Is there anything more frustrating than driving around aimlessly trying to find parking? Or even worse, your EV is getting low and you can’t find a charger. Luckily, some really smart people came up with a very smart solution to that very annoying problem. Green.org sat down with Mike Strahlman, Director of JustPark, to learn how they developed technology to match drivers with parking spaces. JustPark, previously known as ParkatmyHouse, was founded in London in 2006 by Anthony Eskinazi.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
By way of background / intro: I currently run JustPark’s EV business (although in Q1 I am transitioning to something new – TBA!), and have spent the last c.15 years in the energy sector, including 9 years at Shell and 3 years at Deloitte.
During my time at Shell, I was Shell’s first Integration Director for New Energies acquisitions, leading the integrations of New Motion and First Utility (amongst others) into the Shell ‘family’; at Deloitte, I supported start-up/scale-ups for energy transition companies as they transitioned through major inflection points, including companies in flexibility networks, micro-grid technology and offshore wind.
At home: we have three kids 5 and under (!) and both my wife and I love sports and being outdoors. Recently we both did the London Triathlon and I ran two marathons in 2022…albeit not that quickly. When I’m not playing with my kids, in my ‘spare time’ I write music and sing / play guitar.
What would you do with $1 Billion dollars?
What a great question. In a nutshell: I’d spend the vast vast majority of it doing everything I could to accelerate the energy transition as well as ‘democratising’ clean / green energy. Simple right? …not really.
It’s easy to say that without thinking through the ‘how’ you’d do it; on top of investing in particular technologies I believe in, I’d likely build a venture-builder umbrella similar to the Bill Gates Breakthrough Energy platform. I’m sure I’d use a teensy bit for my family and an even smaller part for ‘fun’; but the 99+% would be philanthropic.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Both topics have such a material impact on the livelihoods of the entire globe, and future generations that (forgive the cliche) ‘inherit the earth’. It’s our responsibility now to take action that allows for a liveable future for those ahead of us. On top of this – as technology evolves, the existing ecosystem is increasingly inefficient.
With efficiency, comes change and progression to something better than before. As a result, there’s material economic value (business / societal and beyond) in pursuing the limitation of climate change and enhancement of sustainability.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
Much more prevalent decentralised energy; much more ‘independent’ production of energy and therefore a budding ecosystem enhancing energy security for a broader population of the globe. Cheaper and more easily deployable smaller-scale renewable assets and the technology to manage this for grid systems across the world. Still not totally mainstream but accelerating.
Remember: 10 years seems like a long time but it isn’t that long at all. To that point: regulation will be evolving but I’d hope to see stronger commitments and actions from the nations of the world in taking material steps to stave off further impact of climate change.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Equip themselves first and foremost with knowledge. Understand the impact; understand what is being done; understand what you can do. …and then work through the steps one at a time. Start small, but engrain it into your routine as an individual / family / community, and then move onto the next step.
Engage with a platform to help you identify what the personal steps are you can take to decarbonise your life. Just like you count your steps for your exercise, do the same with your decarbonisation journey. There are great platforms out there which can help you, for example Giki (my favourite, but I am biased).