Meet “The Vam”. Originally from the region of Andhra Pradesh in India, this data expert and algorithm designer is developing the data-driven engine of Plan A. He gathers, organises and makes sense of the world’s numerous and, we daresay daunting, climate indicators. This work requires both jeweller’s patience and eagle-eyed long-term vision. Thanks to data and its official translator into human language, Plan A is able to understand what climate actions should be taken, on which topic of climate change and where needs most urgent support.
As an additional pastime, Vamsi is currently overseeing the publishing of his Master thesis. He also takes the rest of the team to crazy Indian movie representation.
He is an organised man. When working with him, you discover a wealth of life hacks and tips that not even Pinterest is capable of gathering. From 30 minute timers to ergonomic keyboards, his station is never not tidy. He also knows a thing or two about climate measurement, assessment and impact.
What is climate change to you? How does it affect you? How to stop it?
‘Climate change’ to me is an existential threat to the planet, its natural and biological cycles. A threat that undermines the survival of humans and all other species. Climate change and environmental degradation, in general, affects my daily life.
The temperatures back in my hometown, Guntur, India, often peak at 43°Celsius during summer which was never the case before. I understand these ‘extreme temperatures’ are a result of changing weather and climate which in turn are the result of global warming. Besides, other environmental degradations like pollution of air, fresh water are affecting the cost and quality of the food I buy and eat. Bottom line is, my quality of life and access to fundamental healthy lifestyles are threatened now and in the near future.
Unfortunately, various human lifestyle choices have led to the current state of the planet and its incurring problems. I believe that combating climate change and the degradation of our planet’s resources has to start with individual decisions. Choosing low carbon-intense options for food, travel, recreational, business practices, will eventually influence the whole market and industry leading to a sustainable system.
Where do you get your environmental fibre from? How did it all begin?
It all started back in 2013 when I was working in Hyderabad, India where I had the opportunity to understand more about the environmental issues happening around the world. I paid more attention to the issues popping up on the established web platforms in terms of news, research papers, TED talks etc., to familiarise myself and to understand what exactly I could do about it. In the process, I volunteered for an NGO called Georakshan focused on the environmental education of the people in and around Guntur. Very soon, I was motivated to do a Master’s specialisation in environmental management. It was late 2014 that I started my Master’s at BTU Cottbus in Germany and over the period of time, I was mainly associated with Climate-KIC, GreenXchange, PIK, WWF via various projects, research and actions. I got the opportunity to understand the issues of climate change and sustainability in an entrepreneurial and scientific perspective. Since February 2018, I am now working for Plan A, building the priority action algorithm behind our platform.
Read also: The Data-Driven Engine of Plan A
What I like very much about the Plan A team is the diversity of people combining their knowledge and expertise to harness and maximise our ambitious efforts in the fight against climate change.
What is your totem animal (can be a plant too) and why?
Since recently, I am more in love with turtles, especially because female sea turtles return to the same shore to nest. I wonder how they remember the place despite having travelled to so many other places in the oceans all around the planet. I forget things quite often and I am not very good at that. Maybe I should get a bit of inspiration from sea turtles 😉