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In this episode, the host, Katherine Radeka shares why she decided to launch this podcast, and why you should listen if you are interested in accelerating the transition to a Net Zero world.

In the race to mitigate climate change, we can’t afford to waste time, energy or money on solutions that don’t deliver.

Katherine knows that innovations often take too long, cost too much or fail to deliver on promised results. Many never make it on the market at all.

And the types of innovation we need to address climate change will drive massive, systemic changes in energy, transportation, food production, and every other product we touch in our daily lives. We can’t afford for the investments we make in our power grids, roads, garages and grocery stores to fail to make the difference they claim they will make.

When we do that, the technology will begin to reap rewards sooner, we will hit our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets faster and that will lead to a cooler, cleaner, more secure future.

Read Full Transcript


Welcome to Accelerate Net Zero, the podcast dedicated to the acceleration of the technologies we need to address climate change. My name is Katherine Radeka, and I've been accelerating innovation for a long time in a number of different industries. And nowhere is that acceleration more important today than in the renewable energy, materials, food production, transportation, and other programs to limit carbon emissions so that we can stabilize our climate.

So if you are working on these programs as a technologist, as a manager, as an investor, a public policy maker, an activist, or just a concerned citizen, then you have come to the right place to learn how we can eliminate obstacles and put more momentum into these programs so that they can begin delivering impact on carbon emissions sooner. And we can reach Net Zero faster.

Why We Can Accelerate Net Zero

I launched this podcast because I believe strongly that we can accelerate our progress towards net zero by changing how the work to get these programs to market is done. I know this because I've been involved in innovation for a long time. And back in 2010, we had a breakthrough. We began experiencing significant reductions in the time from idea to launch for the innovation programs that I was involved in. And we did that by uncovering and then addressing the root causes behind those project delays, cost, overruns, and disappointing results.

In the year 2021, we cannot afford for the investments that we make in renewable energy and new transportation systems, new food, distribution systems, et cetera, to have disappointing results. We need for them to be successful. We need for them to deliver on the timeline that they promise, the results that they promise in terms of reducing carbon emissions so that we can hit the targets we need to hit to stabilize our climate in time.

So this podcast is about sharing the methods that we use to accelerate innovation openly and freely to anyone who is involved in these kinds of programs. And to use interviews with industry leaders to provide opportunities, to share those ideas in a way that makes them relevant to you. So we're going to be interviewing people who are already working to improve how these programs get delivered through topics like incorporating sustainable design and incorporating circularity principles.

And we're going to be talking to some of the technologists themselves about some of the challenges that they face. And then closing with a reflection on how some of those obstacles could be removed, or those programs could be accelerated that we'll be sharing with those technologists as well as with all of you.

And so we hope that after running this podcast for awhile, we have a library of stories and examples that can encourage people working in this area to maybe approach their programs a little bit differently, especially around two key areas.

First, the secret to accelerating innovation is to change how you think about the decisions you make an early development, because the decisions that you make are the ones that set you up to have either a smooth path towards execution, scalability, and full adoption, or a more challenging path now. Startup teams (or actually any innovation team) doesn't really need a heavyweight process. We're not talking about doing so much due diligence that you lose the momentum for the innovation.

What we talk about is making some key shifts in how you make that decision, what knowledge you create in order to make that decision, when you make that decision and who you make those decisions with. So that those decisions stick because they were good decisions that will carry the program all the way through its first manufacturing run and beyond.

The second major area of difference is in what it means to be agile. Agile Software Development was developed to solve the particular set of problems that software development teams have and hardware teams have some of those problems, but they also have very different problems.

So for example, a group that's going to be installing a large scale wind turbine system for offshore wind to replace a coal-fired power plant is probably not going to be able to easily organize their work into short iterative cycles. They're going to still work iteratively: they're going to make the second wind turbine better because they've learned from the first one. They're going to make the next 50 wind turbines better because they've learned a lot from the first 10. But that learning's going to have to be a lot more intentional because they're going to have to think about what they need to learn from each iteration. They're going to need to ensure that they've built in the sensors and other data collection mechanisms that they need in order to learn what they need to learn.

And then those iterations are going to take a lot longer. And so for that reason, the teams that I work with on hardware development, we think about what it means to be flexible and responsive, but we do it in the context of the fact that we're working with things that may inherently take a long time, certainly a lot longer than it takes for a software team to update an app in the app store.

If you are working on these kinds of programs, then what I hope that we will have is a library of stories and examples from the interviews that we do and the reflections that we make on the projects that we talked about. So that you'll be able to take some of these ideas back to your own programs and perhaps adjust a little bit how you think about decision-making, how you think about what it means to be agile in this space.

And by doing that deliver programs that are on time and cost, the budget that you have and deliver at least the level of performance that you need them to deliver. And when you do that, then you accelerate the development of your own program. And by doing that, we accelerate Net Zero and we stabilize our climate faster.

So I hope that you join me to become a regular listener because we're going to be talking about projects and technologies that are interesting and exciting in their own right. But we'll also be using them as illustrations of how those technologies can be accelerated. And when we do that, then I think you'll find that we do have it within us to accelerate Net Zero and stabilize our climate in time.


Thank you for listening to accelerate net zero for resources, transcripts, and additional information about this project. Please visit our website,
The Accelerate Net Zero project is sponsored by the Rapid Learning Cycles Institute. We help innovators change the world — faster. To learn more about the Rapid Learning Cycles framework, and how it can help you accelerate innovation, visit