Plan A couldn’t be possible without the key support and the various jokes of the whole betahaus co-working crew in Berlin. The story started in the spring of 2017, and has been going on since. This interview of Plan A’s founder Lubomila was originally published on the betahaus blog.
So, why is your company called Plan A?
Because there is no Plan B for our planet. We have reached a moment in history where the repercussions of our actions towards the environment are more than tangible. Climate change is not anymore a statistic for the coming centuries, it is part of our daily routine.
Rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, declining arctic sea level, glacial retreat, ocean acidification… Every day somewhere across the world an extreme weather event happens and affects the lives of many people, animals, plants negatively.
Plan A aims to address this in three ways: first by educating people about climate change in a relatable (and fun) manner, second by giving them an opportunity to act by donating, and, last but not least, by adding transparency to the donation process by providing a detailed breakdown of how the money are spent.
During our interview you mentioned that previously you were working in Finance in London. How did the transition to Plan A come? Why Berlin?
After I finished my masters in London, I went on to do an internship at a venture fund in Bangkok, followed by a move back to London to work at iwoca, a fintech startup in London. These experiences were my entry point to the startup life and what got me excited by the prospect of building a company myself.
The transition to Plan A was the result of a newly developed sense of urgency in me after a series of extreme weather events (and a trip to the beautiful, but dirty beaches of Morocco). I felt like there was no better use of my time than building a link between climate change and technology. Because there is no Plan B for our planet.
Tell us more about your business model..
Plan A has a simple model — one cause, one month, one campaign. Each month we have a single campaign on the platform which fundraises for up to five organisations that tackle the same environmental problem but in different locations across the world. Within the month of the campaign we create educational content on the issue and when the campaign is finished we start reporting back to donors what has happened with their donations.
The first campaign we launched is on Forests and will fund the planting of 100,000 trees across four continents with the help of four charities (WeForest.org, International Tree Foundation, Coeur du Forêt & Worldview Impact). Each of our campaigns focuses on one of our eight causes: Forests, Wildlife, Bees, Oceans, Energy, Healthy Living, Ecovillages and Waste. The next one will be on Wildlife.
Plan A’s team is really small, made up of only 2 people including you. It’s quite impressive and also motivating to see how much you can do. Can you please explain a bit how you divide tasks?
The Plan A team consists at the moment of me and Nathan, who is the genius behind our educational blog and everything content related. I juggle between strategy, technology, charity relations, funding, etc. I would like to think that I adjust my agenda according to the momentarily needs of Plan A. Since I started working on the project, I feel like I can squeeze a lot more in 24h than I did before. I guess my love for sloths and lemurs helps.
What makes Plan A different from other charities organisations?
Plan A is not a charity. We are the meeting point between charities, people and the planet. The charities we choose for each of our campaigns have an excellent track record in positively changing communities and natural environments, we on the other hand enable them to do this by funding their activities.
How do you make profit?
Five percent of each donation goes to Plan A, the rest is split equally between the partner charities for each campaign.
How could betahaus and the whole world support your project better?
The vision behind Plan A is to rebuild a link between people and nature using technology. The support on one hand would be of course donating, but more importantly we want to raise awareness about the reality we are headed to if we don’t focus on tackling climate change heads on.
Find the original interview here.