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Winner Spotlight: James D'Angelo of Sno-Caps: The People's Cap-and-Trade


James D’Angelo’s idea for a people’s carbon trading platform, Sno-Caps, emerged through his interest to find interactive and decentralized mechanisms for solutions to climate change.  Sno-Caps conjoins features of Regulation by Reputation (RBR) and cap-and-trade to produce a global carbon trading structure for all people to participate in.

As a 2014 Judge’s Choice Winner in the U.S. Carbon Price contest, Sno-Caps was not only a favorite among the contest’s judges, but gained significant support from academics and Climate CoLab users. James first proposed his idea to Professor John Duff of the University of Massachusetts Boston in January of this year. Professor Duff suggested he submit it to Climate CoLab, leading James to delve deeper into his idea and turn it into a draft proposal for Professor David Keith’s course at the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

   2014 Judge’s Choice Winner, James D’Angelo of Sno-Caps

As James tells it:

I loved the idea of the Climate CoLab immediately.  Interactive. Decentralized. Climate solving. What’s not to like. So I jumped in all the way.

Our team was partly formed by the Climate CoLab itself. Derek Kaknes and I have known each other from the Boston FinTech, Bitcoin, and software scene. Derek is an amazing thinker working in the fields of education and finance, and was instrumental to not only the shaping of the proposal, but his participation was the key energizing moment for me to bring the idea to the public. We are both big fans of the new trends in decentralized computing so the idea provided a good meeting point for us. Just as interesting though is Eric Dargy. Eric and I met through the Climate CoLab and have actually never met in-person. And while our interactions are few, his support and comments have been great, particularly in the second round when we rewrote the proposal from the ground up to focus on the strengths of the idea.

What was the best thing that came out of being part of Climate CoLab?  

The international interest was amazing. The response and feedback though was the highlight. We were amazed by the depth and vision of our many comments.

What motivates you to keep working on solutions to climate change?

There is a Bill McKibben quote that helps me in every aspect of life, but it was first, for me, applied to climate change. “When you are in a hole, stop digging!” ― Bill McKibben 

Check out James’ winning proposal here. Meet James at the Climate CoLab’s Crowds & Climate Conference, Nov 6-7 at MIT and learn more about his winning proposal!

Also check out other Spotlights of Climate CoLab winners, Fellows and Advisors: