Only AI can prevent forest fires with Allison Wolff from Vibrant Planet

Every Wildfire season seems to be Getting more intense than the last but Today's guest is here to tell us that Wildfires actually have a good side when Fire Burns low and slow they help manage The land by getting rid of undergrowth And brush to help feed the soil on the Forest floor but sadly due to over Planting invasive insects higher winds And temperatures the wild fals we're Seeing today are actually hotter and Spreading more quickly than we can Contain you're listening to found Tech Crunch's podcast that brings you the Stories behind the startups from the Folks that are building them today we're Talking to Allison Wolf the co-founder And CEO of viant Planet a cloud-based Planning and monitoring tool for Adaptive Land Management I'm Becca scac And learning about the nuances of caring For a forest floor is my amazing co-host Dominic bori Davis and before we get Into our conversation with Allison we Have our two troops in a lie and at the End of course we'll tell you which one Is not true so listen carefully to these Statements to see which one is a lie Okay first there's one unified group Group that handles Land Management in Most of the US two machine learning Experts were the earliest hires on the Vibrant Planet team or three viate Planet spun out of a nonprofit you will

All have to listen and find out but Before we dive into the meat of the Conversation we have one little request For you dear listeners if you have been Loving found which we assume that you Have been if you wouldn't mind going and Giving us a rating or a review on any of The platforms you are already using to Listen to this podcast it helps us out a Lot gives us great feedback and allows Us to continue to make this great show So if you want to go and do that right Now take a couple seconds and then Dive Right Back In here's our conversation With Allison hi Alison how's it going good How are you doing well dealing with a Little one of those like colds that Automatically comes when the weather Starts to change for the spring but Can't complain yeah well good hopefully It stays low level but probably a good Place for us to dive in today is maybe You want to start by telling us a little Bit about vibrant Planet yeah so vibrant Planet is a science and technology Platform that is creating what we call a Common operating picture for Wildfire Resilience and nature resilience we're Sort of taking the term common operating Picture from the military and from Firefighting and it's sort of how it Sounds it's it means urgency it's Critical coordinated decisions and we're

Using it in the natural resource Management and Wildfire resilience Building space because we have to it's Very urgent and we've basically Modernized a very slow often multi-year Even 10year conflict-ridden process of Multi-jurisdictional planning so we're Sort of stealing that term to bring Urgency and speed and the best Technology and science have to offer to A very big problem and maybe we want to Break that down a little bit for those Of us who are not as familiar with some Of the terminology and those processes Like what does this look like for say a Vior planet user and who would use this And how would your customers approach This yeah so our customers are land Managers that work for the forest Service Bureau of Land Management state Parks national parks like Yus Yellowstone those kinds of parks also Fire districts So Fire Chiefs and folks That work for them counties so those are Paying customers it's an annual Subscription that we sell by the acre And it's enabling a multi-jurisdictional Planning process that's happening now But it's happening on paper believe it Or not so Land Management was one of the Last areas that hadn't really moved to The Cloud yet and so we've built a Really robust datadriven system there's A lot of machine learning in there as

Well that I can get into if you like but We essentially have everything that has Value in a landscape so imagine like Your own neighborhood you might have a Your house your neighborhood maybe a City or a small town around you and then Around that town There's usually lots of Land and often once you get further out Into bigger Landscapes you're dealing With federal and state lands so parks And Forest Service those those kinds of Lands those planning processes become Complex there's a lot of environmental Regulation thank goodness there's Regulation around archaeological sites And things like that thank goodness we Have to protect all those things and so Once you're in especially the broader Landscape planning space there's a lot Of negotiation we all also over the last 10 years have seen this really rapid Rise in severe Wildfire Behavior because Of Land Management decisions which I can Get into as well as climate change Exacerbating grossly over fueled forests Because the way we've managed them for The last3 years and so we've got fires Moving at a million 2 million acres and So that's sort of forcing inherently Consensus-driven processes but consensus Is really difficult when there's a big Lack of trust among different land Owners tribes for service BLM and the Public and then nonprofits that their

Whole job is to protect specific species Like spotted Al for example and so we Basically facilitate much better Collaboration so helping people see each Other's perspectives the system enables Real-time scenario planning so that they Can basically play out virtually this Treatment versus this treatment when I Say treatments that's mechanically Thinning over grown forested areas Putting beneficial fire back on land With prescription those are the Treatments that are system basically Recommends and this is happening in real Time so imagine moving from a multi-year Paper driven process where nobody trusts The data the data isn't fine scale Enough to actually be accurate and you Can't actually play with this versus That and we the we the different Trade-offs of plan so we've basically Brought this very powerful cloud-based Data driven system together to enable That to happen in real time very Collaboratively with spatially Overlapped plans and then it also Becomes a monitoring system so we really Haven't monitored natural resources we Don't really know the current risk to Water sources carbon biodiversity and Even communities it's been pretty Inaccurate to date so we bring a lot of Accuracy to those things in both Forecasting and then monitoring current

Conditions to help prioritize and deploy Right now billions of dollars that are Moving from the infrastructure bill and The inflation reduction act and there's So much there that's so interesting and I'm curious with this going from being a Paper process being a process that took So long having that sort of inaccurate Data set what was it like for you guys To build vibrant planet to fix some of Those issues what was that process like Getting to where you guys are now so I Came out of Silicon Valley and did a lot Of product strategy and a lot of user Experience design I was I led marketing And a lot of the early user experience Design at Netflix and then did a lot of That work at meta and Google and other Big Tech so came in with a very kind of User Centric design ethos and spent over A year and a half talking to more than a 100 people across Emergency Services Land Management the scientific Community To understand what are the gaps in Planning where is it frustrating and Hard what do you wish what do you dream Existed and so there was a lot of input From representative stakeholders and Customers spent a lot of time with Tribes as well really important to start To bring indigenous knowledge into our Space they manag all of all of our land For 20,000 years and then European-americans unfortunately screwed

It up so yeah got a lot of input and Then literally sat side by side with People from calfire and Forest Service And scientists drawing what became our Current platform that is an Adaptive Management platform the hardest hurdle Was creating a a fine scale what we call Um foundational model so vegetation of Course is sort of at the base of the Ecosystem and so we had to map at very Fine scale that could hand off to permit Processes so individual trees individual Brush and grasslands was a huge Breakthrough technologically and that's To where we apply machine learning very Very Advanced we have some of the most Advanced machine learning talent in the World on our team that really wanted to Kind of take what they had developed Inside companies you know ad platforms And apply it to keeping our planet Intact so we're really lucky to have an Incredible Tech team that works with our Scientists to make sure we have Scientific accuracy and efficacy in the Vegetation mapping so we basically Mapped the entire Western United States At one meter scale so we're seeing Individual trees and Forest structure Shand and grassland structure and then We basically the other technical feat is To normalize all those other things that Have value in a landscape so buil Infrastructure of course we know has

Known value real estate and then we Bring in biodiversity data key species Of plants and animals water data carbon Data Recreation data right like a lot of The western United States is a Recreation economy so Recreation values Are very very important in Colorado and California and Washington Oregon right So all of that data gets curated in we Find best-in-class data we're filling Gaps as well where there's gaps we saw a Gap in the vegetation data and filled That and then we normalized the format So I was watching Forest Service fuels People for example pull down 60 Different data sets and then try to Massage them for over a year to actually Make them workable to actually create One scenario of a Land Management plan It was so painful to watch so we've Basically normalized all that so Everything that has Valley in landscape Is represented by best in- class data And science so that's all to work with In this powerful scenario planning Capability so a forest service person is Managing our public lands for carbon Water biodiversity Recreation value and They're also trying to make communities In and around their forest fire adapted So the tool basically lets them optimize A plan that has all those values waited For outcomes they want so they want all Those things sort of equally successful

At the end of a treatment plan and then They can put in the constraints they Have so how much budget they have time Acreage that they want to address in a Certain period of time and then the System basically optimizes and it Basically spits out a recommended Treatment plan that sequences actions That's really important now with things Changing so fast on us it's all about Prioritization so the system helps them With go here first because it's the Highest risk you're going to get the Most benefit from ecosystem enhancements And then go here second here third if You've only got $10 million to pay Workers to go in and thin out forests And prescribe fire burn bosses that get In there and put good fire back on the Land so that's really how the system Works and then it's monitoring it's Monitoring where the forecasted benefits Right and then it's actually year upon Year starting to understand which Treatments worked best in what Socioecological context and then how are We seeing resilience trending across These vast Landscapes so you can imagine The chief of the forest service being Able to aggregate a bunch of insights Nationally and then figure like okay Where do I go next with my next $10 Billion from the inflation reduction act To make sure that money is going out

Equitably um we've got a lot of Frontline communities at risk that are Really hard to map and how do we know That it's actually safeguarding our Communities our carbon sinks our Biodiversity hot spots and our water Okay now all of that is so amazing and So really fascinating I would love to Hear your thoughts on how the practice Of Land Management has changed as the Climate crisis continues to get worse I Know that's kind of broad but I would Love to hear your thoughts on that yeah So let me quickly dip into history Because I think a lot of people don't Know what wild or natural is so in the Western us as Pioneers moved West you Know 150 200 years ago we literally cut Everything down so we had these vast Forests we had 600 million Beaver that Were creating all these marshy carbon Rich biodiversity Rich Wetlands cuz they Blocked all the streams up right we Didn't have water channels as much as we Do now other than the really big Rivers So the the Western us where we've got This really catastrophic fire problem Happening was radically different than We see today and that we live in and of Course there were hardly any people Living in these wildlands they were Concentrated in cities like San Francisco or Seattle and we built Everything from wood so mines railroads

Towns everything was made of wood and so We literally played out the lxs we cut Every tree down we drained and ditched Really carbon Rich meow And ran sheep on them to grow wool for World War I and World War II uniforms Like we really really messed with the Systems there's only 7% old growth left So just picture The Lorax I mean that's Literally what the West looked like and So that fundamentally disrupted the Ecosystem function and then things grew Back but not not in a natural way so That there we had a new forest shling And grassland structure Meadows didn't Recover for the most part from what we Did with them by the way a lot of our Meadows in the West Us store as much Carbon as Indonesian pands when they're Left alone and healthy so what's Happened is we've got I'll focus on Forest because that's where we're seeing Really catastrophic effects in forests Converting to Grasslands and Shands that Don't store as much carbon they don't Host the biodiversity that Forest Typically host right when they convert To other ecosystems and it's happening Really quickly so we basically have to Get in there so we've got these Forest That grew back they grew too thick and Then we we started suppressing fire 100% Of the time 130 years ago so we put fire Out so I've been talking a lot lately

About humans desire to control nature Right so we have air conditioning and we Have heating we don't like it too hot we Don't like it too cold we killed off all The Predators and we're seeing lots of Evidence that that that was a really bad Idea right and so that's why we've got Wool reintroductions and things like That happening because we need the top Of the food chain to exist for the Bottom of the food chain to be healthy We didn't know that and then with fire We controlled fire we don't like fire we Don't like smoke and so we've put every Fire out and a lot of the new technology Is early fire detection systems that Were just getting better and better and Better at that and it's biting Us in the Ass right so we have these unnaturally Structured forests from clear cutting Everything we've got a ton of fuels in There down branches and things we've got A lot of trees dying from diseases like Bark Beetle that are killing billions of Trees across the West in Canada and so We've got these very unres ilent forests With tons of fuel so think about a Fireplace or a campfire where you've got A lot of kindling right to get the fire Going and a little bit of wind we've got More more extreme winds from climate Change and so we've created this perfect Storm of tender dry tons of load and so When a fire Sparks whether it's you know

A cigarette butt a lightning strike or a A utility pole the fire is more likely To become catastrophic where it has Ladder fuels so it doesn't stay on the Ground it actually ladders up into the Canopy of the forest and then climate Fuel winds are moving these fires at Speeds we've never seen before to the Point where we can't get people out like We saw in lahina like we've seen in Paradise and and Kor fire and many Others so what we have to do is sort of Mimic the role beneficial fire played For 20,000 years so both tribes in the West as well as lightning fire like we Didn't have planes with red retardant to Put fires out fire rolled through these Drier Western forests same in Mediterranean Europe Australia Chile There's about half of land on Earth that Adapted with fire so the ecosystem needs Fire to cycle carbon to cycle nutrients And to regenerate some of the seeds of Coniferous forests only plant if they're Goldilock temperature fire so we've Created a catastrophic severe very hot Kind of fire instead of a low intensity Regenerative fire because of our actions And so what our system does is it Basically prescribes based on topography And then also where we can get the most Bang for the buck in terms of reducing Risk to ecosystems in towns as well as Enhancing ecosystem services like carbon

Sequestration water reliability Biodiversity hosting it basically spits Out this prioritized sequenced plan that I talked about that helps you get the Most bang for the buck we call it Restorative return on investment so Where do you go to get the most benefit With the funds that you've got and the People that you've got and then it Basically says you need these types of Workers in this quantity in these places You're going to have this kind of Biomass that can go into climate smart Wood commodities for buildings biochar And crops those kinds of things so it Gives a lot of Predictive Analytics that Help create a whole economy around Resilience eventually also nature-based Climate Solutions which I can talk about Because it it quantifies the ecosystem Benefits that we can start to build Markets around and there's so much there And it's you're obviously very Knowledgeable about this space and I'm Curious what got you interested in Land Management in these kind of climate Adoption techniques what got you Interested in the space to begin with Yeah so I had spent most of my career in Silicon Valley working with amazing Leaders like Bill W and others at Google And Facebook which became meta of course Most mostly on on um climate Solutions I Was sort of in the for good world at

Those companies really trying to figure Out with leadership teams how do we tilt These Global platforms towards good we Had some really big successes and some Big frustrations as well along along That Journey but a lot of that work was Focused on climate Solutions and Leveraging the weight of the tech world To do what we could so things like Creating a space race for who could have The most efficient data center design And then getting every company to open Source their design so that others could Use it rather than it being an opaque Kind of competitive Advantage building Coalitions to go into coal-based states To Green the American grid so bringing Jobs building data centers and Philanthropy and things like that and Then creating new truly additional Renewable energy in places like Kentucky Or Texas building huge wind farms to Power the grid that was powering the Data centers so after spending a lot of Time really working on trying to Contribute to that Tipping Point point Of making renewable energy cheaper than Fossil fuels which we finally hit right I started to get really interested in Nature-based climate Solutions mostly Inspired by Paul Hawkin who's a prolific Author and leader in the sustainability And climate movement he wrote a book and Created an organization called Draw down

I helped with the book launch and in Working with Paul started to learn how Powerful nature-based climate Solutions Are and how ready they are compared to Things that are very long-term Investments like direct air capture to Truly get those things to scale so just Started to learn more and more about you Know nature is ready now most of it's a Management problem so how we've managed Crop lands we need to move to Regenerative a which we know rebuild Soil and the right type of a is a Massive carbon syn like if we can Restore Prairie lands in the midwest Some say that that could pull down all The carbon the world emits annually Forests are the same thing when they're Operating functioning as normal they Store a third of the carbonate we emit Year and there's all these other co- Benefits of Hosting biodiversity we Forget we depend on other species to Survive but we need other species right They also 70% of water comes from Forests and so water is moving through Aapo transpiration forests like in the Seer Nevada where I live they're this Massive Refrigeration machine for all The snow pack right so if the canopy is Wide enough just enough snow lands Underneath and it's shaded by the canopy Right now our canopy is so thick the Snows evaporate operating without

Hitting the ground which is causing our Ground recharge of water it's not Happening like it used to and when we Have big fires you can imagine black Soil with no canopy shading it the water Just melts off too fast right so we've Got to get back to these functioning Systems that are delivering carbon Sequestration clean water and Biodiversity services and then beautiful Places to play right like we love Recreating in the west more from this Conversation right after a quick Break And right before you launched private Planet I saw that you were running your Own nonprofit and so I'm curious to know What has the jump been from running a Nonprofit and now running a Venture-backed company have there been a Lot of lessons a lot of ups and downs Like what has been the learning lessons Yeah so I started originally when I got Passionate about this space so I ended Up in the fir focused space because as I Was getting more and more passionate and Wanting to land in nature-based climate Solutions I was really wanting to Probably land in regenerative a I Started to see this catastrophic fire Problem and how fast it was happening And how severe the damage is going to be In a very short period of time to a Water you know air quality all of these

Things and so turned my attention to Trying to to work on how do we make Ecosystems and communities resilient to Fire and more broadly climate change Before it's too late before all those Ecosystem services that are going to Drive nature-based climate Solutions Blow up literally because it's happening Like in the next couple of decades So I so I started a nonprofit originally 6 years ago to really do some of that Digging on what are the Solutions in This space how do we convene the best Thinkers to solve these problems started To see this technology problem very Clearly saw a public communication Problem people don't have an Understanding of what a healthy Forest Looks like they don't like fire even Prescribed fire so when I got into this A few years ago I was seeing lawsuits to The forest service demanding that the Forest service pays for their curtains To get cleaned when there was a Prescribed fire and I was like oh my god Do you realize you have the choice Between prescribed fire and a little bit Of smoke or a catastrophic fire and Breathing like 600 PPM smoke for a month It was just like this complete lack of Understanding people don't like trees Cut right because we've had it hammered Into us to don't cut trees don't cut Trees don't cut trees plant plant plant

Right but that's very context specific That's really appropriate in some places Like the East Coast perhaps and tropical Areas but where we've created these Hazardously overgrown forests we have to Pull some trees out to save forests Right so we have to think more Systemically so the nonprofit was really Focused on identifying the big gaps in This space originally um educating the Public educating big funders like the Giving pledge families on the Catastrophic fire problem why is it Happening what are the solutions once I Saw the tech play that just somebody had To build the platform that we've built I Really struggled with how a grant funded System would actually be able to serve Actual customer needs grants often force A focus on what the grant is mandating Not what a user needs right right I also Worried about being able to scale Something fast enough because we we are So out of time on this issue I can't Emphasize that enough and so I felt like Venture backing with a killer Tech Team And often tech people will only join if They have some ownership right like some Folks are finishing their career in Silicon Valley and moving to a nonprofit But you know if they can build something That has value and makes a difference That's a big preference for all those Reasons decided to spin a public benefit

Corporation out of the nonprofit We have A hybrid structure where the two work Together and on the public benefit Corp Where I now sit we build this killer Data and this killer Tech all these Applications to answer questions like Land Management where where do I go with My money to get the most bank for the Buck we'll get into more software as a Service for carbon water biodiversity Project developers we'll be getting into Insurance and and solutions for utility Sectors leveraging our same kind of data Core and our capabilities we've built Now in decision support monitoring those Kinds of things the nonprofit is now It's honed its focus to be what we call A data Commons so as we build out data Like our fine scale vegetation data we Make that data publicly available to the Agency and scientific Community to Further science so use our billion tree Map to understand all kinds of functions About forest and steady lots of things Using remote sense data and we'll have We'll have all kinds of Novel data sets That we we make publicly available so That's one of our big impact pieces as a Public benefit Corp is to give that data Away and let the scientific Community Have at it and I'm curious what it has Been like fundraising for this company Knowing the background knowing it's been Out from the nonprofit and also knowing

The data piece that you just mentioned People love Moes people love proprietary Data investors love all of those kind of Buzzword terms and so how has it been Fundraising we have been really lucky Partly because of past relationships to Get some incredible people behind us Early our own Chief product officer Neil Hunt who was the chief product officer At Netflix for 18 years he built the Platform we all enjoy saw I worked with Neil a long time ago he saw the Potential here he's a forest land owner He owns a little bit of land in the Sierra very very worried about fire very Very worried about climate change and so When I told him what was needed in the Space and what we intended to build he And when we when we formed our public Benefit Corp he jumped on the board and Gave us the initial funds to build a Minimum viable product that could Actually show what was possible with a Remote sensed datadriven decision Support tool so I'm very grateful to him He later jumped in with both feet pulled Himself out of what he was working on Before he's our chief product officer Also still on the board with me and Really guiding this company it's such a Pleasure to work with him again other People like Chris Cox who's the head a Product at meta also saw the same kind Of potential he's a big climate investor

So we had a few folks Grandam Foundation Big climate investor that really wanted To see the modernization of these kinds Of nature-based climate Solutions and Also risk mitigation that got behind us Early that gave us enough to hire up a Team that could really demonstrate what We were talking about because you can Imagine in sort of an old world space Was like what are you talking about like Change is very hard in these sort of Slow more bureaucratic spaces and so That really helped us and then later we Got incredible investors like ecosystem Integrity fund the partner that we work With there Jamie Everett is a former Forester he totally got it so we've just Been lucky where we've gotten just the Right introductions to folks that saw The need knew what we were building was Absolutely audacious at first because we We basically this wasn't a typical kind Of software business where you could Build sort of a nice Consulting business Or a little kind of pilot app and then Slowly grow it as you had demand for it We had to build sort of full tilt Boogie We had to invest a ton in the team that We've got scientifically and from a Machine learning perspective to build That foundational model I talked about And and to normalize these really Complicated data sets because we're Basically doing our best to mimic nature

And nature is very very complicated and So it took a lot of people that are very Very you know top-end scientists and Engineers to actually build this Foundation and then we also sell to Government and that takes a long time so We finally have a federal blanket Purchase agreement we're starting to Have a really deep partnership with the Forest service and starting to work on Other federal agencies like the Department of interior and others tribes Too and so now we're at a point where We've got enough traction we've been Able to attract investors like Microsoft And City Impact fund and and others that Are now helping us into this new growth Phase and really really tackle new Markets and talking a little bit about Yourself I guess growing up did you Always want to start a company like did You ever think that one day you would Start a company like this hell no Never did it's funny I almost feel like I fell into it it was just sort of a Couldn't not do this I did run my own Consulting firm for 20 years but it was Just me with a stable of writers and Designers and others that I would pull In for different projects when I was Working with eBay Google and Facebook And there I was sort of like an Insider Even though I was a contractor I really Worked inside with teams very deeply for

Many years at a time so yeah I never Imagined I would co-found and and be the CEO of a tech company in some ways Though it's like so many other things in My life and others lives where you kind Of look hindsight in retrospect it all Makes sense you know I've worked with Some of the most incredible CEOs in my Career like Reed Hastings at Netflix and Mark Zuckerberg at meta and the Leadership at Google and so I've been Able to pick up along the way leadership Styles some of my work was sort of Culture change oriented too over those Years where I was helping some of those Leaders set Vision set strategy and then Galvanize big groups of employees around Where a CEO or or a leader like Chris Cox wants to head and so you know just Started to learn what works and so Trying my best to apply that in my own Company that is you know now inherently One of the hard things is as a Consultant you're sort of only as good As your client and I saw this as an Opportunity to build a company that Inherently does good like the core of The company it's making money for the Investors but it's not quite yet but it Will and it's inherently having this Massive social and ecological impact and So that feels really good and that was Something that always felt a little bit Had some dissonance around that with

Companies I'd worked with you know in The past and what is it like working With all of these different groups Because I know sort of throughout this Conversation you've mentioned the Government working with people like Firefighters also working with Indigenous tribes and people who have Known the land a lot longer than a lot Of us have what is it like kind of being Able to bring all of these groups Together on a platform I know I'm sure They all have different needs they all Approach these issues differently I can Imagine indigenous tribes who would be a Little distrusting of sort of new Solutions coming in as well for good Reason what is it like bringing everyone Together on this issue and being able to Kind of create the platform that can Allow for that collaboration yeah it's Been it's been really interesting I mean A lot of this was starting to happen in That paper driven process I described Earlier anyway so you know at least Different jurisdictions Forest Service BLM national state parks private land Owners they were already trying to build Consensus around what do we envision in This Watershed 300,000 Acres a million Acres it was just really hard so Collaboration had started partially like I said forced by severe fire crossing Boundaries right like Fire doesn't care

Who owns the land right bark Beetle Sweeping killing billions of trees it Doesn't care who owns the land so Consensus driven process had already Been birthed tribes however have sort of Been doing their own thing and there's a Really significant change happening Right now there's a new mature and old Growth bill that came through Congress That's been in the news a lot lately for Example that bill mandates the fact that Western science and Indigenous knowledge Have equal weight in planning how we Protect and manage in and around old Growth for the United States that's kind Of a firstof its kind legislation that Puts indigenous knowledge on the table With equal weight mandated in a bill so I'm very excited about those kinds of Moves especially if the Biden Administration is able to proceed of Course Deb Holland to the head of the Department of interior is our first Tribal member that's leading the biggest Natural resource agency in the country So there's real opportunity to infuse And sort of reintroduce indigenous Knowledge and how we manage land which There's wide acceptance there's almost a Fervor for that in fact tribal leads Like Margo Robbins in the kuk tribe in The Pacific Northwest is teaching she Runs a big burn boss training program to Help teach people all over the country

How to apply a beneficial fire there's a Lot happening my hope is that our Platform can help tribes manage their Data as Sovereign data they are their Own countries right and so there's a lot Of sensitivity around that but with Advanced technology we can keep those Things secure right like we don't want To expose where ancient tribal sites are Where where ancestral archaeological Areas are because silly people will go Dig them up so some of these things have To be handled very very carefully and I Think the weird thing is we can bring Modern technology to an ancient issue And also help everybody see and sort of Reconnect with land the way tribes Managed IT for thousands of years I mean That's the Holy Grail is to is to really Get back to the reciprocal relationship That you know tribes had with nature for 20,000 years we've got to basically Instead of trying to control going back To the control thing instead of trying To control everything we really have to Connect with what's around us and Understand what's healthy and and what We need to do to move things to health And resilience and be active in it so That's really what our system is helping People do it's just funny that it's We're kind of meeting people where they Are with advanced technology to Reconnect to what we should have been

Doing ,000 years ago and I could listen To you talk forever oh my gosh but Before we leave we do have one more Question and that's what's next and then On top of that like are you going to Tackle water next what is I want to know What's next are you going to hit all the Elements yeah we we basically are now Because our system is helping to manage Across the elements water biodiversity Carbon and fire in terms of what's next So we are just about to our system will Be available westwide in all Western US States we now have the methodology to Export that so our hope is this year We'll start to move internationally in Places like Greece Portugal which have Horrible fires Chile our chief scientist Just did a fellowship down in Chile to Work with them on some of their their Strategy for fire they had horrible Fires this summer for them a few months Ago so that's one goal is to take this Where it's needed most in the world Again before it's too late before we Permanently lose some of these critical Ecosystems we're also really starting to Think about we've got all this sort of Nature accounting so we've got all these Values of natural Capital inherently in Our system and then how doing this or That affects those values positively or Negatively sometimes and so we're Starting to think about the sort of

Nature accounting space and the need With ESG also the task force on nature Disclosures is sort of an emerging Framework that a lot of companies are Signing on to I think we can be really Helpful to you know again connect Corporations to ecosystems and Understand the effects of what they Invest in what they're buying those Kinds of things so that's a sort of an Emerging space that we're thinking about And then finally we have some Pilots Starting to happen with our partners at American Forest Foundation incredible Organization if you want to support a Great org that's really pioneering the Highest quality Forest carbon for small Family land owners so we're starting to To bring the program that they birthed Working with small family land owners on Forest carbon offset programs to create A new source of income for small Families we're bringing that West in Fire Landscapes starting with some Pilots this year so super excited about That this has been a total pleasure Thanks so much for coming on the show oh Thanks so much for having me it was so Much fun talking to both of You and that was our conversation with Allison and before we move on looking in At what was the LIE the lie was that There's one unified group that handles Land Management in most of the US which

Was pretty interesting to know I mean I Know that I don't understand anything About what happens in government Oversight who does what whatever I feel Like any question I have I always have To look it up but I think that is kind Of what makes this platform so Interesting is the collaboration part of It if so many people oversee the land And then of course there's so many Groups that would care about what Happens to land or care about how to Develop it or how to prevent things it's Like interesting to think of building a Platform that caters to everyone all at Once I know and the US is big massive Huge I often say it's too big but not Going into that but just imagining the Different type of environments that the Land used to have before the Colonial Settlers came in and just thinking about What is needed to take care of that land And really knowing the wants and the Needs especially as the environment Changes how do you take care of a land That you never really knew which is also Really good why the company works with Indigenous tribes because they know how To take care of this land they've been Doing it for like thousands of years Yeah no I thought that piece of it was Not only super smart as just like a Business strategy wise but also just Like the right thing to do like if you

Were trying to build this and you were Going off of Just new technology or new Approaches it just isn't the full Picture like if you're trying to get Back to a space especially which like it Seems like a lot of us are trying to do Where it's like we have less of a harm On the environment less of an impact Building a platform that doesn't account For how people took care of the land Prior to the impact we've currently had Would just be kind of silly like the Information is right there like why Would you not work with the people who Know what they're talking about and Stuff and I feel especially with Indigenous groups I feel there's Mistrust of how people are treating Their land and how the government Approaches things like that which is Very well-founded mistrust for sure so It's nice to see that this is just Bridging a lot of gaps I feel in that Space yeah and it seems to be such a Nuanced issue just thinking about Everything that goes into like going Back to when did I have biology in like The seventh grade Biodiversity and I just remember there's Like there's a lot of it I can't even go Into the details about it but just Understanding the biodiversity the Vegetation the what it takes to put all Of this together and then creating a

Technology that can specifically address Those issues but then doing that for the United States which is once again big Girl like I really like this product I Think it's timely it's needed and I Really do like the collabora aspect of It yeah cuz like biodiversity is so huge I know there's a new Venture firm I Wrote about their launch it was sometime During 20123 I want to say maybe in the Summer called super organism and their Whole thesis is backing companies that Preserve biodiversity or like preserve Nature because they're like it's crazy How little people realize that if we Work to preserve certain things it like Takes care of some of our other issues So it's like everyone wins in this Scenario but I definitely wanted to talk About the AI here too because it seems Like it would be kind of a difficult Model to train just with how much Biodiversity there is even if it is less Than there used to be it's so complex And complicated it seems like it'd be Hard to train an AI model on this data Set but I could definitely see where Because this is such a fluid area that Once it did learn it would be really Helpful to have something like AI to Help scale this technology yeah I was Also going to bring that up it seems to Be such an intricate thing I truly don't Know how you train an AI model on this

But I'm also I'm not a machine learning Expert at all but I imagine no one's Asking us to no no one no one's asking Me but I also imagine it could be Because it seems like there's also new Biodiversity that comes out like there's So much about this world that we don't Know and so how much can you train an AI Model when it comes to the environment Like this about even a world that we're Still trying to figure out like imagine The AI trying to figure out the ocean And we only know like 5% of it maybe AI Can learn more because we can drop it Down there to the The Depths or Something or maybe not like cuz what are We looking for I think it's also a Pretty good use for AI like we should Put AI on the front lines of this and Figure this out I love the thought of Putting AI on the front line like let's Throw them on the front lines but yeah You get a little robot no I mean stuff Like that it's like just using this Technology makes so much sense here Because I know back in college I took This environmental reporting class which Was a lot of fun really a lot of fun and One of the field trip we did a lot of Field trips we took a field trip to a Marsh and the guy who is running the Research on the marsh it's Ry Marsh in Boston if anyone is familiar with it he Was saying that and he's like yeah we

Like come here every day we take these Huge Advanced Computers and we throw Them in the ocean he's like and then we Collect them and then we take the data Off of them but just he was so like yep Just take a big piece of technology and Just toss it right in the ocean and so Like thinking of like applying Tech to Like draw out these maps and get a Better hold on these biodiversity issues Cuz I mean in theory I'm thinking very In like Sim's brain right now if you Were like making a patch of grass or Something say it's an analogy for a Field out on the west coast the Biodiversity and the one square is Probably going to be the same if you Blew it up to 10 squares like 10 squ F Feet or something so I feel like once You figure stuff out train the AI that Kind of scale like for forests and Things like that definitely makes a lot Of sense here I just keep thinking about Those life-size robots from Glacier and Then having them hike up Mountains and just saying like hike and Then having them go up and look around Figure it out yeah and figure it out Yeah no that's where we're headed that's Where we're headed hey I think that's a Good use case for robots see I'm Pro Robot but you know what else was really Interesting that we didn't talk to her Much about was her previous working

Experience which she's been everywhere Oh I know and she tried to like downplay The fact that she was like oh well you Know like the first company I found and I never wanted to be a founder and I'm Like I don't know I would consider Running your own consultant firm that Got hired by people like Google Apple Facebook now meta but like I would Definitely give myself more credit for That yeah when I saw she was at Netflix Back in the day I was like oh my gosh She's been everywhere yeah she's worked With a lot of the great quote unquote Like Tech mines of the last decade the Great so yeah I think she definitely Underplays that a little bit which I Think she shouldn't no yeah this is Definit she's amazing and don't Underplay it no own it this episode Could have easily been like 3 hours long I know I wanted to know more about Everything I felt like I was back in Like college lecture oh I know but like Actually interested taking notes Actually interested Yes found is hosted by myself TechCrunch Senior reporter Becca scac alongside Senior reporter Dominic madori Davis Found is produced by Maggie stamitz with Editing by Kell our illustrator is Bryce Durban founds audience development in Social media is managed by Morgan little Alyssa Stringer and Natalie chman

Techcrunch's audio products are managed By Henry pikovit thanks for listening And we'll be back next Week


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