Introducing Ross Kenyon

What inspired you to work on reversing climate change?

I’m rather new to climate change actually. What hindered me for a long time was that due to a background strongly in the humanities, I felt daunted by the science and wasn’t sure who to trust on the matter, nor what can or should be done to address climate change. One of the worst outcomes for any policy matter is “we have to do something!” independently of whether whatever alleged solution is worth the price paid. If we could only marginally reduce the impact of climate change and economic growth stopped or even reversed, it may be worth thinking about how to live in a post-climate change world and make the best of it. Not wanting to indulge any biases beyond that one perspective, I maintained the neutrality of one who doesn’t know what they’re talking about (which in fact I didn’t, and in many ways still don’t). Paul Gambill in the last year or two persuaded me that there are solutions that would be efficacious, which coaxed me out of the funk of powerlessness I felt over the issue.

Why did you join Nori?

This year I went pro in the blockchain space, and I’m old friends from college with Paul Gambill, so it was a natural fit. I like going new directions, and I don’t know a whole lot about the earth sciences, but now have a reason to soak up as much as I can in the subject. I also love the team and just want to be around people I can get excited about every day. Though, I am sadly deficient in my Phish appreciation. Everyone else is obsessed minus a handful. We need to catch up.

Who do you think should be reading this blog post, and why?

If you think Nori is a cool idea, one of the first things I do when looking at a project is check out their advisors and staff. It is a wise thing to do.

What is the biggest misconception you think people have about reversing climate change?

Ask me in a year. It still seems so petite a community that most people seem intrigued and excited about the possibility of reversing, rather than merely managing climate change.

What gets you excited about blockchain?

Cryptocurrency and blockchain have the potential to revolutionize a huge amount of human interaction. This is an old hat panegyric, but the ability to program agreements and money itself could disintermediate (the biggest buzz word in this space) quite a bit, and make the global economy more borderless and productive by adding choice and security over legacy systems. Token economics are really fascinating as well: how do you design monetary systems to get self-interested people to freely choose prosocial results? There are so many experiments working on this right now and I find it thrilling.

What kinds of problems do you like to solve?

I like placing long bets on where I choose to work. Most of the projects I work on tend to be those that will either change the world or totally collapse in on themselves. I believe Nori has a great chance of the former.

What previous experiences did you have that will inform your work at Nori?

I’ve done a lot of different things, and am glad to have done them. I’ve worked in the think tank/advocacy world of DC, did a year of PhD work in political philosophy, traveled to something like sixty countries, worked in many roles in film but specialized in writing and producing, done quite a bit in publishing, writing, and editing, and then a year of very intense blockchain clients. This is a bit goofy but I like to think of myself as Nori’s wild card, you know, like Charlie Kelly. Only half-kidding…

What sorts of things will you be working on with Nori?

Cohosting the Reversing Climate Change podcast with Christophe is the most visible. I’m going to be doing quite a bit of business development growing our list of market participants. I’m most fascinated by the possibilities of using mine tailings for carbon removal and partnering with miners, but in general am excited to provide access to financing for new ways to store carbon that create additional value. I’ve worked on a few token launches at this point too, so that will come in handy. I’m in the process of studying for my Series 3 licensure so I’ll have a more formal background in conventional commodities markets. There is also talk of co-writing a book with Christophe on carbon removal, as the vox populi to his wizened professor.

How’s an Arizonan desert rat like you going to make it in Seattle?

I guess I’ll have to eat enough sockeye salmon so that I feel duly compensated.