Going Green sits down with Stefan Pagacik, the CEO and co-founder, AI4Impact, to discuss how he got involved in sustainability and clean technology, and how his company is helping with global sustainable solutions. AI4Impact brings impact and sustainability risk factors into mainstream financial and corporate reporting to unlock trillions of dollars for global sustainable solutions.
What is your occupation? Where do you work?
CEO and co-founder, AI4Impact.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I’ve been an entrepreneur or intrapreneur for over 20 years working in a variety of roles inside and outside of Corporate America. My passion revolves around finding innovative solutions to complex problems.
In the past ten years, I’ve turned my attention to impact and sustainability working on social enterprise projects in Chile and Detroit, Michigan.
What is a fun fact about you?
I had a walk on role for a CBS television series called “Knots Landing”.
What was your motivation to get into this industry?
In 2005, I was living near Plymouth, MA along the coastline with private access to a beautiful beach. Late in January of that year, we were hit with a massive blizzard that dumped 40 inches of snow causing widespread power outages and deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning.
What most people at the time did not know was that the eye of the storm was supposed to have taken a significant trajectory AWAY from our particular beach and coastline. Instead, it centered right off our beach and we got slammed. I wanted to find out why this happened and that started my journey into impact and sustainability.
I subsequently held a meeting whereby the neighboring beach associations who own deeded rights to the beach came to see a viewing of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. We had a discussion after the film to talk about our particular situation and what we needed to do to mitigate future damage. Several people walked out of the meeting claiming it was nothing more than a hoax. Those people’s homes are now worth 50% less than in 2005 as a result of accelerating climate change which, by the way, has rendered the beach as unapproachable during high tide.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Nothing less than the health and safety of our society and planet are at stake. If we continue to ignore or trivialize climate risk and sustainability, future generations will pay a heavy price. Presently, we have only one planet to inhabit so we can’t afford to ignore the warning signs any longer regarding climate change.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
There will be a shakeout of data providers, measurement and other solutions providers whereby the average person on the street will be better informed because the language and terminology will be simplified. We will also be able to tie impact and sustainable outcomes to financial and operating performance for both public and private markets.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Ask hard questions. Get involved in community efforts to mitigate climate risk. Push hard for more legislation to support renewable technologies and end subsidies for fossil fuel producers. Make your organization or company aware of the importance of acting NOW!
What positive changes are you seeing?
Greater awareness of climate risk and the importance of sustainability as a way of life. A bigger push from shareholders to hold company leadership to higher standards of operating from an impact and sustainable footprint. Younger generations pressing companies and Wall Street to adopt climate and sustainable solutions.
Going Green wants to thank Stefan for sharing his experience working towards Global Sustainable Solutions.
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