Building Slé: Why the World Needs a Consumer Facing Climate Action App
Connected Fitness (e.g. Strava, Peloton, Whoop, FitBit, Zwift) created a multibillion dollar market by adding a layer of tech and connectivity to the solitary home workout, transforming it into an immersive, communal, competitive, and data-rich experience. Inspired by Connected Fitness, Slé is pioneering Connected Mobility with the conviction that climate action can benefit hugely from data-rich social connectivity and harness that same motivating psychology to catalyze incremental habitual change in transportation patterns. With Slé, we are building a connected platform driven by a vision to create a new sense of empowered optimism as yet absent in the fight for the future of our planet.
The virtual community engagement that has emerged through Connected Fitness is powerful in its ability to motivate participants through a unique sense of both belonging and accountability. Just ask anyone who’s ever gone after a Strava segment, worked for a spot on the leaderboard of a Peloton ride, or competed with friends on their Whoop team. While the data and analytics that these platforms provide are informative and useful in achieving fitness goals, the truly groundbreaking innovation is found in their ability to harness the psychology of community and competition to motivate users to push harder than they otherwise would. Taking a Peloton class with thousands of other people is invigorating; knowing that the perception of breathing hard, sweating, and feeling lactic acid build-up is simultaneously shared with countless others around the world is a defining part of the experience. It also creates a sense of accountability: skipping a class or going too easy is no longer only letting yourself down but letting down a whole community. Motivation here is a double edged sword.
Climate action is daunting, particularly with regards to our transportation habits. There is a pervading pessimism that comes from the sense of magnitude of the challenge. Individually, the choices we make with regards to how we move in and around the various urban and suburban spaces we inhabit have an Infinitesimally small effect on the global crisis we face. Collectively, however, incremental behavioral change can create a tangible, lasting effect. If Slé is able to capture 5% or 10% of an urban population in its user base, catalyzing moderate changes in mobility patterns, this is powerful both from the perspective of the analytics through which our platform’s algorithm scores behavior (traffic, emissions, and human health), but also from a perspective of the data that can be harnessed to inform policy, infrastructure and more.
Slé’s foundation of social connectivity and data analytics is designed to empower its users, providing a conduit through which they can perceive that their decisions do indeed make a difference. Nothing is more motivating.