Because there is no Plan B for our planet. We have reached a moment in history where the repercussions of our actions towards the environment are more than tangible. Climate change is not anymore a statistic for the coming centuries, it is part of our daily routine.
Rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, declining arctic sea level, glacial retreat, ocean acidification… Every day somewhere across the world an extreme weather event happens and affects the lives of many people, animals, plants negatively.
Plan A aims to address this in three ways: first by educating people about climate change in a relatable (and fun) manner, second by giving them an opportunity to act by donating, and, last but not least, by adding transparency to the donation process by providing a detailed breakdown of how the money are spent.
After I finished my masters in London, I went on to do an internship at a venture fund in Bangkok, followed by a move back to London to work at iwoca, a fintech startup in London. These experiences were my entry point to the startup life and what got me excited by the prospect of building a company myself.
The transition to Plan A was the result of a newly developed sense of urgency in me after a series of extreme weather events (and a trip to the beautiful, but dirty beaches of Morocco). I felt like there was no better use of my time than building a link between climate change and technology. Because there is no Plan B for our planet.
Plan A has a simple model - one cause, one month, one campaign. Each month we have a single campaign on the platform which fundraises for up to five organisations that tackle the same environmental problem but in different locations across the world. Within the month of the campaign we create educational content on the issue and when the campaign is finished we start reporting back to donors what has happened with their donations.
The first campaign we launched is on Forests and will fund the planting of 100,000 trees across four continents with the help of four charities (WeForest.org, International Tree Foundation, Coeur du Forêt & Worldview Impact). Each of our campaigns focuses on one of our eight causes: Forests, Wildlife, Bees, Oceans, Energy, Healthy Living, Ecovillages and Waste. The next one will be on Wildlife.
The Plan A team consists at the moment of me and Nathan, who is the genius behind our educational blog and everything content related. I juggle between strategy, technology, charity relations, funding, etc. I would like to think that I adjust my agenda according to the momentarily needs of Plan A. Since I started working on the project, I feel like I can squeeze a lot more in 24h than I did before. I guess my love for sloths and lemurs helps.
Plan A is not a charity. We are the meeting point between charities, people and the planet. The charities we choose for each of our campaigns have an excellent track record in positively changing communities and natural environments, we on the other hand enable them to do this by funding their activities.
Five percent of each donation goes to Plan A, the rest is split equally between the partner charities for each campaign.
The vision behind Plan A is to rebuild a link between people and nature using technology. The support on one hand would be of course donating, but more importantly we want to raise awareness about the reality we are headed to if we don’t focus on tackling climate change heads on. I will leave you with three statistics:
By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. There will also be 200 million climate change refugees by 2050. By 2100 the sea rise levels are likely to have risen by 20-50 cm.
Not the rosiest reality, right?
This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.
Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.
One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.
This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.
We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.
Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.