StartUp4Climate & Climatopia – the finale, and a new beginning

Recently, a team which I work with was on the finale of a StartUp contest, and though we did not win we made for a great experience.

We were representing T.E.R.R.A, a company started by the Earth Organisation for Sustainability, EOS, and which is formed to help complement EOS’ other projects. The contest in question was the StartUp4Climate contest, a contest organized by Ellevio and GodEl with support from WeDontHaveTime. We won the People’s vote, and thus became one of the eight finalists to partake in the event.

Yours truly, EOS chairperson Rickard Strandberg, and the director of Unvoid Studio, Tistou Blomberg – a gaming publisher which we collaborate with – travelled to Stockholm to engage in the finale. Our project was – and is – Climatopia, a game which would strive to accurately simulate the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth, where the player would control the UN and try to choose between different choices to help save the future.

We were unique among the finalists, of whom most represented companies which intended to find differing ways to either increase energy production without carbon output, or reduce the environmental footprint of various products.

The challenge with honestly ascertaining these products is the question of scale.

For example, hydrogen cars are undoubtedly on an individual level far superior to gasoline cars, but if we shall replace each and every gasoline car with a hydrogen car, would that not need to entail the conversion of humongous amounts of water into hydrogen?

The same with Lithium. How far before we would reach a peak Lithium?

If we would replace all concrete in the world with hemp, we would need a land area larger than India devoted only to the production of hemp.

This indicates that we not only need to switch to green energy, but also to reduce consumerism and also reduce resource usage on a broad front, ideally instituting a global ecological budget ceiling.

This is what Climatopia intends to address.

Hardly surprising, we did not win the finale – it can be difficult in an arena where there is a widespread belief that technological solutions can solve everything. But we learnt a lot about how to make a pitch, and we made valuable connections.

And Climatopia is a much needed game, especially for educational purposes.