Donor profile: Joshua Spodek
Meet Joshua Spodek, a passionate advocate for sustainability leadership and a premier voice in his field. Holding a PhD in astrophysics and an MBA from Columbia, Joshua is not just a scholar, but a hands-on activist who is actively shaping the future of our planet. His dedication to creating a sustainable world is not limited to his academic and entrepreneurial pursuits; he is also a teacher with a deep commitment to organizations and individuals that share his vision for a better, greener Earth. A better earth with less consumption, a sustainable population and an earth where all living beings can thrive.
Joshua Spodek PhD MBA is the premier voice in sustainability leadership. He hosts the award-winning This Sustainable Life podcast, is a four-time TEDx speaker, bestselling author of Initiative and Leadership Step by Step, professor at NYU, and leadership coach.
He speaks on leadership, entrepreneurship, and environmental leadership at institutions such as Boston Consulting Group, Google, IBM, PwC, S&P, Children’s Aid Society, The New York Academy of Science, NY Public Library, Harvard, Princeton, West Point, MIT, Stanford, Rice, USC, Berkeley, INSEAD, the NY Academy of Science, and more.
He holds a PhD in astrophysics and an MBA from Columbia, where he studied under a Nobel Laureate, after formative childhood years in a gang-ridden neighborhood of Philadelphia. He helped build an X-ray observational satellite with the European Space Agency and NASA.
He left academia to found a venture to market his invention—a technology to show motion pictures to moving subways—installing displays on four continents. He holds six patents and founded two education ventures.
How did you first hear about PMC?
I discovered Population Media Center (PMC) through extensive research on sustainable population initiatives. Reading Alan Weisman’s book Countdown opened my eyes to the complexities of global population issues. This initial curiosity led me to Norman Borlaug’s work, where he stumbled upon PMC’s efforts in changing cultural views on population. The connection was made through Borlaug’s Wikipedia page, sparking my interest in PMC’s unique approach.
What influenced you to make your first gift and why do you continue to give?
My decision to support PMC was influenced by a combination of intellectual inquiry and a profound sense of responsibility. After reading Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save, I recognized the significance of changing cultural perspectives to achieve a sustainable population. Unlike other organizations, PMC stood out to me as the most effective in this regard.
Joshua’s continuous support stems from his belief that PMC’s work is pivotal in shaping a future where humanity coexists harmoniously with the planet.
What is your favorite thing about PMC?
I appreciate PMC for being the trailblazer in its field. In a world inundated with challenges, PMC remains unparalleled in its mission and effectiveness. It is the organization’s singular dedication to changing cultural norms surrounding population that resonates deeply with me.
When you talk to your friends about giving to PMC, what do you tell them?
While I have recently started supporting PMC, I anticipate discussing the organization’s vital mission with his friends. Armed with credible research, I plan to share the historical context of humanity’s sustainable coexistence with the Earth. I want to emphasize the critical role smaller families play in reaching a sustainable population, ensuring no one suffers needlessly due to overpopulation.
How have you seen, or do you see, PMC evolving and growing?
In my eyes, PMC’s future lies in its ability to target overindustrialized cultures, especially in America and Europe. By focusing on these regions, including both the most polluting individuals and influential figures, PMC can significantly impact the Earth’s sustainability. I envision PMC expanding its reach and influence, catalyzing essential conversations and inspiring tangible change on a global scale.