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Publisher's Summary

Number one best-selling author and acclaimed venture capitalist John Doerr reveals a sweeping action plan to conquer humanity’s greatest challenge: climate change.

In 2006, John Doerr was moved by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and a challenge from his teenage daughter: “Dad, your generation created this problem. You better fix it.” Since then, Doerr has searched for solutions to this existential problem - as an investor, an advocate, and a philanthropist. 

Fifteen years later, despite breakthroughs in batteries, electric vehicles, plant-based proteins, and solar and wind power, global warming continues to get worse. Its impact is all around us: droughts, floods, wildfires, the melting of the polar ice caps. Our world is squarely in a climate crisis and on the brink of a climate disaster. 

Yet despite our state of emergency, climate change has yet to be tackled with the urgency and ambition it demands. More than ever, we need a clear course of action. 

What if the goal-setting techniques that powered the rise of today's most innovative organizations were brought to bear on humanity's greatest challenge? Fueled by a powerful tool called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), Speed & Scale offers an unprecedented global plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions before it’s too late. Used by Google, Bono’s ONE foundation, and thousands of start-ups the world over, OKRs have scaled ideas into achievements that changed the world. With clear-eyed realism and an engineer’s precision, Doerr identifies the measurable OKRs we need to reduce emissions across the board and to arrive by 2050 at net zero - the point where we are no longer adding to the heat-trapping carbon in the atmosphere. 

By turns pragmatic and inspiring, Speed & Scale intersperses Doerr’s wide-ranging analysis with firsthand accounts from Jeff Bezos, Christiana Figueres, Al Gore, Mary Barra, Bill Gates, and other intrepid policy leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and activists. A launchpad for those who are ready to act now, this book is geared to leaders in every walk of life. With a definitive action plan, the latest science, and a rising climate movement on our side, we can still reach net zero before it is too late. But as Doerr reminds us, there is no more time to waste.

This audiobook includes a downloadble PDF of images and charts from the book.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 John Doerr (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“This book is a critical blueprint for anyone looking to take concrete steps to reach net-zero emissions. Unlike many who simply issue ambiguous long-dated pledges to help solve the climate crisis, John Doerr understands the urgent need to ACT quickly and decisively. With Speed & Scale, he combines his extensive experience as a legendary technology expert and investor with his tried-and-true management methods to put forward a clear, detailed, and comprehensive plan for climate action exactly when we need it most.” - Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President

 "John Doerr is a man with a plan for our planet – and boy do we need one. Keep away if you don’t think commerce can play a creative role… or want deep dive analytics from someone who is always measuring what matters. He matters."- Bono 

"John Doerr is the world’s leading mind on turning truly audacious goals into objectives and key results. In this culminating contribution, he performs an inspired act of world leadership: plying his craft to create a comprehensive plan to tackle one of the most vexing challenges in human history."- Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last  

What listeners say about Speed & Scale

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Most Important and Worst Audiobook ever!

It is as if John Doerr has never listened to an audiobook. As the reader, and I will get to that below, he continually breaks into his narrative and directs his listeners to a PDF with charts and illustrations. Like most people who listen to audiobook, I do it in the car or walking the dog. How in God's name am I supposed to refer to a PDF while driving!!! And beyond that, the author Mr. Doerr does not know how to read an audiobook. I listen to audiobooks ofen and it makes a great difference who the reader is- It is an artform and everyone can't do it- I made the joke to a friend that his name should be John Dour. He drones on. He lectures He does not take the reader into his thoughts. On the other hand., what he has to say is vitally important and people need to hear it. I wonder if there is any chance he might consider re-recording the audio version of his book with a professional reader and eliminate the constant requests to refer to the PDF. John Rothman

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PDF not downloadable

Listening to this audio book without access to the PDF that should come with it is unacceptable. Tried it through the Android and Windows app, both not able to download!!!

3 people found this helpful

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What a pivotal book for our times!

Speed & Scale has given me renewed hope that we may be able to overcome our climate crisis. It’s honest in regards to the problem and offers clear ways to overcome it without giving false hope. I loved the book. I never write reviews either.

2 people found this helpful

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Rigorously motivated, systematically actionable

This book surpasses Bill Gates' recent book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, in terms of systematically exploring current and future technologies and projects that have either already earned our attention and support - mainly in competitive markets - or are likely to prove worthy of it in the near future. And it does this while keeping a running tally of how many tons of greenhouse gases would be or are being removed by each project or industrial category as they de-carbonize.

It puts the challenge of de-carbonizing, adequately and rapidly enough to avoid the critical 1.5° C temperature rise, into very clear context, and pretty much argues that it will be a miracle to achieve - but necessary and doable.

Some of the narrators are boring as hell to listen to, and also somewhat uninspiring in terms of their contributions to the book, but that's to be expected of a book that brings together the personal stories of so many people.

Overall a great one-stop shop for anyone seeking to learn of the quickest route to competitive green investment opportunities, as well as actions in daily life as a consumer that will make a difference.

*** Audiobooks should not rely on visuals in print material! Otherwise you alienate a lot of people who are only able to listen without access to the print material when it is referenced. In this particular case I was able to infer the structure and content of the graphs and charts just by listening, but I can see why others will be frustrated at being forced to focus hard enough to be able to imagine them - this is not a reasonable expectation.

2 people found this helpful

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An important blueprint for mitigating climate

While there is a more than sobering message
Driving john Doerr’s critical analysis of what we need to do to mitigate Increasingly negative affects of climate change, it is also full of spectacular thinkers and ideas to come back these crises. I highly recommend this to anyone.

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Great life changing book

We must do more than what we are doing for our children and theirs.

Thank for this wonderful book.

Changed my life

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Clunky narration, but good message

Doerr isn't a gifted orator, but his message should bring some optimism to anyone who wonders if we really have what we need to tackle the crisis without some fantastical yet-to-be-discovered silver bullet.

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Must read

Highlights every important aspect for solving our climate challenges and provides great insights for great actions. It seems like the book took a lot to be put together and I value that a lot. Thank you

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Really shocked at only seeing a single sentence on refrigerant gas

As the global south expands into the same comforts with Air Conditioning as the rest of the world, refrigerant gas is a PROBLEM.
A single AC system technician can have the same affect on CO2 as driving 200 to 500 cars a year.
ONE AC TECHNICIAN.

These gases only last 20-100 years, but a 4-10 giga-tonne problem that less than 0.3% of the population affects is worth addressing. Especially if we are supposed to be under water in 20-30 years.

I can only remember a single sentence in the book on this topic.

Please tell me I somehow missed a section.

I wrote the author’s email address. Maybe I missed something.

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  • DK
  • 01-03-22

Useful, well researched

Great methodical overview of the climate crisis and potential solutions. I read this book to better understand how the business/startup world is thinking about climate change today and this book provided a good answer.

Narration was a little monotone so put it on 1.5x. A small bit of PR fluff in the authors conclusion and from some of the guest speakers, but that’s to be expected I suppose. Also the book wasn’t exhaustive, for example hemp as a solution to the fabrics,
plastics, food additives and biofuels problem wasn’t mentioned, but I’m still impressed at how thorough and wide ranging the research was.