Jan 19th The Road to 2024: Paved with Climate Solutions and a Pinch of Optimism

Hello, eco-warriors and sustainability buffs. 2024 is revving up to be a bumpy but promising ride on the climate solutions highway.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter gives us the lowdown, and it’s like a sneak peek into a greener, more sustainable future. Sure, the roads are still a bit rough, and those trains? Yeah, still working on their punctuality. But hey, the journey to climate-ready infrastructure is on the move, and it’s powered by a mix of federal funding, heightened awareness, and a sprinkle of good intentions.

First off, let’s talk big numbers. Over 40,000 climate-friendly infrastructure projects are either on the drawing board or already breaking ground across the country. But, as with any epic road trip, there are a few speed bumps – think partisan divides, snail-paced permitting, and those pesky economic curveballs.

Now, enter the private sector superheroes. These are the entrepreneurs and #ClimateTech wizards setting up shop near universities, cooking up innovative solutions that make your jaw drop. Picture this: wind farms getting the green light because some genius invented bird detectors for turbines. Or how about 3D printed coral reefs? Talk about giving the ocean a makeover! Sure, these ventures are still in the kiddie pool of impact, but they’re making waves…

And it’s not just about the tech; it’s also about the service. Think electric school bus leasing – it’s like Uber for school buses but make it eco-friendly. This isn’t just about cleaner air for the kiddos. It’s turning those idle buses into mini power plants. And let’s not forget about bringing broadband to the digital deserts, all while giving a leg up to engineering students from historically Black colleges and universities. Talk about a win-win!

But here’s the million-dollar question: What role do businesses play in all this? It’s time for business leaders to step out of their boardrooms and into their communities. They can throw their weight behind local actions, like championing public transit, affordable housing, or those nifty electric school buses. Their voice in these areas can help depoliticize the issues and rally public support. It’s about building bridges, both literally and figuratively.

In the end, it all boils down to building a sense of shared destiny. When businesses, entrepreneurs, and policymakers join hands, the path to better infrastructure and climate solutions becomes a lot smoother. So, as we cruise into 2024, let’s keep our eyes on the prize – a future that’s not just climate-smart but also inclusive, innovative, and downright inspiring.

Harvard Business School

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