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“1,000 shots on goal” means we need more leaders

August 24, 2021

I talked last week about what I changed my mind about over the last year (carbon markets). I also asked what you've changed your mind about -- was kind of bummed I didn't get too many responses.

Being able to change your mind is important. In this ever moving industry, to lead you need to first make up your mind. That's hard enough. And then you need to change your mind if the situation changes. How do we enable more people to do this? (video message here on YouTube)

I was talking about this with Tim Flannery about this. Tim is a famous author, explorer, and luminary in carbon removal, including a TED talk on carbon removal with seaweed. (he's speaking at AirMiners on September 1st about how to pull 10 Gigatons of carbon from the air)

We talked about how it's sometimes tempting to outsource your thinking to leaders like Tim. But to make 1,000 shots on goal for carbon removal, we need to unlock more people to think for themsleves about carbon removal, come up with their own ideas, and even change their mind occasionally.

The leaders in carbon removal I know all have a piece of the picture. There's nobody who knows everything about carbon removal. Not even close. Not even 3 years ago when the field was much smaller, not today, and even less so a year from now. Find a slice, make up your mind about it, and ride the wave.

That's how you become a leader in carbon removal. Pull together pieces of truth and coming up with a new idea. Listen to others, combine that with you own experience, and help build the future.

One of the best ways of getting unique insights about carbon removal is building new things. Whether you're creating a design for a machine, or a logo, a company name, a spreadsheet of every science lab working on carbon removal. Building things is a great way to find truth about things.

I'm inspired by so many people in AirMiners who seem to just step in and start creating something. Don't wait for others to join, just get started now. The rest will happen.

One example of this is John Sanchez. His freshman year of college had come to an abrupt end because of COVID. To help chart his course, he wrote down his interests on pieces of paper and put them into a hat. Then he stuck his hand in the hat and pulled out a piece of paper with "carbon removal" written on it.

From there he quickly discovered AirMiners, and a few days later we were talking on Hangouts. Every step of the way, John would learn more and share what he learned. About 2 months in he published the first "Carbon Removal Academy", his collection of all the best resources he had found on carbon removal. That became the foundation for the AirMiners Boot Up which is now bringing carbon removal knowledge to thousands of people.

John is this a great example of someone who just stepped out and got started. Yes, you literally could pull a random idea out of a hat on your way to greatness. (As of this weekend, John is back in college/dormlife (HI JOHN!!!))

Another favorite example is Ongeleigh Underwood's work to creating the new Women AirMiners Mentoring Network.

Ongeleigh's team is matching Women AirMiners into small groups to get supercharged. Are you a Woman AirMiner who feels stuck on the sidelines with something to add but you haven't found the right spot yet? Or perhaps you have experience and perspective to share? The WAM Mentoring application closes soon so apply now.


I write a weekly newsletter highlighting the AirMiners community and carbon removal industry.

Every week you’ll get insider perspective and community stories from the cutting edge of carbon removal.

The purpose of this newsletter is to accelerate the carbontech industry by speeding up connections, progress, and coordination. It's ideal for people working in carbon removal already, or beginners who want one individual's perspective. People curious about carbon removal are encouraged to sign up and see what sticks.

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