Author: Cole Bartlett
Where We Started:
Eight months ago Sustainable ADA was just a thought in my mind and some sort of dream.
I was finishing my senior year at the University of New Hampshire working towards completing my bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sustainability. During this time I found a strong connection with blockchain technology, and how it can help achieve our sustainable development goals by 2030. A technology that can be used to solve problems we face across the globe today. Along with its ability to create a more sustainable and equitable world for all. I decided to draft up the idea for Sustainable ADA on a piece of paper. I didn't think much of it at this moment and was just brainstorming what it might become. I was even able to turn this document into an NFT seen here; but that is another story in itself.
While reflecting I was looking at all the different goals I wanted to get out of this project, and the impact I felt it could have on the Cardano community, and be spread to people all over the globe. From this point, I knew I needed to see what people thought of the project and start to build a team. So I thought there would be no better place to go than Project Catalyst.
I decided I needed to learn about the Cardano project called Project Catalyst. Project Catalyst offers anyone who wants to build on Cardano a chance to receive funding to bring their idea to life. I was introduced to the process of Project Catalyst by Gimbalabs during fund 4 and have been able to see it evolve and grow in incredible ways, and am still an active member today. I decided to submit a proposal for fund 4, so I could learn and meet more people part of the Cardano community. From this process, I learned a lot about Cardano and got over a lot of my fears of speaking to new people or sharing my ideas with them, who were people from all over the world with many different skill sets, and backgrounds. I met many other people using the Catalyst Platform. These people were also interested in the sustainable impact of Cardano, and also believed in Sustainable ADA’s vision. I had the chance to apply for project Catalyst funds 4, and 5. Unfortunately, we didn't receive funding. But it actually was a beautiful thing we didn't. From this experience, we were able to learn and take feedback from the community, and evolve and shape Sustainable ADA into the sustainability blockchain hub it is today.
Motivation, Guidance, and Growth:
Over the course of 10 weeks before I came up with the idea of Sustainable ADA, I took part in a 2-hour dev course session every Monday run by James, and the online courses he created called the Cardano Starter Kits. During this time I got to learn about the power of the Cardano blockchain, and hear all the different stories from participants all over the world. This was also a time where I could reflect and learn about the technical parts of Cardano.
This was my first real introduction to how with the power of technology; I can learn from people across the globe. On March 4th, 2021 I had my first meeting and conversation about Sustainable ADA, and this was with James Dunseith. We were just talking about my aspiration and how I could take Sustainable ADA in the right direction. He motivated me and gave me a lot of ambition to go full force on this idea and to turn Sustainable ADA into a reality. Finally after collaborating, learning, and seeing the Gimbalabs community grow before my eyes; James and I were able to meet each other in person at the Cardano Summit 2021. Here I also was able to meet other Gimbalabs members like Steve Lockheart, Ryan Stacey, and Chad Dickson from Gimbalabs. This was my link to formally meeting the online community I had been so connected with. I had been speaking with these people throughout the pandemic via the Dev course James had put together and other meetup/zoom meetings. I can’t thank James Dunseith enough for the motivation and other help from members of the Gimbalabs community. You really helped me find the drive to grow Sustainable ADA.
After this point, I decided to enter my idea for a Sustainability award held by my College, the University of New Hampshire. I had the privilege to be the recipient of a Bronze UNH Sustainability Award in the new awards program for Sustainable ADA. It was particularly meaningful because UNH is a leader in Sustainability, one of only ten higher education institutions in the nation to achieve STARS Platinum status. These experiences allowed me to find a strong drive to grow Sustainable ADA and allowed for me to see people had an interest in what I was trying to accomplish. Further along, James also helped link me with Razali Samsudin during a Cardano Project Catalyst town hall.
Continue to the next part of the journey!