Podchaser Logo
Episode from the podcastMy Climate Journey

Ep 20: Saul Griffith, Founder of Otherlab

Released Thursday, 18th July 2019
Good episode? Give it some love!
Today’s guest is Saul Griffith, the founder of Otherlab.

Saul is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur but was trained as an engineer. He received his Ph.D. at MIT in the junction between materials science and information theory. Prior to MIT, Saul studied in Sydney, Australia and at UC Berkeley in metallurgical engineering. Since graduating in 2004 he has started numerous technology companies based in the Bay Area including Makani Power 2007-acquired by Google, Instructables 2006-acquired by Autodesk and Squid Labs 2004-2007. Saul has been awarded numerous awards for invention and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007. Saul holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, nanotechnology, energy production, manufacturing and smart geometry.

Otherlab is an independent research & design lab that pairs creativity & rigor to innovations in sustainable energy and robotics.

In this episode we discuss:


  • Saul’s childhood experiences that led him to care about the environment and his interest in engineering and robotics, which resulted in his unique views on how to approach the problem of climate change

  • The type of work Saul and his team are doing at Otherlab, including process, projects, success criteria, and how they partner with orgs like ARPA-E and the government

  • The role and importance of hydrocarbon companies in the climate issue, and Saul’s unique idea for how to mobilize them effectively

  • Saul’s idea for a new financial product focused on enabling home electrification for individual families

  • The evolving role of Silicon Valley

  • Saul’s thoughts on climate math and the future


I hope you enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and via email at [email protected], where I encourage you to share feedback on episodes and/or suggestions for guests/topics you'd like to see covered in the future.

Links for topics discussed in this episode: