How do you sum up a passion that has overtaken your life? Sometimes a simple spark can take you to places you never dreamed possible. Inspiration can strike you at any time and then demand your attention: That is what happened with the concept for Wuji, a ride-share that changes urban transportation from a necessary evil to a regenerative component of our shifting future. This is why Wuji plans to utilize eco-friendly cars and offsets its CO2 footprint by planting trees with treesisters.org for each ride. Wuji has also partnered with the http://www.earthdollar.org/ to bring about a new cryptocurrency that is attached to the health of Mother Earth. I believe in a grassroots economy–where benefits happen from the bottom up rather than the top down–is the future, and Wuji is designed to fit into this future paradigm.Humble Beginnings
Passion is where it all started. It may sound trivial, but the spark for Wuji started when I canceled cable TV about six years ago. We switched to Netflix, and I started making my two sons watch a documentary before they could watch a cartoon. I ended up watching with them. We watched a lot of nature documentaries that showcased our amazing planet–things I’d known a bit about before but had never seen in such detail. The amazing things I learned in these shows we watched sparked a childlike curiosity in me.
I wanted to start learning more about our world. I started with environmental, political, philosophical, astrological and spiritual books and documentaries and soon experienced a paradigm shift. I recognized a new purpose in life: I wanted to spend my time on Earth making as much positive impact as I could. I also realized we needed to make a shift as a species in restoring our planet.
Like many of us, my first reaction was anger and frustration at the systems in place but realized that meeting anger with anger doesn’t solve the problem it just causes more friction. We need peace not anger. It was clear that a system in which under 20 people own more wealth than half the world’s poorest population was based in corruption and greed.
My Aha! Moment
I knew I wanted to contribute something to a new vision of the world, but I didn’t know where to start. Like so many entrepreneurs, So I started with a Gardening business idea that was going to aim at building it into a curriculum for every school, then started a LED light business and then stumbled into driving rideshare. Through this experience, I was able to see first-hand the many benefits this type of job offered: Flexible, self-determined schedules perfect for parents, the underemployed and students; the ability to intimately learn a city or suburban area; a job that connects you with other people in your community; and a means of self-employment available to anyone with a driver’s license and a care.
And I saw that the programs we worked for and the cars we drove were only contributing to pollution and climate change. What’s more, our ride-shares had such an opportunity to become participants in the community, but it felt as if those opportunities were being wasted. I decided to start putting all my impact-driven ideas toward a better version of a ride-share program. People need to get where they need to go: Why couldn’t that everyday need also come with benefits, for the riders, the drivers and the planet? I felt transporting people in a eco-conscious fashion, all while planting trees, offsetting CO2 and making the world a better place, was a good way to plant seeds of hope and change into each ride.
My Vision for Wuji
Wuji aims to be a contributor to every community where we offer services.Yes, we are a business that must pay for ourselves and our operations, but we have a greater mission: To make a difference in the world. Our grassroots organizational and financial model means, we take care of the planet and the people first. It also means we’ll give back to every community where we operate, letting riders donate by rounding up or adding $1 to give someone in need in the community a ride. It means transporting veterans to doctors’ appointments, elementary school students to community gardens and senior citizens to social engagements. We also plan to offset all of our emissions and help replant rainforests across the globe. But in the end, I believe the ripple effect of Wuji being part of something bigger than ourselves will make a bigger difference than the actual environmental rewards.
My goal with Wuji is to model a new way for business to function. Moving into the future, businesses must move beyond sustainability: For true success, we must all aim to become regenerative models that give back to future generations, rather than robbing from them. Today more than ever, people want to align their values with their spending habits and Wuji is an easy way to vote with your dollar and be the change you want to see in the world.
We feel Wuji can scale to a global level in less than five years and that our mission-based model will compel communities to welcome us with open arms. Wuji also plans on having off-grid live/work headquarters in every market we enter, where we can create community and facilitate learning. Living a sustainable lifestyle while also being part of a community that’s making the world a better place is what this generation is asking for, and Wuji aims to become a part of the movement for a better future.
Wuji is looking to be the preferred Eco-Conscious rideshare company for businesses that are looking to make an impact and be the change they want to see in the world. We are also looking for partnerships and sponsorships to help cross promote each other’s brands and mission. Wuji is looking to launch in Chicago this spring and already has the software completed and the team in place to create a model based on giving.”