Cohort IV Fellow Dawn Lippert is the CEO of Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs working to redesign the systems at the root of climate change. They recently released their 5 year strategy to scale climate and social equity solutions.
Contributed by: Dawn Lippert, Cohort IV
2020 was the beginning of what is called the "decisive decade" for climate action. Science tells us that we have less than 10 years to turn our economy and way of life toward sustainable, regenerative, life-giving systems before we hit a global greenhouse gas concentration that will create devastating global impacts.
As the world emerges from the pandemic, our attention is naturally turning to these critical matters: climate change, social justice, economic recovery, and growth. Although the past year has been difficult, it also shed light on a very important truth. These issues are inextricably linked and to successfully address any of them requires a comprehensive approach to ALL of them.
Here in Hawaiʻi, we’ve taken the bold step of legislating our intention to become carbon-neutral by 2045. These goals present daunting scientific and technological challenges. Yet they also raise pressing matters of social and economic equity. Globally and locally, the worst effects of climate change burden those with the least socioeconomic power. Our Elemental model of place-based innovation (deeply informed by the systems work we did through the Omidyar Fellows curriculum), leans into the practice of deploying locally and scaling globally. We believe that Hawaiʻi’s community-based mindset coupled with one of the most aggressive clean energy goals in the nation create the perfect opportunity for the state to be a model for the rest of the world in this clean energy transition.
Elemental Excelerator is on a mission to redesign the systems at the root of climate change, working at the intersection of climate and social equity. After a decade of funding climate tech deployment, we’ve invested in over 100 growth-stage companies and have funded more than 70 technology projects, many of them right here in Hawaiʻi. Now we’re looking to increase our impact 1000-fold through our new 5 Year Strategy. What would you like to see in our strategy? Where’s an area that we can help you? Where’s an area you can help make us better or smarter? We hope you’ll join us on this mission.
Hawai‘i Energy has introduced a number of programs to help consumers save energy and money. Cohort III Fellows Brian Kealoha and Stephany Vaioleti of Hawai‘i Energy share about some of their programs that have helped improve access to energy efficiency.