Our conversations celebrating Earth Day continue with Adriana Penuela-Useche, a chemical engineer, startup consultant, and future investor who’s passionate about the intersection between entrepreneurship and VC as a way to create Climate Action and protect the planet for future generations.
Adriana grew up literally hugging trees in Bogota, Colombia, and wanted to find a way to combine her love of nature with her passion for engineering. With her 11 years in the chemical engineering field, her passion to go beyond herself volunteering for Engineers Without Borders and creating her new path supporting deeptech startups in the Climate tech sector.
In this episode, Adriana discusses how her family’s upbringing, immigration story, and experience at Haas shaped her, what she thinks are the biggest climate change challenges today, and the exciting technological innovations that could help with some of those challenges.
*OneHaas Alumni Podcast is a production of Haas School of Business and is produced by University FM.*
On how she has developed her love for nature and community
You can describe me as a tree hugger, backpacker, camper, because I love all of those. What I love the most is that my parents developed me in a sense of holistic sustainability viewing it as:”we don’t have to only care about nature, but also care about the community that surrounds us.” And to explore that through economics. So with my dad being a mechanical engineer, tinkering of many things and my mom being an economist drove those two components in our lives and created these building blocks that I have lived throughout my life, which are “community, not competition and a continuous love for nature and those in need.”
On creating a better ecosystem for entrepreneurs
There has to be a better way to create an economic system. And then from there, knowing that, for example, in Colombia or other places like what I saw in Ethiopia with Engineers Without Borders, there is so much innovation happening in the day to day that triggers and aligns with good capital to build astrong entrepreneurial ecosystem globally, like a real ecosystem of entrepreneurs, but also develop economies as a path.
- LinkedIn Profile
- Berkeley Haas Sustainability Alumni Group
- The Sustainable Development Goals Wedding Cake
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
[00:00] Sean: Welcome to the OneHaas Alumni Podcast. I’m your host, Sean Li. And today, as part of our Earth Month celebrations, we welcome Adriana Penuela-Useche. She is a chemical engineer and startup consultant who is passionate about sustainable development and protecting our planet for future generations. She’s also a recent Haas EWMBA graduate, class of 2022. Welcome to the podcast, Adriana.
[00:29] Adriana: Thank you for having me here. I’m glad to be on this side of the coin now.
[00:34] Sean: For some listeners, you might have heard Adriana before. She did host our series around, what was it around? Sustainability, right, last year?
[00:44] Adriana: Yeah.
[00:44] Sean: With Professor Robert Strand?
[00:48] Adriana: Robert Strand, yeah. We also interviewed the aean and many other people, alumni, and Haas students as well. So, [inaudible 00:55]
[00:56] Sean: That’s right. And we got to hear other people’s stories through you. And now, we get to hear your story.
[01:02] Adriana: I’m so excited.
[01:03] Sean: Adriana, why don’t we start off with my favorite question, which is, tell us your origin story. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How did you grow up?
[01:10] Adriana: Yeah, totally. I was born in Bogota, Colombia and lived in the outskirts of the city. So, as a child, nature was a big part of my life. I remember taking the cardboards and jumping down mountains of pine trees and just holding trees. You can describe me as a tree-hugger, backpacker, camper, because I love all of those.
What I love the most is that what I find is really developing in as a sense of we don’t have to only care about nature, but also care about the community that surrounds us, and to explore that through economics.
Like my dad, being a mechanical engineer, tinkering of many things, and my mom being an economist, drove those two components in our lives and created this building blocks that I have lived throughout my life, which are community, not competition, and a continuous love for nature and those in need. And I like developing in us a sense of curiosity and an exploratory and an adventurous mindset. I love them for that. And my two sisters and I really live a life close to nature, intrigued by nature, to figure out ways to impact communities as well.
And then, from there, our family moved to the U.S. when I was 15. We lived the immigrant life, like my parents living through the hard jobs of moving to a new country and not speaking the language or any of that stuff. But they gave us the gift of let us focus into educating ourselves, and figure out how to get into a good college in order to create our paths. So, that was a really essential component in our lives and just driven through good education as well.
[02:58] Sean: Where did you guys move to?
[02:59] Adriana: To Florida.
[03:00] Sean: To Florida? Wow.
[03:01] Adriana: Yeah.
[03:02] Sean: Any reason?
[03:03] Adriana: It was a complex situation in Colombia at the time — no jobs, political unrest. And we ended up moving to the U.S. with political asylum and all that stuff, but landed here in a world of opportunities where you can create your path. And now, we went through university, and I went to University of Florida for undergrad, but with the idea, “Okay, how do I help societies?” And at some point, I was going for the pre-med path, following the steps of my grandfather. But then, very soon, I figure out that my brain was wired to be more of an engineer, to tinker more, to develop from an economic and social solutions processes that will make [inaudible 03:54].
So, I decided to choose chemical engineering as the path that I took for undergrad. And that took me to 11 years of working in the chemical industry for the DuPont, and Dow, and Cortevas of this world, so larger chemical manufacturing, and involved in operations management consulting, where I was tinkering a lot with design-thinking ideas, exploring that entrepreneurial inside of a corporate side of things, and then doing a little bit of energy management and technology leadership and supply chain and quality. So, a little bit of a lot of the components of, so big corporations, global corporations, in order to get a sense of, how do industries really work? But I had a gap in that trajectory.
[04:48] Sean: I guess, what ultimately inspired the move towards the startup side? I mean, right now, you are a startup consultant, on top of some other roles that you’re a part of. What made that shift to go from DuPont to smaller companies?
[05:01] Adriana: So, one major component in the last five years of my journey through the corporate world was I joined Engineers Without Borders. And I recruited my husband, Nico, who’s an awesome person, and my boss to join me in this quest. Okay, “How do I support environments and society around the world?” because I love traveling and cultures and helping out as much as possible.
So, through that, I saw that I could implement any patient systems globally, but it was through an NGO mindset and after watching a documentary called Poverty, Inc. that it clicked in my head that you really needed to create a system that did is dependent on creating a poverty system. And by that, I mean, whenever you flow capital to provide free rice to a community that is trying to build a rice infrastructure, then you’re killing that economy somehow.
[06:00] Sean: Right.
[06:00] Adriana: And I’m not against NGOs, I’m just saying there has to be a better way to create an economic system. And then, from there, knowing that, for example, in Colombia or what I saw in Ethiopia, there is so much innovation happening in the day-to-day that trigger and align with good capital, could build an ecosystem, a real ecosystem of entrepreneurs, but also develop economies as a path.
From there, I just went through the idea, what if I have an MBA that pivot my career into more of the business side, continue developing the technologies that I love — because I’m an engineer at heart, no matter what — and connect those two worlds in the early-stage entrepreneurial, fast-ace, innovation space that could potentially transform systems and technologies, not only here and in developed economy, but also in the developing economy.
So, how do you enact change in those three… in the cake of sustainability, which is a concept that I really love, like you have a three-layer cake. There is the biosphere, the ecosystem. There is the society. And there is the economic development, right? Through the UN SDGs, you can have those goals of zero poverty, or climate change, or many other things. But how do you incorporate them in a way that is like structural and systemic that can really create real value for more than just the few societies? That can push me into the early-stage space, moving fast, creating change, enacting change for system itself.
[07:43] Sean: Sorry. Let me repeat that. The three layers of the cake, one is the biosphere. Then, you said there’s the economic system. What was the third layer of the cake?
[07:52] Adriana: Society. So, you have the environment that has its limitations in order to be able to have us on earth — climate, the water, the land or life on land, life on water. And we have to protect those in earth to be able to live on this earth, right?
[08:13] Sean: Right.
[08:14] Adriana: From there, you have the society. Society, you have to provide to all citizens a means to create a living, like proper food, or proper location, or no poverty, into creating economies of systems that really create innovation and create electrification and create all of those that are going to engage in developing the economic plan. This concept was something that I ran into early on in my half career. And it has been with me, stuck with me, because it is a systemic view on how change can last.
[08:52] Sean: That’s really interesting. And, I guess, if you were to take your pick, which area, do you feel like, is most pressing in terms of… I know all areas need innovation, but which area of innovation are you more interested in focusing on?
[09:10] Adriana: For this one, I will go to one of the professors that I had that gave me a challenge and said “Okay, Adriana, you have to think.” Or, for anyone, like to do an exercise. There is 17 UN SDGs, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are problems that are social and environmental and huge, gigantic, wicked problems. Out of those 17, you have to choose one to be your driver and, maybe, have a couple supporter SDGs.
So, after a lot of exploration, I decided that the climate change is the space that I can try the most in because of my background and knowledge in the heavy industry, like the carbonizing, that heavy industry. So, I have the technology basis.
And then, from my passion into the topic of engineering and enacting change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I think that’s a secondary space that I could drive in because of my fast-pace, hopeful, values-driven nature of there’s opportunity and there’s possibility into innovation. And with my curiosity path into, like, “Okay, what could work? What can be a potential aspect in a technology that can enact that change?” So, yeah, wicked problems exist everywhere, but that’s the ones that really aligned my past experiences with my drive, with my values, and with what I want to live, again, like a coach told me once, “Okay, what would your daughter say about you 20 years from now? 10 years from now? Will they be excited? What do you think they’d be excited about? And what do you want them to be excited about the legacy that you left behind?”
To me, making difference in climate also, for the fact that we don’t have more than one earth. And the IPCC reports, or the Intergovernmental Panel For Climate Change, tells us that, if we don’t act right now, we’re going to be pretty much doomed because we cannot live in this earth. It creates a sense of urgency to pick that as my guiding UN SDG.
[11:34] Sean: I guess, a question I have because you brought up the economic layer of this cake, is that, how can we balance economic growth with environmental sustainability? What are some of your ideas and thoughts?
[11:48] Adriana: So, I remember, when I started at Haas in one of our classes, in, I think, advanced leadership or leadership communications, at the beginning, we’re talking about the GDP as index of success or index of economic growth and all that stuff. And I kept asking the professor, why do we only look at economic growth as success if success, in my view, is represented as a factor of happiness? In a sense, a factor of happiness is finding a society that can coexist, that has nature, that has an ability to thrive in many ways and many worlds.
And now, since 2019, since I started the program until now, there has been so much change in the ESG space, or the Environmental Social Governance space, with the SSC passing new regulations and the IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act, coming to life, and having Biden signed it off for climate action and electrification of society. That provides a lot of the backing that society is realizing that GDP cannot be the only way for us to manage an economy and to grow, because we depend on resources. For example, lithium is maxed out right now, and you have to figure out ways to create lithium, or find lithium or recycle lithium from batteries.
[13:18] Sean: What do you mean lithium is maxed out? Sorry, just as a layperson.
[13:22] Adriana: So, the battery ecosystem or the electrification ecosystem depends a lot into the amount of storage of energy that you have. And a lot of the batteries that exist, they are lithium-ion batteries, and we’re extracting as much as we can from the earth right now. But there are limitations into how much you can extract. And there are new paths into, like, how do we recycle a lot of the batteries that are obsolete? Or, how to extract those minerals again? Starting to think in a GDP basis with a expanded view into, how do we treat earth? How do we treat those workers that are extracting the minerals from the earth and create a more of a systemic view, a larger view to a society that is just not depending on one index, really evolves beyond and makes money along the way?
So, balancing all those aspects and figures at our society, the same goes for DEI, right? So, diversity, equity, and inclusion. So, if we can all participate in innovation, if we can all participate in an equitable future, we all have voices and we can expand the gold pockets because we are creating solutions for everyone, not just for a few, because more people are going to be buying more products that are like to themselves, if we create more of a conscious and expanded way of seeing innovation, and climate transitions, and other things of that sort.
[15:05] Sean: This might be a tough question, and I tend to ask a lot of loaded questions that sometimes don’t have the right answers. But how do you suggest, or how do you recommend, founders or companies agoing about keeping that balance? Some people say it’s hard enough to start a company and prioritize, I guess, your company’s survivability, profitability. How do you recommend founders think about building companies where they are accounting for all these other factors in a manageable way?
[15:40] Adriana: You have to think beyond, economically, is it possible or not? But then, when you create a company, you start with definition of, what is your vision and how do you see the values in your organization? How do you create values that are involving everyone? What is your hiring strategy that involves more than people that look like yourself? How are you thinking of, not only various workforce, but people with different knowledge spaces and bringing in, maybe, someone that really believes in the sustainability aspect of your technology?
Because, usually, the founders really believe in the technology aspect of the process, like finding the ways and the aspects that bring them into sustainability. For example, if you’re thinking of a CPG product in healthcare, for example. I was talking to a person yesterday that developed the DivaCup for menstrual period for women, like femtech and bringing the aspect of sustainability into that product. So, it is not specifically the carbonization technology, if you think of it from the beginning. But if you start thinking of it, like, “If I use a polymer that is bio-based, that is derived from non-oil and gas, then I have a factor into the sustainability and climate economy.” So, from creating a product to creating the strategy of that product, to creating the governance space around your system, it’s important to start thinking of that strategy from the start. Because if you don’t have it from the start, it’s hard to push back that culture into something else.
And now, as well, at least what I have been seeing from climate investors is that they have metrics that are not only going towards, how many greenhouse gases are you saving, but also how are you developing your systems in order to create an environmental, a social impact, and a governance structure around your organization from C to series A startup situation?
And that’s already happening in the European space. European VCs have structures and frameworks for their startups to start developing those concepts from the start. I feel like it is essential. It is something that founders need to start with. It’s not only a solution that is technical, but also, it is a solution that has to be grounded into the society.
[18:35] Sean: I think it took me a little bit to understand what you meant by, climate change needs to be performed systemically. And I finally get it. And I think, if I were to reiterate your answer, it’s that, as founders, we just need to challenge ourselves and challenge the ideas and companies that we build more. Don’t take the easy way out. Continue to challenge ourselves at every decision point to make better decisions. And these better decisions are, also, as our culture is evolving, should be culturally and socially driven as well, to be more environmentally conscious to include, like you said, think about better materials, using better materials. And culturally, or not culturally, financially use better materials because you know further down the line, your customers are going to care that you care, and that they’re willing to pay for that push.
And it’s just really going about it with a really conscious and intentional path. That’s the best way to describe it. Because, I guess, the reason I’m reiterating all this and saying this all loud is because the question I had was, how do we avoid just greenwashing or just doing things just because it makes us look better?
[19:58] Adriana: To add more, you don’t want to just sell more or look better. Like, on paper this one way, but then in reality, are you really making a difference?
[20:06] Sean: I bought a bag of chips the other day. On the back of the chips, it says, “We’re 100% renewable energy.” And I’m like, that’s a bag of chips. Does it matter? But then, I was like, maybe their impact is pretty big. I guess what I’m trying to say is it just came to me as a surprise. And sometimes, it makes you wonder, are they just greenwashing it? They’re just saying it just to say it, just as a marketing thing. But what you’re saying, too, is that, I think, what you mean by systemic change is that part of that is okay because we’re popularizing that it’s good to be environmentally conscious at every step along the way, right?
[20:42] Adriana: Yeah, and to a certain extent, it is a duty of an entrepreneur, of a leader, business leader, to think beyond just making money, I feel. Because in a way, you have your customers and your financial backers as well. They’re believing in you. If you think of the materiality of a bag of chips or the material, how do you evaluate your choices are the best choices for what you know as of today? How do you know that your choice is the right choice?
We think of sustainability careers as one thing, like someone that has a title “sustainable” something, or someone that is involved in a climate startup, and that’s sustainable, or something like that. But everyone has a path within that sustainability job. Within their job, it is their choice to choose a material in order to build a product. Why don’t you choose product one versus product two that has better sustainability profile? Is it a polymer made out of the CO2 from the air? Is it from the air, or is it coming from oil and gas? So, if you have a choice, will you go one or the other way for a reason? And in order for all of us to live in this earth, because you cannot only think about your generation, but one, two, or three generations down the line, so your grandkids. When you think of your grandkids being able to live in on this earth the same way as you are today, or think beyond yourself.
[22:25] Sean: It’s interesting to bring this up because I never considered this until this conversation just now. As a, I don’t know, what am I, a millennial? I think a millennial. As a leader of the last generation, even in my head, when we try to make business decisions towards more sustainable goals, it always sounded like extra costs. It sounds like extraneous costs, or it’s going to be more costly than another decision that is status quo. But what you’re helping me realize, too, in this systemic change is that, over time, as more leaders make that better decision, it’s going to bring down the cost of that better decision, of that new technology. And that’s just a positive cycle of change.
[23:09] Adriana: That makes me think that, as business leaders, we have a duty in that sense. But it goes both ways. From the policy perspective, from the top-down approach, policies coming along in order to get subsidies or remove subsidies in a different way, like oil and gas today, super extremely subsidized, that’s why it’s cheap to use polymers that are based off oil, gas, versus polymers that are bio-derived at the moment. But if policy changes from the top-down and then from the bottom-up, if new technologies emerge that are able to have a new economics that is strong, then the competition really begins.
It is like a solar nowadays. It is much cheaper than energy from the renewables. But we landed here after 10 years on the Cleantech 1.0 in the 2009 or early 2000s. And now, we are in this stage where the cheaper decisions can be made in order for people to choose in a different way. It should be seamless, in a way, but with consciousness at the same time.
[24:27] Sean: And I’m even changing my perspective that the additional cost is actually not a cost. We have to think of it as an investment in the future. And they’re very worthwhile investments. So, that’s really interesting.
Again, sorry to go on a tangent, I have a really random question. But you talk a lot about economics and sustainability. A question that I’ve always had, and I don’t know if you can help me answer this, is economic security in the sense that a lot of governments, based on what I’ve heard or read before, they hold on to certain things, let’s say, oil and gas, because of security. How do we move past that?
[25:05] Adriana: That’s a big challenge, but that makes me think of Osted, for example. Osted was an oil and gas operations in the Nordic, in Denmark. And they decided to transform their business model into a fully renewable system. So, they got rid of almost all of their oil and gas, because they wanted to transform and be the number-one sellers of offshore wind. And now, they’re getting to onshore wind and many other things in just a matter of 10 years.
So, they still hold a little bit of oil and gas reserves for economic security, but I feel like their path will be continuously changed as they progressively have more business into one sector versus the other. But it takes the transformation and a timely transformation for governments to go from one end to the other to prove the systems.
But then beyond that, there is more of the energy wars and economic side of things that I don’t know. They are complicated. They are complex. And I cannot comment at this point.
[26:21] Sean: Well, that example helps me see it better. It’s about making long-term investments towards different forms of security, as what it sounds like.
[26:31] Adriana: Yeah, three years, five years, 10 years. It’s a long run. I feel like the transformation will take, maybe, four years or so in order to reduce down our dependency. Because everything is on gas right now. Everything that we build, all the products that we have, all the polymers around us, all the textiles that are made out of polymers, the rocks around you, or anything around you, maybe 95% already is dependent on gas. How do you make a transformation, a social systemic transformation, a society that has been built under oil and gas. So, it takes time to come up with the technologies. It takes time to come up with all the technologies makes, it’s all ready, but it takes time to expand them. It takes time to make them into mass markets for them to be a choice, for effort, to make it economic for everyone’s choice.
[27:29] Sean: That makes sense. All right. Since we’re on the topic of new technologies of sorts and you are an investor in new technologies and startups, I’m really curious, what are some promising solutions or technologies that you are excited about, that you see?
[27:48] Adriana: Climate change has many verticals, or at least seven that I can think of. You can go in many tangents in terms of technologies that could be essential. In terms of what is essential to reduce the greenhouse gases immediately. You have nature-based solutions. If you think of the air has greenhouse gases that have been in 1,000,000 years. About 50% of the earth’s greenhouse gases have been balanced by water, and trees, or land. But then, we have put a lot more. Like, the anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are created by humans during the past, I don’t know, 100 years, through the industrialization.
So, we need to have solutions that are enhancing the nature-based solutions. So, for example, there is one company that is enhancing photosynthesis in a way so that you can get more CO2 to absorb. Those are solutions that I feel like, that’s super cool. How can we measure it? It’s a little bit of a challenge, but they are interesting solutions or like biomass capturing to create… Charm Industrial is creating a really cool oil out of biochar. They inject it back into what used to be oil reservoirs or things of that sort. Those are technologies that are bio-based engineering nature.
But I really like transformations that really create economic benefit, as we go along as well. And by that, let’s take for example Mars Materials, which is a company that I have been supporting for the past year. And what they’re doing is getting CO2 from the air and creating polymers out of that. If you divert the oil and gas dependency of polymer creation by getting this from the air, from the atmosphere, then it makes a difference. It is not a super rapid implementation because they need to create a ton of manufacturing, and it is a heavy industry, but it is one that, if you are combining that CCUS — carbon capture, utilization, and storage — a directed capture in order to create a path for an economic benefit, I think those are interesting propositions.
There are companies that are doing a lot of polymer changes for new materials, like electrolysis systems in order to create new products from fuel for airplanes to any polymer, or fragrance, or things that you can think of. So, I love those technologies because I come from that industry as well. So, seeing a transformation in that industry really excites me because it creates a change that is transformational in society. Changing human behavior is hard. If you change the product, then you reimagine it, and you recreate it by capturing. That’s what you’re doing to products. Then, it creates more of a circular economy, in a way. So, that’s super exciting to me.
[31:20] Sean: If you were to take a wild guess, how far along are we from that? From being able to just capture the CO2 efficiently, effectively, and then converting it into products?
[31:34] Adriana: At a scale?
[31:35] Sean: Sorry?
[31:36] Adriana: At a scale, it is 10 years out. Don’t think at a pilot, a level, and getting into supply chains from the incumbents, in the market for testing products and all, maybe, in the next five years, but are at a very small scale. But there are companies that are going faster. There are others that are not going as fast with different kinds of technologies, between five and 20 years. It’s happening.
[32:05] Sean: That’s very promising. That’s very exciting. I’m not a chemical engineer, of course, so I have to ask you, how hard is it to do this? And how complicated is it? And I ask this because, with my very basic high school understanding of chemistry, it’s just like moving atoms around. But obviously, that’s not the case. How hard is this to figure out and to do?
[32:33] Adriana: I feel like the technology is figurable, because there is a lot of people getting PhDs left and right, or really cool scientists, or technologies that are coming from our national labs that are creating revolutionary change. Technology exists, but I feel like the gap is finding the technology empowerment with good business models and empower it with the right flow of capital in order to make it. Because it is very capital intensive in order to scale this up.
And having that knowledge to scale that up and change industry, maybe, people in oil and gas or in the chemical industry already have the knowledge. They attract that talent in order to expand from one to 10 these technologies into massive scales. And having the financials behind it, having the full capital stack behind it that can support, not only the new technologies coming in development and innovation, but can make it into everyone’s products with a massive scale.
[33:38] Sean: That makes sense. And also, probably, the improvement in our infrastructure and energy capture and things like that to make these things happen. Because it reminds me of desalination of water. We know how to do it. It’s just really energy-intensive. And I think, both financially and environmentally, it doesn’t make any sense to do it, yet.
[33:58] Adriana: Yeah, and policy and systems. I feel like it is the technologies are out there. The technologies exist. Or, maybe, they just have to be tweaked a little bit in order to create that magic bullet. But then, it is the system, the policies, then the business models that need to be contributing to a change in the commodity market, and where the margins are not gigantic. Or, in infrastructural, that is thought to be only a marrow, the government creating the infrastructural change. But now, the private sector has to jump in and start providing more support on that angle. That scale-up and rapid growth that is necessary and that know-how of rapid growth that is necessary to be transformed from one industry kind to another.
[34:50] Sean: I have one more tough question for you. And you don’t have to answer this, if you don’t want to. But as an investor, what do you like to see more? Which do you prefer more? Do you like to see environmental or climate tech that is incrementally improving? Or, do you like to invest in climate tech that is jumping, leaps, and bounds? And I ask this question because I’m curious how you think about, obviously, impact and the balance and the trade-off between, obviously, something that’s near-term and something that’s long-term.
[35:24] Adriana: So, I’m not an active investor right now, but I have been supporting startups to help them connect with investors. One day, I’ll be a part of the investing community itself. That’s one item to get out. But then, you have to think like portfolio. So, I really want to focus on a big systemic change that can do a modification of the system itself. But then, you need to balance it out for the LPs and the people that are putting the money in, balance it out with short incremental change as well. We cannot get to point B if we jump too many hoops with point A.
To me, ideally, in a world where we can change immediately the source of polymers from air versus the oil and gas will be a significant change. But then, you have to have steps along the way in order to attract the talent, in order to modify industries, to get there and bring people along with you. It is not a matter of just putting the money into the bigger industry or heavy industry, and that’s it. Unless they’re going to grow super-fast without infrastructure, they will not. So, we have to balance it out with smaller changes that are going to activate that space. So, industrials, heavy industries, for example, need supporting systems and electrification to happen ahead of time.
So, if you have electric systems with big batteries and turn it out to create the steam that the industry needs for you to be able to make the polymer because you need the steam and electricity at the same time. Then, you have those stages of technology that need to be infrastructurally available for you to get to point B.
So, in an ideal world, and you can just take your magic wand, jump in straight, and leapfrogging, critical change is best in order to not use resources, but then the infrastructure has to be present in order for it to be done.
[37:44] Sean: Makes sense. It’s shooting for the stars and landing on the moon, which makes a lot of sense. And I think that’s the right way to think about it. No, that’s awesome.
Adriana, anything else that you want to talk about that I didn’t ask you?
[37:57] Adriana: So, I guess, from the alumni community, we have been starting the Sustainability Haas Alumni Club or Alumni Association, where we are creating a space for us to be the umbrella organization that connects knowledge for alumni to learn about sustainability, for alumni that are very well-versed in the sustainability sector, to alumni that are new into sustainability and don’t know much with the idea. We are connecting people to organizations that exist within Haas, because we want to have an effort in being student always — students of sustainability, students of change, of creating or transforming our future and ecosystem.
So, I just wanted to welcome everyone in the alumni community at Haas to join us in this effort. We just kicked it off and we are pretty excited, it is sustainability and climate, as we want to put an emphasis on both, which are part of each other, in a way. But we just wanted to welcome everyone. So, Cristina Kirenson, JP Young, and I kickstarted it last week. So, we just wanted to welcome you, for you to join us at our LinkedIn channel, and for you to participate and be part of this alumni change.
[39:33] Sean: That’s amazing. We’ll definitely share that information in the description for this episode. And also, we’ll share Adriana’s LinkedIn, so feel free to reach out to her. Well, Adriana, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today and speaking with us. Really appreciate your time.
[39:49] Adriana: Thank you so much, Sean. It was really fun. It made me think through some of these questions. So, thank you. I really appreciate it.
[39:55] Sean: Thank you.
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