Navarro say never to positive action against climate change

The big day is fast approaching and as we enter the final weeks before TEDxGlasgow 2018, we’re speaking with the fascinating Marcela Navarro on her talk ‘Self interest is the key for collective action‘ and why she feels strongly that this is a message that needs to reach the masses.

With a career that spans over 20 years in value chain, sustainability and banking, Marcela is an internationally recognised leader in purpose-led transformation, value chain and open innovation models. Nowadays, Marcela is the Co-Founder of Project-X, a WWF backed up corporate system’s accelerator whose vision is to radically transform the sustainability performance of 10 industry value chains most responsible for biodiversity decline and climate change impacts, over the next 10 years.

Marcela Navarro

What is your idea worth doing?

We only have a decade before catastrophic climate changes melts the polar ice caps, kills half of all species on planet Earth, and keystone ecosystems like the coral reefs or rainforests are something of the past. This needs to change, now.

It isn’t easy. There’s no magic wand we can wave to change that, no silver bullet. The industrial revolution took place over two hundred years with almost universal buy-in and we have ten years to create a sustainable revolution with massive disagreement on whether it’s really an issue, nevermind the central issue of our times.

Self-interest is a powerful driver of action and by focusing on market pull rather than the innovation push we’re helping whole industries to accelerate the adoption of sustainable innovations at scale. Project X works systemically – first de-risking, testing and scaling the solutions in one company and then facilitating the rollout to 2nd,3rd, 4th and 5th – until we reach our programme goal: 10% of global industry procuring alternative sustainable solutions at scale.

Our mission is time critical – 10 industries in 10 years.

How did you come up with your idea?

Billions of pounds are spent each year making things for us to consume, buy and enjoy. So many of those billions are spent on things that harm our world and, as a result, harm us. I believe we can change that. In fact, I know we can change that.

So how do you make change happen and make it happen quickly?

We are not asking you to change your morals nor your direction. We are not asking you to do anything you are not already doing. Whether you are a buyer, an innovator or an investor, we want your self-interest…we want you; your passion, your subject matter expertise, your innovations, your buying power, your money, so we can progress at the pace the planet needs.

Who would have thought focussing on the drivers for self-interest is actually the power for action, for immediate, collective action and ultimately the transition to a clean (sustainable) procured pound?

Our mission is time critical and our resolution unwavering; we have our sights set on accelerating change in 10 of the world’s most polluting industries in just 10 years. This will mean shifting nothing short of 2% of the total global world’s product into cleaned sustainable procured pounds. This probably gives a sense of the magnitude of our ambition.

How is your idea going to change the way we look at the world?

At Project X, we want to make it as easy as possible to transform the situation so that the market pulls for these technologies at speed and scale. We’re helping countless small businesses with great new sustainable technology to get access to markets and scale; helping thousands of big corporations and governments who are genuinely looking for meaningful interventions that could help their organisation transition to a clean (sustainable) procured dollar; and helping the many financiers looking for profitable investments – the hidden gem with a demonstrable pipeline and credible buyers.

I saw three groups wanting something and not getting it; not fast enough… Well that will not be the case anymore!

Who has inspired you in your field of work?

There are two big inspirations for me – Madame ‘Action’ and Christiana Figueiras.

Who else are you excited to see at TEDxGlasgow 2018?

Looking at the programme, I am sure that all the speakers are going to be amazing! I am very much looking forward to meeting each and every one of them for different reasons.

Find out more about Marcela and the 19 other TEDxGlasgow 2018 speakers here and join us on the 1st June to hear them in action.

Not got your ticket yet? They’re selling out quickly, so get yours now.

  • Written by Cat Leaver
  • Posted on May, 1 2018

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