Fusing the energy of the sun and start-ups is the topic of this podcast, where we find out how Tokamak Energy is planning to recreate the power of the sun... on a business park in Oxfordshire, and thus deliver almost limitless renewable energy.
Physicist and communications consultant at Tokamak Energy, and polar explorer and conqueror of Everest, Dr Melanie Windridge, explains how nuclear fusion is not science fiction, but an energy source that will be clean, green and safe.
Fusion energy has famously always been 30 years away from commercial utilisation, starting from the first international agreement to build a fusion reactor by the leaders of the USA and USSR, Reagan and Gorbachev, in 1985. There is still no clarity on when this massive global initiative will start producing energy commercially.
Tokamak Energy, which started in 2009, is developing a small scale fusion reactor, which recently reached a temperature hotter than the centre of the Sun, 15 million degrees, and they plan to be producing industrial scale energy by 2025.
Melanie who has a PhD in Plasma Physics from Imperial College London shares the history of fusion energy from the development of the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) and the JET (Joint European Thorus) to the current race for fusion energy which is now being led by start-ups around the world.
Highlights of this episode:
Tokamak Energy: https://www.tokamakenergy.co.uk/
Recent news release: https://www.tokamakenergy.co.uk/hotter-than-the-centre-of-the-sun-uk-prototype-reaches-15-million-degrees-paving-the-way-for-commercial-fusion-energy/
Melanie Windridge’s personal website: http://melaniewindridge.co.uk/
Melanie’s book - Aurora: In search of the Nothern Lights: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28014506-aurora
Nuclear Fusion as a renewable resource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_proposed_as_renewable_energy#Fusion_fuel_supply
[0:50] What is nuclear fusion?
[5:00] Why is nuclear fusion energy always still 30 years away?
[10:00] Tokamak Energy
[13:00] A worldwide collaboration to create ITER big meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev
[15:00] 3 things that affects output of fusion energy
[17:00] Magnetic technology has moved on
[19:00] Pivoting to making power stations with small tokamaks
[20:40] Milestones to commercialise Tokamak Energy
[23:00] Science is difficult to predict
[26:00] Climate change is happening
[29:00] Other types of fusion energy
[32:00] Criticism of fusion energy
[34:00] Background of Melanie Windridge
[37:00] Polar exploration and climbing Everest
[39:00] Being a woman in science
Serial entrepreneur Charlotte Morton of Cleantech Innovate shares her experience founding, advising and investing in game changing sustainable startups.
In this episode, Charlotte talks about her inspiration switching from being a lawyer to founding car rental company Whizzgo which was acquired by City Car Club. Charlotte currently runs We Are Orchard where they manage the trade association ADBA (Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association) and Cleantech Innovate events that showcases and connects startups in sustainability with investors.
Highlights of this episode:
Charlotte Morton’s Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-morton-1a0a322
Charlotte Morton’s Twitter https://twitter.com/charlotte_adba
We Are Orchard http://www.weareorchard.com/
We Are Orchard’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/we-are-orchard-ltd/
We Are Orchard’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/orchardexpo
Cleantech Innovate https://www.cleantechinnovate.com/
Cleantech Innovate Yotube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxp-J_8HK3h-a-ON71TSuRQ/videos
Kite Power Solution http://www.kps.energy/
Dr Greg Lavery, Founder of Rype Office talks about how he's bringing a disruptive circular economy model into the buildings industry by re-manufacturing beautiful furniture
According to a 2012 study by WRAP, 300 tons of office furniture is going to waste every day. Serial entrepreneur, Dr Greg Lavery enlightens us on why he sees remanufacturing office furniture as the big opportunity for a more circular building industry.
In this episode, Greg shares his personal journey from running a solar company in Australia to founding Rype Office and how they are able to supply beautifully designed, sustainable and low cost furniture. Greg talks about their game changing innovation of creating job opportunities for the long term unemployed, thus creating social, financial and environmental sustainability.
John Elkington, Founder of Volans, creator of the Triple Bottom Line and global CSR leader on his sustainable journey
Business Week described John Elkington as "a dean of the corporate responsibility movement", a poll placed him in the top 5 of global CSR leaders and he created the concept of the Triple Bottom Line: he truly is the sage of sustainability.
In this episode, John talks about his personal journey over the decades pushing for sustainable development.
He discusses his work bridging the gap between activist NGO campaigners and those mainstream businesses looking to be responsible.
During the conversation he shares insight from the Volans report “Breakthrough Business Models: Exponentially, More Social, Lean, Integrated, and Circular.” John suggests that the sustainability industry needs to disrupt itself and how we need to think in much longer terms. A serial sustainability entrepreneur and thinker for 40 years, he started his first business, ENDS, in 1978 (which is still going strong), founded two high profile consultancies, SustainAbility and Volans, is the author of 19 books and is on the boards of 20 organisations.
Head over to Volans to learn more about Breakthrough Business Models.
John Elkington tweets at @VolansJohn
Mayor of London Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2016 Winner and Echoing Green Fellow, Ryan Robinson is the cofounder of Aeropowder which is turning waste feathers from the poultry industry into a high value circular economy product.
In this episode, Ryan explains how biomimicry inspired Aeropowder is exploiting the unique insulation properties of feathers for last mile food delivery and getting rid of synthetic insulation. Ryan shares the interesting background behind meeting cofounder Elena Dieckmann at Imperial College and what lead them to forming their company.
Ryan also talks about his journey from being a PhD researcher in air pollution and talking to astronauts in his Masters to figuring out the entrepreneurial challenges of working with industry partners and the importance of learning by doing.
Head over to Aeropowder to learn more about this new circular economy product.
Ryan Robinson tweets at @Aeropowder
Multi award winning African entrepreneur, Kennedy Odede shares his journey tackling extreme poverty and bringing education, healthcare and clean energy to local communities.
In this episode, Kennedy Odede inspires us with his story as a homeless kid facing daily challenges of violence on the street to how he started Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), the largest grassroot movement transforming urban slums in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kennedy Odede is the founder of SHOFCO that is addressing the deep challenges of extreme poverty. Kennedy explains how he has managed to create quality healthcare services and a safe space to educate young women and bringing in new solar technology to the local community.
Kennedy is recognised for the impact he is creating and awarded the Young Global Leaders and Echoing Green Fellow. Kennedy strongly believes the power of technology, education and why we should always start with the people.
Learn more about SHOFCO here https://www.shofco.org/
Kennedy Odede tweets @KennedyOdede
Chris Forbes, award winning entrepreneur and cofounder of The Cheeky Panda on disrupting the toilet paper industry with sustainable bamboo.
In this episode, Chris Forbes the cofounder of award winning The Cheeky Panda talks about why bamboo is an obvious solution to disrupt a mainstream product that is such a core part of everyday life. Chris explains how The Cheeky Panda business has moved from concept in 2016 to launching in mainstream retailers such as Wholefoods and Ocado and big wholesale distributors Bunzl by 2017, and with even bigger plans for 2018.
Chris explains how he is driving this potential #GameChanger business and why the whole business process is pushing the boundaries of consumer sustainability.
Chris compares bamboo versus recycled toilet paper and why they have created a health product in the process of developing Cheeky Panda. He also talks about how they are protecting the rainforests through carbon offsets and plan to use biobased plastics in their packaging.
Head over to www.TheCheekyPanda.co.uk to find out more about their bamboo loo rolls.
Chris Forbes tweets @forbesymore
Solitaire Townsend, Co-founder of Futerra shares the inspiration behind her new book, 'The Happy Hero', the Climate Optimism movement & successful Futerra campaigns
Solitaire Townsend’s Twitter profile succinctly reads: “Author of www.thehappyhero.org. Co-founder of @Futerra. #ClimateOptimist”
In this equally succinct interview we dive into an exploration of what inspired Solitaire to become a green entrepreneur as a teenager, how that has influenced her to investigate the connection between happiness and heroism and the evidence of its impact.
We discuss how she is passionate about communicating that whilst we must take climate change seriously, that linking climate and optimism isn't either weird or dangerous, and how we can deal with apathy around climate change by believing that we can deal with it.
Along the way we also find out about the work Futerra has done with the likes of WWF and Sky, their partnership with The Climate Group for #ClimateOptimist, the importance of empowering and educating women, and more, all in a succinct 26 minutes.
Pat Harned of the Ethics & Compliance Initiative tells us how 'culture trumps compliance'
Pat Harned leads the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI), regularly engaging with leaders of global corporations and the US Department of Justice as well as testifying before Congress. She was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics’ in 2014.
In this wide ranging conversation, she shares how culture trumps compliance, the key to reducing corporate risk and her volunteer role as a baby cuddler.
Jane Davidson of INSPIRE at University of Wales Trinity Saint David talks wellbeing of future generations and appealing beyond the converted
Dr Jane Davidson has achieved many things in her time and this conversation takes us from her childhood in Africa to her current role as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sustainability and Engagement and Director of INSPIRE at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David which is on a journey to embed sustainability throughout the university’s culture, campus and curriculum. Jane has won a number of UK wide awards for this work.
A highlight of Jane’s career is her work, from 2007- 2011, as Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainable development its central organising principle – the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act came into law in April 2015.
Her work saw her being recognised as the third most influential environmentalist in the UK for the Independent on Sunday in 2009.
Listen to this fascinating journey through a life which has been devoted to inspiring sustainability.
Ian Joseph talks about how to unlock the potential of individuals by stepping on board
Ian Joesph, the CEO of Trustees Unlimited, a leading resource of trustees and board roles for not-for-profits, had a fascinating conversation with Adam Woodhall about the benefits of good governance, avoiding Napoleon’s and finding where the magic happens.
Beginning life as a church minister, Ian Joseph has had an eclectic career. He moved from being a pastor to working with those experiencing homelessness and drug addiction, and then took an interesting step into being a head hunter. His heart was still in the right place however, as he continued working in the charity sector, recruiting the CEO's of numerous charities such RSPCA and National Autistic Society. As well as being a father of three, Ian walks the talk himself as a trustee of a charity.
Inspiring Sustainability the Interserve way with Tim Haywood their Finance Director and Head of Sustainability
Interserve is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies of 80,000 people. They are in the FTSE250, with revenues of £3.6billion. After a career in finance, Tim joined the business over six years ago as FD, and five years ago, took on the sustainability portfolio.
We talked about what inspired his interest in sustainability, favourite story, uncomfortable lessons and what inspires him about the future.
You can read a summary of the interview with him here.
In addition to helping clients communicate, connect and change, I love highlighting stories from the front line of inspiring sustainability.