The Seeds: Growing Ideas into Impact-logo

The Seeds: Growing Ideas into Impact

Business & Economics Podcasts

An interview series with climate-leaders on technology, business, and policy.

An interview series with climate-leaders on technology, business, and policy.


United States


An interview series with climate-leaders on technology, business, and policy.




The Grid of the Future: Matt Plante, President & Co-Founder of Voltus

Matt Plante is the president and co-founder of Voltus, a distributed energy resources platform whose mission is to fulfill the promise of the energy transition. Voltus’s technology platform, VoltApp, connects any distributed energy resource, from energy efficiency to demand response, to any wholesale market in North America. In this episode, we discuss the electric grid of the future, the DER technology and policy to get us there, lessons learned from the Texas and California blackouts, and...


The API for Controlling Homes and Buildings: Sy Bohy, Co-founder of Seam

Sy Bohy is the co-founder of Seam, a startup offering a device- and brand-agnostic API for developers to control homes and buildings. Seam’s IoT platform enables organizations to control building devices, like opening door locks, controlling thermostats, turning off lights, and more. Sy and his co-founder Dawn bring years of expertise from Nest and Sonder to progress the burgeoning building management industry.


Last-mile connectivity in Africa: Harrison Leaf, CEO of SteamaCo

SteamaCo enables utilities to sell energy anywhere on the planet. Their data-efficient energy management system helps overcome cost and infrastructure barriers to underserved energy customers in 10 African countries. This episode covers why last-mile connectivity is such a challenge, how SteamaCo augments and automates preexisting smart metering and cloud technology, and three frameworks around limiting beliefs, procrastination, and motivation to succeed as an entrepreneur.


Renewable Energy Access and Resilience in a Box: Angelo Campus

Angelo Campus is the founder of BoxPower, a startup offering small scale renewable microgrids in 20-ft shipping containers. They are expanding energy access to rural, often-low income, communities that are off-grid or recovering from a natural disaster. They also provide back-up power to critical infrastructures like hospitals in California that are experiencing more blackouts than ever before. Angelo started learning about solar PVs and battery systems as a kid when homeschooled and never...


A Conversation on Sustainable Biomaterials: Wendy Owens, Hexas

Wendy Owens is the founder and CEO of Hexas, a clean-tech startup producing and distributing sustainable, plant-based biomass. Their giant grass, called Xanograss, replaces wood biomass and is an exceptional climate-change fighting species because of its low-cost sustainable building material, energy fuel, and carbon sequestration properties. Wendy brings over a decade of materials and biotech experience to Hexas and in this episode shares insights on the future of sustainable construction...


Marketing Your Climate Start-Up & Zero Waste Living: Bettina Grab

Bettina Grab, founder and President of Impact B2B, helps climate tech start-ups have a bigger, impact faster through growth and effective sales & marketing strategies. She is also a Zero Waste blogger, speaker & activist. The first part of the episode focuses on Bettina’s shift from corporate marketing to climate-focused marketing and why there is such a need for it today. She offers many great tips for current and aspiring founders, so take a listen if that applies to you! The second part...


Climate Positive Building with Bamboo: Troy Carter, Rizome

Did you know that Bamboo Engineered Lumber is stronger, more fire-resistant, and more sustainable than wood, steel, and concrete? Troy Carter co-founded Rizome, a startup working to make bamboo a primary global construction material. In this episode, we discuss the future of regenerative, climate-positive cities, bamboo forests for carbon sequestration, and the unique elements of bamboo as a construction material. Books mentioned: Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to...


Climate Bonds and Mobilizing Capital for Change: Sean Kidney

Sean Kidney is the CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO working to mobilize debt capital markets for climate solutions. The Climate Bonds Initiative works to create standards and transparency in the green bond market such as by creating a certification scheme, advising the EU, and working with China's central bank to grow green bonds. Sean discusses the climate crises from a holistic perspective, framing the role of finance in a broad picture of the urgency but also hope...


Investing, Impact, and Leading a Meaningful Life: Deb Kemper

Deb Kemper is an impact investor and experienced advisor with cross-cultural leadership. She is an angel investor in Golden Seeds Venture Group and the Clean Energy Venture Group and supports innovation in clean-tech, med-tech, and women’s empowerment. Prior to joining Golden Seeds Ventures, she built a portfolio of over two dozen early-stage investments via Libra Global Partners, LLC, and worked in management consulting at McKinsey & Co. Deb has served on non-profit Boards of Directors in...


Impact Investing for Climate: Gina Foote

Gina Foote is the Director of Fund Development at Conservation Law Foundation Ventures, where she helps cultivate market-based solutions to environmental issues. Gina is an impact investing and finance expert and applies her banking and venture investing experience to social issues. She has woven a fascinating career in international economic development and finance, working in China, Latin America, and the US, serving as COO for a private equity fund investing in clean energy and materials,...


Strategic Consulting for NYC's Food Aid Network: Sam Greeneberg, Redstone Strategy Group

Redstone Strategy Group is a boutique consulting firm that helps leading philanthropies, non-profits, and governments solve the world's most urgent social problems. Redstone works in a variety of sectors including education, global development, emerging philanthropy, energy and climate, and the environment, but today’s episode focuses on one specific project. Listen to Sam Greenberg explain how they facilitated a collaboration of New York City’s top food assistance providers to get more food...


Our Climate Future: A Panel Discussion

This episode is a little different. Rather than doing an interview with one person, I recorded an a panel discussion held at the Delphi Academy for European Studies in Greece. This was a two-week seminar program on Climate Change and the Environmental Humanities I attended in 2019. In this excerpt, we hear from three distinguished professors sharing their different disciplinary perspectives. We have John Barry from Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Professor of Green Political...


Helping Farmers and Reducing Food Waste in India: Cool Crop, Kendall Nowocin

Cool Crop is a start-up in India with a mission to improve small and marginal farmer livelihoods and reduce food waste. In India, there are 240 million farmers, and 3 out of every 4 of them are classified as small and marginal farmers who plant an area roughly the size of a soccer field. The harvested produce waste of these farms can be up to 60% due to lack of proper preservation facilities. Cool Crop's on-farm cold storage technology can reduce crop wastage from 20% to less than 5%,...


The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainably: John Barry

John Barry is a Professor at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, an author, and a former politician in Ireland’s Green Party. On this episode, we discuss the age of the Anthropocene, a term used to describe the geological epoch in which humans have become the major force determining the continuing livability of the Earth, whether a free market economy can achieve environmental goals, and how human development and poverty alleviation are connected to decarbonization and combatting...


This Ride Sharing Service is Different: Eleanor Joseph, Via Transportation

Eleanor Joseph has woven an impressive career through the domestic and international healthcare, fin-tech, and transportation industries. She currently serves as the Director of Business Development at Via, the leading developer of on-demand transit systems. She previously founded Ubuntu Capital, a company assisting small businesses and their customers within urban, emerging markets. On this episode you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of Via, why it is different from sharing services,...


Charitable Capital for Carbon-Reducing Innovation: Sarah Kearney

Sarah Kearney is the founder of PRIME Coalition, a Cambridge-based 501c3 public charity working to combat climate change. PRIME partners with philanthropists to place charitable dollars into market-based solutions for reducing carbon emissions. They fund start-ups offering innovative technologies in this space, but are different from impact investing and traditional Venture capital in a few critical ways. Kearney is a visionary and an optimist for the climate cause - building PRIME out of...


Taking on Trash from the Netherlands to India: Silvia de Vaan

Silvia de Vaan is the founder of SweepSmart, a Dutch-Indian start-up offering a better way to sort and dispose of trash. SweepSmart’s waste management model works to create smaller landfills but also jobs to be proud of. We discuss the challenges and opportunities of working in cross-cultural contexts as well as when to know it’s time to start your own company. (Hint – you will never feel ready!) Silvia has a background in systems engineering and management consulting in the Netherlands and...


Finance for Good not Evil: Amrita Vir

Amrita Vir helps us untangle the complicated web of finance – across the dimensions of inclusion, development, access, scoring, and health reform. Our conversation spans the micro-macro and international-domestic spheres as she shares on her experiences creating her own micro-finance start-up and working for the fin-tech social enterprise, Cignifi, using big data to help underserved people lacking credit histories get access to banking tools. Currently finishing up her business and policy...


BRÜZD Foods at your door and an end to food waste: Parker Hughes

Parker Hughes founded BRÜZD, a start-up company tackling food waste. Their twist on the farm-to-table model rescues “ugly” or surplus fruits and veggies and delivers them directly to the doorstep of subscribers in Boston and Cambridge for less than retail price. Their innovative model invites consumers to connect with their food and support local farmers in a meaningful way. Since its founding in 2017, BRUZD has been winning competition after competition and scaling rapidly. This is not...


Systems Thinking & Medical Diagnostics in Nigeria: Genevieve Barnard-Oni

Genevieve is the Co-Founder of MDaaS Global, a start-up providing convenient, affordable, and high-quality diagnostics and primary care for Africa’s next billion, starting in Nigeria. In this episode, learn how Genevieve immersed herself in the world of public health and noticed one major flaw in the way the system was working. You'll also hear about her experience as a female founder, why having a systems mindset is so crucial, and what it’s like when your partner in business is also your...