We talked to Ilvers Sermols of Secret Trees about their opportunity for tackling climate change, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ilvers Sermols: For the most part, things are going well, this is one of the warmest winters we’ve had in Latvia for years, so everyone is feeling healthy. Despite the limitations, we are still able to travel around our beautiful green country and find new places to explore and love. It has allowed my family and me the chance to become more connected with nature and to give back, we’ve been tidying up a lot of our local areas and preparing them for planting trees in the new year.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Secret Trees.
Ilvers Sermols: My journey started pretty early when I was a teenager. My two younger sisters and I had a modest upbringing, and I had to learn quickly how to be supportive of my family, helping with bills and shopping. I simply could not afford to let people down.
I’ve always had a diverse mindset, and that helped me to see a different perspective. I’m no stranger to hard work, I’d usually have to do 60 hour weeks; starting in construction, I swiftly moved to client sales, financing, working and learning the wood processing supply chains along the way.
The Secret Trees (ST) project started around five years ago; it was clear that the technology sector was accelerating quickly towards solving the bigger global issues that I always felt so strongly about. Three years ago, my wife and I became parents, and it prompted us to truly act!
How does Secret Trees innovate?
Ilvers Sermols: ST wants to be innovative in the hemp industry by using distributed ledger technology with socially tokenized business models to help cut out inefficient processes. The money that is saved can then be reinvested in the company to tackle climate action where business meets new sustainable opportunities.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ilvers Sermols: The pandemic gave us even greater scope to grow. We need to be more socially responsible to our planet, and humanity needs a new transition tool that can be used with the latest tech.
This year has seen some very promising developments in the Hemp and Cannabis industry. In recent weeks the United Nations and the US made history with their decision to reclassify hemp. This amazing shift will allow a deeper look into what this plant can, from an environmental standpoint, from scientific research to business. In particular, it’ll help us towards our goal of growing 1 trillion trees.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ilvers Sermols: Each day brings new lessons. The most important part is not to ignore them. This makes the difficult choices a lot easier to handle, which is also the same for the environment and those vital moments when you must act now, not later.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Ilvers Sermols: I truly believe that what we’re doing will help the world. This idea motivates me to see so many amazing people come together, driven by the same beliefs and vision that I have. I guess you could say I’m not too concerned with stress.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ilvers Sermols: Be ahead of them in the first place!
Currently, we will be one of the first to build a decentralized platform for the Cannabis and Hemp market. Our ambitious goals are to stay socially responsible and continuously diversify the industrial hemp market.
Your final thoughts?
Ilvers Sermols: We are moving towards a new civilization era where obvious actions have to be taken to continue living on this planet. Creativity can be innovative; we just have to use it correctly.
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