Dario Presezzi, co-founder and CEO of Biotechforce Corporation, started having very strong feelings about climate change about 5 years after starting his firm.  Realizing the importance of his company’s role in helping solve the carbon sequestration problem impassioned him just that much more to make his firm successful.  He shares with us his desperation-to-joy emotional rollercoaster journey.

Find Dario Presezzi here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dariopresezzi/

The Bioforcetech Corporation: https://www.bioforcetech.com/

#Leadership #Commitment #EmotionalIntelligence #EQ #climatechange

[Video Transcript]

Matt Schlegel:                   How are you feeling about climate change and how are those feelings influencing your actions? Thanks for joining me in conversations with leaders who are engaging with their feelings as a leadership tool for both inspiration and motivation. Today I’m speaking with Dario Presezzi, founder of Bioforcetech Corporation. Dario started the company with sustainability in mind and realized along the way what a valuable contribution he could make to solving the climate crisis. You will love his story, and now for the conversation.

Today I’m speaking with Dario Presezzi, CEO of Bioforcetech corporation. Dario’s mission is to reduce carbon emissions in the human waste cycle. Yes, we’re talking about lowering emissions and sequestering carbon from city sewage. Dario has been on this mission for nearly 10 years now and has made remarkable progress leading to a number of fascinating, innovative products. I’m eager to hear his story about how he came to pursue this important piece of the climate puzzle. Dario, thank you so much for joining me today, welcome.

Dario Presezzi:                  Hi, Matt, yeah, thank you for having me here.

Matt Schlegel:                   Yeah, I’m just delighted to be talking to you about this. I want to just start off and touch base and find out how you’re feeling about climate change now. You’ve been in this space for 10 years, but how are you feeling now?

Dario Presezzi:                  I have, but I also have just happened to be in it. One way it’s because like when we started, we were more like a sustainability problem. How do we deal with waste and why are we throwing away when there’s a lot of resources in it. Then during the process, because that was 10 years ago and the climate problem was definitely there but not as much as now, so I ended up in it. That was about halfway through the journey when we found out that when we created this process to be sustainable waste management, we were also sequestering carbon and then the climate change situation got more and more intense. Started to feeling a lot of feelings about climate change because of that, because we were into the world, and then found out that our mission is more towards helping the climate crisis rather than just a waste management issue.

Matt Schlegel:                   Right. It was just kind of serendipitous that you happened to be in that space, so you actually had those feelings start to come in even after you were already kind of working on it.

Dario Presezzi:                  Yes.

Matt Schlegel:                   If I may, I know a lot of people cycle through a number of different emotions and feelings as they’re going through this, what are some of the experiences, like specific feelings, that you’ve had and how you’ve managed to process those?

Dario Presezzi:                  Yeah. Definitely rollercoaster of emotions is 100% accurate on this type of feelings for climate change. It goes from little like almost desperation and want to give up because you’re working so much on problems, only if there is a lot of people that don’t care. That’s what I see, when there’s a lot of people that don’t care, but you’re working so hard towards it, especially trying to educate them, but then you have doors slam in your face because they don’t feel the same thing. Even though you know it’s very real, it’s very happening and the work that we are doing is very important, that’s where you feel bad.

Then when there’s a lot of people around you or people you work with that want to take real action, they know what the solutions are and they’re very passionate about it, then you feel much better. It goes from complete opposites, where we can really do it because human beings are so resilient, we’re geniuses. We used it in a wrong way, let’s use it in the right way now. Yeah, it’s a rollercoaster that goes everywhere, but it depends on the night, let’s say. In the last period, especially the last few months, it’s been so much better, because of [inaudible 00:04:20] and everybody working on it.

Matt Schlegel:                   Yeah. It sounds like it goes, I like the words you use, from desperation to joy, depending on the day almost. That’s almost sounds like a startup, any startup.

Dario Presezzi:                  It does look like any startup, it just adds, other than the financial problem where usually a CEO it’s like, oh my responsibility is only to make money. It changed quite a bit, because I have the responsibilities to make money obviously to make my service successful, but if we don’t have a great impact in solving this problem, then we’re also failing. There’s like two standards that we need to meet.

Matt Schlegel:                   Right, oh, that is brilliant. It really is, it’s almost like an emotion amplifier on top of already hyper charged environment of being in a startup. How are your feelings about climate, then, influencing your direction as a leader now?

Dario Presezzi:                  Likely, in my company, there’s everybody that is working at Bioforcetech has passion for solving the climate crisis. It’s much easier for me, because as soon as you keep this vision on, then everybody in the company keep it on with you and help us to bring it forward. For everybody else, what I’ve seen is, since there’s the financial situation and the climate situation, as long as we keep working towards our goal without compromises, I think that’s the leading lights that we can give. My team always work with that vision and we never, again, get compromises even if it can give us more money to grow. That’s something that I think is an important lesson for everybody else.

It’s like there’s easy way to make money and then creating issues, we’re trying to solving issues by also making money. Point is, keep resilient and keep going towards our goals of sustainability without looking at what’s happening around. That’s what we’ve seen being, we don’t really go out and try to make speeches about climate change. But we know what our problem is and we said we are going to solve it 100%, with all these goals and sustainability goals and no matter what. I think that inspired so many other in our industry to then do the same, because they see it’s kind of working it’s, leading to real change.

Matt Schlegel:                   Just a couple questions there. I think that’s great that your team is so passionate about solving the climate crisis. Now, when you are recruiting team members, are you specifically looking for that or is it the opposite, people passionate about solving the climate crisis are just coming to you?

Dario Presezzi:                  They’re usually coming to us, at the same time there’s a lot of people also that want to apply for job positions that don’t really care about it and it’s kind of a priority for us. If you don’t have that passion, you’re going to have such a hard time working at our company. Because it’s harder to raise a startup, and again, because it’s hard because there’s multiple goals. We have a lot of, like every startup, you have so many doors slam in your face, if you can’t take all those punches, there’s no way you can get through it if you don’t really have the cause in your heart.

Matt Schlegel:                   Right, the greater purpose and the greater mission to kind of get you through.

Dario Presezzi:                  Yeah, it needs to be there.

Matt Schlegel:                   Right, right, yeah, that’s great. The other thing is, you were just well positioned to essentially become a company focused on solving the climate crisis, even though that wasn’t necessarily how you started. Do you see that maybe happening with other companies as well, that they will end up realizing that, we can be a part of the solution and we can kind of shift our mission and our purpose and our focus towards solving that, as seamlessly as you’ve seemed to have done?

Dario Presezzi:                  I think other than a few example that might be a little bit impossible for them to do it, but I would say 99% of the companies today that’s, yeah, it’s true.

Matt Schlegel:                   They could do that, right?

Dario Presezzi:                  I could make shoes in a way like the least expensive, their more cool, and to sell them it’s the highest price, that’s what it was before. If I’m making shoes now and I’m like, wait, but if I use a rubber that it’s made from a sustainable source and I do that and I combine all this together, actually my shoes could be a solution for. That’s one and then tables and then building houses and so on and so on, so every company needs to be part of the solution. It’s not really a question of if they should do it, they need to do it, but also they all have the opportunity to become a company to do that. Specifically, maybe drew down carbons, but other company could save 90% of carbon or energy there or using sustainable practices.

Matt Schlegel:                   And then use their influence to help others also do that, both their clients, their supply chain, and pure companies in their industry group.

Dario Presezzi:                  Yeah, I have another quick example, I open a pizza company in Palo Alto, completely separated it. Concept is when we’re making packaging we went in supermarkets, and every single supermarket have every single packaging we could find, it was 100% plastic. We were very confused, because I want to make a sustainable package for pizza, it was a journey of about eight months just to find a way to make it available for the market that can be placed in a supermarket safely, but be sustainable, it was hard. Now we have a compostable tray that can be put in the oven with compostable film on top of it so it keeps fresh and everything, but it is completely compostable. It’s something that if we do it as the little pizza company, then the other company around will be like, wait, so there is a solution for that we can actually do.

Matt Schlegel:                   Please tell me, what’s the name of your pizza, because I want to go out and get some.

Dario Presezzi:                  It’s called Pizzone.

Matt Schlegel:                   Pizzone, okay, all right. I love that, sustainable pizza.

Dario Presezzi:                  Yeah, exactly. It’s just one example, like who would think that a pizza company could make a difference.

Matt Schlegel:                   Right, because it’s mind boggling how much plastic goes through the food system, and I am so glad you’re thinking about that and thinking about setting an example for sustainable packaging as well, thank you so much for doing that. I want to ask you what advice would you give to leaders and aspiring leaders who are, themselves, starting to have feelings about the climate?

Dario Presezzi:                  One thing that I’ve seen when you talk about climate with people is even if they want to do something and they understand the problem, and we’re still talking about maybe a small percentage, but even if you’re there, it’s hard to know what to do. Because they say, if I recycle I’m fine, that kind of stuff. I would say, just look at all the nice projects that are out there, pick what is closer to you, maybe in the field that you work with or a new job that you’re inspiring to, and just follow those leaders as much as possible, like give as much support that you can to that. Then once you’re in the sustainable world, then you can understand if you have some other inputs that you can give and stuff like that.

But it is a battle, it is a challenge, and humans love challenges, so we should take it on. Once you realize that it’s very real and we need to do it, and I think more and more people realize that, then there’s just so many things you can do about it, it’s just unlimited. Pick whatever you are most passionate about, like it was before and that you make money out of it, here you can make money and also solve the problem. That’s what I would say, just pick some somebody or some cause that’s the most passionate to you and there’s for sure sustainability issues in there.

Matt Schlegel:                   Yeah, essentially follow your heart.

Dario Presezzi:                  Follow your heart.

Matt Schlegel:                   Follow your heart. That is such great advice, Dario. Well, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and your feelings about climate and your stories. Of course I wish you the best success with your company, and I hope that you can come back in the future and share more about your journey through this climate space, navigating it both the financial side, but also that emotional side.

Dario Presezzi:                  Yeah, it would be my pleasure.

Matt Schlegel:                   Okay, thank you so much. Thanks for watching, I found it fascinating how Dario started to have stronger feelings about the climate crisis five years after he started his company and how his feelings just impassioned him all that much more to make his company successful. For aspiring leaders, Dario suggests that you can pick a company focusing on solving the climate crisis, and as you go through that emotional roller coaster of the climate change, you will be in a great position to channel those emotions into healthy action that will move us forward to a more sustainable world. If you found this conversation helpful, please click on the thumbs up button and subscribe to the channel to get notifications on future episodes. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Thanks again.


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