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Portrait of Casey Goldstein
Duke computer science senior Casey Goldstein is the force behind College to Climate. Photo by Chris Hildreth

College to Climate

Connecting students and employers in the climate space

Many students are interested in working on climate issues. Many employers are looking to hire them. Duke computer science senior Casey Goldstein is helping to connect them through an online community platform he is cultivating called College to Climate.

Goldstein has worked with five partners from around the U.S. to create the College to Climate Slack channel, a digital network that unites them in a shared cause. It launched in January 2023, and currently has about 200 members who come from around the world. All of them “talk” on Slack, a real-time app where communities can work together. There’s also a newsletter and podcast.

“We started on the talent side because we are college students and we just wanted to bring the community together,” said Goldstein, 22. “Then, we started getting a lot of inbound from climate employers. They wanted to get in front of our community.”

Goldstein, of Weston, Massachusetts, near Boston, said his desire to work on climate started in middle school when he heard a speaker share stories about the earth’s challenges ahead. It made an impression. “I remember walking out of that room terrified. I was certainly scared straight, which means mission accomplished.”

As he grew up, his father, a venture capitalist, suggested that learning to code would be a good skill to cultivate. When he landed at Duke to study computer science (with a concentration on artificial intelligence and machine learning), he was able to connect his interest in climate with his aspirations in entrepreneurship and business. The heart story of it all is his passion to bring people together to tackle what he sees as the world’s greatest threat.

“Environmental focus and climate were already on my radar, even when I was in high school. And what I found was that Duke has such amazing resources and has had those for a long time now,” Goldstein said.

He studied in Australia and attended a conference where he met a diverse group of students from around the world, many from backgrounds less privileged than his. He heard how climate problems were directly impacting their lives, stories of their “light-bulb moments” when they knew they had to do more.

Now, Goldstein and his partners are stepping up as matchmakers, hosting weekly online meet-ups and bringing in speakers to share their knowledge about how they ultimately found work that unites their passions with affecting change. He hopes to broaden this project as a future business.

“We’re incubating a global community,” he said.