Apr 25, 2022
“We all contribute to the puzzle.” That’s what Elevate Prize Winner Kaushik Kappagantulu, the Founder and CEO of Kheyti reminded us, during an Instagram Live celebrating Earth Day. “It’s a big world and all our actions are interconnected.”
Kaushik was talking with Program Manager, Alex Rosales, about the complex challenges of climate change, and how only focusing on one solution is a mistake.
“We must remember the people at the heart of this,” says Kaushik. “Farmers need to make money and eat and feed their families, but we also have to make sure that their actions are sustainable. If we only focus on sustainability but not on livelihoods, that’s a mistake.”
That’s why Kheyti developed greenhouses that enable farmers to grow all year long, protecting their crops from weather, heat and pests. The greenhouses mean that crops can grow with less fertilizer, fewer pesticides (up to 90% fewer!) and less water, while also improving yields and outputs – and they’re the cheapest greenhouses on the market.
Though we can’t all design greenhouses, there are ways that we can bring design thinking into our own approaches to tackling climate change. “Start by asking yourself, who is the problem impacting? And how do I engage with that in my local area?” says Kaushik. “Not everyone needs to start a new company. There are all kinds of ways to deepen your understanding of the problem and come up with new ways to help.”
Though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the immense challenge ahead, Kaushik remains “informedly optimistic!”
“It took humanity a thousand years to create climate change and it will take us a while to solve it, but collectively, we will! Just thinking about this challenge is important – ten years ago, far fewer people were even doing that! Now, more and more people are thinking about it and taking action on it every day.
“Start small. Read, learn, spread the word, have conversations with people, engage with the issue and engage with people working on it. Remember, it’s not something that any one of us can solve alone – I used to feel the real weight of that, so it’s good to remember, this will take a huge collaboration. What any individual contributes is just part of it. We’re aiming towards a movement.
“Above all, hold onto a sense of optimism. Hold onto that momentum that we get in Earth Month, and carry it through to the next year – and the years ahead. We will solve climate change together. I have faith in us.”
So how can we help Kheyti as they focus on their part of the great puzzle of environmental change?