How can PMs solve the climate crisis through product? The scale and urgency of the transformation required to fight climate change has never been more clear. Building hardware and software products, acquiring the funding and creating a diverse community to enhance talent capacity and to drive innovation, is essential to tackling this global environmental crisis. In this podcast, host and Silicon Valley Bank (a division of First Citizens Bank) Director of Product Maggie Wong, will be interviewing Digit Mint Product Lead Karel Verhaeghe to discuss how Digit Mint’s products are empowering companies and their employees to leverage artificial intelligence to locate the relevant data, conduct comprehensive sustainability reporting efficiently, and adhere to the changing operating and regulatory environment. They will also discuss the climate tech and product management landscape in Europe and how one may leverage their best practices and contribute to solving the climate crisis. 

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Show Notes

  1. Karel Verhaeghe’s background is in bioengineering and political science.
  2. Becoming a father increased Karel’s focus on climate change for his kids’ future.
  3. He talks about about participating in The Week experience which empowered him to contribute to climate solutions through his career.
  4. Digit Mint’s mission is to decode the sustainability challenge for companies.
  5. Karel outlines Digit Mint’s modules for top-down impact assessment, bottom-up product modeling, and reporting.
  6. Getting started on sustainability rather than waiting for perfection is essential for solving the climate crisis.
  7. Karel discusses future plans for Digit Mint to focus on decision making and collaborating across value chains.
  8. The biggest climate change opportunity is having the knowledge and tools to tackle the challenge.
  9. In contrast, the biggest challenge is the short-term government focus and individual feelings of lack of agency.
  10. In order to help solve the climate crisis, PMs should broaden their understanding of the diverse climate tech ecosystem.
  11. Likewise, PMs should map their skills to climate tech opportunities.
  12. Network by finding climate tech meetups or starting your own.
  13. Be the customer voice, engage stakeholders, and stay curious as a product manager.
  14. Additionally, PMs should empathize with engineers and making their work’s purpose clear.
  15. Shrink the ego and accept being wrong often as a product manager.

About the speaker
Karel Verhaeghe Digit Mint, Product Lead Member

Product Manager contributing to early-stage impact startups. Father of two, partner of one. Background in forest management and European policy. Generalist, dark humourist, and wannabe tennis player.

About the host
Maggie Wong Silicon Valley Bank, a Division of First Citizens Bank, Climate Tech & Sustainability SVP

Maggie Wong is an accomplished product management and capital markets leader with over 15 years of experience in driving product strategy, delivering global products, fundraising & capital allocation, and leading cross-functional teams. Outside of her role at Silicon Valley Bank to support New York / East Coast based climate tech companies and investors, she is also experienced in increasing program impact, growing community reach and implementing DEI initiatives at travel and fintech non-profits. Maggie is passionate about making a social impact for the next generation, tackling climate change and traveling. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and a beginner in Spanish.

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