Big Business for Big Change: Using the Intersection of Technology & Sustainability for Good

Episode 5 November 29, 2023 00:43:07
Big Business for Big Change: Using the Intersection of Technology & Sustainability for Good
The Edge: A Skillsoft Podcast
Big Business for Big Change: Using the Intersection of Technology & Sustainability for Good

Nov 29 2023 | 00:43:07

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Hosted By

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

Show Notes

Over the past 30 or so years, big capitalism has been perceived as a force of massive destruction and chaos on the planet. But what if we told you that it could actually be used for good? Engaging with billons of people and companies around the planet to participate in reversing climate change can happen, and it must be done using auditable, transparent, trustworthy data ecosystems that are critical to igniting change. 

We dive deeper into this topic on this episode of The Edge with Josh Knauer, a social and tech entrepreneur who fundamentally believes that there’s a viable window of time to reverse the climate crisis. All it takes is getting everyone involved. From farmers, to investors, to businesses, and individuals like you who all want to participate in lowering their carbon footprint on the planet. Join in as Josh and host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek discuss how the intersection of technology and sustainability can help companies and individuals contribute to a healthier planet.  

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:07] Michelle BB: The views expressed by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Skillsoft. Welcome to The Edge, the Skillsoft podcast, where we share stories of the way in which transformative learning can help organizations and their people grow together. I'm your host, Michelle BB. My pronouns are she and her, and I am excited about this particular episode of The Edge because it leans into my role as Chief Sustainability Officer here at Skillsoft. And in preparing for today's episode, I did a lot of reading about climate change, and I want to start with something I happened across last week a New York Times article about global warming that ironically made my blood run cold. The piece, titled Climate Change is Speeding Towards Catastrophe, explained that Earth is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade. That's right. Ten years. And we all know how quickly that can go. Now, is there an opportunity to shift course? Perhaps. But it would mean the world joining together immediately to slash greenhouse gases roughly in half by 2030 and then stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere altogether by the early 2050s. Ignoring the problem is not an option in 2023. As of September 11, there have been 23 confirmed climate disaster events, with losses exceeding 1 billion with a B each in the United States alone. And countries with low levels of climate readiness and high levels of fragility are at greatest risks. Countries like Syria that have been plagued by drought and a massive earthquake that affected hundreds of thousands of Syrians. The climate crisis clearly is a human crisis, but it has also become a business crisis. That's why having an environmental impact plan for companies is not just a nice to have, it is a need to have. And the plan must be multifaceted contemplating all of the various ways in which companies can reduce their carbon footprint. Now, in today's episode, we're going to tackle the topic of carbon credits and how companies are using them when developing their environmental strategies. Now, for those of you who are thinking, just what the heck is a carbon credit anyway? I get it. Simply put, thanks to sustainability tracker, a carbon credit is a digital tradable certificate confirming that one ton of CO2, or equivalent greenhouse gas has been averted in a given year by an environmental project or business. And the ultimate goal of carbon credits is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Now, that's fairly simply put, but it really isn't so simple, and I'll be the first to admit that I have been and remain a little skeptical on the topic. Now, why? Well, I think it's fair to say, considering the huge short term profits that can be made and the lack of clear standards, that the market has a little bit of a credibility issue. And the word greenwashing comes to mind. Consider this in January, a source material investigative report analyzed nearly 100 million carbon credits and found that only a fraction of them resulted in real emissions reductions. And the implications of this are huge. Not only do organizations now face expectations to have measurable environmental, social and governance commitments and transparent reporting, but they're also being held accountable by their investors, their employees, and their customers. And it is apparent that not all carbon credits are created equal. So considering all of this, how can carbon credits serve an organization's environmental impact plan? Well, as our guest today, Josh, Nower, co founder of Reseed, might say, make sure your carbon credits are farm fresh. Reseed is a full service carbon solution provider that brings carbon credits directly from farmers to the market. And so I am thrilled to have Josh here today to talk all about this. Josh, thank you so much. Welcome to the Edge. [00:04:09] Josh Knauer: Thank you so much, Michelle. I'm really happy to be here. [00:04:12] Michelle BB: Okay, so I spent some time researching your background, and I find it fascinating. And so I just want to make sure I've got this straight and then I'll let you add to it. You've been a social and tech entrepreneur and speaker for the past 25 years. You've created and led successful organizations in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. You are an advisor to President Obama on science and technology, and you are currently a co chair for the World Economic Forum's Working Group on Carbon Credits, which is today's topic. Did I get that right? I want to learn a little bit more about you. Tell me about you and the road that brought you to your latest venture, Reseed. [00:04:50] Josh Knauer: Well, thank you so much. Over the past 30 years or so, I've really come to see that what we think of as big capitalism that has been a force of massive destruction and chaos on the planet, quite frankly, can actually be harnessed to have a very positive impact on local communities and local ecosystems. And in fact, given the precious little time that we have to address global issues such as climate change, systemic poverty, the only thing that we can do at this point is hack these existing systems for good. And I think that's the best path forward. And so I met one of my current business partners, Vasquez von Rusmalin, years ago in 2009, when we were working on a large scale community based data collection effort. I was asked by Google to go to Brazil to connect with a tribe called the Surui Tribe who had had, at that point, first contact with the outside world 40 years ago. They used to live in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and because of Deforestation and the systems that we have, they found themselves at the edge of the Amazon. And so that was the first forest carbon project that I'd ever been involved with, and it was led and directed by the Sirui under a brand new at the time program called UN, program called Red. And we came together to provide the tools necessary, the app based tools for collecting data from the field. And that led to the tribe's territory being recognized by the Brazilian government in a very short amount of time, which was fantastic. And the first indigenous created carbon credits that came to market and were sold. And that was a great success at the time, except when we scratched below the surface a little bit. We learned in that deep dive into this space of market driven ecosystem service programs that the concept of using market forces to drive this type of outcomes that we wanted to see tribes being independent and having autonomy. The ability for people who were living in the most highest levels of poverty to be able to turn their situations around by interacting with the markets. It didn't work so well at the time. It turns out that the legacy carbon credit markets don't work for land stewards who are doing the most to actually preserve and protect the last remaining areas of carbon storage that's taking place and the ability for to draw down carbon. And those people are also the poorest among us. And so they're getting run over by existing preexisting systems. So we created it took a while for us. I had to get this other company out of the way that I was working on, ended up selling that. But basically we began in earnest in 2021 when Vasco and our other partner, Zach Zadman and I came together to finally solve for the inequities in the carbon markets. Which leads us to where we are today. [00:08:04] Michelle BB: It sounds like that was a real AHA moment, by the way, amazing work to be able to spend time in the forest that we need to save, which, let's face it, these are the actual lungs of the planet. [00:08:15] Josh Knauer: And yes, they are. [00:08:16] Michelle BB: They're not well taken care of, but this AHA moment for you and the fact as well that what we were doing before in terms of carbon credits, it wasn't working and it wasn't helping those who, to your point, are the stewards of this wonderful planet on which we live. And so I love this idea of hacking systems for good. And I would imagine that the work that you're doing now with Re seed, working with small farmers across the globe, doing more boots on the ground work, really has or and hopefully will make a big difference. Can you tell us a little bit about reseed and how it works? [00:09:03] Josh Knauer: Sure. So at Recede, we're building a market, a pathway to market that financially rewards responsible stewardship of the carbon stocks. And let's just be clear, carbon stocks that we're saying is the soil that is like a battery that stores incredible amounts of carbon. And the vehicle for pulling that carbon to the ground is one of the oldest technologies on the planet, which is photosynthesis. So we want more plants interacting with healthier soils. And it turns out there are 2 billion smallholder farmers that's with a b billion smallholder farmers around the world who live at or below the poverty level in the countries where they live. And they are responsible and have access to and are stewards for incredible, incredible large carbon stocks. And so we believe fundamentally that there's a viable window of time to reverse the climate cris that engaging with billions of people and companies around the planet to participate in reversing climate change can happen and that it has to be done using auditable, transparent, trustworthy data ecosystems that are critical to making the changes happen. And so we do this specifically by working with the farmers. There are business partners to harvest and bring to market a new crop. That crop is data. And we measure and verify in that data the ecosystem services, the climate actions, and also the socioeconomic status on each of the farms we work with. Some of them are as small as less than a hectare of land and certainly are operated by some of the poorest among us in the world. And so currently we're working in our pilot projects in Brazil. We have over 10,000 kilombola farms that are a part of our process. Almost 40,000 people engaged in the farming activities on those farms. And we sell their data crops, we help them harvest that data and we work side by side with them to do that. We then turn that raw data into products that the market is looking for. And as we're doing it, we're doubling their household income and we'll be expanding next year into twelve new countries. And our goal is to be working very soon with many tens of thousands of farmers. And over time, over the next couple of years in the millions of farmers, this is a solution that can scale. It can scale quickly and it provides all the economic incentives up and down the value chain that the farmers themselves need. Investors, businesses and individuals like you and me who want to all participate in lowering our carbon footprint on the planet. [00:12:09] Michelle BB: I love that. I'm a big believer in you can do well in this world and do good for the planet. And it sounds like you are doing just that. But what fascinates me is that what you're doing really does lie at this intersection of technology and sustainability. You said something that I wanted to kind of go back to this idea that we need to make sure that our carbon credits are auditable, that they are transparent and traceable. Let's talk more about transparency, if you will, and not just of carbon credits, any sustainability effort because there's some really bad data being collected by people who don't understand the science. And I'd really love the term that comes to mind, obviously, is greenwashing. Let's talk about that concept. And I think for so many organizations, they want to make sure that they're balancing the I need to do something to achieve my company's goals. And that may need to involve carbon credits as I strive for carbon neutrality or net zero. But I also don't want to be labeled or even possibly fall into that realm of greenwashing. So how can companies make sure that their sustainability efforts are genuine and impactful? [00:13:34] Josh Knauer: I think it comes from what we're dealing with here, is that the solutions, the true solutions to the problems we have are science based, right? These are scientific processes, biological processes that we need to amplify. We need to have more restore the planet's ability to process all of the carbon, the legacy carbon that's been pumped up into the atmosphere from the Industrial Revolution for the past 150 years. And then we also need to make sure that we're not continuing to pump this type of carbon into the atmosphere. So basically, we need two different behaviors to take place at once. The first is that companies and individuals like you and me need to reduce our carbon footprint. Which means we need to be able to substantively and measurably show that we are reducing the amount of carbon that we're emitting into the atmosphere. So for companies that looks like energy efficiency programs, that looks like optimizations around how they manufacture products. It looks like use of less fossil fuels or elimination of fossil fuels altogether in our energy production. On the other side, there still is teratons of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is out of balance with what is needed for a healthy planet where those lungs can operate effectively to breathe in and breathe out. In a way that will cause the carbon dioxide to be breathed into plants and then the oxygen to come out and the carbon to be stored in the plant and in the roots. And so basically in trying to create market driven solutions to this in the past, what we've had is a horrible collision of wall street cowboys and silicon valley tech know, sort of colliding with science and basically creating financial instruments that are based on scientific, excellent scientific work that's been done for climate modeling. That's at a scale of 500 to 1000 year climate models so that we can actually start predicting what might happen in the future. And the problem is that because capital is impatient, these time horizons of carbon credits have been pushed down and compressed down to 20 year and 50 year cycles. And what turns out is that scientists knew this all along. Anyone looking at this who understands the science would say wait, this carbon credit that you are creating, which is based on a future projection of what might happen to a forest or the amount of carbon that could be transferred through that forest or stored through that forest, it actually has a 60% to 80% error rate. And scientists can say that very clearly and we all have that conversation at conferences and have for the past 30 to 40 years. And what is interesting is that that has never gotten through to the financial sector. And that is all what is happening right now. We're seeing the result of that bad financial decisions and creating financial instruments. So basically, what we believe the solution to be is that we have the technology now, the ability to actually create something called performance based carbon credits. And just to add more verbiage to it, we believe it should be performance based on social impact and climate action. And so by combining all of those things together, creating an auditable data trail down to the smallest possible measurements on these farms, and measuring the carbon that is actually being stored over the past year in the vegetation, the plants and the soils allows us to be able to accurately say what actually happened and then build financial instruments around that use carbon credit mechanisms to reward those farmers for continuing that action year after year after year. And so you create an ongoing virtuous cycle where farmers are getting rewarded for the important ecosystem services work that they have been doing and that they continue to do into the future. And we're able to reverse a cycle of destruction that has been taking place at epic scales in smallholder farming communities. Just to give you some basic stats, smallholder farmers around the planet are disappearing depending on which country you're in and which region you're in at a rate of 10% every decade. Here in the United States, in West Virginia, we're losing 10% of our farmers just over the past six years. And these farmers feed 70% to 80% of the planet. So this is where our food comes from. These ecosystem services are where we're protecting the lungs of the Earth, as you mentioned earlier. And basically by protecting these farmers and providing them with a pathway towards a livable, resilient income, we have the ability to use market forces using a process that farmers are directly involved with. They're harvesting a new crop. They understand the market mechanisms of crops. They understand that there are other companies that they partner with to take that crop to market, whether it's a banana, a bunch of bananas that gets turned into bread or baby food. We're doing that with data and turning it into carbon credits and other ecosystem service documentation that companies and individuals around the world want. And so we're able to verify at a very high degree of accuracy, and you don't have to believe us, we make all of that data publicly available to our clients so that they can audit the data themselves. Our farmers, because they're business partners, love to tell their stories. And most of the work that we do involves helping those farmers tell the stories of what they've been through in the past and how things are changing in their lives going forward as a result of the purchases from individual companies and individuals like you and me who are buying those carbon credits. [00:19:51] Michelle BB: I have to imagine that that storytelling is incredibly powerful. I mean, this is a dire situation that we find ourselves in now, and it can't be performative, right? I mean, this idea where we really do need measurable and urgent action on the part of people, but also organizations that to your point earlier, we need to hack these systems for good instead of for evil, which it feels like in a lot of ways we're in this battle for our lives. I love this idea of the people behind the work of the farmers that you have talked about since we started today. And it's wonderful. It's refreshing to hear the human element, especially in a world now where all we hear about is technology and all we hear about is AI. Now, I got to ask the question, because I'm sure everybody wants to know. What role do you think emerging technologies are going to play in addressing some of these sustainability challenges in particularly as we look at tools like generative AI? What are some of the things that we need to be thinking about and what are the really interesting ways in which we could use these technologies ethically, responsibly, going forward? [00:21:19] Josh Knauer: So I think that it's important to start with a basic concept that there is no one solution, right? AI or a few years ago, it was cloud data or whatever is not the answer to the problem. These are assistive technologies that can basically help us in solving these problems, that can help us get solutions to market faster, more transparently. And in terms of AI, specifically, without a doubt, we do use AI. You'll note I've not really mentioned AI. I've not said the words blockchain. I've not said any talked about deep satellite data and all the advanced platforms that we actually do use. And the reason is because, honestly, that's not the story, okay? These heroes who are the people that are doing the work and not only are they doing the farming work, but we've been able to harness the most advanced emerging technologies to make it easy and to help those farmers collect the data that's needed to get it's. Almost like that, we've created a new type of plow, right? And instead of plowing their crops with it, they're using a non invasive and a generative AI and a generative set of emerging technologies that allow them. They spend maybe three to 10 hours a year working with our app on the ground. And as a result of that and all of the other advanced technologies that are then used machine learning and image analysis and massive processing that we do in partnership with Google and a whole bunch of other technology platforms, we're able to come up with very accurate views of data and information on those farms. The farmers get access to that data. They actually own their own data, which is important in the system and they are able to use that data in partnership. And we provide as part of our economic model, people and organization, access to people, experts on the ground that provide the technical assistance that they need to be able to harness that data for their own improvements that they can start making. Because once they understand that this is a crop that has a lot of value, the first question every farmer asks is how do I get more? And once again, if you are just using AI to optimize, you would miss the interaction that then starts taking place. And this is a piece, I think that's so important is that the cumulative knowledge of literally thousands of years of agriculture and farming that these farmers that we work with have been using has to be not just recognized, but understood to be a part of the solutions going forward. When we talk about modern terms like carbon smart agriculture or regenerative agriculture, all we're talking about are processes that farmers know how to use on a micro level on the ground. They know exactly where to plant their crops, they know exactly what to apply to their soils, to make them healthier, to get the most optimal output. And basically, when that can be enhanced by analysis, by satellite data, by all kinds of other information, it helps those farmers do it more effectively. And that transformation and financing that helps them to do it helps them transition to full on regenerative carbon smart agriculture which states the market needs of what we need as the rest of the planet needs. What? Supply chains? Are looking for and what companies who are making food products and clothing and use the fabrics that are created from the sheep farmers that we work with and the herbs and the oils and everything that goes into the personal care products we use on a regular basis. All of those companies are able to create a better product. Farmers are able to increase sometimes up to 30% to 60% increases in productivity of their land and do it in a way that is also benefiting the lungs of the earth, as we were talking about earlier. And so all of these net positives can happen when using technology effectively. But to think that technology is the answer, the thing that you just apply a bunch of satellite data and all of a sudden you're going to have a good carbon program, honestly, that's the tech bro approach to all of this and it misses the human element. So technology and emerging technology mixed with and assistive to humans is the answer. [00:26:06] Michelle BB: Yeah, we talk about that a lot in what we do, which is about helping organizations and their people grow together through transformative learning. Right. The more that you know, technology is a great enabler, it's a great tool, but it really is only a piece of the way in which we learn. There are still humans in the loop in everything that we do and I think the human factor is critically important. The impact that you're talking about, the impact that we can have is incredible and I think both from a social perspective, clearly from an environmental perspective but it does require that organizations, their chief sustainability officers, their heads of ESNG that they buy into this. And having an environmental, economic or environmental impact plan isn't just a nice to have it is a must have. And organizations have to pay attention not just because they're being audited and not just because their investors care not just because customers are demanding but because we as society need this now. So how do we make sure that organizations are paying attention to the things that matter and not just the reporting that's required of them? How do we focus on the environment in a way that makes this truly valuable for all? And again, not just this thing that we're going to do every year because we have to. [00:27:44] Josh Knauer: I think it starts with organizations. Frequently we talk about a company that is doing massive damage in the world yet is highly profitable as being successful. And as a company there are people who will point fingers and say they're evil or others stockholders who will say fantastic, keep going. But the thing that gets lost in the mix is that organizations are just groupings of individual people. And if we can actually start to reconnect to the impacts that we have on all people not just distant farmers in a distant land, not just people over there in other places, but actually within our own companies as right now, this summer here in the Northern Hemisphere and trust me, in the Southern Hemisphere we're about to see massive amplifications of climate crises happening as the Southern Hemisphere summer kicks in. But basically what we're seeing are the dire effects of climate change that are happening right now as a result of people not paying attention to these issues over decades. We're left with all this legacy carbon in the atmosphere. We are still increasing the amount of fossil fuels that we are digging up from the ground and burning to create all the products and to run our economy. But our individual employees, the people who work for our companies, the families of our companies are directly now impacted I think about the fires that are happening here in the United States and Canada at epic levels and around the world the floods that are taking place. New York City was just underwater yet again for the second time at least in the past handful of years and people are dying. Massive amounts of people now are becoming refugees that literally can't live in places. If you own a home on the Florida coast in the Keys and other places you can't get insurance for your property anymore. There's all kinds of economic impacts that are affecting our individual lives. And so if we can take that into perspective and realize that industries have been disrupted so if you want to look at the dollars and cents, if you want to look at the organization just from a spreadsheet sort of perspective, the bottom line productivity is way down among employees. As a result of this, entire processes of manufacturing and distribution and supply chain are being rapidly disrupted. We are seeing massive economic impacts across up and down sectors and of course our colleagues and employees and we ourselves are actually personally affected by much of us. So when companies can invest, when we talk about investing in impact and taking the time to have a climate action plan and to think about the social impact variables of what they're doing, it not only is the right thing to do from a humanity perspective and a moral perspective, but it actually is proven to improve the bottom line for the companies that do it. They're more resilient, they're more profitable and they're more successful. And we've seen this time and time again and we're starting to see the shift take place. And what we need are more ways for more people, billions of people at once to start engaging in climate action planning and taking action on these issues that are substantive in order to move the needle and to create that social pressure that we need from within our own organizations. So that, yes, we need government and yes, we need protest and yes, we need all kinds of things to be taking place in many different ways. But if we as individuals can understand that we can actually be a vehicle for change, that individual farmer in Brazil, the person working in the finance department at a large company and everybody in between are able to take actions that can actually all collaboratively move the needle. And of course we need the ability to measure that movement and to document it so people can trust it. If we can create trust among billions of people to be able to work together, we have a movement. And we have a movement that will actually help save the future of humanity and it's nothing less than that. [00:32:16] Michelle BB: I know that it sounds dire. It is dire, right? And I think the point about having an appetite to make this world a better place is great. But an appetite is not enough. And you referenced briefly governments. Look, we've got the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive in Europe. We've got an SEC proposed Climate Disclosure Rule where companies are going to have to provide an accounting of their greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental risks they take. But what role do you believe the government policies and regulations what role do they need to play in promoting sustainability? Is it really just about these disclosures? [00:33:00] Josh Knauer: No. Once again I go back to the basic understanding that governments are composed of people. They are not a monolithic entity. They are in most cases. Representative of the people that live within their countries or localities. And basically there are many things governments can do in the EU. Yes, the corporate social reporting is super important, but so is actually the regulated carbon markets that the EU has created. It's a model for how to actually sort of create a bit of carrot and stick to make sure that corporations that operate within their jurisdiction are in fact doing the right thing and taking substantive action on climate. Here in the United States, we don't have such a system and it is likely untenable like we will not, given current political situations, we're going to be in stalemate for a very long time, I believe. And so what can government do in situations like that? Well, many governments, and it doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on here in the United States, providing incentives for companies and individuals to act is usually something that is a widely acceptable concept. So more carrot than stick, if you will. They can help amplify new and innovative solutions like what Riseed is doing and others by recognizing and promoting these new solutions, integrating them into policies and implementations of things. We work with agricultural ministers and departments around the world at a sort of a federal and a more regional level in countries all throughout the world. And we're seeing an excitement around the concept of implementing the protocols that we have publicly published and that we are sharing openly with governments as guidelines, whether they become law and regulation or whether they become just simply the implementation path for existing types of policies and practices like we believe should happen here in the United States. The USDA has a lot of money. We're talking potentially billions of dollars sitting in funds that are supposed to be going to climate action, that are supposed to be incentivizing smallholder and large scale farming changes in the United States. And those funds are locked up basically because of a lack of ability to know that they can trust that the farmers are actually taking the action and the farmers don't have the resources to be able to report. So that creates a market opportunity, that creates an opportunity for for profit companies like ours to come in and help solve that problem by creating more transparency, by creating more pathways for those farmers to be able to get their data to the USDA so that the USDA can approve what they're doing. And these are the types of systems that there are so many opportunities for, not just in agriculture, but in all areas of the climate effort. We need everyone to be acting all over the place, everywhere, all at once. And that is the way that we're going to be able to get to the solutions that we need. And so that's why we're trying to be open about what we do and hopefully in what we're doing. And I encourage others to as well think about solutions that actually can scale, that actually benefit people on the scale of billions. And the only ways to do that are through transparency, openness and rapid deployment. [00:36:46] Michelle BB: I think as well. I mean, it sounds like there is quite a bit of education that needs to be done here as well inside our organizations. And look, we deal with a lot of talent leaders, we deal with a lot of chief human resource officers, chief people officers. I think this is a great opportunity to start educating our employees who may not be aware of where sustainability and technology, where we've gotten to a point where there is something that each individual can do and then come together within our organizations to do something really powerful. And look, we've talked here today about what feels like a feudal state and I recognize that we have something, there are things that we can do, but it feels in some ways very dire and very futile. When you get up in the morning, what excites you? What gives you hope about the future as you see it now? Because it does feel really like if we don't do something soon, we're going to be in trouble. [00:37:45] Josh Knauer: So what motivates me and how we all have our moments of falling into the depths of doom, scrolling and all the things around these issues. But the fact of the matter is, and something that I've really come to realize, many of the solutions that we face to the crises that we face on this planet are not really actually new. There are not new solutions necessary, but basically a rediscovery and an amplification of what's actually ancient knowledge. And the excitement that I have is how can we actually use emerging technologies and emerging systems and market based systems that we have to actually solve to apply that ancient knowledge to solve for the damage that we've caused to the planet. Regenerative agriculture, as I mentioned earlier, is just a reframing of ancient knowledge of traditional farming that builds healthy soils and increases crop outputs. There are not new technologies for doing that. There are new ways to measure it and to quantify it and to make sure that the translation of that ancient knowledge into our modern economic systems can happen. But it's so important that we just understand the solutions are here. They've been among us and in the brains and in the actions of millions of people across the planet. And we just need to listen more and we need to stop thinking that moving to Mars is going to be the answer. It won't be just a little heads up, it's not going to be. And anyone who's a fan of Sci-fi knows that kind of doesn't end up too well usually in our dystopian future that we see. So let's focus on amplifying what we know works, proven technologies that have been here for thousands, if not millions of years and harness those and rediscover them so that we can actually make change in the world. [00:39:55] Michelle BB: Yeah. So I love that. I think we all have to play a role, clearly, in fixing our planet. And just so everybody out there heard, please don't think that you're going to move to Mars, because that's what I no. [00:40:07] Josh Knauer: Not happening. I'm not going to. And I don't think anyone else is quite no. [00:40:14] Michelle BB: Josh, before we wrap up, I want to ask you a question. It's actually a three parter, so maybe it's three questions, but look, I've been asking every single guest I've hosted since this series started back at the onset of the Pandemic in 2020, and so I'm really eager to hear from you. Number one, what are you learning right now? Right? Or what have you learned recently that's had an impact, and then how are you applying it? And the third is what advice, additional advice, I should say. Would you share with others? So the three parter is what are you learning? How are you applying it? And what advice from that would you share with others? [00:40:48] Josh Knauer: What I'm learning right now, and it's a constant learning journey, but something I'm absolutely kind of obsessed with, actually, is how to better listen to indigenous wisdom, specifically as it relates to indigenous economics and indigenous technologies and indigenous economics just I could speak for hours about this, but we don't have that time. But the concept is based on valuing relationship and relationship amongst all things. And so I'm applying that knowledge in how to think about harnessing emerging technologies and systems to make sure that they act in concert with, and are, in fact, listening and reflecting and assisting in the needs of natural systems, including people. And my advice to others is that we take a few deep breaths, right? Everything that's happening in the world today is quickening and accelerating, and that's okay. But if we slow down and listen deeply to the wisdom that has been existed in humanity for thousands of years, we can apply that wisdom to choosing how we proceed forward with our actions. And whether it be in technology implementations or market solutions or, quite frankly, how we interact with each other and the environment immediately around us. I believe that that is where the solutions lie to the problems we face as humanity. [00:42:22] Michelle BB: Josh, thank you so much for that truly sage advice, and I'm really grateful that you took the time to come on and share your expertise, but you also really made what can be a confusing and complicated subject seem far less complicated and confusing. And I think you certainly inspired me to action. And if you would like listener to learn more about Josh's partners and their work, visit Reseed Farm. It's a beautiful, inspiring website. And dives even deeper into the philosophy behind the platform. I'm Michelle BB, everyone. Thank you. Until next time, keep learning, keep growing, and be well. Oh, and please save our planet.

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