Climate Week in NYC makes my head spin. But I’ve decided that, at this moment, head-spinning is a good thing. There is just so much activity at the intersection of business, policy, creativity, and society more broadly when it comes to climate. All of that manifested with what felt like the entire multifaceted climate community descending on NYC at once last week. I had to remind myself to rise above the frequent pangs of FOMO as my LinkedIn pinged endlessly with posts live from events from every corner of the city on every possible topic. I came away inspired from a fascinating mix of talks, panels, and interactions. I think I made good choices. Maybe there was something with my strategy of staying below 23rd street or in Brooklyn for in-person events (not that there weren’t incredible events all over the city), but all I felt was positive vibes and great creative energy.

I am always delighted and amazed to see so much activity coming from HBS alums who are at the center of positive action. Many alums were speakers on panels across the city (and let us know – we’re compiling a list of recordings!). I was lucky to attend a fascinating and heavily over-subscribed session (one of many events with waitlists of over 250 people) organized in-part by Roxanne Tully (MBA 2020) at Piva Capital: Policy Update: IRA and Beyond and to bump into Megan Murday (MBA 2020) there, to hear of the momentum around her venture, Metric. At the “Driving Forward: The Transforming Future of Mobility” event hosted by URBAN-X, I bumped into the leadership team of Algoma, a company focused on zero-carbon buildings, which includes two MBA 2023s Seyfihan Usarer and Josef Bromovsky as well as Kyle MertensMeyer from the Design School.

Lynn Schenk with Roxanne Tully (MBA 2020) of Piva Capital.
Lynn Schenk with Megan Murday (MBA 2020) of Metric.

The highlight for me was the event series at Solutions House, hosted by Futerra, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and Google. With Answers Only as the motto, the events were, collectively, a solutions-oriented a breath of fresh air. Futerra’s Co-Founder and Chief Solutionist Solitaire Townsend and Group CEO Lucy Shea were dynamic and insightful moderating the energizing panels I attended: Hollywood’s Starring Role in the Climate Economy and How Storytelling Advances Solutions, where Tory Stephens, Grist’s Climate Fiction and Creative Manager highlighted the power of writing from diverse perspectives with the Imagine 2200 climate fiction project. Other discussions ranged from emissions from corporate finance, renewables and energy efficiency in supply chains, reinventing value chains to reach net zero, carbon accounting, and AI, to fashion solutions and the Power of Music to Drive Change. Session recordings are available here.

Lynn Schenk with the Algoma leadership team, Seyfihan Usarer (MBA 2023), Josef Bromovsky (MBA 2023), and Kyle MertensMeyer from the Design School.

There are a variety of ways to incorporate climate action into our everyday lives in sync with our professional lives, and so much of what was talked about at Solutions House throughout the week was directly tied to business action. I appreciated the original, unscripted, and truthful points of view, all of which help merge personal creative energy with day-to-day work in the business world to drive positive change for our climate.

My experience has inspired me to think about how next year we can bring together the ever-growing HBS alumni community focused on climate in a productive way to reinforce its connection to each other and to the varied and compelling efforts coming from every discipline imaginable. It may be that a 4 am breakfast is the only time that the dynamic group of alumni climate leaders will be available, but, hey, it’s NY. Then you can spread wide across the city, post about it, and give us FOMO. It’s the best kind of FOMO we could ask for – to know there is so much effort on climate in so many places at once that we can’t keep up.