Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Jeffrey Prosserman, the founder and CEO of Voltpost. Let’s learn what’s happening at Voltpost and how Jeffrey Prosserman is impacting the world positively.
Spiffy: Hi Jeffrey, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Voltpost addressing?
Jeffrey: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Gas cars and trucks are making our world hotter and air dirtier. Everyone must switch from gas to electric transportation for our planet to stay safe and healthy. Many people want to make this change, but they are worried about where to charge cars. We started Voltpost to provide everyone with easy and affordable electric vehicle charging access. We do this by transforming lampposts into electric vehicle chargers. Our goal is to get more electric vehicles on the road, so we can help our shared home.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Jeffrey: In November 2018, my son was born. It was the exact moment when students went on strike demanding climate action worldwide. When my son began to crawl, I worried about his future and the climate crisis. By his first birthday, I pivoted my career and joined the climate movement. My son turns four this year. Now, we have a small window remaining to turn things around. By 2050, we must completely cut carbon emissions. When I look into his eyes in the future, I want to believe that we will have won the race to go zero for his generation.
Spiffy: How sweet! The future is already looking brighter for your son and the world. How would you say that your organization is working towards equity?
Jeffrey: Poorer communities face unfair challenges due to decisions made by former leaders. Less money has been invested in some areas leading to dirtier air that causes health issues. Voltpost aims to give everyone access to clean transportation by providing charging for all communities. The Voltpost lamppost charger provides families in apartments and people without a garage with charging. This makes charging fit into people’s lives so everyone can breathe cleaner air and live in a safer world.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make?
Jeffrey: Our team is piloting the Voltpost lamppost charging system in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Studio, a partnership between the New York City DOT and Newlab, which supports early-stage ventures in building, testing, and launching advanced technology solutions across the focus areas of EV Curbside Charging and Pavement Marking Analysis in New York City. This provides Voltpost with the opportunity to pilot lamppost charging in New York City. We see this as the first step to bringing Voltpost to a community near you!
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Jeffrey: Starting a company is risky, and most of them fail. The last company I started was a spectacular failure. Spectacular, since I was producing virtual versions of reality with rockstars. Yet, also a financial flop. When I walked away, I was so lost and sad. Deep down, I still wanted to make a positive impact. I found a path to grow through love from family and friends. Nearly a decade later, I found a new purpose in the climate movement and decided to try again. I wanted to focus on making good in the world.
Spiffy: Doing good is great! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Jeffrey: The Voltpost team is united by a shared mission to curb global warming. Many people on our team left jobs in technology and finance to build a purpose-driven organization. Others joined us early in their careers. Each person brings a different perspective that is trusted and valued. In spite of climate challenges, we remain hopeful that we will make a measurable positive impact on our families and yours. Together, we are building something transformational to make the world better.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Jeffrey—it’s been an honor!
Jeffrey Prosserman is the founder and CEO of Voltpost. He is the former Director of Innovation at Samsung in New York City and has worked at the forefront of technology for over twenty years. He recently graduated from the Columbia University Sustainability Management program. He is now producing climate technology solutions. (Nominated by Lacey Reddix of Olokun Minerals. First published on the Ladderworks website on September 21, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jason “Jackson” Block. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.