Episode 8: Ecomodernist Philanthropy with Rachel Pritzker
How can environmental philanthropy have the greatest impact? Rachel Pritzker has spent a lot of time thinking about this question. As founder and president of the Pritzker Innovation Fund, and an ecomodernist thought leader in her own right, Rachel has focused on US innovation policy, advanced nuclear power, and energy for human development in emerging economies. She challenges conventional wisdom to get complete clarity: what, exactly, is the problem, and what are the underlying drivers? What solutions are being overlooked? Instead of staying gridlocked in old battles, Rachel seeks new ideas that are less politically rigid and offer space for bipartisan action.
While Rachel Pritzker is a signatory of the Ecomodernist Manifesto and chair of the Breakthrough Institute’s board, she wasn’t always an ecomodernist. In fact, she tells us that one of her earliest memories is of protesting nuclear energy; she grew up on a goat farm, with parents devoted to the back-to-the-land movement and a general skepticism of technology. Listen to this episode to hear the story of how her thinking has changed.
Here's a full transcript of the interview.
Mentioned in this episode:
We asked, what's an example of progress that you see in the world today? Rachel said, Our World in Data.
Ted Nordhaus (Breakthrough Institute's director) and Rachel co-authored a piece on where climate philanthropy needs to go next.
Matthew Nisbet's paper on funding priorities for major environmental philanthropies is a sweeping, thoughtful review of where all the money has been going.