Meet Climate Tech Fellow: Shu Das

Holly Brooks
January 18, 2024
Stories from the Climate Tech Fellowship: Shu Das Cohort 2

Meet Shu

Shu Das is an experienced Chartered Accountant and risk management professional with over 9 years’ experience working with large corporates in Australia and internationally on topics relating to financial, operational and technology risk. My passion lies in making sure that ethics, integrity and transparency remain at the heart of how business decisions are made for the good of the community and the planet. I currently work across one of Australia’s largest retail chains ensuring ethical sourcing of services from our suppliers.

Prior to his business career, he was a Research Scientist for over 10 years and worked on a number of projects involving some cool molecular biotechnology techniques. Whilst he did not continue down the career of being a scientist, he have continued to look at the world with curiosity, and retain his passion for learning about new and emerging technologies.

What is The Fellowship to you?

Sustainability and climate risk management is an area I have been very excited to break into over the past couple of years but had no direct way to translate my skills into this new and emerging field. Additionally, I was super keen to learn about the exciting climate tech innovation within the ANZ startup ecosystem. Therefore, the Startmate Climate Tech fellowship was the perfect adventure to undertake where I could explore the different challenges imposed by a changing climate, how startups were addressing these challenges and find a network of peers from all walks of life looking to join the growing community of climate professionals and innovators.

The 8-week fellowship was an intensive immersion into the key areas of climate action with an awesome bunch of highly intentional and like-minded peers from corporate, academic and startup backgrounds. Through the workshops, panel discussions, and face-to-face activities we made systematic deep dives into some of the awesome work founders across ANZ and beyond that will define our emerging green economy. For anyone in the corporate world looking to stay ahead of the curve, the fellowship is a perfect learning ground and growth opportunity.

The greatest value from the fellowship was the strong encouragement and support I received from all the climate experts, Startmate team members and peers in terms of kickstarting my climate tech career journey. Along with the fantastic learnings on technology, policy and data, the strong sense of community I felt through the fellowship has strengthened my resolve to further my climate career ambitions and make meaningful change to my life and the planet.

What lessons did you learn from The Fellowship?

From a technical standpoint, the fellowship reinforced the complex, global and multi-dimensional aspects of the climate and sustainability problems. Technological innovations that will address climate action will thus need to be rooted in hardcore science as well as involve experts from a number of disciplines to ensure these succeed. Thus everyone, regardless of their professional background, has a role to play in the green economy of the future.

Australia and New Zealand boast of an incredibly rich climate tech innovation community and the work that these people are doing is top notch. Supporting the sector to grow and thrive will be in the best interests of our economic future and meeting our climate ambitions. Anyone looking to enter the climate space from the corporate world should look at how to help support and grow this space, while building an awesome personal network.

What area of climate tech are you most interested in?

What industry did you deep dive into? - I did a deep dive into Sustainable Nutrition and the need for adopting the Planetary Health Diet with a predominance of whole foods and plant-based components to ensure sustainability of our food systems, meeting Paris Climate Targets and tackle the huge challenges we face with non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. My project involved further investigating how technology can help people make more conscious dietary choices and eat sustainably.  

Why do you think this is an important area? - Our diets are linked to over 16% of all greenhouse gas emissions and making more conscious decisions on what and how much we eat are simple and yet profound ways in which we can have a positive impact on our own health and the health of our planet. There is a tonne of academic research out there on how to make a dietary shift and we need to bring innovative tech-enabled solutions to the community that simplify dietary choices and help reduce our personal carbon footprints.    

Reflection of the Fellowship?

Would you recommend the fellowship and why / why not? - I shall highly recommend the fellowship to anyone in any profession who is curious and intentional about making a personal impact in the areas of climate action and sustainability. Every job can be a climate job and this fellowship will provide the right toolkit and guidance to tailor a diverse range of skill sets to fit the rapidly expanding climate tech economy. If one is more venture-minded, the fellowship can be the place to showcase a climate tech idea and then follow through with the startup journey with support from the Startmate community.

What sort of person would you recommend it to? - The fellowship requires investment of a few hours of time each week, conscious participation in the workshops and discussions and having an open mind in terms of immersing into the vibrant cohort of climate fellows and mentors. Therefore, the fellowship caters to a wide spectrum of individuals who are interested in exploring and contributing towards the climate tech community.

I am excited to continue down the path of testing my idea of tech-enabled sustainable nutrition through further research, interviews with experts and taking the idea to an MVP stage.

Psst. Apply for Cohort 3 of the Climate Tech Fellowship

Give the author some love!

A program for ambitious people who are determined to make the move into Climate Tech and help solve the most challenging and pressing issues of our time concerning climate change.

Apply Now
Climate Tech Fellowship
Written by
Holly BrooksHolly Brooks
Written by

More Articles