20 questions with… Bruce Davis



Bruce Davis answers 20 questions on life, sustainability and everything.

Davis is founder of Abundance Generation, a democratic funding platform that allows the general public to invest as little as £5 in renewable energy projects. Investors put their money towards specific projects – including wind, solar, hydro and biomass –  and receive returns based on how much electricity is generated.

He also co-founded the peer-to-peer lending service Zopa, is a fellow at the Finance Lab and a research fellow at the Bauman Institute.

We want the world to be as blue and green tomorrow as it was yesterday. What’s your mission?

To create investments that pay a good return now, without borrowing from all our futures.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Weirdly, a civil servant or a politician. Too much Yes, Minister at a young age.

How would your friends describe you?

A non-self identifying leftie.

What was your ‘road to Damascus moment’ in terms of sustainability?

Coffee with my co-founder Karl in the British Library.

Who or what inspires you?

Richard Duvall, founder of Egg and Zopa. Zygmunt Bauman, the globally reknowned sociologist you haven’t heard of.

What really grinds your gears?

Vested interests and lazy capitalism dressed up as enterprise.

Describe your perfect day.

A PR frenzy – I like a good crisis.

What do you see when you look out your window at home?

The weather – I try to cycle the 9 miles to work everyday and need to dress accordingly.

What do you like spending your money on?

See above – bikes and Rapha kit.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I run a start-up, therefore don’t understand the question.

What’s your favourite book?

Anything by Spike Milligan

What’s your favourite film?

300. I studied ancient Greek and finally they made it sexy.

You’re made prime minister. What’s the first thing you do?

Break up the energy companies, and then the big banks.

If you were stuck on a desert island, which famous person would you like to be stuck with and why?

Alive, Kristin Scott Thomas. Dead, Richard Feynman.

What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given? And the worst?

The best: take the red pill. The worst: take the red pill.

What would you like to be doing five years from now?

Writing more, talking less.

What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t believe in them.

What one thing would you encourage readers to do to make their life more sustainable?

Invest in renewable energy and start the process of opening your eyes to reality.

What’s the one idea that you think could change the world for the better?

We make the markets we deserve.

What’s your favourite quote?

If you want to learn how the lion hunts, go to the jungle not to the zoo” – the CEO of Procter & Gamble describing the value of ethnographic research, which was a lot of the inspiration for Zopa and Abundance.

Bruce Davis is the founder and retail director of Abundance Generation, a fellow at the Finance Lab and a research fellow at the Bauman Institute. 

Further reading:

Abundance Generation: crowdfunding the future of energy

Bruce Davis, Abundance: ‘we can do something different with money’

Top 10 reasons to invest in renewable energy projects

Transforming Finance: how can we fix our broken financial system?

Energy, pensions and banks: can we fix our broken markets for the long-term?


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