Building Net Zero Cities

A Glimpse into the Lives of Some of our Net Zero Speakers

A Glimpse into the Lives of Some of our Net Zero Speakers
Ursula Eicker, Concordia, Founding Co-Director of Next Generation Cities Institute 

CityAge: What was the last project you worked on that you were really excited about?

Ursula: The C40 competition in Montréal, where we collaborated on the zero carbon transformation of an industrial heritage site close to downtown. Exciting team, many SDGs addressed and the winner will be announced next week! (Oct. 4-8)

 CA: What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

 UE: I play in Montreal’s dive bars with my psychedelic jazz fusion band.

 CA: Was there a moment when you realized the severity of the climate crisis? What was it?

 UE: No, I have been aware of the limits of growth, and the importance of renewables, since I started to study physics in 1982.

 CA: If you didn’t have your current career, what would you be?

 UE: A jazz musician


Kameale Terry, Co-Founder and CEO, ChargerHelp!

CityAge: What was the last project, event, or initiative you worked on, that you were really excited about?

Kameale: The last project I worked on was collaborating on a report that highlighted the current state of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the United States. We hope to have the report out later this year. The report will highlight the charging experience of electric vehicle drivers. From this report, our industry can work towards improving the charging experience, which is very important to EV mass adoption.

CA: What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

KT: I am obsessed with data and technology. I love exploring how both can exemplify the great traits of humanity. 

CA: If you didn’t have your current career, what would you be doing instead?

 KT: I would not be doing anything but this.

Andrew Marino,  Senior Managing Director & Head of Strategy, Generate 

CityAge: What was the last project you worked on that you were really excited about? 

Andrew: Generate’s Smart City initiative that marries sustainable distributed energy with open access broadband provisioning in communities.

CA: What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

AM: I speak Mandarin and started my career in 1991 privatizing state run enterprises.

CA: Was there a distinct moment when you first recognized the true severity of the climate crisis? What was it?

AM: Watching the increasing severity of storms in Texas and the Mid-Atlantic combined with increased fires in the west. This was coupled with the realization that our current public institutions need help in addressing the crisis.

CA: If you didn’t have your current career, what would you be doing instead?  

AM: Teaching high school.


Eric Larson, Senior Research Engineer, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton

CityAge: What was the last project you worked on that you were really excited about?

Eric: I was (and still am!) very excited about the Net-Zero America study that I co-led. Our large and diverse research team did some really great work to help understand what it means for the U.S. to reach net-zero GHG emissions economy-wide by 2050.

CA: What do you hope we achieve, in terms of climate action, in the next 10 years?

EL: I hope that we “turn the ship around” and see significant reductions (and momentum for further reductions) in GHG emissions globally within 10 years.  For the U.S. I hope that we meet (or better yet, exceed) the emissions reduction goal recently pledged by the Biden administration. 

CA: If you didn’t have your current career, what would you be doing instead?

EL: It’s difficult for me to even imagine a different career, because I’ve been in my current career for nearly 40  years now!

Sander Dolder, Senior Vice President, New York Economic Development Corporation 


CityAge: What was the last project, event, or initiative you worked on, that you were really excited about?

Sander: We just release our vision for NYC's Offshore Wind industry: https://edc.nyc/program/offshore-wind-nyc

 CA: What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

SD: I’m an avid urban gardener

 CA: Was there a distinct moment when you first recognized the true severity of the climate crisis? What was it?

SD: While environmental stewardship has always been important to me, Hurricane Katrina illustrated the imminent danger we're facing.

 CA: What do you hope we achieve, in terms of climate action, in the next 10 years?

SD: 

  1. Near electrification of our energy system
  2. A sustainable and resilient food system
  3. Recycled materials becoming cheaper than new materials

 CA: If you didn’t have your current career, what would you be doing instead? 

SD: Owning and managing a music performance venue.

Sandeep Ahuja, Co-Founder and CEO, Cove.tool

CityAge: What was the last project you worked on that you were really excited about? 

Sandeep: Creating cove.tool to help fight climate change. It’s a large project, and I have only built 5% of everything that needs to be built. 

CA: Was there a distinct moment when you first recognized the true severity of the climate crisis? What was it? 

SA: It was when I heard a lecture from the late professor, Godfried Augenbroe, on the impact of buildings on the climate crisis. Hadn't realized prior to then, that buildings were 40% of the problem. 

CA: If you didn’t have your current career, what would you be doing instead? 

SA: I can't imagine a life where I wouldn't be solving the climate crisis, so if not with a scalable software startup that makes it simple to design energy efficient buildings, perhaps with something else. 


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