Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now - book cover
Engineering & Transportation
  • Publisher : Portfolio
  • Published : 09 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 448
  • ISBN-10 : 0593420470
  • ISBN-13 : 9780593420478
  • Language : English

Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now

#1 bestselling author and acclaimed venture capitalist John Doerr reveals a sweeping action plan to conquer humanity's greatest challenge: climate change.

In 2006, John Doerr was moved by Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and a challenge from his teenage daughter: "Dad, your generation created this problem. You better fix it." Since then, Doerr has searched for solutions to this existential problem-as an investor, an advocate, and a philanthropist. 

Fifteen years later, despite breakthroughs in batteries, electric vehicles, plant-based proteins, and solar and wind power, global warming continues to get worse. Its impact is all around us: droughts, floods, wildfires, the melting of the polar ice caps. Our world is squarely in a climate crisis and on the brink of a climate disaster. 
Yet despite our state of emergency, climate change has yet to be tackled with the urgency and ambition it demands. More than ever, we need a clear course of action. 
What if the goal-setting techniques that powered the rise of today's most innovative organizations were brought to bear on humanity's greatest challenge? Fueled by a powerful tool called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), SPEED & SCALE offers an unprecedented global plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions before it's too late. Used by Google, Bono's ONE foundation, and thousands of startups the world over, OKRs have scaled ideas into achievements that changed the world. With clear-eyed realism and an engineer's precision, Doerr identifies the measurable OKRs we need to reduce emissions across the board and to arrive by 2050 at net zero-the point where we are no longer adding to the heat-trapping carbon in the atmosphere. 
By turns pragmatic and inspiring, SPEED & SCALE intersperses Doerr's wide-ranging analysis with firsthand accounts from Jeff Bezos, Christiana Figueres, Al Gore, Mary Barra, Bill Gates, and other intrepid policy leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and activists. A launchpad for those who are ready to act now, this book is geared to leaders in every walk of life. With a definitive action plan, the latest science, and a rising climate movement on our side, we can still reach net zero before it is too late. But as Doerr reminds us, there is no more time to waste.

Editorial Reviews

"This book is a critical blueprint for anyone looking to take concrete steps to reach net-zero emissions. Unlike many who simply issue ambiguous long-dated pledges to help solve the climate crisis, John Doerr understands the urgent need to ACT quickly and decisively. With Speed & Scale, he combines his extensive experience as a legendary technology expert and investor with his tried-and-true management methods to put forward a clear, detailed, and comprehensive plan for climate action exactly when we need it most." 
- Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President

"John Doerr is a man with a plan for our planet – and boy do we need one. Keep away if you don't think commerce can play a creative role… or want deep dive analytics from someone who is always measuring what matters. He matters."
- Bono

"John Doerr is the world's leading mind on turning truly audacious goals into objectives and key results. In this culminating contribution, he performs an inspired act of world leadership: plying his craft to create a comprehensive plan to tackle one of the most vexing challenges in human history."
- Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last

"With personal insight and visionary foresight, Doerr provides us with a practical guide for both public and private sector participation in decarbonizing the global economy, a task as challenging as it is urgent." 
- Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN Climate Change Convention
"Speed & Scale is critical reading for anyone who wants to take action on the most important issue of our time: climate change. It's a challenge that feels impossible to solve, but John Doerr outlines a clear path forward and how we can get involved to make an impact."
- Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

"A practical path in the fight against climate change... Doerr approaches the problem as a hard-nosed businessman who sees an opportunity, creates a plan, and organizes resources before moving ahead... crafts a specific, comprehensible description of the elements that contribute to climate change and what needs to be done... guided by ingenious illustrations and often startling facts."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Meaningfully reducing carbon emissions will take big, bold moves and small, meaningful changes. In Speed & Scale, John provides a clear and compelling plan that can help any company embrace sustainability as an innovation opportunity and make it a foundational corporate value."
- Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet

"Urgent action is needed to solve the climate crisis, which is felt more acutely, by more people, every day. Speed & Scale lays out a tangible a...

Readers Top Reviews

This books is accessible and smart. I'm trying to read everything on climate and found this to be the best overview of the problems with specific action-items that invite the reader to feel a sense of agency and direction. Highly recommend
Joseph ComptonRTM
This book is supposedly directed to our climate crisis but it starts with the strange title "Speed & Scale"!!! What that title means or what it has to do with the book is not clear to me. The world is faced with a climate crisis and a better title would have been CLIMATE CRISIS ACTION PLAN Chapters 1-6 did not feature such a plan but I thought they are a review of where to go and Chapters 7 through 10 would detail how to get there. Not! Instead, the last 4 chapters just continue to talk of a plan rather than come up with one. What they do provide (along with the initial chapters) are about 20 "conversations" with people such as Bill Gates, John Kerry and Henrik Paulsen. These also talk of plans without ever getting around to originating one. To a prospective reader I would warn "the strange title is an indication of failed purpose within".
Mark P. McDonaldSuch
It is hard to give a poor review for a book about such an important issue. The review is about the book and not the issue. I really wanted to like this book. On the surface it promises sharing a “speed and scale” plan for addressing climate change based on leading executives and technology investors. I do not doubt John Doerr’s, or the other people featured in the book’s sincerity or commitment to resolving the climate crisis. Doerr’s treatment of the climate crisis is the reason for not recommending the book. Doerr organizes Speed and Scale into 10 chapters outlining 55 statements of Objectives and Key Results (OKR’s). Using this approach Doerr treats the climate crisis as a management problem rather than the existential crisis it is. Breaking down the big problem into smaller chunks makes sense, however it does not drive action as individual companies, leaders and human beings can say I am taking care of this part without addressing the root causes. I believe Doerr is sincere but treating climate change with the same tools and mindset as investing in start-ups makes the issue feel more remote than it should. It is not that Doerr’s OKRs are wrong, it is just that such goals are covered by others and a discussion of goals seems rather late in the game, it is time for execution. Doerr does break down a response to the climate crisis into logical chunks that become the chapters. But each chapter does more to admire the problem than it does to provide actionable and practical things we can all get behind. I was looking for a book about how we as a species mobilize and take real action, rather than further detailing the problem. Doerr’s organization of the causes of climate change into big chunks: 41% due Energy 20% due to Industry 15% due to Agriculture 14% due to Transportation 10% due to Nature These chunks make it seem that the challenge is clear and 61% of it is in the hands of industry and business leaders. Great. The book features various business leaders from Mary Barra to Jeff Bezos to many others, I was expecting a rallying cry a level of coordinated action, an idea that business leaders were mobilizing together across companies, industries and geographies to make change. Instead, the book is more of a who’s who recounting the individual efforts individual leader’s and their companies were making. I am not criticizing these leaders nor what the companies are doing, but the book highlights how independent these actions are and how many work at the edges of the problem. My concern is that the book will garner attention without encouraging the next round of action, mostly at the leadership levels of government, industry, religion, and society. Each of us can and many of us do work to limit our environmental impact, but individual action will not be enough. <br...

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