Karl Farrow was awarded a medal by the Mexican authorities for his role as a volunteer overseeing the safe destruction of buildings in the immediate aftermath of the Mexico City earthquake of 2017.
What’s that got to do with the company he founded and runs?
Plenty, I think.
I dive into this episode in his life, one that gave him more fulfilment than almost anything else, not just because it was a wonderful thing to do, but because it provides real insight and parallels on what drives him as he leads CeraPhi, a company that is focussed on accelerating the transition to clean energy.
Starting with the word “mission”. Which is peppered through the conversation in many different contexts, but which I think speak both to the direction and the source of Karl’s drive. Whether in immediately responding to the earthquake, or moving the world to clean energy.
For instance, he quickly realised that his history in construction would be of real use – which drove him to volunteer, buying a hard hat and high viz clothing on his drive to the site. Similarly, he looked to his knowledge and experience in oil and gas and found the things that are of real use in creating a company to work on the transition to clean energy – and dointg it through making use of the existing infrastructure and know-how garnered through our decades with fossil fuels.
He also recognised that if he was to be most useful in the earthquake, he needed to focus on skills and resources available, even as many people were volunteering who in reality could actually make the situation worse and not better.
Likewise, his focus with CeraPhi is on the ultimate goal – transitioning to clean energy – without the myriad distractions to clean energy that often feel good, but aren’t very effective at driving to the actual goal.
We talk about the earthquake as a small, but I believe key, part of Karl’s journey to founding and leading his rapidly growing geothermal company, and I learn a lot on the way about the potential of geothermal and how it can play a key role in a transition to clean energy from oil and gas.
Fantastic story from a very grounded individual. No flourishes, no airs and graces. Simply a down to earth “let’s get it done” approach.
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