Connecting for Impact by PM in SET Learner Eilecia Bovard
Growing up in California, my awareness of sustainable living started in childhood when Earth Day was a big occasion in our home. We often celebrated by learning about our environmental impact and by engaging our local school and community in eco projects. I have fond memories of hauling bags of tin cans for recycling for pennies, planting trees in my school, and building a solar oven for a science project. These impressions went beyond Earth Day as we often bought from environmentally friendly stores, we were encouraged to have awareness of our available resources from electricity, to gas, to water, and to not consume unnecessarily. Perhaps the deeper learning from these formative experiences was not only that the communal actions were important but the individual responsibility to also take care was equally important.
During my time in NYC, teaching a kinesthetic approach to intra/interpersonal communication, I learned to strive to comprehend the emotional motivation that drives every behavior. This understanding is the key to unlocking and driving forward momentum and it has helped me to gain trust and build rapport with every person I have worked with. Relationships really matter and knowing how to cultivate those connections has been one of the most valuable lessons I have acquired to date.
While coaching the entrepreneurs of Start Up Chile, a government-led entrepreneurship accelerator, I discovered the value of ensuring support to the whole, specifically of a team or organisation. With that experience, it became clear that the fostering of an entrepreneurial mindset combined with an adequate thinking partner network was an essential part of building a more productive, positive, heart-led project and work culture. Often the success of a project was connected to the clarity of thinking and the championing of each team member as well as the team. As innovation is at the core of the climate change agenda, this topic is one that I am developing deeper wisdom with the Tomorrow University, Masters program in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Technology.
My decision to start a new degree of study came from a desire to redefine and redesign my professional role while having a lasting positive impact on the world around me. Being enrolled in the SET program has already played an important part in guiding my journey toward building a just and climate-positive initiative.
When I began the program, I was met with a crossroads moment, to pursue developing what I wanted vs. what the world actually needs. One major takeaway from this course is that starting a business is not only about building what I think is a good idea but also about understanding what I value most and aligning those ideas with identified market gaps and to build something of service from there.
As an eternal optimist and a mission-driven individual, my time at ToU has led me to the launch of the perfect-farm.com, our master thesis project. It is an emissions reduction service provider and sustainable investment platform and is a culmination of my personal and professional experiences and values. Many close to me ask, “why livestock agriculture?” Or, “aren’t we supposed to be getting away from meat consumption?” The answer is yes, however this won’t solve the problem alone as the facts below will suggest.
The facts: “Livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gases. Driven by the growing demand for animal food supplies, global consumption of meat proteins over the next decade is projected to increase by 14% by 2030.” (oecd-ilibrary.org)
Simply, this is where I see an enormous opportunity to make an impact toward meeting the 2050 global climate agenda and that allows us to be holders of positive change. I am reminded of this quote from Bill Gates: “When somebody wants toast for breakfast, we need to make sure there’s a system in place that can deliver the bread, the toaster, and the electricity to run the toaster without adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We aren’t going to solve the climate problem by telling people not to eat toast.”
Together, with my Co-Founder Niklas Bøe, we’re focusing on fostering change in larger systems and that requires facilitating collaborative actions for a synergistic effect. That’s where the Perfect Farm comes in, we aim to connect the systems that should support one another to produce a sum that is greater than the parts. And one that can significantly and positively impact the greater whole.
As an EU Climate Pact Ambassador and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Wellbeing, the heart of my personal and professional endeavors will always align with opportunities to connect people, communities, and organisations to inspire purposeful dialogue and united momentum.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that we will have the chance to connect and perhaps express a shared mission one day.
Learn more about Perfect Farm: https://bit.ly/3SxSkn
Connect with Eilecia on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/3DIdxa2
Learn more about ToU: https://bit.ly/3RtbbR0