62 minutes | Oct 7, 2020

Ep12: Ramez Naam 'Seeing the Future'

How did Ramez Naam spot the exponential cost trends in renewables? How should we tailor our messaging to convince different audiences we need to act on climate change? Why are forecasters so often wrong?

Ramez Naam, our Ep12 guest talks about all of the above and much more!


Not many people manage to write critically acclaimed science-fiction series and equally appreciated non-fiction books. Even smaller subset happens to also be energy analysts and investors. And there’s only one who, in addition, holds several patents, some co-authored with Bill Gates. Ramez Naam is, by all measures, a rare type of person.


Originally from Cairo, Egypt he moved to the US at the age of 3. He studied computer science nad started his career with Microsoft, where he worked on the company’s flagship projects – including Outlook.



After 13 years, he switched to the energy sector and was one of the first to spot the exponential cost trends in renewables. In his 2011 piece ‘Smaller, Cheaper, Faster’ he noted that solar had the steepest learning curve and would eventually become the cheapest source of power.


Ramez has written five books – the first two about the frontiers of science and how they will impact, for the better, on the human condition: The Infinite Resource: the power of ideas on a finite planet (2013) and More than human (2005). These were followed by three science fiction titles, Nexus, Crux and Apex (2015)


Ramez is also an angel investor, focused on energy and sustainability, a co-chair for energy and the environment at the Singularity University, an advisor to Shell New Energies, as well as a very in-demand public speaker. He covers not only energy, but also issues like transhumanism.



Key links:


Ramez Naam’s website



Ramez Naam’s author page on Amazon



Smaller Cheaper Faster (2011)



Ramez Naam: capitalism is not the enemy of climate (2015)



Solar’s future is insanely cheap



Scenarios for a solar singularity (Liebreich, December 2018)



About Cleaning Up

Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation (and a drink) with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development.

Each episode covers the technical ground on some aspect of the low-carbon transition – but it also delves into the nature of leadership in the climate transition: whether to be optimistic or pessimistic; how to communicate in order to inspire change; personal credos; and so on.

And it should be fun – most of the guests are Michael’s friends.

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Links to other Podcast Platforms: https://www.cleaningup.live/


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