global perspectives

Inside Pollination: Beth Keddie on how transdisciplinary problem solving is the key to unlocking change (faster).


Beth Keddie joined Pollination in 2021 and was recently promoted to Managing Director. Based in Brisbane, Australia, she brings a breadth of commercial experience to her work across Pollination’s advisory, investments and projects activity. We sat down with Beth to discuss her journey to Pollination, how she’s driving change, and her priorities for the future.


What was it that led you to join Pollination in 2021?

I had been working for the past decade trying to accelerate uptake of distributed renewable energy solutions. We were making progress but it was painstakingly incremental – acceleration of renewables required change in not just the energy sector, but also in adjacent sectors including property, software, OEMs, telco solutions, planning, FMCG and all the associated regulations. It was clear that systemic approaches were required if we were going to have any chance of decoupling our energy system from carbon and solving the climate crisis.

Coming out of that experience, I was looking for something that really focused on systemic change. I came across an article about Pollination in the paper and I could see that it was intentionally very different. Not just a consultancy, not just a developer, not just an investor –  deliberately all three and staffed by people with real world experience from different sectors in order to drive the systemic change I knew was needed. My interest was piqued!

I’d had an incredibly diverse career up to that point, and in chatting with Martijn and Megan (two of Pollination’s founders), I could see how my broad experience could stitch together and be really valuable at Pollination. I had experience in corporate advisory, energy transition, mining, innovation, corporate venturing and capital raising in startups. The opportunity to draw on the unique experience I’d gathered in my career, and apply it to drive systemic change… it was a perfect fit. Importantly, Pollination was also supportive of my desire to work part time – enabling me to balance my career with raising our three young children. I joined as an Executive Director shortly after those first meetings in March 2021.


What is your professional superpower?

I’ve had feedback from clients and collaborators that my superpower is connecting dots to generate and communicate solutions that deliver impact and commercial value.

I’ve always been very curious about lots of disciplines. Right back in my undergrad Uni days I remember being frustrated by having to choose one thematic to study – even then I was absolutely convinced that the best solutions would come from connecting dots across a range of disciplines. It makes sense when you think about nature – a complex adaptive system – as being the foundation of our society and economy.

Years later I did my Masters of Environment at Melbourne Uni and I loved it because it recognised the value of a transdisciplinary approach.

You could pick subjects from any discipline and learn about their application to the environment – I did law, policy, geography, ecology, finance and economics.

This natural inclination for transdisciplinary problem solving, combined with my diverse professional experience, means that I tend to look at things a little bit differently. When tackling a commercial problem, I start with unencumbered, blue sky thinking about what the best outcome for people and the planet would be, and then work backwards on how to get there. I think about how to make the solution commercial, or why it’s not right now and what the different things are that need to change – rather than starting with the commercial opportunities already in the current market. In my experience, this approach unlocks the most innovative commercial solutions, in turn creating more value and impact.


In your new role as Managing Director, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m particularly excited to be taking on global leadership of our Industrial and Infrastructure Systems focus area. It obviously aligns with my experience across energy, resources and industrials sectors, but there is also an enormous need and huge opportunity in the transition for these sectors. By thinking differently, I am certain we can create more value for the companies in these sectors whilst undergoing transition, as well as provide better infrastructure services, quality of life for people, and outcomes for nature. In Australia and globally, the net zero, nature positive transition represents an enormous opportunity, and I look forward to working closely with our clients and our extraordinary team to accelerate it.




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