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Welcome to Electric Ladies Podcast!

Insights and tips from remarkable women leaders and innovators - from business, policy, science, the arts - who are transforming our world - Energy and sustainability - Career advice too.

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Dec 7, 2021

Because 40% “of greenhouse gas emissions come from the built environment,…one has to take an integrated look at the built environment to look at how people live, work, and play. But also integration in the sense of understanding how transportation systems fit into that, how urban design affects the efficiency of how people live, how communications networks play, and then ultimately supply chains because people need things.”

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson on Electric Ladies Podcast

The new infrastructure funding and Build Back Better plan moving through the Senate provide funding to address various aspects of buildings, transportation, broadband and more, to upgrade our communities, while also reducing their carbon footprints. But Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of the revered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute says we need to look at them as an integrated system.  (She’s also the first black woman to earn a PhD from MIT.)

Listen to Dr. Jackson explain how this new concept of place can serve us so much better in this fascinating interview with Electric Ladies host Joan Michelson.

You’ll hear about:

  • How that built ecosystem works
  • Why the integration is critical for both the community as an ecosystem and for the planet
  • How their new Institute of Energy, the Built Environment and Smart Systems will affect our daily lives.
  • Why they believe an interdisciplinary approach is critical, including design
  • What impact covid had on their Institute.
  • Plus, insightful career advice ….

“I think one has to start with the idea of not letting others put a lid on you….Be who you are…. You have to be who you are because that centers you, and that can be the source of your confidence to take a risk in order to move into something different…. (And) think about, ‘what do I want to accomplish in the next three months against the larger picture?’” But you also have to compete and to compete, takes confidence.”

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson on the Electric Ladies podcast


Read Joan’s related Forbes articles here too.

You’ll also want to listen to:

  • Elizabeth Thompson, Vice President, U.S. Green Building Council on safety of green buildings.
  • Wendy Vittori, Health Products Development Corporation, on their database of criteria on building materials.
  • Olivia Martin,, on the State of the Earth in 2021, using various sources of government data.
  • Michele Wucker, thought leaders and author of “You Are What You Risk: The New Art & Science to Navigating an Uncertain World.”

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