Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a climate tech company that analyzes, finances and installs clean energy upgrades in buildings in underserved communities.

Why you should listen

Donnel Baird and BlocPower green buildings across the United States by replacing unhealthy fossil-fueled heating and cooling units with the latest sustainable systems, focusing on disadvantaged communities with aging infrastructure. The start-up uses advanced technologies to monitor energy consumption, digitally simulate impactful green energy solutions and dramatically lower the cost of construction and installation. BlocPower has partnerships with cities like Ithaca, New York, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Jose, California to decarbonize buildings with energy-efficient equipment. By hiring from within impacted communities, the company creates jobs for qualified local low-income workers (often from neighborhoods at a high risk of gun violence) and delivers energy savings to building owners — all while reducing carbon emissions and asthma rates.

Baird is a board member of the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Second District, the Climate Reality Project and the Coalition For Green Capital, and he is member of the SEC’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee. He was named Columbia Business School’s "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2021, the National Venture Capital Association’s "Startup Innovator of the Year" in 2022 and TIME's inaugural "Dreamer of the Year" in 2022.

Donnel Baird’s TED talk

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Live from TED Countdown Summit 2023

Community: Notes from Session 6 of TED Countdown Summit 2023

July 14, 2023

From innovative technologies upgrading our buildings to age-old Aboriginal wisdom on fire management and more, the five speakers of Session 6 of TED Countdown Summit 2023 offered transformative insights on how we can redefine our relationships to both our stuff and the world, with a focus on sustainability and resilience. The event: Talks from Session […]

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