How to use the power of competition to combat climate change

Recently I was on the road giving talks and workshops around my book. During my travels I met with a number of CEOs, investors, and other business leaders, and in many of these meetings climate change came up.

Greening up with the Joneses

Last year the nonprofit Omidyar Network explored the question of how to create a “race to the top,” as they put it, to spur higher standards for how companies treat digital identities. They identified several key ingredients, including:

Rules of the race

The race scenario we most commonly associate with markets is a race to the bottom. A competition where the rewards are finite (and even singular), and the goal for each player is to get as much for themselves as they possibly can. In a race to the bottom things can get pretty Hunger Games pretty quickly (see: online advertising, user data, college admissions, etc).

When Race to the Top > Race to the Bottom = Progress

A race to the top doesn’t stop a race from the bottom from happening. Even as renewable energy usage grows, emissions from fossil fuels are growing too.

The unseen power of redefining value

Last year the Wall Street Journal published the results of a survey asking 163 European CEOs whether they thought the responsibilities of their job would change in the next five years when it came to values. 95% of CEOs said it would.

Further reading

Author of “This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World”; Cofounder of Kickstarter; Bentoist;

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