Alina Truhina: Climate Change Reality, Political Refugee Journey & Navigating ESG - E342

· climate tech,sustainability,Women,Europe,VC and Angels

“I want to emphasize that climate is not a trend. Climate change is here. You're not going to pause and it's only going to get worse. In my view, there's no way it’s going to disappear and therefore investments in climate are going to disappear. It is only going to get increasingly more important. It's not like a bubble and it’s not going to burst. We need more investments, more entrepreneurs, and more VCs in this space. We see climate not as climate tech. It's not just renewables and solar. We see it as a broader complexity of subsectors. $32B went into the US climate investments. Southeast Asia saw $1.1B and we're celebrating because that's a 10X increase in the last five years. We're not even on the map. So we need to change our perception of what climate is and what climate isn't, and back entrepreneurs and support them in different ways.” - Alina Truhina

“Addressing climate change is incredibly elitist. It's not inclusive. We need to do more to change perceptions of what that is. To this day, the common man and woman will not care to change their behavior or consumption habits. That's from middle-income or high-income earners. The mass population in the region that we work in is focused on survival, but that is why I think we need to think about it differently. We look for founders who are solving problems that are very user-centric and that allow people to make decisions, not necessarily by being convinced and completely going cold turkey and, stopping plastic consumption. It is how we still invest in agriculture and waste management and creating new building materials. It is not about telling them to stop doing something but how to make slight changes to your habits. It doesn't have to be incredibly abrupt.” - Alina Truhina

“We need disruptive solutions in the world and we need more entrepreneurs solving for those. And yes, the private sector is doing work in that area. The public sector and the governments are focused on changing policies and initiating agreements globally, but I think it's the early-stage entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in general that are going to come up with and leverage technologies that will scale climate solutions specifically in this region. Being local and having local entrepreneurs solving local problems is going to be critical to finding those solutions.” - Alina Truhina

Alina Truhina, Managing Partner of The Radical Fund, and Jeremy Au delve into three main topics:

1. Climate Change Realities: Alina acknowledges Southeast Asia's position as both a significant emitter of greenhouse gases and a region increasingly vulnerable to climate change. She also touches on the notion that addressing climate change seems elitist and is not yet a priority for the general population who are more concerned with immediate household and financial needs. She proposes fostering habit changes through user-centric business models that make environmental choices accessible and practical without demanding drastic lifestyle overhauls.

2. Entrepreneurial Approaches to ESG: Alina draws attention to the often-misunderstood concepts of ESG, climate, impact, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), urging founders to go beyond the tokenism of using SDG logos and to sincerely embed these principles into their operational metrics. She advocates a $4.3 trillion economic opportunity for Asia stemming from proactive climate action and showcasing the profitability in sustainability efforts. She also explores the transformative potential of VC and other financial instruments in supporting founders who are championing technological innovations geared toward local community needs.

3. Adversity & Personal Growth: Reflecting on her background as a political refugee, Alina recounts the discrimination her family faced following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, leading to their move to Australia. She deeply connects with entrepreneurs she works with, resonating with those who have faced similar socio-economic battles. She explains that her outsider status has been both a challenge and an advantage, offering a distinctive perspective and driving her to surround herself with local teams that contribute to a comprehensive understanding of each market. She emphasizes her commitment to investing in transformative solutions that empower entrepreneurs to enact positive change and provide opportunities for others in their communities.

They also talked about building coalitions and driving change as an outsider in the industry, the loneliness of a founder's journey, the significance of peer-to-peer networks in providing support for founders, the importance of emotional intelligence for effective leadership, and the emerging role of women in VC.

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(02:25) Jeremy Au:

Hey Alina, really excited to have you on the show. You are doing some important work in venture capital across Southeast Asia, especially in the world, in saving the world and making the world a better place. So could you introduce yourself real quick?

(02:38) Alina Truhina:

Hi, everyone. My name is Alina Truhina. I'm the CEO and the Managing Partner of The Radical Fund and we are investing in early-stage companies that are scaling solutions in climate-oriented sectors in Southeast Asia.

(02:50) Jeremy Au:

Amazing. Could you share a little bit more about some of the professional experiences that you've had?

(02:54) Alina Truhina:

Yes, absolutely. So before Southeast Asia, I cofounded funds and investment vehicles in Africa. So I'm a cofounder of Founders Factory Africa, which is a VC and a venture studio on the continent. Before that, my business partner and I also led an impact vehicle across South Asia and East Africa, and we scaled and supported over 76 companies, all early stage across nine markets, and I started my career in the private sector. So I worked for some of the largest multinationals out of Australia. But I then was quite bored with the notion that corporates are not as impactful as I thought they could be. So I went into development and spent a lot of time at the World Bank and the multilateral system. All of those experiences brought me to Southeast Asia and where I am today.

(03:43) Jeremy Au:

Amazing. So how did you get into venture capital?

(03:46) Alina Truhina:

It's a great question. I think the classical, the conventional way to get into VC is through some form of a financial track. So lots of people go into investment banking or do consultancies. My pathway was, that I started in the private sector, obviously then worked in the development sector, and then I started to engage with a lot of entrepreneurs and startups. And I then started to be incredibly excited about the work that is happening in emerging markets specifically. And so by launching different funds and different investment vehicles and designing different investment instruments something that we now call capital design, I got into VC.

(04:24) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Amazing. So could you share about what's your approach as a VC? What exactly is the thesis between Radical Fund?

(04:31) Alina Truhina: Yeah.

So, we're climate-orientated and that to us means a couple of things. First of all. We're focused on both the decarbonization and the adaptation investments and that is because we know that Southeast Asia is incredibly vulnerable to a lot of the disasters and the impacts of climate change. At the same time Southeast Asia is one of the world's largest emitters of emissions. In fact, I was quite shocked to get the recent results or data, we're the third largest emission emitter in the world ahead of India and ahead of Russia, which is just mind blowing to me. And so, we need to look at that both a need and a risk, as well as an opportunity. And so, our investment thesis is therefore focused on both the prevention of climate change. So how do we decarbonize the region? How do we help prevent further emissions? But also how do we help millions of people adapt to the realities of climate change? We're already seeing the effects of it.

You and I, we don't have to go far if you go just outside your building, you see, at the effects of the extreme weather events, flooding storms including air pollution, et cetera. So I missed my thesis is how do we back early stage scalable founders who can actually bring solutions specifically in this region. So that's the second point is it needs to have a significant impact in Southeast Asia to be able to actually decarbonize and adapt to the realities of climate change.

(05:56) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. So why do you care about this? I mean, obviously we know that climate change is real. So that's one two is, let's just say, I think most people don't care about climate change, I think in a general perspective, it's two. And three is even for people who do care, not everybody is making a decision to be a venture capital investor, in this mission. So could you share a little bit more about that perspective?

(06:18) Alina Truhina:

Yes, so twofold for me first of all, I deeply care about early stage entrepreneurs who are solving complex and complicated challenges. And before Southeast Asia and before the Radical Fund in Africa, we we, and we still are we have a portfolio of 60 companies across health tech and ag tech and logistics, mobility. And what I have seen is every single one of those sectors that I've just mentioned have some form of a climate influence or outcome. So if you look at ag tech, if you look at logistics there is incredible amount of either value or cost that is attributable to climate. And so for me climate has always been something that has been as part of my life.

(07:05) Alina Truhina:

My family's Australian, so, they live outside the city and bushfires and I'm sure we've seen and you've seen the news headlines. But also being in living now in Bangkok, I experienced it every day personally. Bridging personal experiences as well as my deep conviction that actually we do need some radical solutions, no pun intended. We do need disruptive solutions in the world and we need more entrepreneurs solving for those. And yes, the private sector is doing work in that area. Yes, the public sector, the governments are obviously focused on changing policies and initiating agreements globally. But I really think it's the early stage entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in general that are going to come up with or use and leverage technologies that will scale solutions for climate specifically in this region. And I think being local and having local entrepreneurs solving local problems is going to be critical to finding those solutions.

(08:00) Jeremy Au:

So let's talk about that, right? Because I think climate change, I remember 10 years ago, everyone's debating whether even climate change is real, even though I think the science was very clear at that point of time. But it feels like over the past 10 years, I think most people are like, yeah, it's acceptable. I mean first of all, we changed the phrase from global warming to climate change. And like I said, I think we've seen the impacts of that with some of these historical all time high of temperature or all these historical stuff keeps happening every year these days. So I think there's more growing awareness that this climate change is real. That being said, I think the tricky part is at one sense is like, do we have to solve it now kind of dynamic, because there's so many other problems. And I think you mentioned Southeast Asia as a, contributor but the truth is, most people are looking to break out poverty, have a better life for themselves and their kids. And sure, I think that climate change is something that's happening, but that's further out. And the decisions to be made now and about getting a motorcycle for your family, about switching on air conditioning for your kid to sleep at night.

So these are the dynamics that I think is really happening because at some level it's about energy. When you're richer, you get to spend more energy, and when you spend more energy, you can get richer in general. And that's the story of human civilization in the past 1000 years, is like we got our free energy from the dinosaurs and the fossil fuels and so forth. So I'm just kind of curious, like, how do you see the general population? Do you think there's a fair description? I think that's what I'm feeling. But I'm just kind of curious about how you think about it as well from a general population perspective.

(09:21) Alina Truhina:

Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, I think you're absolutely spot on. Climate change or addressing climate change is incredibly elitist. It's not inclusive. And I think we need to absolutely do more to actually change perceptions of what that is. Still to this day, the common man and woman will not care to change their behavior or change their consumption habits. And that's from middle-income or high-income earners. If you look at, to your point, the mass population in the region that we work in. They are absolutely focused on survival. How do we put food on the table? How do I even send my kid to school? They're absolutely not thinking about, Oh, there's climate change out there. And therefore how do I recycle my plastic bottle that I just got from a shop. But that is why I think we need to think about it differently. And that is why, back to your question about investment thesis, we look for founders who are solving problems that are very user centric and that allow people to make decisions, not necessarily by being convinced and completely going cold turkey and, stopping plastic consumption.

It is how do we actually still invest in agriculture and waste management and creating new building materials. Doing the things that we know are needed for all of us as a society to function but are better, that are more climate friendly, if you like. And so when we look at, again, the low income population, it is not telling them to stop doing something. It's always like, oh, climate change, you need to stop doing something. It is, how do you make slight changes to your habits? But again, climate change for us, it is agriculture. It is food systems. It's how do you create more solar vehicles and therefore allow the kind of the average user to make smarter decisions. So it doesn't have to be so incredibly abrupt and you don't have to all of a sudden just go, all I care is about climate change, but there are ways to actually create value and be commercial about it without completely going into a difference and different way of of working.

(11:30) Jeremy Au:

I'm curious. How optimistic or pessimistic are you about climate change and the degree of Celsius the world is going towards. I'm actually, personally, I'm on the pessimistic side, I would say. I just think that even though you're right to say that we need to have technology, and I think it would help us substitute behaviors without too much sacrifice. I just personally think we're going to hit the worst case scenario from my perspective just because I think there's too much governmental coordination and agreement and trade-offs that needs to happen at some level. How do you think about that? I'm just so curious.

(11:58) Alina Truhina:

Yeah. I would say I'm a realist, which means again, the reality is we are on the pathway to go beyond the 1. 5 degrees. So this is serious. There's enough data out there that already says, to throw a statistic out there, 40% of our GDP is at risk by 2050. That's almost half, right? And so, I think we're seeing the disastrous effects and we're seeing the disastrous impacts that climate change has on our society. So realistically speaking, I think the question that we need to ask is, and technology is not a panacea, right? But you know, how can we leverage it? How can we use and enable ourselves through technologies, but most importantly through, coming back to entrepreneurship, through different types of businesses that help reach the mass population and help it, either adopt a kind of different solutions or not. So the question is, does that outpace our mode of destruction is how I'm thinking about it. As our GDP is at risk as our emissions and continuing to rise. As our growth continues to rise, by the way, again, Southeast Asia is 60% in terms of growth, higher than the average, world average. So does that outpace our effort to decarbonize? Does that outpace our effort to adapt to the realities of climate change?

And I think that's where, again, we need to You know, be radical and actually change the status quo. So in that way, I'm hopeful, and in that way, I wouldn't be doing what we're doing. We wouldn't be backing these amazing founders who all believe that it's possible. But again, we need more entrepreneurs. We need more technologies. We need more investors investing in this space. We just need more to balance this out.

(13:37) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think it is a struggle, right? I have two daughters, young ones. They're going to live in that world that we're leaving them behind and they may have grandkids, great grandkids, so I think there's this dynamic where the truth is, if it was just myself and I didn't have kids, I could probably live a pretty nice life between now and then. But I think future generations have to deal with this dynamic. How do you think about that? Because I think there's a tricky part. It's like a lot of this global warming stuff is honestly, it's going to kick in worse many years down the road. And that's like what 70 year timeframe. You can imagine for some of these forecasts and so forth even what you mentioned earlier about some of these at risk dynamics is still what, 25, 30 years out. That's forever. So how do you think that timeframe requirements stacks up versus what you mentioned is venture capital, which is a 10 year investment cycle. And versus founders who are building today. So I'm just curious how you see those time windows or time lags, would we be more interested in venture capital and climate change in like 30 years time, when we're really starting to feel the pain. That's why I'm kind of like wondering.

(14:35) Alina Truhina:

Yeah, the timing thing is critical. To your point there is a short, medium ,and long term effects of it. I think that VC game and, to your point, VC usually funds are five year funds and kind of investment period. And then you usually start your next fund and that is a typical sort of model. I see it slightly differently. The fact that we're supporting entrepreneurs today. So let's say, we make an investment today. And by the way, when we make an investment, it's not just capital. It's not just traditional he has a check and we're an investor and a shareholder. We actually put enormous amount of technical and operational support. So our model is kind of enabled by a venture studio. And so the reason I say that is because the minute we make an investment and even before that, even whilst we're doing due diligence, we're trying to get these entrepreneurs further. And at a greater speed, cause it's all about speed to market, speed to product to market fit, speed to scale and growth, speed to more users and therefore more impact. And so our work starts today. Our work starts the minute we have our first call with the entrepreneur and definitely the minute sort of the investment is made.

And therefore their solution, so if we're able to help them reach more users in a short amount of time, that's significant impact. And you need to start somewhere. So if we wait five, 10 years, by the time we have a portfolio, yes, there might be reaching series ABC, or we might be exiting some of the companies, but there's enormous amount of work and there's enormous amount of impact that happened even before that. So I think it would be a fallacy to think that we wait until doomsday. I think in a way, and you've said this just before,. In many ways it is doomsday for many people. Many people cannot go outside because they can't breathe. Many people, the life expectancy is already significantly reduced for in some countries. So there is no more waiting. Like it is now. We have to act now. And I know I sound like a government you know, come join me. But it is true. We need to start doing things today in order for it to be to be felt in the future.

(16:42) Jeremy Au:

I think one of the concerns that many founders I've heard who are exploring this space is exactly that, which is, we should act now, but is it too early from a commercial and economic basis? And so from a VC fund perspective, it's like 10 year, to a 13 year time horizon to hit 100 million of revenue, for example, within that time frame. And so there's a lot of assumptions there and I met a founder friend of mine, he built a company that was very much in the carbon credit space that was supposed to happen and it never really happened. So it was a lot of Carbon tax or cap and trade, whatever it was, but the idea that carbon credits would really be something that would be a valuable compensation for saving the world.

And I think government action, coordination, market mechanisms, whatever it is, but it just didn't happen. And so I think there's that first generation of folks who were working at that, that just got burned because like you said, it should happen now. We must act now is this, the commercials don't really work out. So I think there's a set of concerns I've heard from founders with a wondering about it. How do you think they should think about it? Or what advice would you give them?

(17:38) Alina Truhina:

I mean, I really feel for the entrepreneurs because I think it actually in a way the entire system needs to shift. I think we need to think about it this way. I think that climate is seen at the moment. Climate is seen as a sector and we as a VC ecosystem will not be winning unless we change that perception. Climate is, a cross cutting industry and climate is part of, as we said, a lot of different subsectors and the skepticism of investing in climate that then influences the capital flows and, the backing of entrepreneurs. That skepticism existed with other sectors. So again, if you look at FinTech, for example there was a time when people were skeptical. Investors were skeptical about investing in FinTech. I think it's also interesting because we've just gone through a crypto crisis.

(18:26) Alina Truhina:

And I want to emphasize that climate is not, it's not a trend. Climate change is here. You're not going to pause it. It's here to stay. It's permanent and it's only going to get worse. And so there is, in my view, there's no way in which, climate is going to disappear and therefore investments into climate is going to disappear. It is only going to get increasingly more important. So it's not like a bubble. It's not going to burst. But you're absolutely right. This is going back to my point about needing more investments and more entrepreneurs and more VCs investing in this space. And again, we see climate not as climate tech. It's not just renewables and solar we see it as a broader complexity of subsectors. Because again, look at the statistics, 32 billion went into the US in climate investments. Southeast Asia saw 1.1 billion and we're celebrating because that's a 10 X increase in the last five years. So we're not even on the map. So we absolutely need to change our perception of what climate is and what climate isn't and back entrepreneurs and support them in different ways.

And in that, I'm curious about your thoughts because every sector, whether it's FinTech, whether it's health tech requires its own approach and thinking about how that sector needs to be capitalized. And the way climate, quote unquote, sector or investment needs to be capitalized is may be different to how FinTech is capitalized as an ecosystem. So we may need more debt funding. In fact, we do need more debt funds. We need more creative, dynamic capital mechanisms by which to allow entrepreneurs to get the kind of the working capital to get them to commercialization. So we can't treat every single sector in the same way. Health tech and climate and FinTech are not the same. And so that's why a big part of my work is also talking to ecosystem partners, other VCs, other players, other LPs about delivering different types of capital, different types of instruments and thinking about it in a more dynamic way.

(20:15) Jeremy Au:

That's really interesting. And I think it's, like I said difficult where I kind of get, and I think what you're implying as well is as a cross cutting. And I think that the founders who kind of figure out a way where they're really looking at it more like we're increasing productivity and as I say, for the same inputs, that's a way to basically improve effectiveness, right? And by doing that, you're actually lowering carbon emissions on a per output basis. So that's one way to look at it. The inverse of that is becoming more efficient with inputs. So for example, be lowering electricity usage or making more efficient for buildings, for example. So it's a cost saving.

(20:47) Alina Truhina:

A hundred percent.

(20:48) Jeremy Au:

But it also turns out to have great ESG and climate requirements. So I think what I feel like is it's almost becoming like, how do you do this? And then you have ESG as an effect of what you're doing rather than other way around, which is, I'm here to save the climate, for example, and I'm doing this. So that feels like one approach that I think founders are looking to access both traditional capital as well as capital, such as radical funds, terms of being able to access both pools of capital.

(21:13) Alina Truhina:

I think that's right. I think climate is embedded. I mean, you used the word cost cutting, which is exactly right. It is. Not just one thing that you invest in. And it is absolutely to your point. Agree with you. It is leading to more efficiency and therefore cost reduction or it creates value. So there's an actual economic value creation and that could be at a portfolio level, at a company level, at a startup level, but it's also again at a regional level right? Climate is not a cost center client or investing in climate actually creates. And again, there's a recent report by Temasek and Bain that shows 4.3 trillion in Asia of economic opportunities from climate action. So the data is already there. That is a commercial piece. And to your point about embedding it into our work and the sectors that we that we play in. I want to maybe make a point about ESG. And ESG is a mechanism to reduce risk or increase, in currently or in the future or increase kind of your alpha by focusing on economic, social governance factors. And I don't know if you've come across this, but some of my conversations, I see that people are still confusing ESG and climate and impact and then SDGs, right, as well come into play. So it's this alphabet soup.

(22:27) Jeremy Au:


(22:28) Alina Truhina:

Absolutely. Well, and also, I mean, if one plea to the founders is please don't put SDG logos on your deck, unless you actually know that you are definitely embedding those metrics and taking them seriously. SDG is G impact and not the same thing. And language does matter, semantics aside but absolutely, I think that geopoint climate is embedded. It is cost cutting and it is here to stay and it is a commercial opportunity for us to invest in.

(22:55) Jeremy Au:

Thanks for sharing about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. On that note, could you share about a time that you personally have been brave?

(23:02) Alina Truhina:

Very good question. And I love that name, by the way. It's a really great name for this podcast. Indulge me for a second, because I was actually thinking about the name. And so I have an Eastern European background and I'm Latvian born, Russian raised, grew up in Australia. But I'm Eastern European at heart. And one thing that I found, is a, kind of a synergy between Eastern Europeans and Asian culture is that we are brought up by our parents and grandparents around this notion that there's no pleasure without pain. I don't know if you agree with that, but I feel like it's been ingrained into me that you can't be happy unless you go through challenges.

You have to almost go through all this torture in order to get to a place of pleasure. So I was thinking about that and I think I've been incredibly brave numerous times in my life. I'm a political refugee and that was a very brave move at a time when things were incredibly uncertain. I started a company and companies and raised a lot of money in Africa. And that was brave coming to Southeast Asia was incredibly brave.

But nothing in my mind is as brave as when I am standing up for other people. So all these moments I just described were brave for me and brave for where I want to have my impact in the world but what comes to mind is when I'm brave for others. And that, when I pick up the phone to other investors and I tell them that they should invest in this entrepreneur, or when I fight a board of a very large LP investor to tell them that they should invest in emerging markets like Southeast Asia. It is not because I'm doing it for me. It's because I deeply, deeply believe that early stage entrepreneurship is the way to better economic growth and development and prosperity for all. And so being brave for me is being brave for other people and the entrepreneurs out there. So that's what comes to mind.

(24:52) Jeremy Au:

Amazing. Could you share a little bit about your experience as a political refugee?

(24:56) Alina Truhina:

Yes. And I haven't shared a lot about it for a long time. It's something that I kept to myself but I've recognized how much it has shaped me and how much it has made me actually a better investor. So, I was born during the Soviet Union. And when the Soviet Union broke down, there's an enormous amount of discrimination against Russian people in Latvia. So my family had to move because we were facing our lives, were a threat and we moved to Australia and for five years we were on this pathway through obviously Australian government, but also organizations like UNHCR to sort of obtain our political refugee status and stay in Australia.

So that was an incredibly transformative journey. My parents, my sister and I faced enormous amount of challenges and hardships. That is what made me more humble and more attentive and more curious today. And I think when I speak to entrepreneurs in the markets that we work with, there is a piece of me that connects with them and their struggles because I've been below the poverty line and I've seen what that does to people and and I really hope that in some small way through investing entrepreneurs, I can provide opportunities for others and I can somehow touch the lives of others through the solutions that are created. So that's a little bit about my background.

(26:16) Jeremy Au:

As you think about that experience growing up with your family what were those emotions because, you're an outsider, and therefore, out you go. But you arrive in a place and you're an outsider again. How does that feel? How's the experience learning on reflection been?

(26:31) Alina Truhina:

Yeah. Thank you for that question. So you're right. It was like where the outsider in the country that I was born in, which is why we had to flee. We then arrive in a country that was accepting. Australia is amazing and welcomed us but we're an outsider and had to adapt but then as I traveled through life, then left Australia and lived and worked in some amazing places. I feel like an outsider as well, right? And, I'm full circle coming here to Southeast Asia. I am very sensitive to the fact like other emerging markets like Africa everywhere I go, I'm not a local and what that made me. The approach that I have is to absolutely have a team around me who is local so that I'm supported and that we're driving our company with a very local understanding of nuances. But it also means that there's this tension and maybe that's what you're picking up on, which is, I'm here and I've moved and uprooted my life to be here. And yet I'm still an outsider, and and on top of that, a woman and as a woman GP that carries its own weight and hardships but being an outsider to me is also a strength because again, I can channel that and through all of my experiences in working, whether it's Africa or Pakistan or Nepal or Rwanda, that makes me a better person. And a more curious person. But it is an interesting emotion to carry around with you and to walk into your room and say, here's me and I really believe in you as an entrepreneur, or I really want to work with you as a partner, as a VC or as an LP and knowing that I had to fight all my life and yet I'm still an outsider in many respects.

(28:08) Jeremy Au:

You mentioned earlier, so that you work with founders, right? And they are also outsiders in their own industries, in their own countries because they're looking to, bring the future and change the present. How is it that you think that outsiders can, build that coalition or create that change?

(28:22) Alina Truhina:

I do think that entrepreneurship and especially as a founder, CEO is an incredibly lonely place and I've seen people and not founders and entrepreneurs seek out connections and support through peer to peer networks, founder to founder that actually gives them a lot of validation. I hear a lot that it's almost like every founder thinks that they're the slowest and they're the ones with the greatest challenge and everybody else is succeeding. The other founders are doing really well. But every founder has their own challenges and every founder is absolutely doing their best and pushing a boulder up a hill essentially.

So I have seen how peer to peer founder to founder interactions help and we try and facilitate that and enable that and definitely encourage that. I definitely also think that a lot of it comes through work on oneself. It's why when I talk to entrepreneurs, I do look to understand from an EQ perspective, what are the things that they have faced in their life? If anything, and a lot of them have these emotional voids that they've experienced in their childhood or as they were growing up that they're compelled to fill. And I actually find that those founders the most hungry, curious, relentless founders that persistently want to make a change and do it at scale. And so I think that you do need to work on oneself from a personal growth perspective. It is hard. It takes a lot of introspection and we as GPs and VCs ought to do the same and I really encourage all of us and I always say I'm continuously learning every day is a learning for me. And every day I try and push myself and be brave. But we need to push ourselves to to to understand each other better. And to. To learn things that others and unlearn things about the world.

(30:13) Jeremy Au:

On that note, thank you so much for sharing your journey. I'll love to paraphrase the three big themes that jumped out at me. First of all, thank you so much for sharing about climate change. I think it was a very good, high level view of what climate change is and what the changes have been happening and also what it means across Southeast Asia in terms of the tradeoffs the people, for our communities, for future generations. And I think, like you said, we must act now and yet, it's tough and I think it was a very pragmatic view about what's actually happening and what are the trade offs or what we should be doing to help people avoid making that trade off as much as possible for the sake of their own families and livelihoods.

Secondly, thanks so much for that earning masterclass for founders to be thinking through how they should approach their companies about how they should be tackling ESG and climate and changing people's minds. I thought it was an interesting conversation about how you also see the role of venture capital and other asset classes and the ecosystem in helping these founders also put together these technologies and business models in our local communities to make it happen.

Lastly, thank you so much for sharing about your own personal story of being an outsider, of having been a political refugee, and how that has shaped you across your childhood and across your career, to where you are today, and helping other outsider founders really be able to build, but also to be able to do the self work to become better leaders. On that note, thank you so much, Alina, for sharing so much.

(31:33) Alina Truhina:

Thank you, Jeremy. It was such a pleasure to talk to you today. Thanks for having me.