Greenhouse Pioneer: Anna Mitchell, Sustainable Bridges

sustainable bridges

Sustainable Bridges are a sustainable incubation space created by and run for entrepreneurs. Currently overseeing venture development, Anna is responsible for transforming the original vision for Sustainable Bridges into a reality.

With a background in low carbon research and consultancy, Anna brings expertise in market research, bid writing and stakeholder engagement, as well as a strong interest in the disruptive innovations reshaping the UK’s energy sector and wider society.

Tell us about your missionsus

Creating an inspiring workspace and cleantech community for low carbon innovation, Sustainable Bridges champions the role of green entrepreneurs.

What motivates you?

A genuine belief that only through supporting the disruptive innovations of green entrepreneurs is society likely to find the game-changing, radical solutions necessary to address the unprecedented challenges climate change presents. Doing something that I am passionate about, is both constructive and offers great learning opportunities is what drives me. Ultimately, if we only get one shot at life, best make the most of it.

What is your greatest achievement?

Getting Sustainable Bridges off the ground and getting startups and entrepreneurs into the site and operating from it has been great.

What are the challenges you face?

Going against the status quo is difficult, so entrepreneurs attempting to disrupt markets as entrenched as the energy sector certainly face a challenge. Being the underdog is never easy, making the conviction in what you’re doing all the more important.

What are you working on that’s getting you fired up and excited?

Sustainable Bridges is about bringing together some of the brightest talents currently working in green innovation with a diverse range of skill sets but common aspiration. Connecting them, then watching them bounce ideas off of one another, develop solutions and turn these ideas into a reality is pretty exciting.

Sustainable Bridges Networking PhotoWhere do you want to take Sustainable Bridgesnext?

As the physical renovation work progresses I look forward to spending more time on some of the softer venture aspirations, such as collaborating with external stakeholders to facilitate greater engagement, both amongst Sustainable Bridges green entrepreneurs and across the green economy more broadly.

What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference?

Each individual has their own natural aptitudes and talents – discover what these are, nurture them and then gear them towards a cause that is both meaningful for the individual and benefits wider society.

If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the first thing you’d do?

Where to begin?! I would want to champion the role of community energy projects as much as possible.

What’s the most inspirationalproject/product you’ve come across?

Sustainable Bridges Group Meal PhotoGenuinely, Sustainable Bridges is the coolest project I’ve ever been involved in. How many 25 year olds do you know converting four railway arches and cultivating a community for a cause they strongly believe in and are lucky enough to do so alongside a great team of people?

Can you recommend a life-changing book for our readers?

Alistair McIntosh’s ‘Soil and Soul’ provides a great critique of the challenges we as a planet face and inspires the reader to develop practical solutions to overcome these.

What do you listen to when you’re cooking dinner?

As impressive live as she is recorded, Emeli Sandé is a firm favourite.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

In life some people will underestimate you, that’s their loss.

Who’d be your Eco Hero?

I’m inspired by the likes of Juliet Davenport and Julia Groves – intelligent and determined women leading at the forefront of green innovation with a commitment to driving real action.

To find out more about Sustainable Bridges visit their websiteand join the conversation on Twitter –follow@SustainBridges. We would also recommend checking out their blog, to find out what happens when you bring a group of innovators with a diverse set of expertise spanning various aspects of sustainability under one roof (or rather 4 railway arches!)