Welcome to Imagination in Action. This is conversations with the world's most creative and compelling people, a dynamic mix of imaginators. And tonight is Allison and Neil, people who are re envisioning how we deal with climate change, and their driving action that will power our futures. Alex, Neil, Allison and Neil are the most creative minds I know on this topic, and tonight, they are truly imagination in action. And you should check out our website. We did a redesign a few days ago, I'm really proud of it imaginationinaction.co. This is our 21st show. And Allison. And Neil's solution is not just an idea, it's a powerful intervention to save the planet. And with mega fire and climate change, we're rapidly losing the the West forests. And I was just down in Tahoe two weeks ago when I saw it up close. And we're losing water reliability and biodiversity. And Allison and Neil believe they can reverse this and are and they're going to share how and their tech startup is an exponentially can help turn things around. We're, we're really privileged to have them explain that today. And, and they have an ambitious plan to impact climate change by flipping Western forests from being net carbon emission sources to be massive carbon sinks, once again. And for those who may not know what a carbon sink is, which I did not know, I hope you leave today's room, understanding the role it can play, and how it can ultimately reverse car climate change. And tonight, we're going to talk about what's at stake, how we got here, and how tech can help. And these are two savvy Silicon Valley Tech people who are teaming up with some unlikely partners and making something more than the sum of the parts in there, and I'm excited for you to hear about that solution. So there's a little bit of everything here. We got tech leaders, US Forest Service applied scientists working together. And it's both a hybrid 501 c three nonprofit data trust in a public benefit Corp. So some people you know, may identify with one or the other. And I'm excited for you guys to hear about that. Now is Corey here because usually he does the musical opening, I don't see Cory in the room. So we may start without Cory. So so just just before we start, we on in our eighth show, we had Katie Coleman as one of our imaginators. And she's travelled 68 million miles to space shuttle missions, one Russian transport, and she was on the International Space Station for six months. She's the 30th, female to fly in space. And Katie described what it was like seeing Earth from their first time as an astronaut. And it just reminded those who were on that show how fragile The earth is. And I was just thinking about when I was a young lad, I saw the movie quest for fire. And you know, I don't know how accurate that was. But you know, fire is an important thing. And I think our two imaginators can help us understand some things about fire that we may not know and some some opportunities. And they also shared with me that Secretary of State, and I think he's now the Special Envoy on the environment, john kerry said, even if we get to net zero, we need carbon renewal removal. And we're going to hear a little bit more about that. So Corey, can you play something worthy of this big idea, big topic, big intervention that we're going to discuss? And ladies and gentlemen, if you don't know, Cory, he's the world champion. Three times in the accordion. He's done it on many continents, and he is going to be great.
Thank you, John. So since we were talking fire, of course, we're going to try to fix this problem. I thought I'd play something rather fast, actually. And everything you hear will be from an accordion even though the you'll hear other instruments here but do something rather quick in terms of fire Sorry sorry guys sorry about that. We lose john Nelson. Let's see
I was muted. Yeah, sorry about that. So welcome everyone. We have a lot of thought leaders here see Bill McDonough is in the audience. See, Esther Dyson is on stage. And we're excited to I think we have a lot of people on stage who want to ask questions. So keep muted until we go to the audience. So I also want to say that what Alison and Neil are presenting is the first of a kind platform, LIDAR is being used. There, they have a way of taking something that could take 10 years to do it in a few weeks. There's a workforce development dimension here. And we really need a nationwide adaptive land management system. And they have won in this idea. And they've also identified that billions of dollars are moving into the space to deal with this. And without a data driven system, the we're not being informed on what to do with the billion billions of dollars. And this can help us with priorities and understand what's working and what's not. Hey, canal, if you could just moderate audience.
Yeah, if you could just make sure people are muted. Yes, the people on stage
I will moderate the muting on stage. Lots of people are coming up.
Yep. Yep. So let me introduce her to imaginators. And as always, Alison Sander. We have Allison squared, tonight, and I will moderate. So Neil hunt. And I know, his amazing wife, Julie, just gone have gone all in on supporting this idea that we're going to hear about. So Neil was the Chief Product officer for eight and a half years at Netflix. He turned Netflix into the streaming giant it is today, he basically reinvented TV with his team. When they were mailing CD ROM, someone asked him to like help figure out how to stream and he was the key guy on that. And he led a team that designed, implemented and optimized the technology behind Netflix, delivering 200 million hours a day of streaming video to 100 million members in 190 countries around the world. And he did e commerce and membership and help you figure out what movies you'd like. And he did it in a company that believes in freedom and responsibility. I'm really proud of what he achieved in Netflix. I actually think what he's committed to with this new endeavor can have a more profound impact on our planet. And he's gone all in and he and Julie have just said this is you know, this is a priority of their life. And I'm really proud of what he's done here. And Allison Wolff is the CEO of this venture. She's the right person at the right time to help be a leader and complement the great team that they've built. She had 20 years in Silicon Valley, she oversaw the development of Netflix, the brand, and digital experience in the early days. She's worked with drawdown Google, eBay, Facebook, Chan Zuckerberg initiative and media network, Patagonia, Nike, HP, conservation, international and global giving. And she is is focusing her full attention on developing technology solutions that will restore damaged ecosystems and ultimately build community and wildland resilience. And to other people that are not here, but I want to just identify, Scott Conway is the chief resilience officer. So in their C suite, they have a chief resilience officer. And Guy was the Chief Technology Officer at Lyft, or who is the Chief Technology Officer he built in lead engineering teams at Lyft, Facebook, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, and he's using data and AI to power natural climate solutions. So it's a stacked team. So here's my first question to you, Allison Wolff and Neil Hunt. Where are the fires on the planet? Are there enough firefighters? What do we not know? Or realize about fires? How did we get in the situation? With our force? And and why are the the fires just raging out of control? This is sort of like a baseline, before you get into your kind of, you know what your big, big ideas, help bring everyone up to speed. In, you know, however you guys want answered, feel free to go back and forth. I know, you guys often finish, finish each other's sentences. And you guys will see a great team in motion. So welcome, Allison, and welcome, Neil.
Thank you, john, for having us, Neil, we can tag team this, but I'm happy to kick off the first the first answer. And, and hi, Bill McDonough haven't talked to you for a very long time. It's fun to have you in here. So there are there are fires all over the planet. We're watching, you know, the western US burn, we've been watching Australia, Portugal, France, Italy, lots of Mediterranean climate types, as well as temperate forests burning all over the globe. And then of course, the Amazon is also burning. The reasons for fire in these different landscapes very generally, in western forest, at least. And in a lot of temperate forests. It's sort of a combination of the management techniques or lack thereof that we've had for about 150 years. And fire suppression which will mean I can get into and, and lack of a workforce to actually support forest health. And then in tropical forest for their burning because the the Amazon and and Indonesian forests are being mowed down for farming mostly to feed the global meat demand. So a lot of soy and other grain production to feed mostly cattle is the reason for for fires. So what's happening in Brazil is that is folks to make a living are clear, clear, clear, cutting the forest off and selling that valuable hardwood. And then right after they cut, they burn, which is sort of the the death of the of the forest. And it's happening at about a soccer field per day, in terms of in terms of speed. But what's interesting in terms of history is is you know, we're all very focused on the deforestation in the Amazon, especially right now. But we forget that we deforest it all of North America first. So there's really only about three or 4% of old growth that's left from that early, early deforestation era about 100 to 150 years ago, where we literally played out the Lorax if everybody has has seen the Lorax story.
And we use that word to build railroads and mines and, and, and housing and towns, everything was made of wood back then, and the whole American economy was built on the back of wood. Once we clear cut, we then started suppressing fire. The first mistake we made on fire is we removed Native Americans, which of course is a big problem for you know, in lots of different landscapes. Native Americans and trees arrived in North America at about the same time 20,000 years ago. And pretty early on Native Americans started tending the forest with fire, they think that it's because they were trying to clear some of the brush for hunting. And then of course, lightning fire was happening all the time. We've always had Thunder thunderstorms in the West and and we didn't have any fire suppression techniques. So fire rolled through Western lands about every five to 15 years and it played this really regenerative role and the whole system adapted to fire so like pine cones are round so that they can roll down a hill and spread low intensity fire. Certain seeds of certain species only only actually pop when the temperature is just right. And so the whole system needs fire. It's how carbon cycles in dry forests. It's its own nutrient cycle. And so basically we clear cut everything. We suppressed fire, stopped the natural fire regime. Hold the the native tenders away with their fire. And so we've basically created a very unnatural forest structure that is no longer resilient. We've got a bunch of 100 year old teenage trees that have grown back to close together some advantageous species like Furthermore, fire prone, replaced fire adapted species like pine. And so now we've got this sort of perfect storm in terms of unhealthy for us too many trees per acre by about, like, we honestly need to clear out at least half of the volume of trees that we have in most western forests. And then we've got a lot of fuels that have built up between these these teenage trees that create ladder fuels. So when there is a lightning fire, or a pg&e pole, or you know, some other utility pole splits or a barbecue gets out of control, instead of that fire being a regenerative ground fire very quickly travels up with ladder fuels, to the branches of the tree to the canopy, which is not normal. And then we've got climate change, which is creating these crazy pressure gradients. And so we've got these winds off of off of deserts, you know, we had, we had basically Santa Ana winds up in Oregon last year. And that's never happened before. So we've got these really big pressure gradients which create extreme winds. And so you've got, you know, fire moving up to the canopy, and then wind taking it at speeds we've never seen before. And then of course, climate change is also creating very tender dry fuels, we've got all this kindling in the form of surface fuels that shouldn't be there because fire would have cleared them out and baby trees that shouldn't be there because natural fire would have cleared them out. And then you add to that the the tender dry conditions with you know, in California 30%, less precipitation and three degrees warmer, on average since the 80s. And you've got this perfect storm that humans have created. Neil, do you want to add anything to that?
Neil, you're on mute. And in case you're you're speaking and you don't think people are hearing you? Or you may not realize you're on mute.
I can add while we wait for Neil to pop in is you asked Also, do we have enough firefighters? The answer is no. We also spend an unbelievable amount of money billions and billions of dollars each year on fire suppression, which of course for the story I just just described as exacerbating the situation because then we only have more fuel. So you create this kind of self reinforcing spiral.
And I'm back. I figured out the mute. Sorry, I was I was gonna add that we should quantify where we're at. Many of you may remember the 2020 fires a year ago, started just about a year ago, and sent a great pile of smoke across much of the country affected about 150 or 200 million people in the US. So we lost in California alone, we lost 5 million acres last summer, which it follows kind of a Moore's Law, fire. My coinage there. It was two years previous, it was about two and a half million acres. And the year before that was about one and a half million acres. So about every two years, we're doubling the area that's burned. And at that rate, in another four years, there not be anything left in California or most of the West. That probably won't continue at quite that rate. But some experts think we could lose 50% of our forest to fire within the next decade or two, which is pretty astonishing. Let me quantify the the fires in California alone. Last summer, they they released about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide, which if you were to buy carbon offsets to replace that would cost you about $5 billion. The forests, the overall forest in California contain about 10 Giga tons of carbon, which which is equivalent to about 30 Giga tons of carbon dioxide $2 trillion worth of carbon offsets. So here's a here's a trick question for you. John, what causes respiratory problems Copti circulatory problems, heart attacks, causes 10 excess deaths per week per million and causes to wear N95 masks.
Oh, I mean, does it have to do with forest fires? Were you leading me there?
It turns out, it turns out that that same description applies almost equally to COVID and inhalation of smoke from forest fires living in the West. They, they they there's a bunch of data that says the health impact from the forest fires was comparable while they were burning to the health impact from COVID, which is pretty astonishing. And we make a giant deal about COVID and shut down the whole country for a year. And, by By comparison, we're not doing nearly enough to fix the problems of our Western forest fires, which is pretty sad, really, at the end of the day.
So I want to in a second turn to Alison Sander is to ask a question. But I guess, you know, to the audience, is imagination in action, and you just see how much Allison and Neil care about this and how knowledgeable they are. So I know you guys have an intervention idea for the American West. But where our fires raging on the planet, like, is it in five places? Is it 10 places? Just maybe you can kind of explain the scale of it across the lands?
Yeah, well, it's, like I said earlier, it's it's sort of everywhere. Europe is in pretty good shape. Right now. They've got all the water. My brother lives in Switzerland. And I asked him this morning, if they could send some water over here. They're getting deloused daily right now. A lot of it, of course, does tie to climate change these days in terms of temperatures and humidity, there is an effect called a ratification that is happening because of climate change, where the atmosphere is literally sucking moisture out of the vegetation to feed itself because it needs humidity that it doesn't have that's happening across the west right now. And so of course, we're seeing big fires already. This is pretty early in the year for this to happen. But because we had a low low snow season, small winter, this year, pretty much across the west, we were in the severe drought, we've got really severe a ratification happening all over the West. And so we're seeing fires in Southern Oregon, throughout California, Colorado is starting to have some Montana had some
Portugal, Spain, France, Italy. And then of course, when the season flips, we'll see this winter, more fires like we did this this last winter, down in Australia, Australia has very similar conditions and is also a Mediterranean eco type went one quick, interesting note about that. So California is a Mediterranean ecosystem, like Southern Europe, they're also included, that is Israel, South Africa, and in several other arenas. So Mediterranean climate types are where most of the world's food is grown. Of course, that food needs a lot of water, about 70% of water in California is used for food. And it's where the biggest population is, in combination globally. It's also where the most biodiversity is in combination globally. And those climate types are where we're seeing these really big fires that are very much human caused for because of the conditions that we've created that I described. And and they're most at risk with climate change. So the fires are happening more severely because of ratification and extreme weather. So that's where we're, that's what we're focused on, we decided to focus on Mediterranean climate types first, that very quickly translates to all temperate forests, which is basically northern hemisphere forests beyond Mediterranean climate types as well. And mostly we focused on that because nobody else was there's a lot of folks focused on tropical forest issues, and we didn't see anyone significant really, really building solutions for the for the Mediterranean and temperate forest types.
Great, Neil, anything you want to add before we go to Allison? No, that's that sounds pretty comprehensive. It's all good. Great. You guys pass the quiz. Now, Hi, guys.
Hello. How are you?
Okay, Alison Sanders. How about you?
Sure. So first of all, nealon and to L Ellison. This is such an honor. And I wondered because we're going to spend most of this time talking about wildfires and and you know, how they raged out of control and and your ideas. But I wonder if you could take us way back in the story. And, you know, just start our audience a little bit more with each of your backgrounds and where did you each grow up. You've had an external Ordinary background each one of you before you took on wildfires, then john shared a little bit. But I'd love to know, just if you could each walk us through sort of your origin story, a brief version of your amazing achievements and kind of winded wildfires light up your life No pun intended. Nearly you should go first.
Okay. So I, from some of you might recognize my accent, I was born in the UK, but I moved out here in 1984. And I ended up at Netflix, at the end of the last century. And I worked there for nearly 20 years, taking it from, you know, zero to 150 million, nearly 200 million people. And I learned a lot about technology, consumer products, clouds, all the bits and pieces, but I did not feel like I was making a big impact on the things that matter. Now I'm a big skier. And outdoors person in general, I love to cross country ski, I was actually briefly on the on the team for ski orienteering and represented the US. And in Japan, which was a lot of fun. But the the ski season has shortened dramatically since I started the ski. It's, it's maybe last a month at each end. And that made me really think that that climate change matters a whole lot. And that the time is now and that we have to do something about it. And I met Allison at Netflix. And Tim, she got back in touch with me a couple of years ago, talking about this problem. And I got pretty excited about the opportunity to do something. You know, in a minute, we'll we'll get to it. But the great news about this is that the science is clear, we know what we need to do. And we can do it and we can afford to do it. And we can pay for doing it by byproduct of the work that we're going to do. And so this is a this is a pretty solvable problem. It just needs a bunch of effort applied. And I got pretty excited about being a piece of applying that effort. So that's that's a little bit my background.
Yes, elephant, take us up. We want to know where you met at Netflix. And you know, not not not not that Netflix hasn't produced tons of other partnerships. But it would just be great to understand a little bit. You know how your paths crossed?
Yeah. So we were there, Neil. Gosh, there were probably 15 or 20 of us in the office. And then we had one warehouse in San Jose. Everything was in San Jose or near Los Gatos. And yeah, we weren't we were in
you're in a vault with CD ROMs. Right?
Yeah, we were, we were shipping DVDs of the one warehouse part. So I was hired to lead brand and marketing. And I was I was putting a lot of hours in the post office and with with a graphic designer to try to figure out how to design the envelopes that would get through the Postal Service faster so that we could guaranteed delivery within a couple of days from our one little warehouse of those DVDs. Some of you early adopters might have even gotten one of our little DVD holders that we produced.
Yeah. And then. So Neil, Neil was, you know, had had a production engineering. I was working on branding and marketing and got involved in user experience design, doing a lot of testing on how people wanted to use the platform, connect with their friends, we launched the collaborative filtering capability, which was sort of Netflix's early version of social and recommendations based on your profiles. That was very, very early. And then I don't know, Neal, I feel like others followed that work. Once you built that into Netflix, so we were you know, we were this tiny team, I will remember forever sitting in our awful burlap cubicles that we got from a garage sale somewhere. And I sat next to Reed Hastings and at the time, Clinton and gore were in office and he was advising on education. So I listened to Neil, that half of the week talking about education reform, to Al Gore it was it was super cool. So yeah, so I so that was my early role and sort of my entree into the digital product world. Before that I had done some some branding, work and international Distribution worked for it mostly in the retail retail space. But I came in very young, very green, very new to the.com era back then in 97. And then we I left in 2000 and went to a consulting firm some of you may know called sky partners stone was originally called stone Yamashita partners, and went in as a lead strategist. So they they were, they were looking for someone that had calm experience they do. They do a lot of vision, culture change strategy work. And so I went there and kind of learned the ropes. That's when I started working with Bill McDonough, who I think wasn't wasn't the channel might have left. And yeah, and then worked with a lot of leaders on vision, strategy, culture change around big ideas, I got very passionate about sustainability and climate change while I was there working working with people like Bill McDonough and Paul Hawken, and several other visionaries and sort of got to the point where I only wanted to work on things that mattered and couldn't work on things that were just producing more crap in the world, essentially. And so I left and started my own consulting entity, also called vibrant planet, actually, we decided to adopt that name for our tech platform, because it's been so appropriate, but worked with a lot of big platforms for many, many years on their foundational sustainability strategies and visions. When a crescent, not a draw, voila. Somebody somebody clubhouse diving. So yes, we just got very, very deeply involved in in a lot of foundational work on climate change, health impact strategies, social justice, that kind of thing with eBay, Google and Facebook for about 20 years. And then I'd also been doing some strategy work for some founding families from Silicon Valley, one of whom that lives in the Truckee area and wanted to take on something in the Lake Tahoe area, but that would have global impact. And we've started to see these really big mega fires so that this new era of mega fire really just started happening in the last five, eight years. And so just started asking questions about the role of climate change was playing in these big fires, why they were happening, and started to understand what I explained earlier in terms of our history with these forests, and where we, where we really screwed them up. And, and just got really passionate about the space started to see this huge gap on data and technology. And realize that we really needed to tap some of the some of the talent in Silicon Valley that you know, is focused on selling ads and building social media experiences and things like that. We needed that kind of data engineering and user experience design and other other engineering talent to focus on, on this problem. And more generally, just on climate solutions, we need that we need those brains to focus on different problems at this point. So just started to reach out to folks like Neil and guy and some of the others that that john described. And I think there's just sort of a readiness for, for people to jump into the climate solution space. So we've built a hell of a team now and we're off and running.
Great. So everyone, welcome to imagination, action. I think we let a lot of people on stage because we're so excited to get questions. And I think, sorry, for the, the the people who are not having their mic on, but we're going to moderate, a little better going forward. I also see that Jim young is in the audience. And he's 31,225 days today that if you do the math, that is 85. So thank you for spending some of your 85th anniversary day with us. And Jim's dad, or Jim's daughter is one of the leaders at clubhouse and she's going to be drafted by a little bit later, Kelly settle. And I see. Carol is also here. And I know we have millennials and Gen Z but we also have octogenarian so we got a lot of range here tonight. And I also saw Katie Coleman was here, as I mentioned the astronaut. She was in the room. So my next question to you guys is what is at risk? What are some of the impacts if we lose the majority of our forests in the next decades? Neil, you wanna take that? I'll add, yeah, sure.
The forests, sequestering or storing vast amount of carbon. And if we lose the forests, that carbon goes into the atmosphere, positive feedback loop on climate change, which is really not a good thing. Secondly, if we lose the forest, we inject a very significant amount of Pm 2.5 Smoke particulates into the atmosphere that you can see. if you should fly across country in the summer, they blanket the entire US and in fact cross into Europe and they affect people's health in a really serious way. Although it's so dispersed, that doesn't make the news and their stories in a big way. But the health impacts aside from climate impacts are really quite significant. Thirdly, the, the forests, our Western forests stabilize the soil and the terrain. And if we lose the forests, the the impact on the water systems is huge. We get landslides, we get reservoirs filling with silt. And we get reduced water capacity, we get early melt like this year. The early warm summer caused a lot of the snowpack to sublimate to turn straight to vapor without passing through the water stage and it mess getting into our reservoirs at all. And that will just get much worse if we if we lose the the western forests. So those are just three impacts. Of course, the forest also provide a great recreational resource. For many of us. There are a source of lumber and wood products, which we would potentially lose. And then the The other thing that happens here is, it may not be obvious, if we lose the forest in catastrophic mega fire, they're not coming back. And that's key up to a key a key observation that the the the temperatures that are achieved in those mega fires, cause fire storms and they cause the forest fires the move at such a rate that's impossible to fight them. But in addition, they sterilize all the seat stock, and all the soil and they and they damage the forest to the point where they can't regrow, they can't rejuvenate as they should. And those forests are probably turned permanently, you're at least for many decades, into Chaparral and other land that's far less effective at storing carbon and protecting the watersheds and which is itself much more susceptible to fire in the future. And so we have a variety of different risks and issues that we have to worry about.
Yeah, and I'll just add a couple big things people don't know is that forest in the western US store more carbon than tropical forests. They it's, like I said earlier, it's how carbon that fires how carbon cycles, and the tree roots have to dig so deep for water versus tropical tree roots, which are much more shallow. And so those tree roots, if you think about how a plant, you know, pulls carbon and turns it into sugar and food for itself. It's pulling these, these trees in the West are pulling that carbon really, really deeply into the soil into their root systems. So they're very, very important part of mitigating climate change. And yet most western states have slipped to being that carbon emissions, like john said, when we first started so so the part of the goal is to is to reduce fuel loads, we know how to do that, like Neil said, and get positive fire regenerative low intensity fire back on the landscape. So that these trees are the carbon stabilized without losing these massive trees and the you know, the canopy and the and also the soil carbon that that flies out of the ground when when these big fires happen. So we're trying to basically restore and stabilize that carbon before it all burns up and goes into the atmosphere. The other thing people don't know is that 75% of water in the western US originates in forests and so that the trees are playing this really important role. This is the same same in Europe in Australia. They're they're storing snowpack, right like this year in Nevada and California is the watering system for California's ag system which is 13% of global ag. So the trees snows falling through the trees that gets shaded and stored there. When one issue because forests are so overgrown is too much snow is actually evaporating from the forest canopy, it doesn't make it to the ground like it used to and forests were in a natural structured state. So that's that's actually a problem with overfilled forests as well. But then they're filtering the root systems or filtering the water before it goes down to to, you know, feed 50 million people in a state like California, but that's true throughout the West. So you know, like Neil said, when when fires happen really severely, some of that fires good, but when it's really really severe, there are these very, very hot fires. We are seeing permanent conversions from forests to grassland and shrubs which don't store as much carbon that we lose that that water storage That carbon storage that that the forests are providing for us. Now, the other big impact we're seeing is insurance is pulling out of Western US. It's very, very hard to get insurance in the state of California, I live near Lake Tahoe. And there's one insurer that I have one option right now. So insurance doesn't want to leave, you know, the equivalent of the fifth largest economy in the world, they're trying to figure out how to stay in but they, you know, 2025 years, they lost 20 years of profitability in just California's fires. So they are really struggling to figure out how they, how they insure at this point. So that that's the other big last. And then of course, you know, the lifestyle in the West is at stake. We we all love our trails and our skiing and all of these amazing things that that that you know Colorado and Idaho and you know, the West offer California. But those things are those things are going fast. You know, California alone could lose two thirds of its 33 million acres of forest in the next few decades, if we don't intervene, but like Neil said, The cool thing is we can intervene, intervene, we can make forests more resilient, and we just have to do it at a very rapid pace and scale.
Well, and Allison, that's a perfect transition to my question, because I think you and Neil have really convinced us that this is a urgent and be solvable and see should be at the top of everyone's list. Can you go share a little bit more about how you put together your pretty incredible sort of multi layer recipe to try to restore forest and community resilience? And how did the idea of building a technology platform for forest and climate restoration? So how did this idea come together? which were the first parts and which are the most recent additions?
Yeah, um, so Neil, why don't I talk about the broader restoration solution, and you can talk about the platform. That sounds good. So So the solution for forests is restoration. So just like we're restoring soil and regenerative ag movements, we need to create a similar movement for forests, where we employ 1000s of people across the west to go in and mechanically thin forests basically play the role fire used to play when we had cultural fire and natural lightning fires before we suppressed fire, that that fire played and keeping a very natural, heterogeneous structure with lots of different species, lots of different ages of trees, spaces and gaps between kind of families of trees. So just getting that natural structure back will make forest resilient to fire and getting rid of the ground fuels, again, tending with fire because fire is what used to clear all those brownfields out. So it's basically a massive workforce that needs to be raised up and put to work strategically, in order of priority because, you know, we've got like, what, two to 5% of forests that are about to tip. And if we don't catch those tipping points, then a lot, a lot of dominoes fall. So we need technology and where our platform is headed is is is predicting where the most urgent areas are, and then developing plans across land ownership for, for designing really, really good forest health ecologically sound treatments for forests, we don't want to just pave the forest, right, we need all those ecosystem services intact. So really thinking about how we ecologically treat for us to get that resilience back. And then, and then deploying a workforce. So think about like a gig economy, for forest restoration, getting 1000s of people out in the field that we don't have right now, we don't have the workforce, you know, with the skills to get out there. So we've got to raise up that workforce and deploy them strategically. But Neil maybe could talk a little bit more about some of the data we're building out and how that feeds into the platform and the first applications that we're building
Sure. You The first thing to observe is that you first order clearing the forest mechanically setting the forest with you know, it's not so far at the end of the day from from raking but we need to clear out a lot of the of the material that's accumulated there, we need to cut a lot of the smaller trees. That doesn't sound like rocket science. So why do we need a platform? an observation here is that it's a network optimization problem that suppose you're trying to protect the small town in the in the words and you clear a perimeter you you thin perimeter around the town, all that that's great, but that doesn't actually solve your problem because the wildfire can build up in an area beyond The perimeter and and gain such intensity that burns right through. And so the problem we have to tackle here is where to intervene, and how to intervene, how to make the thing overall, sustainable and supportable. And that sort of fundamentally the problem that we're trying to tackle and the platform, we have users, a wide variety of data sources about the terrain and the landscape and the trees on it, in order to evaluate the impact of different different levels of thinning and treatment in different regions of the forest, and how those would interact together in a way to produce a stable landscape. And a key observation here too, is that where we're trying to balance the diverse needs of different interested stakeholders. So it's not just fire resilience, and carbon sequestration. But it's also things like watersheds, and wildlife diversity. And it's, it's cardos for evacuation and for utilities, we've identified 10 different, we call them pillars of targets that you might wish to optimize for. And the users of our product can essentially decide, are they are they aiming 100% at wildfire resilience? Or are they also trying to balance in wildlife diversity, and watershed improvement too. And then we can evaluate under those different goal states, what treatments do apply to each stand of trees, in order to best accomplish that, for a given span level, or for a given level of resilience or achievement in those landscapes. Now, the data sets that we're using range from satellite data and map data. To LIDAR data, LIDAR is typically flown with a fixed wing or a terrestrial instrument, and it enables you to tell the different levels of vegetation on the landscape. And we can we can do LIDAR down to a one meter resolution and identify specific trees by species and use that in a way to evaluate the the various characteristics of that landscape at a very fine scale, not be able to optimize the planning process. And so the goal here then is to let a a forestry planner come in and say, I'm interested in these goals and objectives in this region. And I have this much money to spend, helped me draw the plan, spend that money in the most effective way to get to the outcomes I look for. And that's fundamentally what the platform is all about in the first iteration.
I just want to add one thing, and I think Allison Sanders has a follow up question. I love that you're using LIDAR technology. As more and more self driving cars come online, that's going to help mature LIDAR technology, LIDAR is key for self driving cars. And so I feel like you're taking advantage of a trend that can be applied in a really impactful way. And then I know, Neil, you know, you guys, you're relatively new at building this team. And we hope this interview sort of a long form interview, and we can go deep on some things. So Allison, back to you.
Yeah, on the lighter point, john. Guy Bay's our CTO that you mentioned, joined us from lift and his most recent, so he built the engineering team at Lyft. And then his most recent work was on self driving cars. And you're right, that LIDAR technology to, in that case move cars around people and other objects, is a super similar data structures to what we're building for forests from the tree and house level up. So one of the things that's amazing about what Neil just described that we're doing is that it doesn't exist yet. So, you know, in built infrastructure, and with applications like Lyft, or TaskRabbit, or various other things, delivery services.
We have really, really good high resolution data to make those things possible. When we get into ecosystems, like forests, we the data is and and the tools, it's like going back to 1992 And so we don't have user friendly, experienced design, and those kinds of techniques where you understand the need, and you design for it, the data, that the standard data is 30 meters. And so at 30 meters, when you go to look at a tree level view, which is where decisions are being being made on what small tree needs to cut out that shouldn't be there, because it's going to catch a big one that that we need to save on fire. We can't see that tree with 30 meter data. And so you know, and then just the cloud so right now data when, when a forest management project starts, data is literally stored on hard drives, in universities, shoe boxes, sometimes they are pulled out of shoe boxes and shipped to the people that are working on the on the planning and modeling. It can take between two and 10 years to do a forest, a forest Action Plan A forest health plan, half that time is just identifying existing data, wrangling it putting formatting it so that it can talk to each other to produce models. And then what would what is produced is maybe one or two alternative treatments for a forest. And because the ecosystem services part of the story has not really been present in a lot of forest planning. And we have limited budgets, often the forest plans default to fuel breaks around town, or timber targets, which the Forest Service still operates on. And so there's there's what Neal describes these catastrophic fires are sort of like tidal waves where a spark will happen further out in the forest doesn't really matter what the sources, it's starts as a normal fire. But then because of all these factors with overfilled forests and climate change, the these small fires grow into catastrophic fires, and then they become unstoppable. And so a lot of funders and tech people want to focus on how do we build bigger plans? How do we build better early fire detection systems to get these fires out? But like we talked about earlier, that only exacerbates the problem? And what we have to do is actually really think about strategically and ecologically how do we how do we get these forests back into some semblance of resilience, like when European right, European Americans arrived to these giants, you know, that were spread out, john Muir talked about writing three horses wide. In fact, if you look at my profile picture, I just changed it to an actual sketch of what California is for us in the Sierra Nevada used to look like very clean forest floor, huge trees, these are pines, not sequoias, and in a lot of cases. And so basically, the the platform enables us to speed up the planning process, make collaborative planning, possible, catastrophic fire doesn't observe land ownership lines. And so this is sort of a new way of doing land management plans, it has to happen across different landowners. And then, of course, folks that are worried about spotted owl habitat and others being being mowed down, need to weigh in to that that collaborative planning process. And so we need really strong data really strong visuals that everybody's seeing the same picture. And they can more effectively plan in a matter of weeks instead of you know, up to 10 years. Because if we if it continues to take 10 years to create a single forest plan for like 40 to 200,000 acres, we're going to lose the forest before we start doing anything. So our whole goal in life is to use data and technology, create really meaningful communication platforms, basically, so that people can decide on what to do make sure the best science possible is being applied to a plan, and then get to implementation very, very quickly. And then on the back side, have continuous data updates and monitoring dashboards so that we know if what we're doing is working, are we actually saving stabilizing carbon? Are we still losing it? Are we actually improving hydrology? Because we have less straws in the cup? Which is an unnatural amount of trees? Are we still seeing towns burned down or is fire staying on the ground and not turning into catastrophic destructive fire? So we the other piece that is completely missing today is a monitoring system to understand what's happening and how things are changing in real time.
So this is one l Ellison. This is such a grand vision that I'd love your help, just nailing it down to sort of a couple of more levels on clarity. And one. One question I have and it's got a couple of pieces is if, if this was to come to pass 10 years from now, you paint us a picture of what forest management would look like. And then I'm struggling a little bit to understand you other than people's desire to do good How do you create more incentive for this? I mean, do you use carbon credits? Could you get the insurance companies to say, look, if we're going to insure your forest, it has to meet these 10 goals? And then the third question is how do you adapt to keep up with the pace of climate change, which constantly changes the parameters and the risks? Nearly want to go first.
Sure, that that's that there's a there's a lot of questions. And better than that, I think I let me let me start with them. A little story here, if you if you live in the in the rural areas and the forests callfire makes you to a defensive perimeter around your house. And they expect you to trim low hanging branches and remove ground fuel and rake up leaves and pine needles and what have you every year, and they come and inspect and find you if it's not done, right. And that actually is quite a big industry there. There are contractors who do the work, there's a lot of money spent doing this. And it's largely useless. Because it's only defensive against small, locally started fires. So the quickly brought under control, what we need to do is to put that effort into protecting the landscape in a holistic sense, and focusing on more than just the fire resilience around an individual structure, but systematic protection of the town or region. And there is there is a lot of money already flowing into that. And there's a lot more money earmarked to flow into it and the years to come. The the problem of foreign buyers become so apparent to the leadership politicians and so on that, that they're planning to spend a lot more money than has been spent Historically, the trick will be to make sure that it's spent wisely. It's spent on effective plants. And that's not redirected into fighting emergency fires and fire suppression, which just makes the problem worse for the following year. So I think that one of the one of the ways that we we help to build an ecosystem, so the first the first iteration of building an ecosystem, Alison mentioned already, it's the idea of, of let's match the workforce, to the money coming in to do the work. And the workforce can be rural workers, rural residents who are trained in proper use of clear arts equipment, you know, it's it's chainsaws, bulldozers, Massa writers, what have you. And Tim, can we can we do the TaskRabbit, the Uber the left of that kind of work and match that workforce with the projects being done. And balance it in a way that that Tim, the right people are in the right place at the right time with the right tools and the right training, to get the job done. And, and we think that's a that's a very value adding and a very valuable service that that we can add and provide. So that, you know, step one is, let's let's make the tools to build the plans that that deliver the science based optimal solution to what we're trying to achieve. And step two, as let's recruit and manage the workforce that's going to do the work that's going to do the forest intervention, to help to stabilize the problem. And then we'll get in a bit perhaps to stage three, which is how do we incent much more money than just grants to do forest management from exactly the the carbon economy, the water economy, from landowners wishing to preserve the value of their land, rights of way utilities, grid connections, that there are a lot of different people who have a an economic and financial interest as well as other interests in making sure that these plans are implemented properly. and building a marketplace around those things in order to make that work is an important piece of what we imagined for the future.
I can just add, you know, I when I when I started this work, I went on a listening journey for about six months, nine months, and just talk to you A lot of different folks in the Forest Service, the scientific community, Fire Chiefs, utilities, insurance companies, etc, to try to understand what was going on and different perspectives on the space. And we, you know, really started to learn I mean, the one of the big goals, which Neil touched on is an inordinate amount of money is spent on suppression. And we do need defensible space and better roofing materials and things like that. But these big big fires, these catastrophic fires will blow into towns and utility infrastructure and all kinds of other infrastructure anyway. So we've got to deal with that bigger problem. When I went on this listening tour, I talked to some of the guys that run teams doing, you know, felling small trees, and, and you know, pulling it, Donald Trump wasn't completely wrong when he said for us are raked because we do have to actually rake out a lot a lot of downed branches and needles and things like that we've got like three feet of depth in certain parts of the of the forest, which is really unhealthy. So um, so pulling that out of the forest, you can imagine you know, some at some of these guys were like, I've got these really sophisticated machines, you know, that can fell a tree, they have almost no impact on the on the soil, these tiny little kind of Swedish machines, and they can fell a tree and pile it up. And they're like, why don't we have data that can drive my machine for me, I don't even need any any workers. So you can imagine a whole industry of precision forestry being birthed, eventually, you know, that's probably more like 2030 years down the road. In the short term, you know, we really do need 1000s of people to be deployed out in the forest. And it could be everything from high school kids with chainsaw licenses, going out making 100 bucks on a Saturday to really sophisticated helicopter operations where you've got steep slopes, and you need to pull some, you know, thin out some forest from from these really difficult to get areas. So it's it's sort of, it's sort of everything in between, that that work is extremely expensive. So it costs between two and 3000 an acre to treat forests. And if you think about just California, needing 23 million acres of forest restored, some of that very hard to get to the the costs are are astronomical. So one of our partners blue forest conservation, some of you may have seen the forest resilience bond in California. We are part of the project that that was formed around in the north Yuba, which is an important tributary to the Sacramento. They estimate California has costs over the next 10 years being about $58 billion. So like Neil said, we have to find ways to incentivize insurance companies, utilities and the private sector to put money in alongside public agencies, because the public agencies will never have enough money to treat for us at this at the pace and skill that need to be treated. One of the ways to unlock private sector money is is through carbon payments, and also water payments. So the blue forest deal on the north Yuba was was the first deal of its kind in California, there's similar similar deals happening with Denver water in Colorado, where water agencies are starting to see the impacts Neil described with sedimentation in reservoirs, costing them billions of dollars. And it makes more sense to spend money up front less money up front on forest restoration. So that that doesn't happen in the first place. And so we're seeing water markets being unlocked, definitely carbon markets. And then we think that we could potentially build a biodiversity market for conservation minded funders that want to pay for biodiversity to be safeguarded, because our lives depend on it, people are starting to get that. But yeah, ultimately, the platform we're building, which you talked about, Allison, it really is about adaptive land management. So having best in class high resolution data, also, you know, updated very rapidly, so that we can can track current conditions we can track success and failure, and then and then feed insights into the planning process, so that we're continuously improving the science. And and also, you know, what's working and what's not working in terms of forest and community resilience?
Getting quickly come in here. I have a question, please. So it's 705. What I'd like to do is have Cory just play for 60 to 90 seconds is a musical interlude. And I think we want to get a little more into the model. So our listeners can really understand it. And then we're going to take a bunch of questions from our audience. So thank you for your interest in asking questions. So Cory, just want to see if you're ready to do a musical interlude.
Allison one, let me I'll track down Cory, why don't you ask a quick question.
Sure. So this is it. As you lay this out, it's just so fascinating in the multiple layers you're, you're describing. And I'd love to hear a little bit more about how you plan to get all the players who are required to collaborate in the same discussion. So you've mentioned NGOs, government agencies at a local, state and federal level, residential owners, utilities, insurance companies and others. I mean, will the platform or the data or how do you get them together? Who are the hardest parties you found to bring to the table? And just give us an example of the scale of some of these groups?
Yeah, sure, I can, I can start in Neil pipe in. So the planning process is happening at different scales. So where where we've started with our platform is at sort of a local level where usually a nonprofit or a resource conservation district gets a grant from in California callfire, or Department of Conservation, very similar in other states. Those are regular flows of money pretty significant, like callfire has 170 million a year that that is that is doled out for forest planning processes. And so we're basically inserting our tool for planning with a really strong value proposition, you know, plans that normally like I said, Take two to 10 years can cost a couple of million dollars in expertise to do modeling and wrangle data and all of that stuff. And then only produce one or two plans. Our platform enables them to do planning in a matter of days or weeks, instead of many, many years. data at your fingertips. Much, much better data, plus data updates, which which doesn't exist right now. It's a linear kind of paper based process. So so it's a very strong value proposition we're selling licenses. It's a it's a classic staff huddle to these local leads of collaborative planning projects that normally include Forest Service state parks, concerned NGOs about water or specific species. resource conservation districts are sort of the typical makeup, as well as fire safe councils, often Fire Chiefs will get involved in from local municipalities. So we are selling that very successfully throughout different geographies in California, and that will expand nationwide here here pretty quickly. We're also talking to the National Forest Service at this at the national level. So Western wide or not nationwide, as well as in the state of California, which is region five, Forest Service, and then the state of California about this adaptive system for much bigger landscape. So helping the state of California across, again, a collaboration across the Forest Service in this and the state, they have what's called a shared stewardship agreement, to work together to mitigate wildfire risks and improve forest health across ownership lines. And that also includes private land ownership. So we are we're in the process of discussing how our adaptive management system can help set goals at the highest level so you can imagine them collectively forming goals around how do we safeguard biodiversity? How do we ensure long term carbon storage? And how much can we count on for the California forest carbon plan? Or just there the carbon plan writ large, you know, how do we deal with with water and the the role forest health is playing and the lack of groundwater because we've got too many trees, all of those big questions, we can help them with a collaborative planning process at the highest level of the state determine goals and what they want to set in place for monitoring. And then because our data goes down to the tree and house level, the those those goals can be handed off for implementation. And then as projects are happening at the local level, and monitored the the data around decisions made at the local level, and the monitoring at the local level can aggregate up into meaningful metrics. So we're basically selling that adaptive system at all scales, if that makes sense. Neal and if you want to add anything to that,
I love that. That's great. Just to add that, that the problem is hierarchical the the the the regional and state level planners need to allocate budget and resources in a top down fashion, but that needs to match with the the specific needs on on a tree stamp level upward direction and so while the the Problems are sort of superficially similar. They're slightly different. And they require some different approaches and the and the ability to have our tool, both thrive, the original planning, and also the intervention plans on a bottom up way, and mash together in a way that makes sense. And matters Mattias for the for the different stakeholders. That's a key goal for us to achieve.
Yeah, and the toughest thing right now is in conversation, especially within within state and federal agencies, they know they need an adaptive system, there really isn't another option for them unless they homegrown one internally, but they don't have the kinds of people like deal that can build a system like this. And so they know that they need this, they like us personally, but they are stuck in bureaucracy. And so we're trying to figure out how to navigate some of the arduous RFP processes that can take six to 12 months to get through. And, and some of the other things and so they're the Forest Service, especially, is is working on all kinds of innovations to do business differently, to move much, much faster to avoid RFP process where it's possible and where they have an obvious partner. And so we're sort of at this point, we're early on, we just started rolling the system out a few weeks ago. And we'll see if they're, if they're able to sort of get out of their own way. And I don't mean that in a desperate way that these people are awesome and innovative. But we've got these old bureaucratic systems that aren't used to moving fast, and we've got to move really, really quickly. So I think that's the biggest thing we're up against.
Great. So Cory, can you play a brief musical? Number? And then we're gonna go to some questions. Liz. Let's see if you have a question. And we'll just we'll go through the list. See? Who might want to ask our two imaginators provocative thoughtful questions on their on their idea. So Cory, what do you got?
Well, since we're talking carbon and trees, I think that I'd play something from Brazil, the lungs of that part of the world with a great rain forest down there, so do something resilient.
corie, thank you for that selection. And Cory is a musician in residence. If you look in imagination, in action, co you'll see our musicians in resonance. And he raised his hand for this show, he really cared about this topic. Thank you, Cory, World Champion accordion player and set the world record for playing the longest, I think 32 hours and 14 minutes. But he doesn't plan to do tonight. But thank you, Liz Heller. I know you invited bill McKenna to come tonight. I know you really care about this topic. And we've had a lot of talks about I know you've worked on a number of projects. Do you have a question for imaginators?
I do. And thank you, for both of you for all of your incredible thinking around this incredibly complex and important issue. And I guess my question is a little bit of a sidebar but connected to it, which is I live near a forest also. And I've seen an incredible amount of Well, basically just damage and death to trees from all kinds of other issues related to the environment and bacteria and fungi and insects. And I just wondered Is there any part of your thinking and planning that can also help deal with that at this Same time as all of the solutions that you were just talking about, and if so how can we help support both sides of those in a grassroots level? That's my question. Thank you.
Yeah. Thanks, Liz. Um, yes, so everything that Neil and I've talked about applies to the mass tree mortality we're seeing in all kinds of ecosystems. So we've got bark beetle, killing billions of trees across North America, and really sweeping across, you know, my home state of Colorado is just devastated. We're seeing it, you know, sweep through the Sierra Nevada and then we've got sudden oak death and sad with the Aspen's, there's all kinds of issues. So, and a lot of that comes down to trees, you know, these forests being overgrown, like we talked about, and fighting for resources in a way that is unnatural. So and then we also have less resources in terms of water. For for trees, and so they they become resilient. So in the, in the case of the pine family and for family, where we're seeing bark beetle, sweep through, that is completely a factor of water availability. So when when those those types of trees don't have enough water, they can't produce the antidote to the to the bark beetle larvae, bark beetle larvae is native, it's supposed to be here, and it's supposed to kill some trees, but it's completely out of control. Because the trees can't produce the chemical that they use, they use water to produce to stave off the beetle. And so beetles are able to just, you know, completely take over ecosystems. So that's, that's just one example of what we're seeing. So by by thinning out forests and getting them back into a more resilient state that works both for wildfire fuels to keep them from burning, but it also puts them in a resilient state in terms of being able to fight off disease.
Free. Yeah, go ahead. No, no. One I want to just say, I notice two things. One, we've had 1500 people come through the room tonight, so people are definitely interested in. We're just getting started. And I see Kelly stencil has also joined she's one of the leaders of clubhouse and helping to chart the future. And it was her dad who I wish 3000 31,025 days old. 85 years young today, Jim young. So Kelly, thanks for coming in. You know, Kelly, you did a pre call with Neil and Allison and you really care about this topic and in want the clubhouse network and architecture to kind of help bubble up innovation and solutions that can be game changers and, you know, sees this show is one of those so so welcome. Alison Wolf, you know, feel free to keep answering if you had more you want to say otherwise, I was gonna call on someone else. like to ask the question. Yeah, Sonny, you you can go next Hold on.
Yeah, I was just gonna answer the second part of Liz's question in terms of support. So there's, we all need to think about how the government is spending money and really encourage spend on forest health. You know, supporting companies, companies like ours, companies that are producing really good data, or enforced carbon, those kinds of things are also really helpful because the clear, we are on how we can improve things like forest carbon water markets, biodiversity markets, the more private funding can be unlocked for the space. And then the other thing too, is, you know, we really have it pounded into our head. We've got the trillion trees projects, we're very focused on deforestation and trying to stop deforestation and tropical forests, which is absolutely appropriate, we have to stop deforestation. And we have a really hard time in western forest, getting our heads around, cutting trees and, and loving fire, which is basically this major cultural change that we have to we have to move towards and so many people don't understand the history of forests that we clear cut everything we forget, we deforest in North America first before we started on the Amazon, we which completely screwed up the the natural forest structure across North America. And then we've suppressed fire for 130 years. And so we were really good at putting fires out only about 2% of fires went away from us and become catastrophic fire we were we put out 90% of them within a few 100 yards of run. And so I'm getting people to understand the underlying problem we've created in these overgrown overfilled forest and the fact that we have to cut some trees to get to save the trees, so they have to cut trees to save the forest. It's this weird brain twist. And then we hate fire. We don't like smoke. We need that but the landscape needs fire and so I'm sure a lot of you have heard of prescribed burns or controlled burns. Once we mechanically thin and even in some places that don't need to be thinned First, we need to get fire back on this land to cycle carbon and nutrients again. And to have a more natural thinning regime, besides the mechanical thinning, and so over time, we need to embrace we're going to have a lot of smoke in the West, it's going to be way better smoke, much less impactful than catastrophic fire smoke, where you're blowing up the canopy, that ground smoke is much better for human health. And it's a natural part of the system. So we've got to sort of embrace living with fire again, and we've got to not react to trees getting cut. So we you know, I live in Tahoe, where it's a pretty educated audience. But you know, there's still a lot of protests and lawsuits happen when when the Forest Service does a prescribed burn, people want their, their curtains to be replaced, and things like that. And it's like, we just, if we're going to choose to live in, in these fire adapted landscapes, we've got to own where we've chosen to live. So that's part of the support of just, you know, supporting those kinds of projects happening if you happen to live in your forest.
Great. So I'm going to turn to sunny and then Neil, I after Sonny's question, I would like you to kind of get technical on what are some of the real technical opportunities here, you know, machine learning AI? Really get in, get into it? You know, for those that that might want to understand how you're approaching this. But Sonny Yeah. What's your question?
Hi, everyone. Thank you so much, john, for having me. And thank you for everybody in this room. Yes, and thank you, Allison. I mean, what what all what you've been saying is very educative. Thank you so much for that. So I enjoy. I mean, I enjoy your your technocracy and technology driven solution, sort of, and funding and budgeting all those things. However, I would like, I would still like to kind of draws back to, let's say, the origin of, of these issues, you know, that has resulted to try to save the forest. You know, I think it's important for people people in us here to, to note that what's happening in the, in the United States, for example, right now, is not just alien to, to the operations of, of the multinationals around the world. And particularly, the word power multinationals in some in remote places around the world, and especially in those places where you have forests out really like to explore the relationship between our Lycos to explore a relationship between the word power governments, mostly also the ones dictating global policies in major world organizations, and the indigenous people in all those places, those remote places where you have all these big forests that are at risk at the moment. And the diversity, the action, the devastating action of the multinationals usually operating in, in sync with war powers, governments. So I don't know, I would like to know your take on this. Allison, I kind of feel like but again, I'm not an expert in this topic, but I sort of feel like somewhere along the line, are we not missing the target? Are we not fighting where we're not supposed to? And kind of like, I feel like we just like addressing, trying to solve the consequences instead of like, looking into the cause of all these things. So because I really enjoyed all the technology driven solutions you are bringing in. They are very, very, very brilliant. But I feel like Isn't it just going to be like a vicious circle? Like, you know, you fix the problem here. And then these multinationals and global powers, including the g7 also not implement implementing, like serious policies to kind of bring, let's say, a lasting solutions for this. I don't know if that if my question makes sense.
No, it does. Absolutely. I mean, like I said early in the car earlier in the conversation, the first mistake we made in North America was removing Native American population. From forests where they were tending the forest with fire and, and generally right. So I couldn't agree more. You know, throughout the world, we've we've, we've had this problem of, you know, removing native populations that are that are playing a really critical role in, in natural ecosystems in a, in a synergistic way or destructive way. So, you know, there all kinds of policies needs to be needs to be put in place globally, to empower native populations, one of the key stakeholders for our technology, our native tribes in North America. So they are a very key voice in the collaborative planning process at every scale. So they're involved, you know, up to Deb Holland, I'm so happy to see her as the head of the Department of Interior, or first Native American woman, head of the Department of Interior, which oversees national parks and BLM land, it's so righteous, I can't even I can't even tell you. So, you know, working with top levels of government, to make sure that native voices are heard on these issues with what's interesting in fire adapted landscapes is some of the tribes in Northern California and Southern Oregon, the Yurok in the in the correct tribes are running the prescribed burn training programs that actually train burn bosses, in in western states, on how to use fire as a tool. So there is some really cool stuff happening there. There's also some interesting funding happening of tribes who are purchasing their ancestral land back from European Americans. So that's another trend that we're watching where they're becoming really big, powerful landowners as well, again, in some of these key ecosystems. So I do think that there's, there's a lot that technology can do to help shape policy and then also empower the at least the Native American communities. So that's sort of a partial answer to your question. I don't know if Neil wants to add to that, but nope, I think that's that's the that's the story.
questions as well? Yeah, sure. Yeah. So let me just kind of remind people, there's imagination. Actually, we have two great imaginators, Alison Wolf, and Neil hunt. And what I had asked prior to the last question was for Neil, to kind of geek out for a few minutes, I think Allison will set him up a little bit to geek out a little bit, but maybe just go real deep on what you think the opportunity is here. And then and then I'll bring in a bunch of other speakers around people to ask questions. So
thanks, john. Um, I'd have to say the the one of the big opportunities here is just bringing modern product technology to bear on the idea of being able to have a platform where people can share plans in the cloud, in the field with each other, track, monitor and observe. And instead of having the plans be largely paper based, and in an office and slow to update, I think that's huge. It's also not very sexy. But it's it really is a big, big deal and something that we work very hard on. On the on the other end of the spectrum, the planning process depends upon robust, fine grained data. And that data is expensive to get and needs to be updated frequently. And so we were doing a bunch of really innovative work. Gaius is doing a lot of work. And we've got some researchers working on how do we take relatively inexpensive data, like multispectral satellite data, and turn that into a tree level multi layer, model models that represent what's on the ground with sufficient accuracy to do good planning and good work. And it turns out that we have some really interesting work going on where we're able to train machine models to take multispectral multispectral stereoscopic satellite imagery, and build models that match LIDAR models for test plots where we know the ground truth about what's on the ground and those places from the high resolution data that we've got. And we can quantify the accuracy of those models in a pretty interesting way. And it seems likely that we're going to be able to take a lot of inexpensive data and turn it into the appropriate data set that we need in order to be able to do the planning and modeling that's, that's necessary to make this stuff happen. And that's, you know, classic classic machine learning large data labeled data set, figure out how to translate the the chip data after the high value data, and then apply it across a large landscape and generate the data that we need. So that that I think as certainly a really interesting problem. And it's one which enables frequently updated, like satellite data to be used in place of fixed wing LIDAR data that will have to be flown, ideally, you know, four or five times a year in order to get current up to date data. And that's pretty exciting. There's, I think there's a lot more technology to come in the future, particularly as we start to develop the marketplaces, the marketplace for labor, and the marketplace, driving the flow of funds into these kinds of projects. And you know, that across has lots of interesting unknowns that we we haven't yet begun to really tackle that, which we will get to in due course. So I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to use technology and modern computing, and product approaches here. In order to produce product and a marketplace systems that will help to solve the problem that we need to solve.
So Neil, the reason I asked that is, I see there are a number of very technical people in the room. And there may be some people who are wondering about their life's work, and whether, you know, dropping everything, and joining an effort like this might be, you know, something worthwhile, you know, to help save the planet. I'm curious, how did you and Julie, decide to, you know, make this a priority. I know, you're spending a lot of time on this, and you are financially supporting, and I think, you know, you put in over a million dollars to help jumpstart this, and I think others are following. But before I ask others to ask questions, maybe talk a little bit about the personal journey that you and Julie went on, because I think there may be some people in this room who may want to do a similar journey, whether it's their time and talent, or, you know, selling some of their assets, and then putting it behind you guys.
I'm sure like I mentioned earlier that the light, I love the outdoors, Aye, aye, I spent a lot of time in the mountains in the forest. And I've, I've spent time worrying about land that I own, and how to, to how to protect that and keep it safe and realizing that it's it's just not really possible in the local sense, you need to get into system wide interventions. And about the time we were struggling with some of these problems, Julie and I personally, we kind of reconnected with Allison and learned about the the approach that she was imagining here, and it just seemed so relevant and tangible to us. And so important, as we see the world changing dramatically in front of us, year by year, almost week by week. You know, the, the notion that climate changes as one of the big problems that our generation must solve, I think is pretty important. The the impact on the planet is huge. Now, fixing climate change is gonna involve a lot of people in a lot of different domains. And we can't imagine that, that solving a forest problem is going to solve climate change, but it's gonna do its piece it's gonna do a big piece to to make that better. You know, this, there are certainly lots of other things to do. But this is a big an important piece. And I feel really good about spending time and resources to make it happen.
Great. Your thank you for sharing. So let's go to the audience. I see. Sam Perry. Want to see if you have a question or questions to finish. Of course. Yeah. Let's go to quorum, why don't you ask?
Thank you, john, I have one question to Allison. She talked about the lack of funding, I was reading somewhere, you know, in 2018, or 19, I think the the California fires, like, you know, the damage created, went up to something like 100 or 120 billion. And it's just no brainer that, you know, a lot of money actually has to go in, in order to make sure that, you know, those fires don't happen. So that's one question. And to Neil, you know, it's just, the whole discussion was about sort of, like, from the preventive side of the actual fires? And how can we do to make sure that the, you know, the for deforestation doesn't happen and all that? What about the post fire scenario? You know, we have so much data available as it is like, in terms of the actual temperature, and, you know, carbon monoxide, and, you know, even the sunlight that if you're looking at the from the 30 meter perspective, I think the lot of information can be extracted and passed on to, you know, the firefighters, I mean, it's still to date, the firefighters aren't equipped with the right equipment, like from the technical technology perspective, they still like turn up in the morning, and they have some places to go written something on a piece of paper. So I mean, there's so much role can be played by the IoT space. And then, you know, layer by layer thing. You talked about the satellite data. So that question is directed towards uni. Ellis elephant in the room. Thank
you. Yeah, thank you. Um, I'll take the first one. So yeah, in terms of the the costs it and the investment in restoration, it is a no brainer. That, again, just the California fires alone, I can rattle off some numbers. So there there was a over $4 trillion of impact, just in California is 2020 fires. So two over 2 billion spent on fire suppression, there's probably around 63 to 65 billion in terms of impact on human health. When when it antidote anecdote there is the the emergency visits during wildfire season when smoke impacts are hitting urban areas, the emergency room visits go up 40%. So you can imagine the cost of that, especially because lower income neighborhoods who are dealing you know, as with all climate change impacts, they're dealing with kind of underlying cardiopulmonary and other other issues. You can imagine what what wildfire smoke added to the mix does for their health. And so it's an expensive public health problem. The insurance industry last 10 billion, there was 10 billion in property damage, 20 years of insurance, profitability was lost just in those fires. And then in terms of ecosystem services, so we actually have apply the price of carbon apply market value to water and biodiversity, the recreation industry and some of these other ecosystem services, there's about three to $4 trillion lost just in 2020 fires in just in California. And of course, the whole West Colorado, Oregon, Washington all had record breaking fire seasons last year, and this year is supposed to be worse. So yeah, investing, you know, a few 100 billion in forest restoration to avoid those kinds of impacts and unlock incredibly valuable, almost invaluable ecosystem services is absolutely absolutely a no brainer. It kind of goes back to Liz's Liz is part of the conversation and question around? How do we incentivize and mobilize all the different interested parties, those that are worried about risk, like insurance and utilities and the Department of Defense who has a lot of lot of money to the people that are really interested in unlocking ecosystem services around carbon markets, water markets, biodiversity market? So how do we, you know, basically bring everybody to the table? And that's a lot of what we're working on. And I think really good data really good visualizations, the storytelling, the monitoring, using machine learning to meet you know, to understand what's working and what's not working. To inform science is going to be super crucial to bring everybody to the table to invest fast.
And then your your other question here was about during and after big fires, do we have a role to play there? I was privileged to to go on a field trip. And understand a bit more about recovery from fire. And I don't know if you is in the audience, I know that that he was invited was thinking to attend and if you are you should dive in and have an F and if you're not, then I apologize for mangling the details here. But yeah,
we tried to get you in and we timed out. Unfortunately, but we'll do a follow up conversation with you. Okay, he is fascinating.
Me, one of the things I learned here is that after a fire sweep through, there's a relatively short period of time, about one year, maybe 18 months in order to, to receive the area with new trees. And if you miss that one year, then the the the brush and they the sort of succession plantings grow up instead. And then the character of the land changes for decades that it'll take a long time for the trees to regrow. And so there's, there's a short period of time to to get trees back onto the land that's been burned. There's, of course, a lot of clearance have to hadn't burned wood, and that has to happen. And then because of climate change, it's appropriate to reseed with species from a lower elevation, that they're more more tolerant of heat and drought than the trees that that were damaged and destroyed. And so there's a significant planning effort, which has to start immediately. In fact, I'm told that one has to start ordering the the saplings, that plant on the on the burned land before the land burns, otherwise, they won't be ready in time, which is a little bit of a conundrum that has to be solved. And certainly the the notion that we can have some predictions on a statistical basis of what's going to burn and, and what we need, so we can plan accordingly. And then the the, the data that we have in terms of terrain, and gradients and water and climate, certainly will help us to create and formulate those plans for receiving the landscape and recovering it as quickly as possible. So it's it's not a product roadmap in the short term. But it's definitely an opportunity for the long term. And then the the the period during a fire as an area that that we're not particularly focused on at the current moment, that's that's an area where there's extinct tools and systems that that exist. But it's certainly an area where the data we have as to the the trees and vegetation density and the fuel density and the propagation speeds and the climates and the likely winds could be used in real time to help formulate firefighting patterns. Our our thinking here is that if catastrophic fire is coming through and needs to be fought, we've already lost the battle. We need to get in front and make the forest resilient in a way that catastrophic fire doesn't come through. And if it's non catastrophic fire, there's some extent that needs to be left naturally to do its thing and help to clear out the the accumulation of dead fuels and what have you. But certainly, that that space of helping to manage the response to catastrophic fires would be something that we have a bunch of data and, and opportunity to tackle in the future.
Great. So this is imagination, action, I'm going to call an ester and then just go through in order, the pull to refresh order to have people ask questions. And again, this is imagination, action. And these are two people who are using their imagination, and and are putting in an action in a way that can really, you know, help the planet and thank you everyone for tuning in. Next week, we have Townes x, the Chief Medical Officer of Madonna, with Jane Metcalf, the founder of Wired Magazine, and won and rica's a futurist, who's a venture capital investor in life sciences, and David Kahn, who runs a bio lab at MIT. And we're going to be talking about where we are, and where we're heading regarding the vaccine. But tonight, we're talking about an ambitious tech to save the forest. And our imaginators are Alison Wolf, and her original picture was her with a wolf. And then she switched it. I think it was some big sequoias. And now you see a forest in her for photo that was Kelly stencils idea, and thanks for suggesting it. And we have Neil hunt, who you know, built the juggernaut, creating the tech and product leadership for Netflix to, you know, be a dominant player in the world. And he's on a similar mission to do what he thinks is so important he and Julie have I had a family meeting and said, You know, this is what they're gonna do, and they're doing a great job at it. So Esther Dyson, you've been the super majority of our shows. Do you have a question?
Well, I'm, you really put me on the spot because I had to go do something else. But I'm going to be in Lake County in two weeks. And if you haven't already answered this, what what should people do who live in a place like Lake County, which has suffered from many such fires over the years? You know, obviously, they should be prepared to evacuate, blah, blah, blah. But what advice would you give to residents of these places? Should they move out? Should they stay in, you know, get their city council's or their county commissioners to do something, presumably talked about how you can make an area less fire prone.
But what would you advise people who live there to actually do?
Yeah, like Lake County is, is a very high fire prone area. That is for sure. One thing we hope to help with in the future as land use planning. So I think, you know, we're asking this same question as a culture post hurricanes were, you know, are there places we should not rebuild? And I, you know, I think a lot of people are saying that that question of fire and Lake County, my hunch is probably a difficult place with regards to that conversation. But you know, in terms of what people should do, I mean, obviously the basics around defensible space. And you know, making sure you don't have a propane tank next to your house and the right roofing material. All of that stuff home hard Martini burning are super important.
Awesome, Wolf, I think you have an echo. Maybe there's another speaker or you're in Quadrophenia, like the who were, huh. I have not changed anything on my end. Is it still there? don't hear it. Okay, maybe my imagination,
your imagination and action. But you know, one thing Esther would be, we are not working with Lake County yet. And so if you know, some folks on the city council, the fire chief there, if there's a fire safe Council, which I'm sure there is up there. Some of those groups are, I'm sure thinking hard about wildfire resilience. And they should know about our tool. So we can help them with some with some risk mitigation and forest health planning around the area very, very quickly. So that I would say like, that's a very specific thing. You could do some outreach and just see how they're going about forest planning. And just like there just isn't a platform like ours, to date. So if they don't know about it, they should
start, let me turn the tables a little bit on you, you know, these guys are using Silicon Valley Tech to save the planet. You've seen it all in terms of technology for in how it can do good. And also, you know, create challenges. Do you have any advice for these folks that are trying to, you know, use technology in the gig economy to try to work with, you know, the forest management people, I'm gonna have to learn a lot more before I can offer any advice. And I meant more like at a really high level just on pitfalls of using technology to solve problems.
You know, they're sure, in the olden days, there was something called the value added reseller. And companies like Oracle and HP and IBM, they would say our stuffs really great. It does this amazing stuff. And it soon became clear that it did do amazing stuff. But people needed to be trained, you know that the head of procurement or somebody would buy the stuff, but then someone needed to train people to use it, to attach the old things to the new things to basically to add value so that it was usable by normal people. And never forget, you need to add value to the amazing technology to make it usable.
That's true, whether it's fire or all this health care stuff. People can have amazing apps, but nobody uses them.
Yeah, so true. Yeah. And it is, you know, we're up against a major behavior change challenge, where people have been doing things a certain way in a very manual paper based way and in often forest managers and firefighters really operate from their intuition. Yeah, the good thing we have going for us is universally coming into the space I heard across the board. People are realizing that that that doesn't work anymore. The old school paper based flow planning processes, the, you know, the intuition. You know, people died in the paradise fire trying to evacuate because they they called it wrong and the you know that we didn't have accurate data to feed evacuation plans and so it didn't work. So people are realizing the old ways aren't working anymore, but them actually adopting a new way of doing the planning process and some of these other things is going to be a challenge for sure. So we plan to be pretty hands on in terms of training, we've obviously made the experience as user friendly, as Neil and I are capable. But there we were, we've got to drive adoption. So that's very good advice. Well, great. I will, john, I'm going to come back and get your contact info. And thank you.
Yep. And all our shows. After the show, there's a page dedicated to them, where you can see the transcript of the show and see the audio and listen to the audio. And and if Alison Wolfman, Johann khamsum have a deck or have any other information, we can also make that available there too. I just want to remind people that Bill McDonough, who is a legend, he's the combination of the Lorax. And you know, Gandhi or something in the environment, he's been listening the whole show. So everyone should write down that, that today was the day you were in a room with Bill McDonough. I want to thank Bill for all that you do and and have done and will do and continue to inspire legions. Let's go to the next person. Aneesh, do you have a question?
Yeah. Hi. Can everyone hear you're great? You're the finish. Thanks, john, Alicia, Neil and, Alison. I'm returning from India basically. And I belong from a farmer's family. I started my career in taken almost like 2011. So I started to work on and now again, it came to like 2018 when I start to you know, a lot of problems within the environment, you can see like Japan floods. You see, like Amazon getting on fire. You say, even India, like parts of Somalia? No. Are there I don't they have a lot of firing parts. Any Penny we are actually saving if we even put into the forest No, is not even enough. The point I am trying to say is No. Are we are this is this generation would be the last generation to save ourselves? Or would there be another generation left for it, because when I see you know, either from coffins or creating papers, or creating nice, like any work, we require word, and all is coming from a tree. So every day, even from rural areas, people cut the trees and burn it to make their households for cooking something. So is this donation enough? Or how is this gonna be because I'm actually making miss our team is making Android applications where people can use MS DOS, small, simple apps No. Which are of less energy and whatever ads we generate, we'll actually use it to plant at least that's what our plan is going to be basically. You have to
let me unmute. There we go. Thank you. I think that that Tim, humanity has had dramatic impact on the climate on the forest in the past. And we've been able to step back from the break. Allison talked a lot about how, during the the golden silver rush era, most of the western states, certainly most of California, 97% of the forests were clear cut, to provide lumber for, for mining, for fuel for housing, what have you, and let that certainly trigger a lot of change. But we were able to pull back from the brink of that and save some of the forest not nearly as much as we would have liked to have saved but to to let the forests begin to recover. Now we need to dive in and and work much harder and we need to let them recover on not just the factor but also in a healthy fashion. And we understand much better we understand the forestry the science much better today than we did 100 years ago and we're now in a place to be able to do that. And we're blessed today that we we have the the financial resources To begin to tackle the problem, although we may not be spending them enough or wisely, but we it's a solvable problem, it's something we can tackle. Now you asked about, I think a bunch of other regions of the planet where there are other serious problems of deforestation and burning and, and what have you as well. I think the, the likely outcome is that, as a species, we, we do a lot of damage, but we're uniquely able to step back from the edge and, and recover and build things back and put things together again. And so I remain optimistic that it's not the last generation, I think we're your words. It's it's a, it's the first generation, the first generation in the current environment that recognizes that we have a, an opportunity and a responsibility and a capability to do something about it. And it may be that it takes several generations to, to to have the impact that we need to have. But I do see that that being in our future. You know, certainly you've got civilizations, like the widely reported Pacific islands where somebody cut the last tree, and they never came back. I think that's unusual. And I think that the 10, we have the ability to interact and do better. And, you know, it's our mission, that fiber planet to provide the tools and the incentives and the means and the mechanisms to tackle that problem in our particular domain, and potentially, to expand that in the future. Certainly, the rain forest is an attractive target for us to begin to deploy some of this, these ideas and this technology to help to reverse and recover. And other parts of the world to, I think would be on our radar in the long term.
So you guys, this is imagination action is where people go to celebrate their 85th birthday. I also see that my dad's in the room, he doesn't know how to do a photo for his image, so he doesn't have one. Thanks, dad for coming. And I before the end, I'd love for you guys to define a carbon sink. And when why that's so powerful and how that should go mainstream. But I want to ask Alison Sanders, do you have a follow up question to what was just asked. And then after that, I plan to have a few people just share short questions, wanted to do a few at a time. And we'll have Allison Wolf and Neil hunt, just write them down. And then you guys can kind of, you know, answer them collectively. So Alison Sanders, my favorite futurist, they know billion dollar companies depend on you, BCG for your day job. But you have tons of fun, hoping to celebrate imagination action. And that's what our two imaginators do. Setting land speed records at it. What do you got?
So Neil and Allison, it's it's so exciting as you're laying out this vision to understand more about what it means to really bring digitalization and technology and some of the capabilities that Allison you said before go into selling ad space, but to bring those capabilities into the most urgent problems on the planet. I'm just curious, as you think about it, what other types of problems do you see that could benefit from an approach like this? I mean, do you see sort of Infinite Opportunities like coral reefs, restoring waters, etc? Or do you feel like you've really developed a platform that's
very specific here, and that there are some areas that would be much harder to help? Yeah, and we, we are very much doing a platform play here and building out some of the core capabilities that Neil talked about, you know, with AI and machine learning and cloud compute, and really high quality data. And so everything that we're learning and building out the core capabilities for the four ecosystems and risk mitigation, not just for ecosystems, but also also humans and communities can be applied to many many other issues. So, you know, different forest types, as Neil mentioned, we are starting to look at applying some of this technology in a in a part of Brazil. So we can start to take on a very different kind of forest context, you know, with different kind of social, political and ecological drivers happening there, we can get into adjacent issues with the wildfire problem around land use planning, like I mentioned before, grid resilience, you know, really thinking holistically about the grid of the future and how it intersects with the wildfire challenges that we see today risks to infrastructure, and then also community empowerment and building building, you know, local micro grids that have a biomass component. But when that gets out of control, like Europe did, I think we know a lot from history on what we can apply today. And then our platform can really support the decision making and the understanding, again, of what's working and what's not working using technologies like machine learning and AI. So yeah, we've dreamed about, you know, could we could we help on oceans, we're actually in the middle of a collaboration with the, with the Paul G. Allen Foundation, and volken, who are the people that built the coral Atlas, which, which is a data set that is helping to drive decision making around, you know, where we can create up well, you know, place upwelling machines to babes, hot coral and cool water and do strategic coral planting, we could build a really kick ass decision support tool to pair with the data that they built a couple of years ago, for example. So yeah, we have grand ambitions to take a lot on. And we think that there's a lot to leverage in the core platform, we're building for all kinds of connected issues on the planet.
I would just add that, you know, the kelp forests are another area that has huge climate impact that's relatively unseen. It doesn't have the visible downside of forest fires, polluting our atmosphere, but it's equally important. And that's something that I think would be long term interesting. I have to say that one of the things I've learned in my career and technology, focus is really important. And so while there's lots of exciting and valuable opportunities out there, right, I'm very motivated to, to fix one specific problem first and well. And then to begin to branch out from there afterwards, but to make sure that we get one thing, right, rather than tackle 10 things and great makes total sense.
Great. So I want to get a few more audience members. So I'm going to get four questions. Let's start with canol. And, you know, please make these relatively brief, just because I want to get a few in this is such an important topic. And we have some great people in the audience. And can all I know you always have a thoughtful question, what do you got?
Well, actually, more than a question, is it okay if I share something that Neil just ripped on, which is important? Around the kelp, john? Sure. Sure. Sure. So one of my dear friends is actually the director for my octopus teacher. And in South Africa, actually, the kelp forest is the unsung version of the Ivory Coast. And, Neil, what you just shared was so important. And I would love you know, and I guess this is more an offer, as well as the question. I'd love to team up with you and Alison, as well as john, of course, to see how we can help the future. So if someone like me, wanting to help you guys who are already so well connected, and you know, situated, what could I do beyond just inviting you to my next flagship summit? to help make the impossible possible? And do what the amazing work you and Alison are doing in the world? You want to you want to tackle that one?
Yeah, um, well, you know, we're going to be growing our team. So we brought this up before, you know, we're gonna need significant talent across the board from, you know, machine learning and AI experts, ai experts and other engineering expertise to, you know, all kinds of support systems for the people using our product to incredible storytelling, because, like we talked about earlier, we've got this really massive cultural shift that we have to take on. And so that's where I've been very involved in the documentary film industry. And I'm a big fan of the role documentaries played. I love that film. And I think there's some really incredible storytelling to do to help people imagine you know, we We need to really think in 500 year terms we've we've become so add in our society, but you know, talking to land managers, you know, around California and their their 500 year view of what they want their forest to look like, we all have to have that kind of vision for the planet, we want to live on this point. And I think as we all envision it, and storytelling is such a crucial part for people to embrace, embrace what it looks like and help get on board with it. You know, until until we get there the policy change the decision making all of that other stuff isn't going to happen, or it certainly certainly not going to happen fast enough. So that that's what I would say.
Just jump in support. Yeah, go ahead. When you think of the, the, you know, john, you're in the in the founding of the national forests, you know, they were really thinking under years ahead. And we definitely need more of that. So before we hear from Allison and Neil, young, sharing their closing thoughts, and before we hear from Alison Sanders, kind of summing up, I want to get four questions and just go around and please, you know, ask a short question. So, Todd, do you have a question? I do. And I want to thank you nice for switching up your your headshot into a picture of a forest or something as a way to show solidarity on this issue. So Todd, do you have a question? And Mohan, we'll get to you.
Thank you, john, Allison wolf mentioned previously ensures vacating California. And as we think about the the wine industry and all the all of the implications for the economy. I'm wondering if there are other significant examples. Certainly, the vineyards have been in the news lately, this year's risk. I'm wondering if there are other significant examples
around the world where whole industries could be lost this year? And if those headlines are present today.
Great. So Neil, and Allison, just write that question down. Sarah, do you have a question? And if not, I'm just
gonna say hi, sorry. I am from Canada. And my language actually is French. But I tried to be clean. Actually, I got in your room, because I thought it's like global reach reason for what you're suffering everywhere. But I enjoyed a lot. I was listening all the time. And my question was that how we can solve the problem that it becomes from old planet, that climate changing changing is not just a specific from the part of the country that you talk. So the problem comes from whole over International, how you're going to solve this problem nationally, for example, just United States think about solving the problem there. It this problem comes from everywhere. You know,
Sarah, great, great point. And I know that that Neil and Allison are thinking about the American West, but it has applications to Europe and, and South America and Australia. And they could touch on that when they address your question. Sam Perry, do you have a question? You're always so thoughtful. I would just double down on what Todd said. It seems like the reinsurance industry also ought to be deeply concerned, internationally, as well as what's going on. And I appreciate Allison for going on and with additional projects that are have huge consequences in terms of carbon sequestration. And also Neil's point that we need to keep focused. So but I would love to go more deeply why this isn't urgent, panic, activity level by the insurance industry basically. Great. Well put, Todd number two like thing one thing to Todd number two, do you have a question?
I was just going to echo what Kunal said and also mentioned that I want to get this recording to one of the original SimCity team as soon as it's available, because they've been working on something similar or related. So and thank you for this amazing session.
Yep. Todd, are you in Japan right now? Yep. And it actually Japan,
there's a tradition of forest management that goes back for 1000s of years. That's Satoyama. That's also very interesting. On the cultural side.
Yep. Todd, thanks for sharing in the show will be posted immediately. And in terms of Sim City, I know we I have been talking to Ben Gordon, about what Neil and Alison are up to and being helped create the Sims. He created Electronic Arts and Madden and I want to get him involved. So Thanks for bringing that up.
Well, john, on that point, I can't tell you as I talked to about 100 people as I got into the space to understand what was happening and what the solutions were how many times people said, We need a Sim City for forest restoration, so people can see the future impacts of treatments we do today.
Bill right on on clubhouse a couple of months ago, talking about those kinds of things.
Cool. Great. So qurum, do you have a question?
I already came in. I had a couple of questions on So yeah, I did, I suppose. Thank you.
Thank you for asking those questions. Andrew, do you have a question? I do. This has been great. Thank you, everyone really enjoyed this fight a little cold here. But um, my big thing was the incentives. We've talked a lot about some of the incentives, insurance and things like that, but especially internationally, and with some of the big endowments and foundations would love to go a little bit deeper on obviously, the Chan Zuckerberg, and a lot of the other families that are focused on this issue. That's one, the second one that I just bring up really quickly is in the startup area in the early stage area, there was about $44 million last year that went into early stage startups for force monitoring. And specifically, the the investment in nature area, Barclays predicted is about $3.6 trillion of an opportunity. So as we look ahead towards some of the patch, mas, savera, and, and cx and things like that they're doing remote sensing, and data analytics and things for carbon offsets, and forestry, would love to learn a little bit more about the technologies, both LIDAR that we talked about, and you know, drones and things like that, as well as the AI that might be able to be used for this in the US, but then that also International. So thank you, everyone, really great. Thanks, Andrew. Stan, do you have a question? Then? We go to Mohan.
great panel today. Really appreciate it. JOHN.
Do you have a question? Yeah. on vibrate planet. I'm wondering, is there possible to show the the the information that you were the technology that you're taught that you were talking about today so that people can see what you're actually developing? so that others don't try to duplicate it? Because it looks more consulting based? Yeah, we'll have we'll have. Allison, you can address that. Let's just go through Mohan. Do you have a question? Yeah,
I just came back after spending six months in Singapore. And we were totally blown away by all the visionary kind of things that they do with respect to not just for us, but also the water, sea level and such. And they work closely with National Nurses of Singapore, which is where I spent six months, doing all sorts of, you know, measurements and such on tree tops and so on. So my question is, I know that it's a small country, 5.7 million population. Have you guys looked at it? And which other country do you think is doing things? Right? If you're not focused on little countries, but big countries? Are we also being jerked around by the change of administration, that kind of political concerns in this country compared to, you know, Singapore, like country where the population is very much in sync with the government and one party has been ruling forever, and so on?
Thank you. A great question. And then Alison, and Neal Mohan was, like the highest ranking scientist that IBM has since retired, you should recruit him to be part of your team. He's brilliant. And this is the kind of talent that you guys are going to need to go to the next level. So Mohan, I'm going to suggest you definitely follow up here. Thanks for joining. Josh, do you have a question? Yeah. Thanks, john.
My name is Josh Margolis. I'm supporting emergent forests finance accelerator, which is coordinating efforts at the leaf coalition, which thankfully has as a coalition member, BCG. So my question for Alison is when you think of why BCG ended up supporting the league coalition, which is a billion dollar initiative to put the work quarter the efforts at Amazon GSK, Airbnb, McKinsey and Salesforce, BCG and others to implement steps that will reverse deforestation. Can you reflect on the top two or three reasons why BCG signed on to this initiative and whether you think it's a sign of things to come?
Free, Josh, we're down to two last questions, and then we'll see how our imaginators do trying to You know, address all these? You guys aren't going to be graded. You don't have to answer everyone. You can spend more time on some of them. But I want you to see the range of people that are coming here. And they're going to spread the news about Vibram planted if they hadn't heard it before. So thank you, everyone for being in this room. Dan. And then Jessica. Well, I haven't heard enough of the conversation to have a good question. So I'll just I'll just pass I guess. Okay, I'm gonna, my dad, I see, has raised his hand. So I will yield your time to my dad when he gets on stage. Jessica, do you have a question?
Yeah, thanks. I actually missed the main conversation. I've come in at question time. I'm very curious to learn more. But I wanted to know if you've heard about or if you're working with restore dot Ico from the crash lab. Thanks.
Great. And I've invited my dad up. But he doesn't seem to be accepting even though we raised his hand. So Alison, and Neil, have fun. You had a bunch of questions, some overlap. I think all really good questions. Oh, actually here. The one last question. Yeah. JOHN Warner senior.
Yes. All right. Thanks. This was fascinating. I did miss a little bit of you know, in the northeast, we've got a lot of rain and enormous amount of water. So that hasn't been such an issue here.
But invasives are sort of everywhere. And I know that's a serious problem in the West. And we've got enormous stands. Maybe this has been discussed, but enormous stands of trees that have have died because of invasives. And I don't know what the future of that might be. But, but but is it something that you're focusing on as well? Could your modeling address that? Excellent question, dad. Thanks for jumping on stage. All right. Allison Wolf, and Neil hunt. How do you want to take on some of these topics?
that a lot of them are probably and best and Allison's? Maybe I'll maybe I'll take a stab on a couple of them. We had a question about areas where there's whole industries at stake and about reinsurance. I think those are interesting. I want to answer a slightly different question. This whole industry is to create, particularly around biofuels, cogeneration biochar. And these are industries that will help to fund the work that we need to do. And so I think that it's pretty exciting to think about, how do we bring those together and create them and connect, they build a marketplace to make that real. On the insurance side, when you have a changing actuarial situation, you know, as a responsible insurance company, thing, one you do as you as you pull out and collect more data. And I think that we're in a place to be able to collect the data that helps to drive intelligent actuarial decisions, which, of course, is the key to ensure us being able to insure but also to the insurance ability, again, no one creates the rest that causes the hazard, then they can take steps to mitigate that they can they can prioritize funding, the kinds of interventions that will help to reduce the risk that makes it attractive to be insured again in the first place. So I think those are those are pretty key things. We had some questions on incentives. And I think that the you know, whole piece of the model of what we're trying to do here is to be able to figure out the benefits and the and use that to drive incentives towards the people who ought to be funding the work. That is probably a topic of its own. Maybe some months or years down the road when we've gotten further down that path, but I think it's a it's a pretty important thing. We had some questions about international and different regions. And I think Allison mentioned a bunch of earlier that the temperate forest is is widely spread across the planet. Whether it's around the Mediterranean, further north in Europe, whether it's in the southern hemisphere and Australia, New Zealand there's there's there's definitely a lot of areas where the technology we're building can be immediately relevant. And then I think the opportunity to adapt what we're building to different kinds of forest when that's Eastern hardwood forest or whether it's, it's wet rain forests, hot rain forests, that there's there's lots of different areas that that we have a lot Have enthusiasm to pursue in the long term. I'm gonna I'm gonna stop there. I've that I've cruised through the easy ones. I'm gonna leave a house on the hard job.
Thanks, Neil. Um, yeah. So just to build on a couple of the ones that Neil touched on, and forgetting who brought up the one around CCI and some of the families and sort of the was around incentives that Andrew we do know, Pachamama and Sylvia, Terra. And some of the other tech players that are that are mostly focused on a lot of companies are buying into tree planting. So that's some of the trillion tree projects that I mentioned before. Super crucial. There's a role for it in, you know, especially post fire like Neil talked about earlier in these ecosystems. And we think that there's a way to open up markets and dry forests for tree planting as well. You know, I think that that's a very easy thing to buy into, especially as we see the trend around netzero with companies and countries and cities. Supporting forest, a forestation is, is sort of a no brainer. One of the problems in the space, though, which is why we are being pulled into it by one of our funders is that some of the data techniques are sort of questionable. And so they are liking two things about our approach our tree level data that's going to be some of the best class in the world with some of the scientists that we're collaborating with. And then number two, just building user friendly decision support tools that are actually making concrete change happen on the ground versus going into especially tropical markets and monetizing forests. really thinking hard about additionality, when it comes to forest is really crucial in that space. And there's been a lot of questionable practices. With in with that trending so quickly, a lot of us are very concerned about it. And we intend to come in and really, really help shore some of the challenges up mostly from a data perspective on on Crowther labs quickly, Jessica, I do know Thomas Crowther quite well. It's time for us to actually circle up again, we've talked about a lot of different collaborations. He's interested in doing some work with us in California, and, and there may be some other new opportunities that have opened up for us to work together. So I'm very familiar with him and his work.
In terms of the invasives Mr. Werner, we we a lot of the so our platform empowers botanists, as part of the decision process. Of course, the Forest Service, every forest has folks that focus on invasives they're really big problem, like you said, across every ecology. Some of them for example, when when we do actually get fire back on landscapes, things like like scotch broom, if you if you set fire to them once they spread like crazy, like the Tahoe National Forest went from 15% to 85% coverage of scotch broom, and it's a really bad invasive, because they did a prescribed burn and it just burst. And so again, like just having data, and case studies and models to understand how treatments impact different types of Forest Landscapes is super crucial for making good decisions, including around invasive, so it's definitely a big part of of what our platform enables, um, in terms of, you know, solving global climate change we are we are focused on on temperate forests now as, as Neil mentioned. And, sir, I think this was your question. We're starting work in Brazil, which could apply to tropical forest landscapes. So we hope to really be a platform supporting global forests in the communities that depend on them, which of course we all do, relatively quickly, because like we talked about the technology that we're building out is highly scalable, highly leverageable for different problems and also with different connected problems. Again, land use planning, land ownership problems, especially in the developing world. It's all one big giant hairball. And so we really hope that our platform can help solve a lot of overlapping problems in the world when it comes to humans and, and ecosystems. And, and, you know, you know, there's just this huge piece of unlocking private markets to put funding into restorative and regenerative action. So I think I think the world in the last few years is starting to realize that we have to move to restoration and ultimately, regeneration. Paul Hawken is someone I've worked with in the past his new book regeneration is, which came after drawdown is a really great read about The movement towards regeneration. But we really believe that that people are ready for it. We just need direction on what decisions to make and how to monetize and how to incentivize towards it. And I think hopefully that will that will start to be a set of dominoes that falls. I think what we didn't get to, we talked about Sim City. Anything I'm missing, john? Oh, see the other end? So yeah, I was asking about Singapore and whether you look.
Yeah. And you're gonna recruit Mohan to like, help? Yes. Definitely.
Yeah, we have not looked at Singapore. Specifically, I'd be really interested to hear more about that. Actually, when we connect offline, we are trying to scan the world, we talk to people from all over the world, every week to understand what's out there. And we're we're very focused on not building redundant data or systems, and very much are trying to be an open modular platform so that we can plug in best in class data best in class models for vegetation growth, fire, climate change, hydration, all of these different scientific practices. So we're always trying to learn who's doing what and how we can collaborate. So we'd love to, we'd love to learn more about that.
Mohan, if you could email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, I want to make sure we don't miss you. Alright, so in closing, Allison and Neil, can you just say, you know, what's top of mind to say a closing thing. And then Allison Sanders is going to kind of sum up, she's a little, she's legendary, for how well she kind of weave things together at the end of the show. And then Cory will, will play us out. And I think we've had over 2000 people in the room, I see that Bill McDonough has been here the whole time. You know, that makes me feel really good. Oh, my gosh, in the flesh? Bill, do you want to say anything? Have you learned anything new or any advice to these, these guys who are trying to be like you,
I'm, I'm sorry that I didn't want to interrupt anything. I'm so amazing. Buddy, the thing that strikes me in this to so many other than what we do about and it's direct, and what I'm seeing out there in the world is so many interactions, like the idea of offsets. I think we have this mental model that I call the fallacy of the offset. Because people are saying, oh, planting trees, and then we forget the trees who already have that could use some help here. And Bill, yes, we see the same energy. where, you know, I work with companies will say, you know, we're doing offsets for carbon, and then you realize, if they say there, then and that's not zero, it's ridiculous. Because that would then mean, you could double the renewables and double the carbon and still be neutral, then the atmosphere just saw twice the carbon, just to see the renewables. So we go to plant a trillion trees. And think of it it's, it's kind of odd, really, because it's sort of like the economy, when we look at the GDP is now a 10th. of the size of the financial markets. This is a phenomenon. That means that 90% of the world's economy, actually derivative. So if we start using that mental model, and bring it to these kinds of issues is is let's go after our existing ecosystems and healed them as fast as possible. And if we want to talk about planting trees, let's talk about rebuilding ecosystems and mangroves and that kind of thing rather than some value based qualification. Let's talk about value of spaced qualification.
Exactly, Bill so well put. I'm curious, are you are you by any chance outside hiking? I'm, it sounds like you You may be beautiful standing. I'm standing under.
Hey, I just I just want everyone to know Hi, Bill. I got the opportunity to work with Bill, gosh, when was that Bill back in 2000? Maybe when if you have not read Cradle to Cradle, you should read it. And Bill has published much more since then. But bill is one of the people in my life that completely changed how I see the world and is a huge influence on what we're doing for all the reasons he just explained and what I was saying earlier about net zero and what we're concerned about. So I couldn't agree more. And it's such a pleasure to hear your voice in this conversation, Bill.
It's pleasure to be here. Alison or Neil? Do you have a question for Bill? Or do you want to? For Alison or Neil, do you want to take this opportunity to like engage bill about something or dialogue or build off
what Bill You are the master at helping people reframe or how they how to see things in new ways. But you're actually the reality of things. You know, we were talking in this conversation about the need for people to have more of a 500 year view, and to think about regeneration and restoration versus extraction. And, um, you know, the, the the tree planting versus taking care of what we have, you know, it's sort of like going to Mars instead of staying on the planet. Remember, I'll always remember your statement of NASA needs to do a mission to Earth, right? Like, how do we how do we bring that to this topic of keeping these ecosystems intact, and improving them and bringing them back to what they used to be?
Sorry, you guys just got cut off here. Can you hear me? Yeah. Oh, good. I missed the last part of your statement.
I'm just wondering how we how we change the frame on the on these topics, really understanding and honoring the landscapes we have and restoring them back to health.
Right? Well, one thing that I see too here is that I think our language again, needs to change. I think when we talk about carbon, you know, we shouldn't talk about carbon as the enemy. Because if we are carpet, and so I think we should talk about living carbon, which is what we've just been discussing. And then we should talk about durable carbon, which is intergenerational, and it could be a wood beam in a building for 1000 years. And it could be plastic that's actually getting recycled, or it could be you know, a lifestyle. So but the idea that we would have living and durable and celebrate that, and then we have to stop fugitive carbon, we have to stop going fugitive. So we have fugitive atmospheric carbon, which is a toxin, carbon, plastics in the ocean. So just stop with the fugitive thing. The other thing is, I think we should change the words, because I was just asked by the energy minister of Saudi Arabia. And he said, Well, tell me, what do you see in the world of hydrocarbons? As we try and maintain economies based on petrochemicals and, and oil? How do we do this? And tell us what language you should use? I said, Well, first of all, you stop saying the word fossil fuels. Watch Dr. Strangelove, and pull down your arm when you start to say, to stop saying, because that means we intend to burn. We can't burn. So stop. So don't use those words. And when you get to the hydrocarbons, don't say we have petroleum resources, or hydrocarbon resources. We should all stop and say these are sources, not resources. Let us save the words, the word resource for something we're using for the second time. So it becomes clear. These are not resources, their sources. And let's preserve the sources and actually use resources. And then finally, in 2050, would imagine that people say, Oh, the Saudi Arabia of hydrogen. So start with the words.
Hey, Bill, I'm curious. You you were listening to what Allison and Neil shared any, any aha has anything you learned that you didn't know before? Any any feedback you want to give them? I don't know how familiar you are with what they're doing.
not familiar enough, I love listening to it. And being being part of that my grandfather talk about orange stories of origin stories. My grandfather was a lumberjack in the Olympic forests. So I have a lot of big tree karma to work off. And so I missed the big trees.
But I learned Allison and Neil, you should weave that into your history, like name some initiative after his grandfather. Neil, do you have a question for Bill?
I had a I love servation here, which is you, you kind of set this up talking about creating the mass and then offsetting it. And that being a bad idea. And john, Oh, I didn't say it's a bad idea. Well, it's creating the mess in the first place is the bad idea of reoffending. It is mitigation. But it's not really addressing the problem, I guess. Right. Right. Right. And john, you you, you asked us to define a carbon sink. And and I think that's the kind of missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, it's taking that fugitive carbon, and capturing it and making it making it long term, intergenerational carbon. And you know, there are a variety of carbon sinks. But it turns out that that temperate forests, in particular are quite effective carbon sinks that they they sequester the carbon for the lifetime of the tree, which can be hundreds or 1000s of years, much of the carbon, most of it, in fact, is sequestered underground. And even when the tree passes on, much of that carbon stays on the ground for many more decades or hundreds of years. And so a forest system is a natural carbon harvesting engine to capture fugitive carbon and suck it back into a locked up state. Where it does less damage. It's not forever, nothing is forever. But that's certainly for the long term, which is which is a great thing. Now we have a lot of interest in the world and other kinds of carbon sinks, whether it's injecting carbon into depleted oil fields to the store the gas on the ground, or whether it's turning it back into limestone, and in Iceland, or variety of other things. But in fact, trees turn out to be one of the most efficient carbons, respiration machines, they don't require a lot of energy in order to do it. And a relatively permanent and safe as long as you have a healthy forest that's not subject to catastrophic fire that releases at all again. And so that's this, this whole picture resonates with me rather well. And seeking to restore forests to their state of being carbon sinks, is kind of the goal. And I hope the a little bit of the answer to what you were questioning well.
Great, well, this is imagination, action. we're winding down. Within minutes of closing this room, the audio and the transcript will be available. So for those of you in Canada and Japan and Singapore and India, they're called in tonight, you can share with your networks. There's some real powerful stuff. I see over 2000 people have been in the room tonight. A lot of people, you know, ask questions. Next week, I mentioned we're going to have the Chief Medical Officer of Madonna. The week after that we're going to be doing a show on restoring ourselves breaking out of sexism and racism in Hollywood, to female actresses and directors of movies are going to share what some of their mind. And then August 3, we're going to have disrupting aging, how cultivating how to cultivate and harvest your wisdom. Chip Connelly who for 12 years was the chief strategist for Airbnb with a gerontologist Barbara Waxman, and then jumping ahead a few weeks on September 7. Mark Bittman animal vegetable junk and, you know, actually some of what we are talking about overlaps I think with with what he's going to be talking about in terms of sustainability and, you know, ensuring our species thrives and, and survives and reaches our full potential. So in closing, let's have Allison go first, the CEO of vibrant planet, the right person at the right time to lead this initiative. Let's have Neil then say a few things in closing, the Chief Product officer and and a founding board member and an amazing major donor of this effort and someone who's committed him and his wife's time and resources to jumpstart this important initiative. And then our Allison will come up. And Corey will play us out.
Well, first of all, john, thank you so much for putting this on and, and for all of the guests and moderators for helping us have a productive conversation. For Gosh, almost three hours now. And thanks for everybody, for coming and for your interest in questions. You know, we're, we're at this point where we cannot get this technology built fast enough. So you are all important and influential people with great ideas. And so you know, we Neil and I just welcome any input on you know, folks, people that should come work with us. If you want to come work with us, please let us know. partner up Mohan, you know, ideas like you should look at this technology in Singapore. We are all ears right now. Because we're getting fast. We're building fast. And we honestly can't get this out fast enough. So we're you know, I just invite everybody to please reach out I'm we're both first name. So Allison a Ll is o n at vibrant planet dotnet. And Neil is an Ei l at vibrant planet dotnet. We welcome input, further questions and any help you want to give us from financial to folks, we need to employ two ideas.
And Mohan, Mohan was the highest ranking scientist in India, for IBM, if someone wants to beat him, in terms of getting in front of Alison and Neil, to get involved, go for it, but we'll definitely connect Mohan Mohan with you, Neil, any closing thoughts?
Sure. Yeah. Once again, john, thank you for putting this on. You've you've been passionate about this. Since you heard about our our topic a few weeks ago, and you've been driving us forward to all of our benefit. That's, that's great. Yeah. I'm super excited about what we're up to. Yeah, yes, recruiting is, is a big deal for us. At this point, we we raised a bunch of money. Some from Julie myself, of course, but we've closed around recently, which is exciting. So now it's now it's focused on hiring and building and making this stuff real. Mohan love to talk. I have to say you won't be first there's one other member of the audience who I'm speaking to, immediately after this thing is finished. So Marcel, okay. Thanks for listening through all this. Hopefully, it's been good background and context. I'm looking forward to chatting with you in a moment and anyone else who would love to help or participate? rally the chat? No.
And what I would say is, this is a big idea. And I emailed it to the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, for the US. And he immediately got back to me and sent it to his people. So if there are people on the show that know people who could be part of the equation, to build this powerful coalition, in or share what these guys are up to go to the vibrant planet website, you can get, you know, language and the URL to kind of share, but let's let's build a coalition to help the planet. So in closing, Alison Sanders, love to hear you know, your thoughts. And I also want to say that I invited a lot of people on stage right at the beginning, and I didn't vet them. And we had some, you know, people who are sort of trolls, and I apologize for that. It was like five or six. But, you know, it showed there's a lot of interest in this topic. And I think it's a real credit to what you guys are.
Hey, just chime in and say, Alison, Neal, if you're looking to hire I run a platform called climate bass. We're the largest climate and sustainability focused job employment platform in the world. And it would be my honor to help your team attract top
mission driven down. Okay, so if everyone has a mic, you should applaud this guy because and, Evan, that is awesome. And Kevin, if you can email if you could email, Alison and Neil right now, just so we know that you're not doing this just to show off and really follow through while I'm shooting And to follow through. No, I'm joking. Hey, yeah, really
quickly, I just wanted to say too, we are in the process of a pretty major website update, we've been kind of in stealth mode. And so there was a question earlier about that we we, we are slowly, slowly rolling our first application out. And so if you're interested in seeing it, we can set up a zoom session to take you through the actual technology that that we've launched with. But right now, the website doesn't say a whole lot about it, but you definitely can contact us through that as well. And once
again, profit. Yeah, out someone you answer that question. I think he wants to know the website.
Yeah, so the websites vibrant planet dotnet. But there, there will be a bunch of updates coming in the next four to six weeks there. But feel free to reach out to us through there. Do you have anything that john if it's okay to just mention quickly? We are a hybrid structure? We got some help. I was
about to say that myself. Yeah. If you could explain that. Yeah, people want to make money, they could write you a check. And if people want to do philanthropic stuff and write a tax deductible check, they can do that. So if you can clarify those two options, that would be great.
That's exactly right. We've had two thought leaders from Omidyar network, which is the eBay founder pyramid yars, hybrid venture capital and philanthropic entity. So their general counsel is our general counsel. And one of our board members, is Tae Kim, who was there for 15 years and oversaw over a billion dollars of investments. So they helped us set up a hybrid, they also helped when they were out of midair, a lot of nonprofits are mission driven companies set up hybrid organization so that just like the on the funder side, they wanted to have multiple levers to to achieve their mission, they have helped us set up our entity to do the same. So we have a nonprofit that's existed for about two years, Neal funded that as well. It is a Data Commons. And so we are cataloging the universe of best in class data. To make it much more easy. I talked earlier in the conversation about how it can take years to wrangle data to do any kind of modeling or planning work. And so we're basically taking publicly available data, making it much easier to grab and go for the scientific and agency community. And then as we build some of these high resolution data sets that we talked about down to the tree level for forest, carbon and forest fuels and things like that, we are transferring those from the public benefit Corp into the Data Commons, and making those downloadable for free to the scientific and agency community. So it's a very, very important data set for all things resilience, we will soon have the best carbon data for all of the United States, Brazil, Gabon, and Colombia. And so all of that will be accessible through the data comments, and really help push forward the the carbon, the forest carbon understanding and in science, and then we have the public benefit Corp side, which is a triple bottom line type of entity. There's it's a legal structure in 36 states. And so we're beholden not just to shareholders, but also to environmental and social impact. And so they operate together, we have separate governance, but they're they share the same mission around facilitating and getting the restorative and regenerative economy moving. So that's where we're building a lot of a lot of the data out that gets transferred to the Commons is where we're building out some of the core platform capabilities around AI and ml, and visualization and animation and things like that. And then we're building out a family of applications, the first of which we just launched for land management. But we'll be taking on some of these other connected issues. And then we have a services arm that keeps our product team really close to the to the problems on the ground so that we can continue to innovate the user experience to make sure that it's solving problems that need to be solved. So yeah, so like, like john said, we can take investments into the public benefit Corp, and we do think we're on to the next big thing here.
if you have a gas car and you feel like you have too many cars, sell it and give them the proceeds. Yes, exactly. And then nonprofit, we we take grant funding. So thanks, john. Great Alison Sander, all you
Wow. Okay. Well, first of all, what an incredibly powerful and inspirational evening Thank you so much. Alison Wolf and Neil hunt kicked off our 21st imagination and action show with a powerful vision to address catastrophic wildfires by galvanizing people dollars policy and technology Korea company does with peppery accordion and some Brazilian In terms, Neil described his love of skiing and the outdoors and realizing after 20 years at Netflix that powerful technologies like AI and the cloud, were not being applied to our biggest problems. Alison comes from Colorado has worked at more than a dozen of the most significant technology companies on the planet, met Neil at Netflix, and describe the perfect storm that creates what Neil calls the Moore's Law of fire, with a doubling of acres being burned every two years. The contributing factors Allison pointed to include over planting we have too many trees per acre, fire suppression efforts that create the risk of much larger fires, dry Tinder conditions with 30% less precipitation under climate change, extreme winds that we've never seen before, like Santa Ana, and weather events, and then insects and diseases from that we can trees. And we add to that a siloed approach where dollars spent are focused on defending against small fires and and very little coordinated planning happens. We also apparently don't have enough firefighters, I think they've been using prisoners. And we don't have enough humans trained to help. So we're all basically watching wire wildfires increasing in frequency, intensity and destructiveness. Both Neil and Alison documented in a very powerful weigh the costs of our current wildfire catastrophe, which includes 10 million acres burned in California last summer from 59,000 fires, climate risk, just those 2020 Cal California fires released 100 million tons of co2. human health impacts Neil describes smoke inhalation during burning, that's comparable to health impacts from COVID with 40% increase in ER visits from the smoke in California. And that gets married to the financial costs that Alison detailed as $4 trillion in lost impact, just in California from 2020 fires, including 10 billion in insurance losses, 65 billion in human health and many other costs. And what I didn't realize before tonight, which was also very powerful is the forest anchor many other systems so the impacts from these fires include systemic impacts, like 75% of the water in western US originates in forests. So much is at stake. And given the urgency of the wildfire problem. Neil and Allison described a huge gap in data and technology and a very critical need to shift from what is currently our paper base balkanize siloed slow planning cycles to a much more holistic, database adaptive and technology fueled model, we learned from Allison that our instincts may not always be helpful here, and we need to embrace what she calls the two brain twists. First of all, fire plays a crucial role on the planet. And fire suppression may be part of the problem. And second, we may have to cut trees to save trees. So given the urgent nature of mega fires, Neil and Alison and vibrant planet described this very amazing and, and incredible new model that they built through vibrant planet that applies science and global technology to the wildfire crisis, with quite a few components. And I'm not sure I captured all of these, but just to name a few that they listed, creating a collaborative and holistic vision for adaptive forest management across multiple agencies. And I think there's more than 5000 of those agencies, creating a marketplace to build the restoration economy. And Neil talked about some real market opportunities in this developing some of the best tree data from very diverse sources, building user friendly decision support that can adapt combining Data Commons in a nonprofit with a public benefit Corp, creating a giant TaskRabbit where labor could be trained to intervene, and leveraging the latest technologies to bring the power of the cloud and AI to improve data science user experience, collaboration and insight. Neil said that while he likes to focus that there are numerous Earth problems, which could benefit from such a technology based approach, and he named coral reefs, kelp forests and help on oceans. This evening included and I thought most fascinating at the end, very powerful messages from Neil and Alan and Bill McDonough about how we need to really reframe our mindsets to think about the future. Allison urged us to planned for 500 years ahead, not five years but 500. And to move from
a focus, focus on extraction to a focus on restoration and regeneration. Bill McDonough told us our language needs to change to living carbon and durable carbon and avoiding fugitive carbon like plastics and ocean. We need to save the world read the word resource for something we used multiple times, so that we can basically use sources and preserve resources in 2050. He said imagine the Saudi Arabia of hydrogen, the lumberjack in the in the big tree forest. And Neil pointed out the carbon sinks are about capturing fugitive carbon and sequestering it. Forests are a very powerful carbon system, and healthy forests are probably the most powerful part of the answer. So as we wrapped up, Allison said that a vibrant planet is at a point where they cannot get the technology built fast enough. If you want to help or contribute to this amazing venture, she listed the website as vibrant planet dotnet. And most of all, I think it's incredibly exciting to see so many of our tech talents start to look at problems beyond how to place ads. Thank you.
As always, Alison, you do the show justice. Thank you for weaving that together. And to bring us home Cory, can you play something and people are free to stay around and listen or free to leave? And again, in within minutes, the show will be up on the website imagination and action co to all a good night.
So I thought I'd play it's a wonderful world after all, this could be a good tune for the closing. Thank you guys and wonderful conversations, right?