E8S10: Upskilling for the Careers of Tomorrow: Challenges and Successes in Sustainability with Manuela Guzman

Summary & Key Takeways

Every job should be a sustainability job.

How should professionals upskill and be prepared for the careers of tomorrow to build a more sustainable planet?

On Episode 8 of Season 10 of The Social Change Career Podcast, Dr. Craig Zelizer interviews Manuela Guzman, a serial innovator and entrepreneur, about building a career in sustainability. A key focus of their discussion is the urgency of addressing climate change and the importance of systemic solutions, such as renewables, regardless of the specific industry.

Manuela emphasizes the need for people to be at the core of strategies for addressing these challenges and focuses on sectors such as technology that reduces emissions, agriculture, and mental health and well-being. Manuela also share insights and tips from her own career path in sustainability, from how to land internships and job opportunities to her current role at Top Tier Impact as the head of Community, responsible for managing a global network of events and collaborations related to impact and sustainability.

Additionally, the challenges of sustainability in countries like Colombia are discussed, including greenwashing and the need for industry policy regulation. The episode also explores upskilling for careers of the future and unique challenges faced by those from the Global South trying to enter the field. Overall, the episode provides practical insights into the world of sustainability careers and the importance of taking action towards a greener future.

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Key Topics

1. Urgency to address climate change and warming world- Renewables, such as climate tech, are needed solutions for companies- Biodiversity loss is a pressing challenge
2. The importance of people in addressing challenges- Sectors that should be focused on include technology that reduces emissions, agriculture, and mental health and well-being
3. Pursuing a career in sustainability- Manuela has been focusing on sustainability for the past decade- They consciously chose to pursue internships and job opportunities in their desired field- She eventually joined Selena, a company that aligned with their values- The speaker valued working in diverse environments
4. Building a career in impact investing- They did a brainstorming exercise to figure out their next career path- They joined an impact investing community and started building relationships there-
Manuela is passionate about sustainability and impact investing
5. Challenges of building a career in sustainability- The challenges of being from a country in the Global South when trying to get a job or travel- Networking, meeting people with similar interests, is valuable- Education can help, particularly if it is from a well-known institution
6. Challenges of sustainability on a larger scale- The global economic system still heavily relies on extractive production and consumption- Countries are heavily dependent on extractives for their economies- Upskilling people for the careers of the future is a challenge
7. Community management in social impact- Community management is a significant area in social impact careers- Upskilling and job titles in the community management field in social impact are discussed-Manuela is the head of community and responsible for planning events- The events they host cover different sectors and geographies related to impact and sustainability
8. Sustainable measures in Medellin- Medellin is implementing sustainable measures such as electric buses, taxis, and green routes- Manuela suggests requiring or incentivizing solar installations in buildings in Medellin
9. Sectors with potential for growth in green or sustainable jobs

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