11 Feb Grahame Newton: Helping Businesses Grow Up
Grahame Newton knows that Greenstorc technology has the potential to displace polluting diesel, coal and gas power stations on a global scale.
Yet he’s not getting carried away. Grahame believes every world-changing idea is only as effective as the way you bring it to fruition.
This means taking it back to the beginning, scrutinising each tentative step – day after day – and implementing every tough business lesson learned en route. Grahame’s certainly learned a few on his own corporate journey
“The birth of a good idea, as with many of life’s births, is fraught with danger,” he says.
As Chairman of Greenstorc’s Advisory Board, Grahame is, therefore, guiding us towards success.
He understands the corporate world inside-out. Decades of global experience in energy management across multiple forms of generation inform his knowledge and expertise.
The focus, then, is always on the end game. Grahame aims to infuse Greenstorc with the resilience needed to take its true place in the world’s energy market.
Steel town to City of London: Eye on innovation
From early days in a County Durham steel town to his current Netherlands base, Grahame has always been fiercely determined to learn, grow, achieve.
He had a great start. Supported by parents and teachers who told him there were no limits, Grahame took them literally.
Acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Geography/Geology at the University of London, he gradually worked his way up from field engineer to the upper echelons of the business and financial world. It was “natural progression” as well as an exhilarating learning curve.
“My first job on leaving university was as a mudlogger on an Italian drilling rig in the Adriatic Sea,” he says. “I was hooked from the first day! There were so many different nationalities on that rig all striving for the same goal but for different reasons. The alignment and camaraderie made a huge impression on me.”
From these hands-on beginnings, Grahame worked across a variety of energy-related industries and specialities – from geology to offshore drilling, from gas, oil and coal to solar PV and green buildings.
His growing skills led him into the arena of management, executive strategy and venture capital. Here he honed his ability to nurture, facilitate and develop strong entrepreneurial ideas into highly successful business practice.
Grahame was responsible, in fact, for major industry innovations in oil and gas – including global rollout of the industry’s first commercial horizontal drilling systems.
Hard lessons learned = smarter business practice
Grahame is clear about the motivators which drove him forward.
“Being recognised as capable and requested to go to the next level. Being inspired by certain individuals to take risks and recognise the power of teamwork. Being taught that you never achieve anything on your own.”
He set up his own company Greenfield Energy (now Erda Energy) in 2007 to help change the way energy is used in our built environment. Having a network of trusted experts around him subsequently eased the process.
Nigel Brandon-Bravo and Mathew Edwards were two of those supporters. Both are now key members of the Greenstorc team.
“Nigel and Mat were early believers in the Greenfield business. Nigel reached out and asked that I advise Paul for the simple reason that I had experienced exactly what Paul was about to go through.
“My initial conversation with Paul and my subsequent meetings with him and Johannes have left me in no doubt that the Greenstorc vision is one in which I want to participate.”
“Forming Greenfield taught me many of the lessons of bringing a good idea to the fruition. Some of those lessons were hard and bruising. I hope to help Paul avoid most of the hurtful and negative occurrences that happen in bringing an idea like Greenstorc to the world.”
Greenstorc set to “change the lives of millions”
Grahame was born and raised in Consett, County Durham. A steel town set in the rural North East of England, it offered him “the freedom to roam without fear”. He also enjoyed the support of a “very close community”.
He was hugely influenced by his geography and geology teacher, Roy Tyreman.
“He instilled in me a desire and need to see the world, and try to have a positive influence wherever and whenever I could.”
“The natural world fascinates and excites me,” Grahame says. “The pure sciences chemistry, biology and physics were my favourite subjects at school. But natural sciences won out. The world and its plethora of environments and cultures continues to be a source of wonderment to me.”
Very influential climate deniers are therefore top of Grahame’s hit list. “The catastrophic changes driven by human population growth depress me but also drive me to help mitigate in any way I can.”
From a conservation perspective, zero emissions Greenstorc technology made available at scale, therefore, could be a “monumental” boost for the health of the planet.
Which takes us right back to the start. Grahame says this technology can and will change the lives of millions.
“But only with committed teamwork, professionalism and both clarity and belief of purpose. Even when you’re right it’s not always certain that you’ll succeed.”