Phil De Luna

Carbontech Innovator, Forbes Top 30 Under 30, TEDx Speaker

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What I do

I develop solutions to fight climate change. 

I consider myself a research capitalist – finding, co-investing, and developing the most impactful technologies to decarbonize our economy.

Research & Development

I am an award-winning materials scientist, my research on carbontech and artificial intelligence has been published in high-impact journals such as Nature and Science
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Innovation & Entrepreneurship

I co-founded a carbontech venture and was a finalist in the Carbon XPRIZE. I now mentor startups and entrepreneurs via the Creative Destruction Lab and perform technology assessments for the NRC, DOE, and venture capital firms.

Executive Governance

I sit on multiple boards including as Chairman at Carbon Management Canada, a carbontech nonprofit focused on industrial decarbonization. I have proven expertise in strategic planning and stakeholder engagement.

Public Speaking

I have given hundreds of talks, speeches, interviews, and podcasts including two TEDx talks. I speak regularly on innovation, science, diversity, and early career development.
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Policy & Thought Leadership

I've worked with the OECD, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and Action Canada on innovation policy. I regularly write op-eds on science, climate change, diversity, and politics in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Corporate Knights, and more.

Diversity & Mentorship

As a Filipino-Canadian immigrant to Canada, I am passionate about increasing diversity, especially in leadership positions. I mentor young people through the Fobes Close the Gap Foundation and other non-profit programs.

Driven to Make Impact

$57M

R&D program built and led at the National Research Council

10K+

citations in the past 5 years (top 0.01% worldwide)

12+

cleantech startups mentored

5

Science & Nature publications, 50 total, 14 op-eds, 1 book, 1 podcast

My Story

I am currently an Expert, Sustainability at McKinsey & Company where I help solve industry’s hardest decarbonization problems. I lead teams and work with executive leaders in corporations, governments, and non-profits to enable sustainable inclusive growth. 

I was the youngest-ever Director at the National Research Council of Canada where I built and led a $57M collaborative research program on Canada-made transformative technologies to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. I oversaw a portfolio of >40 projects across four countries and supervised a team of >40 national lab scientists.

I am a Governor General Gold Medal-winning scientist, a member of the Royal Society of Canada, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto. My research on CO2 conversion and accelerated materials discovery has been published in high-impact journals like Science and Nature and I have been recognized as the top 0.01% in my field by Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers. 

I serve as Chair on the Board of Directors of CMC Research Institutes (a carbontech non-profit). I was also a founding Mentor of the Matter and Climate Streams in Creative Destruction Lab, helping science-based startups bring advanced technology to market.

I was an entrepreneur and innovator having raised $2M in non-dilutive funding as a carbontech co-founder, Carbon XPRIZE Finalist (1 of 10 globally), an On Deck Climate Fellow, and a Forbes Top 30 Under 30.

I have worked with the OECD, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and as an Action Canada Fellow on impactful public policy. I ran to become a Member of Parliament for the Green Party of Canada in the 2021 Federal Election to bring more science to politics, raising the most money ever for my riding. 

I’ve given hundreds of talks, interviews, podcasts, and commentaries on science, climate change, innovation, public policy, and increasing diversity in leadership positions. 

  • McKinsey & Company
    Expert, Sustainability | 2022 – present
  • National Research Council of Canada
    Director, Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program | 2019 – 2022
  • University of Toronto
    Adjunct Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering | 2022 – present
  • Carbon Management Canada
    Chair, Board of Directors | 2019 – present
  • Creative Destruction Lab 
    Mentor, Climate & Matter | 2020 – present
  • Green Party of Canada
    Candidate for Member of Parliament, Toronto-St. Paul’s | 2021
  • Carbon XPRIZE 
    Finalist, Venture Co-founder | 2016 – 2019
  • University of Toronto 
    Ph.D. Materials Science & Engineering | 2015 – 2018
  • University of California, Berkeley 
    Visiting Scholar | 2017
  • University of Ottawa 
    MSc. Chemistry | 2013 – 2015
  • University of Windsor 
    BSc. Chemistry | 2009 – 2013
  • Royal Society of Canada
    Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists
  • OECD
    Member of the Advanced Materials Steering Committee
  • Canadian Commission for UNESCO
    Member of the Working Group on AI and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Action Canada
    Fellow
  • Green Angel Syndicate
    Honorary Member
  • Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI)
    Energy Storage Moonshoot Steering Committee Member
  • On Deck
    Climatetech Fellow
  • Forbes Close the Gap
    Mentor

Publications

My work has been published in high-impact scientific journals, in international policy reports, and in national newspapers and magazines. See below for a full list of my work.

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2013

Media & Press

I have been featured in mainstream media, on podcasts, documentaries, and more. I regularly speak on science and innovation, clean technology, and diversity.

Awards & Fellowships

Forbes Top 30 Under 30
Forbes

Governor General Gold Medal
Governor General of Canada

Member of the College,
Royal Society of Canada

Finalist
Carbon XPRIZE

Top 50 Changemaker
Globe and Mail

Mission Innovation Champion Canada
Mission Innovation

Top 30 Under 30
Corporate Knights

Top 30 Under 30
GreenBiz

Bay Street 30×30
Bay Street Bull

Alumni Odyssey Award
University of Winsdor

Clean50 Emerging Leader
Clean50

Highly Cited Researcher
Clarivate Analytics

Fellow
Action Canada

Climate Tech Fellow
On Deck

Junior Fellow Alum
Massey College

2021 Endorsement
GreenPAC

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Where You Can Find Me

I live, work, and play in the heart of Toronto. 

How You Can Reach Me

For general inquiries or to book me for a talk, feel free to fill out the form below.

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Photos by Kristina Ruddick, Daniel Skwarna, Jasmine Chong, and Unsplash. Website design by Phil De Luna. All content is my own and has not been endorsed by any organization or my employer.