A woman in a red dress stands on stage with a screen behind her showing a train. She is Judith Häberli and she’s holding a microphone.
Image: Judith Häberli

Future Human podcast: How will we travel sustainably?

10 Jan 2024

In the second episode of Future Human: The Series, we look at how transport systems connect us at an environmental cost and how we can change the way we move around this planet to be more sustainable.

In our new podcast series, the award-winning journalists at Silicon Republic chat to some of the leading minds about the future of everything. Hosted by Ann O’Dea, the latest episode re-imagines transport, asking how we will travel within – and between – our cities, how we will fuel our travel sustainably, and if we have the political will to ramp up the necessary capacity in green hydrogen globally.

In case you missed it, our first episode featured a star-studded line-up of interviewees on the future of cybersecurity and zero trust. To subscribe to the series, just search ‘Future Human: The Series’ wherever you get your podcasts.

The latest episode on the future of transport features in-depth interviews by O’Dea and Silicon Republic editor Jenny Darmody, with e-mobility and energy experts who are passionate about changing how we travel – Tilo Suckow, Judith Häberli and Sarah Qureshi.

Suckow is head of sustainability at Sunfire, a German company that makes electrolysers, the devices that can make hydrogen. Before joining Sunfire, he worked at EY as a sustainability consultant, before moving to a role as project manager at the non-profit organisation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Häberli is the co-founder and CEO of Swiss-based Urban Connect, an innovative provider of smart urban mobility solutions. A self-proclaimed purpose-driven entrepreneur, Häberli is committed to reducing traffic congestion and air pollution using state-of-the-art technology.

Urban Connect provides Swiss companies with premium e-bikes, intelligent app-based reservations and CO2-logging software. She is also an advisory board member for the Institute of Mobility at the University of St Gallen.

A green hydrogen renewable energy production pipeline.

From brown coal to green hydrogen: The quest for a world without fossil fuels

Read more »

Qureshi is a Pakistan-based pilot, aeronautical engineer and a passionate advocate for greener aviation. Qureshi is determined to change the face of aviation when it comes to the emissions it produces.

Pragmatic about the need for continued air travel, Qureshi has made it her life’s work to tackle contrails, those white trails of vapour we see in the sky when aircraft fly high overhead. Her business, Aero Engine Craft, has patented technology to address these contrails.

We can’t look at the future of transport without also looking at the future of energy, because engines need fuel and motors need electricity. Today some 80pc of the world’s energy still comes from burning fossil fuels. And as was discussed at the sometimes-disheartening COP28 late last year, that comes at a huge environmental cost, and we delve into how green hydrogen may be at least partly the answer.

We also look at the concept of the ‘positive handprint’ to help balance out our negative footprint, developed by SHINE, the sustainability and health initiative for net-positive enterprise at MIT and Harvard. The idea is that we find ways to grow our handprint more than our footprint so that we do more good to the planet than harm.

Finally, we look at how vehicle-sharing, while a vital part of the puzzle, hasn’t always been a roaring success in cities from London to Paris, and our experts say it may look quite different in the future. And of course, we look at how removing part of the car fleets in cities can win us back space for living better and breathing cleaner air.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Ann O’Dea is the CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and the founder of Future Human