Climate Change: Whose problem is it anyways?

There are three types of entities in this world.

  1. Climate Change activists (investors, entrepreneurs, policy makers, Not for profit orgs etc).
  2. Startups
  3. Real world.

So far, startups (consumer, SAAS, Web 3 et al) solving for real world use-cases have been completely unaffected by the climate change phenomena. After all, solving for climate change is somebody else’s problem, right?

Climate change ecosystem (investors, entrepreneurs, activists etc.) have been on their own trip. Most of them are on a high pedestal looking down at everybody else or trying to scare the world with gloom and doom stories (how the world will collapse in 10 years et al).

The result? Nobody cares. Nothing moves forward. Small projects here and there. At max, we have more traders trading carbon credits, turning climate change into one great opportunity.

Or, investing in climate change has become a CSR activity for corporates (money goes to media houses from these CSR budgets, who in turn create viral stories).

So far, a happy loop!


But then. Bangalore gets flooded (there was a loss of $30mn+ business in those 5 days alone). Unicorn founders are forced to leave their houses. Twitter’s data center starts melting. Real world is impacted. Businesses start losing money. GDP is impacted. And when all this happens, we need to stop everything else and get into an actionable dialogue.

The debate needs to shift from ‘Are we in a business-friendly place’ to ‘How do I make the climate business-friendly?’

For your business to survive the next 10 years, the world too needs to survive (unless you are building for Mars!).

It doesn’t matter whether you are a fintech, edtech, EV or a SAAS startup. The climate change is same for us and doesn’t care about our entitlements and exits. So, when you are creating your 10-year business projection, maybe start incorporating the impact of climate change too?

What if one day your office is washed away? What if during your peak activity phase, your data center goes off? What if the entire thing catches fire? What if…

We can either plan for negative use-cases or put serious efforts in making a better future (climatically speaking).

It’s time to ask/debate and learn how can one’s small efforts help reverse the change, so that you can continue to be on your path to become a Unicorn++.

The solution? What’s the way out?

I don’t know. But all I know is that we need to start looking at integrating how we incorporate climate change in our businesses – those little impacts that we can create.

I don’t know about you, but we at nextbigwhat are incorporating many changes. From now on, all our conferences will (to start with, upcoming UnPluggd)

  • No lanyard printing
  • No plastic bottles
  • Only papercups (we’d like to get rid of them too*)
  • No printed brochures (only QR code based digital brochures): We have been doing this since 2017, btw.
  • Arca plates* (instead of thermocol or plastic ones)
  • Fabric printing, instead of flex printing*
  • Plant + Jute bags * (if at all, we give away any registration kit, which is a function of partnerships).

    *we surely need a sponsor to help meet the cost.

You might argue that whether these will really create any dent? Maybe not. But 👇

We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.

Anne Marie Bonneau

Happy surviving 2040!

Read: Patagonia Chair: We are turning capitalism on its head by making the Earth our only shareholder