Episode Archive

SCP E234 How to Save the World with Data and Humans, with Katie Patrick

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have a fascinating conversation with Katie Patrick, an environmental engineer, software designer, author and co-founder of the two environmental database startups Energy Lollipop and Urban Canopy. We begin our conversation by Katie telling us about her background as an environmental engineer, how she transitioned to running her own publishing company to now her own startups. Katie then shares with us what a Smart Community is to her and her passion for environmental data. We then talk more about environmental data and how it can help drive change in human behaviour before Katie talks about her interest in behavioural psychology. Katie then shares with us her two startups and the work they are involved in and we talk about her transition from a more conventional style of work to the startup space, before discussing personality types and the value different personalities can bring to an organisation. We talk about the basis of Katie’s book “How To Save The World” and how important it was for Katie to deliver her complex messages in the book in a readable way to her audience. We finish our conversation discussing the emerging trends of granular data and data-to-data comparisons. As always we hope you enjoy this episode as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Katie’s background as an environmental engineer, her transition to running her publishing company then to her environmental database companies 
  • Katie’s passion and intellectual obsession for environmental data 
  • What a Smart Community is to Katie
  • How environmental data can help drive change in human behaviour, and Katie’s interest in behavioural psychology
  • Katie’s two startups, Energy Lollipop and Urban Canopy and the work they are involved in
  • Her transition from a more conventional style of work into the startup space
  • The importance of employers understanding different personality types and the value different people can bring to an organisation
  • The basis of Katie’s book “How To Save the World” 
  • The importance of good communication when delivering complex messages 
  • The emerging trend of granular data and how data-to-data comparisons can help drive change in human behaviour 


“If [data] doesn’t actually get humans to do a thing, then it’s kind of failed.” 

“But we need a whole lot more data. And when we have the data, we can really use it to drive action in a way that it can be really hard to get people to do stuff and take action if you don’t have these data tools.”

“And it’s this whole idea of Fitbit for the planet, let’s show people the data, then the data can be designed in a way that gives people agency to change rather than just being some like random top green tips.”

“I think all employers, government and industry, if they were a bit more flexible around different personality types, and different creative types, we could have all these different types of people feeding more innovation instead of having to make these drastic choices that I have to be all indie and self employed, or a startup or I have to work the conventional nine to five, and not express myself at all, it really shouldn’t be that black and white.”

“So everybody working in environment has a what, they’re missing the how. How do you get everybody in? And it’s a really big body of knowledge, how do you psychologically influence people to do the environmental stuff you want them to do? And so my book really dives into that.”

“I think one of the emerging trends that people aren’t talking about enough, especially in, well anywhere, science, or sustainability, is the potential to get more granular data, and to use it to compare different people to people, buildings to buildings, houses to houses. When you look through all the behavioural science, one of the most powerful things you can do that drives people to take action is [show] how you and I would compare to each other, saying you do 20% better or worse than that person.” 

“So the relationship between collecting the data, which is a scientific job, and then the other half, which is communicating the comparison in a way that you get people raised up to take action, and then measuring that action and [saying] ‘Cool, we’ve got 20% of people to do the thing we wanted them to do.’” 


Energy Lollipop  

Urban Canopy 

Company Website – http://www.helloworlde.com/ 

Katie’s Website  KatiePatrick.com 


Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Katie via LinkedIn Twitter or Instagram 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community   

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube
The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital


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