Monthly Archives: February 2020

Clean Energy Jobs in 2020

Will there be clean energy jobs in 2020?

About this episode:

It may come as quite a surprise to some that, in 2020, one of the fastest growing sectors in the American workforce happens to be the clean energy space: think solar, wind, geothermal, energy storage (batteries), hybrid and electric vehicles,  and, energy efficiency as some of the big drivers in the scale-up.

Currently, 3.3 million American workers are actively employed in meaningful work doing clean energy jobs. 

To learn more about this exciting development, we spoke with Bob Keefe. He is the Executive Director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a nonprofit that helps build economic and employment opportunities across the clean energy space.

In this episode, Bob describes:

  • E2’s mission and his role in driving its success. Starts at 5:24
  • How many, and what types of, clean energy jobs already exist in the United States. Starts at 7:04
  • The job growth value frames that E2 provides to elected officials. Starts at 11:24
  • Clean energy’s surprising appeal in Red States. Starts at 15:32
  • Workforce training requirements for clean energy jobs. Starts at 24:22
  • Ways people may explore clean energy careers. Starts at 33:20
  • E2’s parent NRDC and its famous new CEO. Starts at 35:28

In the news:

Dan headlines the alarming drop in American workforce participation (now at 63.4 percent) and the added threat to workers from robots and AI.

About our guest:

Bob Keefe enjoyed a successful career in print journalism before entering the advocacy space. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from UNC Chapel Hill, he worked as a correspondent for Cox Newspapers and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bob joined the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as Press Secretary in 2011; in 2014, he became Executive Director of NRDC affiliate, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Bob lives and works in Southern California.

EPISODE DATE: February 28, 2020

Social media:

E2 website

Clean Energy Jobs Reports



Autonomous Vehicles in Urban Areas

Does smart transportation of the future include autonomous vehicles in urban areas?

About this Episode:

Dr. Richard Ezike is leading the charge for American Transportation Equity, to make the full range of mobility options—and, in particular, Autonomous Vehicles or AVs—as readily available for inner-city residents as they are for people in our more affluent suburbs. He believes that AVs will provide safer and more accessible mobility, and may greatly improve the lives of inner-city residents who otherwise are deprived of quality transportation.

During these key interview segments, Richard covers autonomous vehicles in urban areas. He:

  • Defines the term “Autonomous Vehicle.” Starts at 5:09
  • Offers his insight as to whether people of color will accept AVs as a transportation equity option. Starts at 10:19
  • Addresses the national security and “hackability” concerns related to the development of AVs. Starts at 14:22
  • Offers his thoughts on how, 30 years from now, AVs may revitalize historically poor and underserved communities such as Southeast Washington, D.C. Starts at 26:58

Autonomous Vehicles in Urban AreasAbout our guest: Dr. Richard Ezike received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Currently, he is a Senior Policy Associate, Innovation for Inclusion at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Ezike is a frequent events speaker and podcast guest in the areas of transportation equity, resource sustainability, social responsibility, STEAM learning, careerism, and the environment.

EPISODE DATE: February 21, 2020

Published work:

Transportation, Sustainability, and Equity and the Effect on the African-American Community, Published October 20, 2016

Transportation, Environment and Health: Inexorably Linked for Black People, Washington Informer, Published September 7, 2016

Can Transportation be a Bridge to Wealth for African Americans?, Published May 10, 2016

Social media:

Richard Ezike, Ph.D. Website

LinkedIn Page

Pursuing Truly Epic Experiences

The future of work doing meaningful work includes pursuing truly epic experiences.

About this episode:

Pew Research finds that the American Dream many in the workforce experienced as upward mobility is long gone; it was replaced by a soberer pursuit of economic stability. As a result, we now fill our homes and storage bins with less stuff. More of us, and especially Millennials, instead pursue less stuff and more profound meaning and experience.

There are few industries where that shift to experience is more evident than in the travel and hospitality space.

Eva Grodberg is a lifelong lover of international travel and an entrepreneur who delivers epic vacation travel and leisure experiences to her discriminating clients who are pursuing truly epic experiences.

In these key interview segments, Eva:

  • Relates how we may make the most of a life with less stuff and more experience. Starts at 6:30
  • Describes how the dynamic aspect of the pursuit of experience gets factored in to the work that she does. Starts at 16:53
  • Speaks to how “adrenaline junkies” escape the rush of work when on vacation. Starts at 18:31
  • Dreams of an epic experience she would like to have. Starts at 19:55

In the news:

Fifty-five percent of people on the job don’t use all of their earned vacation time. And the reason may be FOMO, or, a fear of missing out. We discover how skipping vacation time can prove harmful to health and work performance.

About our guest:

Eva Grodberg is the Founder and President of Epic Experiences, LLC. She is a graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and, lives and works in New York City.

EPISODE DATE: February 14, 2020

Social media:


Epic Experience Website


Two Headhunters on Executive Recruiting

Two headhunters on executive recruiting, and the rewarding experience of helping people connect with work and career.

About this episode with two headhunters on executive recruiting:

Listeners of this podcast know that Dan Smolen successfully managed a 20-year run in executive recruiting—a career act that happened because of our guest, Victoria James. She is the founder and president of Victoria James Executive Search, a nationally recognized and respected recruitment firm that places top executives in the digital marketing services space.

Before she became a headhunter, Victoria enjoyed a successful sales and management career supporting major marketing services companies.


Dan describes reading, and listening to on Audible, Disney CEO Bob Iger’s inspiring new biography, The Ride of a Lifetime.

About our guest:

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Victoria James earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bloomfield College and an MBA from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. She and her company are based in South Kent, Connecticut.

EPISODE DATE: February 7, 2020

Social Media:




Victoria James Executive Search Website

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