What is the story behind Possible Place and where is it going?
Possible Place was created out of hope that we can imagine what is possible in the places we live and make real change happen in our community -- specifically related to sustainability and justice. Individual behavior changes are necessary but don't change systems. National and global climate action is critical, but election and policy cycles are long and often discouraging. Much of the climate action in the places that matter most to us -- in our towns & cities -- is inaccessible, or at best fragmented, and knowing what you and your community can influence is confusing.
There are many potential solutions to this problem, but a good one for the future will center communities & justice before profits. Possible Place first needs to focus on providing value to communities in cities, and that can come through building a product for citizens, community organizations, or city government workers. That value can be measured by the number of people engaged in policy decision and implementation, and suitable metrics for sustainability and climate change, which includes carbon emissions, but can also include things like adaptation and resiliency. Finally, this platform needs to be monetized in a symbiotic way, which could include partnering with businesses bringing climate solutions to cities, or partnering with the city government to increase public engagement.
Ultimately, Possible Place is not a job for a solo founder. It will require the effort of people with greater experience than myself on building tools for cities, building the technology required, and most importantly, connecting with the people who live in town & cities around the world. If this sparks your interest, I would love for your input in this survey. And if you want to join this effort by working with me or funding, message me on Twitter.
I'm Matt Hoffman, the founder of Possible Place. I've been paying attention to climate change for the past 15 years since being exposed to it early in high school. In college, I majored in Computer Science and minored in Sustainable Energy Technology, and I worked with graduate researchers and professors on Vehicle-to-Grid technology. As a new grad, I found it difficult to find a job focused on climate change and focused on learning software engineering. While I was still involved in climate action, such as the 2019 Climate March and Citizens Climate Lobby, I found that it wasn't enough. Early in 2021 I joined a startup in climate tech Cooler.dev and started researching and building Possible Place.