Green.Org sits down with James O’Neill, CEO of PayThru, to learn about how his career transitioned from working with electric vehicles to launching a fintech company.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I spent my early years working in fitness, studying psychology, policing & criminology and working on film sets. Literally fell in to Low-Carbon technologies upon leaving the Metropolitan Police Service (which was my goal to do a career where I could add value by helping others), fell in love with working in technology sectors where you could truly have an impact on the world around us. Almost 8 years in to working in the Electric Vehicle industry now, an industry I was told would be career suicide but has been the best choice I ever made. I get to work with creative, passionate and inspiring people on a daily basis. I love a strategy puzzle and have a team of immensely talented people who share the belief that we succeed together, think outside the box, get rid of ego, solve the problems for our customer and find partners to help the end consumer experience frictionless.
What is a fun fact about you?
I will stick with random facts which are more befitting my life. According to our family tree I am related to films best Alien of all time Klaatu played by Michael Rennie and have been involved in some very cool films & tv shows over the years
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
We have finite resources but have grown up on a culture of excess, in many respects that started post WW2 probably in a response to the end of rationing leading into the growth of disposable fashion starting in the 70’s then booming since e-commerce started to thrive. People are at a point of reset now it seems, whether that be due to personal beliefs, animal welfare, exposure to environmental factors or education through media or academics. It is clear that the majority want to and are indeed trying to make a difference however small
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
The electric vehicle industry will see the rise of autonomy sooner than people realise and the inter-linking of drone solutions to facilitate more efficient consumer deliveries. My hope though in 10 years is that we move away from being definitive on sustainability and instead show how bringing all parties together, removing ego and focusing on the best solutions integrated together regardless of fuel type, we see us achieve a much better experience with the benefits we are striving for environmentally
What can the average person do to make a difference?
We often try to make drastic changes over night and demonise what is in front of us. Start little, move away from single use products, be more discerning about what we put our hard-earned money into, focus on quality not quantity in food/clothes/habits, by local when possible, recycle, get outside, plant trees, be more compassionate to each other and build community.
James, thank you for being here and sharing your journey. Learn more about PayThru here.