A letter from the CEO and Chairwoman: “We don’t have time to wait“

We don’t have time to wait for politicians to act to save humanity from the climate threat. To solve the climate crisis in time, we need to find more and faster ways of effecting change, according to Ingmar Rentzhog and Anette Nordvall, CEO and Chairman of the good-cause company We Don’t Have Time.

CEO Ingmar Rentzhog and Chairwoman Anette Nordvall. This article is originally published in Swedish on realtid.se 8 February 2019.

Few of you will have missed the UN’s latest climate report that was presented last autumn. It describes what we need to do to avoid out-of-control climate change and keep global warming below 1.5°C. We’ve known what’s happening for some time, but the wake-up call from the scientific community is now almost ear-splitting. The UN’s panel on climate change has stated that it’s still possible to limit warming to 1.5°C, but this requires unprecedented changes to society.

We don’t have time to wait, the climate crisis must be solved — and fast. That’s why we founded We Don’t Have Time alongside some other climate-conscious individuals in the business sector. The aim is to build a platform that supports committed climate action where many people can act together. Just by attracting sufficiently large numbers of people committed to halting climate change, we can create the pressure required to effect real and global political change.

Our goal is to become the Facebook of climate change — a digital platform where anyone committed to solving the climate crisis can start a campaign, celebrate or criticize the actions of companies and politicians from a climate perspective and present suggestions and ideas. At the same time, climate-conscious businesses can use the platform to reach interested climate-conscious stakeholders. We want to make it easy to effect change. We’re convinced that the Internet and social media can and must be used to solve the climate crisis.

Since we started operations 18 months ago, we’ve worked to build our social media network, attract investors and highlight important climate initiatives and young climate heroes like Greta Thunberg. Our platform will be launched on Earth Day in April this year. Unlike existing social networks, it’s important to us that our platform is transparent and highly regarded by journalists and users alike. We’re happy to answer any questions about how we intend to operate the platform and why it’s important. We have nothing to hide — on the contrary we want to spread the word to all who want to commit to halting climate change.

We Don’t Have Time is what’s known as a good cause company. We’ve chosen to set up the company as a hybrid between a limited company and a charitable foundation. The company’s role is to generate financial returns, including through advertising revenue, while the focus and long-term approach is guaranteed by its Foundation status. The founders have donated all the company’s class A shares to the Foundation. This means that shareholders can never modify the aim and purpose of the Foundation: To enable more climate action. The Foundation is also entitled to a minimum of 10% of the company’s profit and is represented on the Board of Directors. This unusual structure is attracting considerable interest. We’ve already received questions from the financial sector, as well as from individuals who would otherwise rarely express an interest in start-ups or climate change.

So why have we chosen to structure We Don’t Have Time as a commercial operation? There are three main reasons for this.

Firstly, the situation is both serious and urgent. We must get as many people as possible to commit to halting global warming as fast as possible. This means that we need financial clout to expand quickly and globally. The more we grow, the more the value of our operations increases, which in turn enables further investments in more important climate initiatives.

Secondly, there’s no conflict of interest between benefitting the climate and making money. Most of our investors are driven by a combination of heart and head. Getting more investors from the business sector to contribute to halting climate change is of utmost importance. Without money we won’t be able to do it in time.

Thirdly, the founders of We Don’t Have Time have their roots in the business world. Running companies is what we’re good at, this is where we’ve accumulated our expertise, this is where we have our networks and we speak the language of the financial sector. This background is one of our key assets, and one that we want to capitalize on to achieve what we believe in.

The trend is clear: More and more people in the business sector want to create value in ways that aren’t just economically sustainable, but also environmentally and socially sustainable. It’s not enough to build up and sell companies and use the assets generated to save the world at a later date. The entrepreneurs and investors of this new era want their money to do good here and now.

This is evidenced by the considerable interest we’ve seen in We Don’t Have Time. In a short period of time, we’ve raised SEK 23 million from more than 500 investors in sixteen countries around the world. This is a good starting point for building the global organization we’re striving for.

All entrepreneurs and investors know that it’s not possible to do business on a planet where humanity has made itself extinct. It’s in everyone’s interest to halt climate change. So let’s use our commitment and our financial clout to solve the climate crisis together. We don’t have time to wait.

Ingmar Rentzhog
Founder and CEO of We Don’t Have Time

Anette Nordvall
Chairwoman of We Don’t Have Time

Facts about We Don’t Have Time

We Don’t Have Time are currently building the world’s largest social media network for climate action. Together we can solve the climate crisis.

But we are running out of time.

Join us: www.wedonthavetime.org