
But there are many reasons for hope, as Jonathan Strauss and I discovered when we both committed to focusing on climate change earlier this year. Through great organizations like OnDeck Climate Tech, My Climate Journey, and WorkonClimate.org, we were introduced to incredible innovations and potential solutions in categories spanning energy, food, transportation, carbon removal, heavy industry and climate adaptation. Investors have seen it too: it feels like a new climate tech fund is being announced every week.
Despite their access to capital and huge potential, both in terms of climate impact and economic upside, many of these climate tech startups have struggled to access top operational talent. Jonathan saw this tweet from Jason Jacobs, founder of My Climate Journey, which confirmed both of our personal experience being “the climate focused” person among our tech friends. It got us thinking that the talent pipeline problem probably isn’t about a lack of interest, but rather, the absence of an adequate on-ramp.
What if we could help this community of climate curious talent engage, en masse, on climate problems? We started playing around with the idea of running a “draft” to identify that talent, get them up to speed on the industry, and then connect them with exciting climate tech companies as advisors, angel investors, or even executives.
For our inaugural Climate Draft, we’ve partnered with climate-focused venture capital firms to recruit incredible operators from their networks and high-growth climate startups from their portfolios. Over the next month, our first cohort of 50 draftees will get a personalized climate education and curated events with leading scientists, investors, and executives who’ve made the transition to climate. They will also get to meet with climate tech startups from the collective portfolios of participating investors.
This inaugural draft is an experiment. We’re hoping to learn what kind of impact we can have from this small but impressive group of participants. Ultimately, we’d love to see this expand to an inclusive model that enables talent from around the world and various disciplines to find an on-ramp to climate tech. If you are interested in helping us on this mission as a volunteer, or being part of our program as a future draftee, endorser or startup, please sign up for our mailing list (and we have climate career resources too!).
For anyone reading this who wants to take more action to slow climate change, but doesn’t know where to start–you can start here.
Joel, Jonathan & the Climate Draft team