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
Buy Me Once is an online curator of beautiful products that last. Tara Button, founder of buymeonce.com and author of “A Life Less Throwaway” shares her journey from working at a global advertising agency to manifesting her dream of a global platform for durable goods and leading a movement for sustainable living.
First inspired by a Le Creuset cast iron pot, she was constantly looking for products that last and thought that someone else must have created a website with such a collection. Tara was “stalked by the idea of a website” for over 2 years before realising she had to take action.
Tara shares her journey of commercialising the early Buy Me Once website after a Telegraph article went viral and her inbox was flooded with interest. After two major website upgrades and a change in business model, Buy Me Once is a growing seven person team, including one in New York, and over 2000 products listed.
Highlights of the podcast:
Tara’s personal website: www.tarabutton.com
A Life Less Throway: https://buymeonce.com/pages/a-life-less-throwaway
One World Futbol: https://uk.buymeonce.com/products/one-world-play-one-world-football-blue
Infinium Space Pen: https://uk.buymeonce.com/products/fisher-space-pen-infinium-space-pen-black-titanium
Elvis & Kresse: https://www.elvisandkresse.com/
Scott Nelson, Chairman & CEO of Sweetbridge talks about his #GameChanging blockchain enabled sustainable finance solution to create a more inclusive and fairer world.
Scott Nelson explains this once in a lifetime opportunity of how this blockchain future will create a level playing field for everyone by reducing the cost of capital. Scott was on a beach in Hawaii after selling his logistic payment platform company and was concerned that the blockchain pioneers might not know how to develop a good financial system of the future.
Sweetbridge is a blockchain operating system and they will be releasing a wallet and a loan product alongside their cryptocurrency. They are actively engaging their community, working with regulators, governments, municipalities and early adopters excited to test out their game changing platform.
With a background in technology, finance and supply chain Scott Nelson has a unique experience to help build a more efficient financial system. Scott talks about his motivation and the challenges of running a blockchain organisation and how this could become a #GameChanger for our world..
Connect with Scott Nelson on Linkedin here.
Abraham Cambridge, CEO and Founder of The Sun Exchange talks about how they are bypassing the disinterest of governments and banks in solar energy, while combining the best decentralised technology and financing model to create game changing impact.
The Sun Exchange’s vision is enable Africa to leapfrog into a new clean energy future using a blockchain enabled crowdfunding platform. Their solution enables anyone, anywhere in the world, to buy and lease solar assets to power villages starting in South Africa.
Abe talks about how solar energy is the most distributed and democratic source of energy and why the openness and transparency is key to making their platform work. Abe also shared on how a change in market conditions and his experience running a solar installation cooperative in Cornwall, UK lead to the founding of The Sun Exchange.
Connect with Abraham Cambridge on linkedin.
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.
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
John Corr, MD of Smart Ledger, discusses the impending Zero Carbon Economy including Energy Prosumers, Blockchain, EVs, VCs, and everything inbetween
John Corr founded Smart Ledger in April 2016, since then it has gone on to become one of the global Top 40 Blockchain businesses.
In this #GameChangers conversation we discuss the rapid rise in electric vehicle (EV) use, with the potential that in 10 years 95% of all journeys will be electric. We also explore how ordinary citizens are set to go from being just energy users to also being energy producers (AKA prosumers), storers and traders on the wider market, driven by blockchain technology.
Lastly we discuss how the very nature of venture capital (VC) is changing to drive forward these innovations.
Karl & Tom of Clean Energy UK talk Al Gore, COP21, renewable revolution and the big clean switch
On this podcast I’m joined by Tom Old and Karl Walker who are both directors of Clean Energy UK, which is a leading light in the renewables revolution, helping businesses switch to 100% clean supply.
They share their adventures in sustainability, with Al Gore being their matchmaker, and then taking us through their visit to COP21 and onto founding Clean Energy UK together in addition to being involved with The Big Clean Switch and the Carbon Free Group. On the way we discuss the learnings from An Inconvenient Truth and how they are looking towards the exponential growth of climate solutions.
Dan & Nadia of SafetyNet Technologies talk about making fishing brighter: by using light to decrease by-catch and increase sustainability
Over-fishing and bycatch are massive global issues with few clear solutions. In this edition of we talk to Dan Watson, the founder and CEO of SafetyNet Technologies, which has developed the innovative Pisces, and has the potential to provide a solution to this massive problem (27 million tons of bycatch!) and revolutionise fishing. Using light to attract the right fish into nets, they could reduce wasted catch by up to 90%.
Also joining us on the podcast is Nadia Labbs who guides their business strategy, which is currently centred on a Crowdfunder to support the business to bring Pisces to life on a mass scale.
The fascinating conversation ranged from where Dan got his inspiration from for this exponential technology to why businesses and individuals should care about it.
Hugo Spowers founder of Riversimple talks about multiple innovations that are being applied to developing a cutting edge eco-auto
A passion for racing cars and sustainability aren't usual bedfellows. Hugo Spowers is not an usual entrepreneur though, and the business he has created, Riversimple, isn't a business-as-usual company, as represented by its purpose: “To pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport”.
The headline innovation of Riversimple is they are bringing to market a hydrogen fuel cell car: the Rasa. Whilst this is impressive, it is actually only one of the cutting edge circular economy innovations at the core of this company. As Andrew Davis, CEO of the Environmental Transport Association, observes: "It’s important to think outside the box. I think some people at Riversimple don't know where the box is”
In addition to helping clients communicate, connect and change, I love highlighting stories from the front line of inspiring sustainability.