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The Discomfort Practice

The Discomfort Practice explores the value of discomfort in shaping who we are, how we are in the world and how it can be a catalyst for positive social evolution.

Betsy speaks to leaders, activists, athletes, creatives and others who, like her, are ‘professional discomforters’ about comfort zones, having a conscious ‘discomfort practice,’ and the superpowers that lie on the other side of stepping into the unknown. Come get uncomfortable with Betsy...

Dec 4, 2022

In this episode, I chat with the Founder & CEO of IONATE, inventor Matthew Williams. He is a systems architect by nature, mechatronic engineer by education, design leader and facilitator by passion. Having spent his career in the front seat of global systems-engineering companies, Matthew is equipped with a unique insight on how to build the most efficient electrical systems. Sustainability and where we get our energy from is increasingly important to our survival and thriving on this planet, because we can't continue to run on the type of resources that we've used for power in the past. 

Matthew is originally from Australia. And early on, he recognized the technological disconnect between power grids and energy transition, basically getting away from fossil fuels. So his mission for the past 10 years has been to tackle this challenge. Matthew and his team at IONATE are building the technology backbone of a productive, decentralized and decarbonized power system of the future. Matthew is on his way to be the OG of the new way we create and run the power grid. As well as sharing uncomfortable moments in his business and personal life, Matthew shares an empowering outlook on how he deals with public speaking, failures and setbacks. Stay tuned for his inspiring story and so much more. 

Key Points Discussed:

  • The discomfort in Matthew’s childhood from being an introvert and choosing a customer service role to confront his struggle has helped him in later life with public speaking (5:17)
  • How Matthew uses his understanding of the amygdala (the brain almond): and that the physiological response to fear, anxiety and excitement is the same to help with his public speaking (8:16)
  • Overcoming business failures and how that’s helped him shape the success of his new business Ionate (11:13)
  • The technology Matthew and his team have invented to create a functional way to deal with the worldwide issue of utilizing renewable energy and overcoming the issues of connecting it to the grid (18:24) 
  • How the technology is also about bringing down energy bill costs (24:47)
  • How an early life lesson from his father about dealing with setbacks in a less emotional, more rational approach has been an inspiration for him (27:37)
  • How a combination of a good engineering brain, a planned approach and also passion for creating change helps him overcome nervousness or fear that he encounters (42:32)

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