1. Who are you and what are you doing?
In the late 90s, when the Digital Revolution arrived, I realized that everything will change. I left my job as a product manager and moved to Berlin to co-found my own company. Until today, I have founded and invested in several digital startups and I am still a co-founder & managing director of GameDuell, a leading games company. In 2019, we initiated the community Leaders for Climate Action together with a group of leading digital entrepreneurs.
2. What drives you personally and how did you get there over time?
My passion is bringing ideas to life. This is the reason why I became an entrepreneur in the digital sector: There are endless opportunities and you can create a global impact.
In addition, I am driven by the belief that the world is a better place if we collaborate. When people who share a similar vision come together, they can move mountains.
3. Please give me the elevator pitch for LFCA?
Climate scientists have been ringing the alarm bells for decades: Our planet will be on fire if we don’t act quickly. But the business sector kept ignoring these ugly facts, blindfolded by the hope that politicians or some (to be invented) technologies will magically solve the problem.
We all know that the big shift to a sustainable economy will only happen if the mainstream market embraces it. Digital companies are the perfect candidates to act as role models to reach climate neutrality in a short time and function as a successful beachhead to cross the chasm to the mainstream market (see Geoffrey Moore’s famous book). The objective of Leaders for Climate Action (LFCA) is to prove that point.
We are following a community approach by gathering the most influential digital entrepreneurs and CEOs. Today, we have more than 1,200 members from all over the world, representing more than 150,000 employees. All participating companies committed to climate neutrality by our Green Pledge. We support our members in carbon management, organize community events, supply whitepapers and enable networking within the LFCA community. We are run like a startup and know and have the expertise to scale globally.
4. Where do you see LFCA by 2030?
By 2030, LFCA has become a truly global community. The digital industry will have become a showcase for how a whole industry has successfully moved to climate neutrality in less than 10 years. Based on our current trajectory, we will have saved a combined > 500 mio. tons of CO2e in reductions and offsettings from our member base.
We have inspired and helped other industries to achieve the same. Business leaders have realized that business success and sustainability go hand in hand. We have created the critical mass of influence to be a serious sparring-partner for political leaders to whom we present the voice of future-facing businesses.
5. What’s your best personal sustainability hack?
Taking the train is one of the best sustainability hacks because you can combine the best of both worlds: the advantages of deep, uninterrupted work (#1 productivity booster) coupled with low emissions.
6. What are your personal methods for coping with challenges and stress?
Coping with challenges: Over the years I have learned to quickly shift into solution mode when facing challenges. I quietly say to myself “WTF” and then immediately ask: “What are the options that we have now? How can we break down the problem into solvable pieces? What does the 80/20 rule look like here?”. Once you start to focus your thoughts on finding a solution, you are often half-way there.
Stress reduction: Sports of all kinds. Proper breathing.
7. What is the best advice you ever got and from whom?
Let me share two important learnings I made:
A few years ago, I met Wladimir Klitschko at a dinner. We started to talk about mastering the inner game. He told me: “If you control your mind, you control everything!”. Staying positive in tough times is a skill that is rarely taught and dramatically underrated. I am very interested in positive psychology and mental fitness.
The other life-changing learning for me was: Facts most often don’t change our minds once we have taken a position. In order to convince someone (e.g. that we need to take climate action) it is much more effective to connect and simply share meals with those who disagree with us. Read more here.
8. What is the best book you ever read and why?
I value books that teach me principles which I can apply in life. “Reinventing Organizations” is such a great book: It beautifully demonstrates how fundamentally the business landscape has changed over time. It then deep dives to specific action points and shows how you can drive change in your own organization. Here you can find it on a pay-what-you-like pricing model.
9. What’s your favorite sustainable brand?
I was wondering for years why e.g. the big fashion brands have been dormant when it came to creating cool and at the same time sustainable clothes. Instead, they would rather spend millions in marketing and shiny billboards and forgot the value proposition of being a good citizen. Finally, some new brands are seizing this opportunity. To name one: Outerknown, the surf clothes brand of Kelly Slater. All clothes are made from ecologically grown plants or plastic that was collected from beaches.
10. What makes you optimistic about the future of our planet & society?
First, most people have understood by now that climate change is a life-threatening planetary crisis. This was different a few years ago.
Second, most people do care about our planet and want to help once they find an easy and pragmatic way. LFCA offers business leaders the opportunity to walk this way together in a community of like-minded people.
Third, most changes don’t happen linearly but exponentially. Today we are still too slow to tackle climate change effectively. We need to create exponential changes by combining several actions that stack up and bring us to the tipping point of change. Take a minute to visualize what would happen, if (a) voters would put ecological policies first, (b) customers would buy only sustainable products, (c) workforce talents would quit their jobs at climate-unfriendly companies and (d) a carbon tax would make sustainable products more competitive. Add up all those factors and they would create massive synergies. This flywheel of change has started to move already. Some companies just have not realized yet and they are running the risk of being late to the party. Disruption is coming first slowly and then very accelerated and powerful.
About: Leaders for Climate Action
We are the entrepreneurial community lfca.earth that drives climate action in the tech-industry. We turn business leaders into climate leaders, help to transform their organizations and inspire them to influence policy makers & society. Since 2019, our community of > 1.300 founders and their companies (representing > 160.000 employees) have reduced and compensated > > 875.000 t of CO2 and voluntarily pledged > $ 13 mio. for high-quality carbon-offsetting project in developing countries.
About: GameDuell – Bringing people together to have a good time with games
The passion for creating high-quality games and the focus on a superior customer experience have made GameDuell one of the largest cross-platform games communities in the world. Since 2003, more than 130 million players have played with us.
GameDuell offers a broad portfolio of over 40 casual online skill games on the popular game site www.gameduell.com, mostly developed in-house, such as Fluffy, Bubble Speed, Jungle Jewels and game classics like Hearts, Solitaire, and Spider. We are expanding strongly across different platforms and also offer many of our community card and board games on social networks and mobile devices. Further information on https://inside.gameduell.com.
Founded: December 2003 in Berlin, Germany
Management: Kai Bolik & Boris Wasmuth
Community: Over 130 million registered players across various platforms
Games: Over 40 games available in 7 languages