After eight years leading New Energy Nexus’ incredible global team, I have decided to transition away from my role as CEO in 2024 (see press release).
I’m bristling with pride and excitement about the work in the world that NEX is doing. If you didn’t see how we helped shine a light on startups as key drivers of solution at the COP28 then check out our news here, here and here.
All over the world, our team is doing fantastic work from food service decarbonization to continuing to upskill electricians in the Philippines, Thailand and elsewhere to sell solar and storage. Thousands of entrepreneurs trace their success to the support they received from our awesome network (check out our impact to date!).
There’s no organization in the world like New Energy Nexus. Our laser focus on the things that are turning the dial – solar, wind and batteries with which the world needs to electrify everything – combined with our commitment to justice and equity in the energy transition are profound. I feel honored to have worked with such a dedicated crew, on such a mighty mission for all these years.
There are many things as listed in the press release announcing my transition and on our website that make me smile and think – wow, we did that. And there are many more not listed there nor getting the kind of credit I think we deserve – whether it’s building South East Asia’s first dedicated early stage venture fund for climate solutions, or the climate diplomacy we have long supported between China and California to keep hope alive that these great powers on either side of the Pacific will collaborate to defeat our common enemy of climate change. For all the extra effort by our team, Board and donors I am grateful.
I know from our team doing the work in the field that our programs will entail ever more inclusive and just forms of support. One of the things that warms my heart the most as I look back on our last eight years is the work we’ve done back in California around the advanced battery supply chain. From being a very technologically driven startup cluster, to now being a fully blown program bringing together tribes, labor groups, student and community leaders, our work in the Salton Sea is a profound model for more Just Batteries.
There are plenty of other examples from Vietnam to Uganda I could regale you with (and may yet). Suffice to say, I am confident that with the great executive team and managing directors in the markets that matter – as well as the new partners and places we hope to take our brand of can-do curriculum and capital connections – NEX will replicate these and many more good efforts in years to come.
I feel a huge responsibility to do a thorough job handing over the wheel of this good ship to someone great to take it on its next adventures.
The depth and character of our work has changed as we’ve moved from a California-centric sense of the entrepreneurship needed, to the reality of what will answer the call in this critical decade on climate change. As many have noted, it’s a “time to build” – or deploy, deploy, deploy – especially in the growing energy demand markets of South East Asia, India, and the 54 countries of Africa. I’m a startup guy from the Bay Area and I hope we can add depth to our team with someone more versed in the work needed now.
In many ways, I feel like a ship pilot who has taken what was the California Clean Energy Fund through some easy sailing (plus a couple of tricky runs) down a river towards the sea to which we’re all headed. There is a big blue ocean of good work in the energy transition that our team of 150 can do for the 100,000 entrepreneurs in the coming years, especially in the economies of Asia and Africa. And it is going to be someone hopefully from there, steering the ship towards maximum positive impact we can create for stakeholders there.
I plan to support NEX in many ways in the future and as well as the entrepreneurs I have had the good fortune to meet while on deck for this go around. Shine on, me hearties, shine on!