With every season our climate change disaster looms closer and we are increasingly looking to technology to safeguard us and the future of our environment. But the many false dawns and technological dead ends of the previous decade's failed clean tech initiatives have created confusion and mistrust of the next promised salvation - green tech.
We have seen too many unintended consequences from the culture of move fast and disrupt everything. Fuelled by an insatiable appetite to develop products that can scale quickly and satisfy short term exit strategies.
In 2019 Quartz reported that the average lifespan of a Bird shared e-scooter in Louisville, Kentucky was 28.8 days. From brand new to landfill in less than one month. Rather than focus their attention on helping cities genuinely reduce carbon emissions, tech companies have too often piled into a fast-growing market without really trying to solve anything other than how to scale their rate of user adoption.
Building public trust is critical
Public understanding and trust are currently disconnected from the industry that is trying to save us. And poor communication is often the problem.
We get it, big technical solutions are often hard to communicate, especially when they are not relatable to the average citizen. But, there has never been a better time to capture the genuine momentum and enthusiasm we are seeing, across the globe, to tackle the multi-layered problem that is climate change. There may be no silver bullet, but there will be plenty of great solutions that will need to build broad support to get them over the line.
Successfully launching and scaling green tech solutions in the coming years will require one essential ingredient - proper public engagement. The citizens of planet earth are critical stakeholders in this challenge and they don’t want to be left on the sidelines.
How do you harness this kind of enthusiasm?
By building an audience. And how do you build an audience? By inviting people to share in your big idea.
Visionary businesses need to land their concepts clearly inside the minds of the audience. They need to harness the power of narrative to help people imagine a future where the technology is already making a positive impact on their lives and the planet. Take your audience on a journey, explain your idea honestly and allow them the space to ask difficult questions along the way.
The next wave of green technology innovation will not be tech first, it will be socially driven. It will be fuelled by people's desire to support and champion the businesses that they can trust will rise to the challenge of securing our future.