FOR BUSINESS LEADERS, BY BUSINESS LEADERS

EPISODE #2 | DAN ENGLAND TALKS HOW TO STRUCTURE MEETINGS (35:44)

daniel england headshotOur episode 2 guest, Daniel England, discusses the importance of meeting structure. Daniel is a UC Irvine, MBA, whose focus on environmental entrepreneurship has led him to leading roles in two eco-friendly startups. Convert Coal, his most recent venture, uses a revolutionary process to clean coal, which fuels over 40% of the world’s electricity. Daniel speaks Polish, and spends much of his time developing this technology in Poland. Daniel is a past president of the Orange County Chapter President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and a former lecturer at Chapman University. He also accomplished rock climber and author of children’s books.

Learn more about Daniel England.

For Business Leaders, By Business Leaders is a weekly podcast series brought to you by Lead2Goals, a business management consulting firm based in San Clemente, California. Learn more by visiting www.lead2goals.com.

Scott De Long :             So we’re here today with Dan England. Dan is a, um, has got a MBA, but he’s also an entrepreneur. He’s been working for the last couple years on a clean coal technology product, uh, working s-, with a start-up called Convert Coal. Dan has been, um, a member of Entrepreneur Organization for five, six, maybe even seven years now. It’s been quite a while.

Dan England :               Nine years.

Scott De Long :             Nine years, and he has been the past president of the Orange County chapter. He’s got quite a bit of success in, in EO, uh, making presentations at the global conferences, uh, with some of the programs that he’s put together, but what we’re here to talk to him a little bit about today is meeting structure and how he sets up a meeting ’cause he’s got a unique, um, not really unique, but he’s got a perspective on the, how a meeting should be set up in order for it to flow effectively, and it has a lot to do with the same kinda work we do. So, Dan, thanks for coming. I appreciate it.

Dan England :               Well, thank you for having me.

Scott De Long :             Good. So tell me a little bit about where this, this concept of staging the meeting came to you. What, what made you think about this?

Dan England :               You know, it happened gradually. I, I feel like I maybe have a little bit of, uh, social awareness, if I can pat myself on the back over it, but, uh, I noticed that some of the meetings that other people were conducting seemed to have, uh, impediments, uh, to the meeting. I’ll give you, give you an example of something you’re probably aware of yourself, but, um, when we sit around a conference room table picture sort of a classic, um, office-style meeting, you know, there’s a phone in the middle and there’s whatever else office accoutrements, uh, o-, around the sides, but, uh, there are more chairs at the conference table than there are people.

And so people will gradually kind of scatter themselves out a bit, excuse me, a bit like sitting at a movie theater where s-, people just sort of kind of respect their personal space and they set their stuff down, and y-, the meeting ended up with sort of scattered, scattered group. And the meeting was reserved and low energy. People kind of just weren’t connected to each other. And, and sometimes even the empty chairs are pushed in the way, you know, often chairs are, you know, when there’s, when there’s no meeting. And so it actually was a physical barrier, so just kind of ha-, a high-back chair, you know, blocking the eye contact between two people that were sitting in the meeting. And it, it really had this sort of closed off, uh, feeling.

And I’ve, and I’ve seen this, this over and over again. So, uh, this is one small example, but one of the things that I do if it’s a conference r-, conference room conference table style meeting is that I remove all of the chairs that are not used, so that there’s noth-, there’s no barrier between anybody at the meeting, so we’re all kind of connected, uh, in some sense. It raises the energy, uh, level in the meeting. It raises the sense of being, uh, connected to the other people in the meeting and, in my opinion, facilitates the flow of conversation.

Scott De Long :             That’s really interesting. I’ve seen that happen quite a bit myself and, and, and I agree with you that an empty chair leaves a space and, and we’re missing something in that space, right, so there’s, that makes sense. Do you have any, have any feelings about the difference, well you mentioned a conference with a, a table in the middle versus the open concept. Like we’re sitting here right now without a barrier between us, without a desk between us. What, what’s your feelings on how to set up the room? Should it have a conference table? Should it be open? When do you use each type?

Dan England :               So, I have used a variety of, of meeting setups and a variety of kind of ways that, that we’re situated. I, I can see even walking into this room that you had a conference room setup, where there was just the complete absence, uh, of a table. Uh, so chairs are sitting in a circle and I do that rarely, uh, I do that in a forum setting where there’s, um, uh, kind of a chance to sort of share some more intimate details where we kind of want to sort of abandon any kind of barriers. But, um, in a, in a business setting, uh, I don’t do that, uh, as often, but what I have done quite frequently is a standing meeting with, with no barrier, no table.

So we’re, we’re standing in a circle, so this is often referred to as a daily huddle or, or some meeting like that, and the absence of a table is to remove the barriers. There’s a, you know, sense, sense of a barrier when there’s a table or something else, but the standing in particular is meant to emphasize the brevity of the meeting. So, the, this, what I don’t want is for anyone to wonder how long are we gonna sit here, oh my God there’s another, you know, conference meeting again. Um, and when people are standing, uh, it has an effect to cause them to get to the point quicker. Um, people just sort of say what they need to say and, and we can move on.

Scott De Long :             So when you’re talking about timeframes something that came into my mind is that I’ve seen structured and unstructured meetings. So structured meeting I’m gonna say has an agenda, right? And then there’s other free-flow types of meetings. So, how often do you use an agenda or where do you use agendas in your meeting and, and do you ever use a meeting that doesn’t have an agenda?

Dan England :               I almost always have, uh, an agenda, uh, for a meeting. Now, I don’t always type it up and supply it to everybody, but almost often, I’m sorry, almost always do we all know what the point of the meeting is. And, uh, at the beginning of a meeting that I’ll conduct, whether it’s a classic, um, conference-style meeting or a, you know, standup meeting or, or anything else that I, we might cover today, generally I’ll say something like this, “The purpose of this meeting is”, and then I’ll lay out what that is so we all know.

And then the other thing that I often include is, “And we will stop this meeting at”, and I give some definite time because what I’ve noticed in the past is when those things don’t happen people wonder why they’re here or people will often get off track and they’ll bring up things that may be good points, but they distract from whatever the purpose that I’m trying to have. But if we don’t call out what the end time is people are often wondering, “How long are we going to sit here, like when can I go get lunch or when can I call my wife”, or whatever else is, is going on. So, if I call that out that allows them to sort of relax a little bit on, “Do I have to manage my own time, do I have to excuse myself and go to the bathroom”, we all know when it’s gonna end.

Scott De Long :             So that’s something that you said interesting there and I’m, I’m relating it to how I operate as well in, in that when you talked about having an end r-, you talk about the purpose of the meeting and then somewhere you talked about the end, right? And, and how I set up a meeting is I want people to understand the intent and/or the purpose of the meeting upfront, but I also want them to, to understand what the expected outcomes are going to be. What is it that we’re looking for at the end of this meeting? I don’t have a timeframe necessarily, not always, sometimes there are and sometimes there are not, but that end result is the expected outcomes. And whatever those might end up being through the, the flow of the meeting is how [inaudible 00:08:32]. What, what do you think about that? Do y-, do you tell people what you’re hoping to get out of this as part of your intent?

Dan England :               I do depending on the circumstance of, of what we’re doing. Um, so, so some meetings, uh, let’s say we’re having, uh, kind of a brainstorming or collaboration-style meeting, I, I may say something, uh, to that point about okay this is, this is what I’m expecting. Uh, occasionally, uh, we’ll p-, I’ll poll the room and ask them what they’re expecting the outcome of the meeting will be, if we’re having something, like I said, closer to, uh, collaboration. Um, but i-, in any event, I always make sure that we’re all clear on what’s the purpose of us meeting in the first place.

Scott De Long :             So is there a difference between a collaborative meeting or a creative meeting and a reporting type meeting in your mind? Or, or how do you define those differences?

Dan England :               Well, uh, yes there is and, and you, your, um, this, this may lead me to a topic that I, I wanted to talk about, it’s kind of a one-on-one meeting when I have sort of two, two different types of, of one-on-one meetings. Um, but your question just now was a collaborative meeting versus a, a reportive meeting. Um, the collaborative meeting is, is generally more fun. Uh, it’s more, it’s more free flowing. We, we get to be more creative. Um, I’m less likely to, to have a firm end time, um, sometimes if I’ve, uh, if I’ve stated a firm end time and we need, it’s clear that we need more time that, that creativity and, and collaboration these things are still happening and it’s, and it’s worthwhile to, to go longer I bring that up and I get, I get buy-in. And I say something like, “I know I said we were gonna end at, you know, 11:25, but, um, I think it’s important we go another 10 minutes. Are you all okay with, with that”, sort of get that and kind of get on that point and move on.

With a reporting-style meeting, um, I generally try to keep things, uh, uh, moving. Just, just keep the, keep the pacing, uh, high. I think in, in any meeting pacing is important. People get bored and distracted, secretly checking their cell phones or, you know, mentally checked out, but I think the, the pacing, especially of a reporting-style meeting, it’s important to keep people’s attention.

Scott De Long :             Talk about that a little bit the, the cell phone use or the electronic use within a meeting. Do you set up your meetings with rules?

Dan England :               I do. Uh, I often, um, I often will say, “Hey, let’s, let’s turn of our cell phones or, you know, put them on silent, um, you know, put them away”, and I’ll say that at the beginning if, if I’m meeting with the same group over and over again, um, I’ll say that at the beginning of every meeting and we’ll end up with, um, what is essentially, uh, a pattern or a, uh, maybe a little tiny bit of culture around how we conduct our meetings. If it’s a single group that I’m never going to see again then I, I’m sort of walk through it slightly more explicitly, you know, about, you know, what, what to do and not do with your cell phone.

Scott De Long :             How do you manage violators of those norms, those rules that you set? Do you have any special tools that, that you utilize when somebody just picks up their phone and starts texting or, or tries to covertly look at their phone under the table?

Dan England :               So I, I had a situation, uh, like that just recently. In fact, it was my last meeting, uh, as president, uh, of, uh, Orange County Entrepreneurs’ Organization and so we had a very good rhythm all year long, but at the last meeting some of the new people who don’t really know me, uh, come in. So the, there’s sort of a mix of old people who knew what to do and new people who maybe just didn’t have that, that culture.

And this particular fellow, uh, sat right next to me and, uh, pulled out his laptop, uh, computer, and even dragged up, and I’m, I’m not making this up, dragged up a small table next to the conference room table so that he could put his laptop on it and he continued to just type away during the course of the meeting. Checking his phone sometimes, typing away, and, uh, and I had to ask him, um, and I, I did it politely, to dispense with the electronics through the course of the meeting. And, and it was clear to him in that moment and, and essentially, you know, to everyone else in the room, uh, slightly embarrassing to him that, sort of to be called out that way, um, but I just had to say it once and he closed everything down and-

Scott De Long :             How did that affect his participation later in the meeting them?

Dan England :               Uh, he, he didn’t seem to be bothered by it. I, I think, um, I, given his, his personality type, this particular individual was gregarious enough that he was probably quiet for a minute or five minutes or something like that, but later on the second half of the meeting he was participatory and energetic, so-

Scott De Long :             Interesting. Let’s go back to the comment, the, the, the comment that you made about one-on-one meeting. You had a couple points that you wanted to talk about in one-on-one meetings.

Dan England :               Yes, I, I, I do. So the, um, the office that I had, um, uh, back when I was working with, with E2, um, I, I had a, sort of a large conventional office. I had a desk, I had a, um, conference room table, uh, in the corner, kind of a small conference room table, uh, in the corner, kind of a small conference table. It was kind of a rectangular thing and the, the desk, uh, you know, was sort of classic where the, the, the chair of the desk is slightly higher than any of the other, any other chairs. And, you know, not to be, I don’t know, sort of, uh, jerk-ish, uh, about it, but just the way that it ended up was if someone was going to sit at my desk and talk to me across the desk, uh, their chair’s ever so slightly lower than mine and their back is to the door.

And, and those two things are, um, just, just a little bit awkward or inhibiting if you can imagine, um, when you go to, uh, court and there’s the judge, the judge is much higher than, than everybody else. And it’s designed to sort of create a little bit of, I don’t know, maybe submissiveness to the, to the judge, and that’s by design. This is much more subtle than that, but I would have meetings, um, in, in this format when the outcome of the meeting was I basically want this person to understand my point and, you know, and go on about their day, you know, basically, you know, with me being correct.

Maybe this is a disciplinary meeting or something that is kind of in that, in that vein, but when I wanted to have a meeting that was, uh, slightly more collaborative, um, then we would both move over to this conference room table that I, that I mentioned. And we would not sit across from each other like playing a chess match, um, you know, like, you know, with a barrier and sort of, it, it kind of creates an obvious, um, I don’t know, like an opponent or something. So, I would always sit, uh, on the, on the corner, so that there is, you know, kind of 90 degrees, uh, between us. It gives us enough table space to lay out drawings or spreadsheets or something like that, but not enough of an obstacle that we’re clearly on opposite sides of an issue.

And so that would lead to more of a collaborative, uh, mood. And then the two of us sitting at the same level, not on opposite sides of the table, could now kind of speak freely and be creative and come up with some ideas together.

Scott De Long :             Yeah, you’re describing what, what a lot of researchers talk about i-, are, uh, systemic power, uh, structures, right? So, when I’m sitting higher than you I have more power, behind the big desk it’s the king kind of concept. You mentioned the judge, that, that makes a lot of sense. And so if you can minimize power to increase the, the collaborative nature of that, but there are times that you wanna maintain that power, it sounds like. When, d-, describe when that would be appropriate for you to sit behind the big desk and up a little higher than everybody else.

Dan England :               So, I essentially select the, to the extent that I have control over it, as I, I select the, the room and the, and the, the meeting, uh, area depending on what type of meeting I’m trying to have and, and what the outcome is. So, I can have, I can sit behind my desk and I can have people pull their chairs up kind of around the desk, and then sort of it’s the, the Feng shui, if you will, sort of very a-, authoritarian, um, in, in that where we’re having a meeting where clearly I’m keeping control over, over what’s happening.

And to the extent that there is, let’s say, a rectangular conference table, back to the conference table, you can imagine sort of a larger classic, uh, conference table, um, I might sit at the head of the, of the conference table if I’m looking to have the reporting-style meeting that you mentioned, and I’m looking to, you know, uh, main-, maintain some level of, of control or authority over that, over that meeting. But if I’m looking to reduce that and create creativity, free speech, you know, chance to kind of explore things that maybe are unconventional then I’ll sit in the middle, you know, just alongside everybody else, uh, do it that way.

Scott De Long :             Yeah. That’s really interesting. I’ve, I’ve been on several boards myself and usually in the very beginning no matter what group I walk into I, and they’re always long, conference-type tables, right, rectangular tables, I will purposely get there early so I can sit right in the middle between the two sides. You’re gonna have the head of one at one end and the antithesis on the opposite end. You’ll na-, they naturally spread, right, the, the, the, uh, uh, the person that wants to throw in the challenge is gonna be on the other end. And I purposely sit in the middle the first few meetings to, so I can hear and listen. Eventually I start sliding towards one end.

Dan England :               (Laughs.)

Scott De Long :             Or the other, depending on which political point of view from that group that I like and with, my intention is to be at the head or the tail of one or the other, whether I wanna be the antithesis or wanna be the head of that organization. You’ll start, I’ll start moving that direction. It’s just, it’s weird the way that works that it’ll, the first week I know I’m planning on going into the middle and then I start sliding one way or the other, and I see that happening with other people unconsciously.

Dan England :               That’s, it’s interesting. I, I assume the meeting you’re talking about the people sort of sit relatively in the same spot meeting after meeting, uh-

Scott De Long :             They try to.

Dan England :               To, to do that. Yeah. Um, you remind me of kind of a f-, a funny example, but this was, um, back some years ago and somebody came to our office, had an appointment with me, uh, to, I think we were going to discuss, um, insurance or financing or some, some plan, and this was a, basically a salesman who was gonna try to get my business. And I was interested in his company, and I was interested in, in exploring options. He came to the meeting and he arrived a minute or two early, whatever the, you know, standard business etiquette is, and, uh, the receptionist, uh, walked him to the conference room and left him in the conference room. And then in a, in a few minutes I was ready.

When I came into the conference room he had seated himself at the head of the conference table. This is a salesman in, you know, what is, you know, my, my office, my-

Scott De Long :             Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan England :               Conference room, my head of the table, and I was, uh, I mean this is laughable at this point, but I was so offended by this, this little maneuver that I, I couldn’t concentrate terribly well on, on what he was saying and I was so irritated by this guy that he never got my business or never got anywhere close to it.

Scott De Long :             So what would you have done? Had you been that salesman, somebody led you into a room with things, how would you have positioned yourself as a salesman being the subordinate trying to sell to somebody? What would you have done?

Dan England :               I would’ve found the head of the table and then moved one or two seats off of it, allowing the, the, the boss or the chief execut-, whoever it was to sit at the head and then I could sit, um, hopefully at a 90-degree, uh, to them, to kind of not position myself as an opponent. Um, I, I have asked, in fact, when we sat, uh, in this very room I did not sit down and I asked you, uh, where you like to sit because I wanted to make sure that-

Scott De Long :             The all-powerful Scott.

Dan England :               (Laughs.)

Scott De Long :             You were holding back for me?

Dan England :               I wanted to make sure that I, that I-

Scott De Long :             (Laughs.)

Dan England :               Didn’t, that I didn’t commit some, uh, some offense. This is your, this is your office and you’re kind enough to invite me, and so I wanted to make sure that I got that right. So as the salesman I, I might have remained standing and, and even asked, you know, “Where, where would you like me to sit”, uh, to kind of offer that courtesy, but in no way would I have ever sat at the head of the table of, of some potential client that I’m trying to win over business.

Scott De Long :             So, what if, what if walked in at the same time and he offered you that seat, would you have taken that? Wh-, what would, how do you handle that?

Dan England :               I, I guess I don’t follow the question. If the salesman had offered me-

Scott De Long :             N-, so you’re the salesman now.

Dan England :               I see.

Scott De Long :             You walk into the room with the, your client, potential client and there’s a typical structure, and he offers you the seat that looks like the, you know, theoretical head of the table how do you handle that?

Dan England :               I-, if I was offered that seat I would take it.

Scott De Long :             You would take it?

Dan England :               Yeah.

Scott De Long :             Okay.

Dan England :               And, and I would actually probably secretly thinking I am very likely to make this sale, um, because I would, I would assume that this, this person may sit on my right or left and they might have, uh, an assistant or somebody sit on the other side and then I would have essentially the, the power position to sort of present and teach to these, these people that have invited me in, but, but out of just, uh, politeness and direction I would’ve sat wherever they asked me to sit.

Scott De Long :             All right, interesting. So, a lot of what we’re talking about here has to do with power. Um, certainly the structure of a meeting makes sense to make the free flow of information lower power status and all of that. To me that all gets back to building trust. Uh, I think that’s a, a major part of developing relationships is the ability to build trust. Do you have thoughts on, on specific actions that you cho-, that you use to try to build trust within any relationship, whether it’s you and, and workers or, or clients or peers?

Dan England :               Uh, yes. So, one of the things that I think is key for building trust or building relationships or just communication in general, uh, is, uh, allowing someone else to feel heard. Um, a lot of the, the conflicts are rooted in somebody’s not feeling heard or somebody wants to feel heard. And I’ve, I’ve witnessed arguments where they’re talking about something that appears to be a point, but in my opinion the central core is this person doesn’t feel heard or understood. So, to that end, whether we’re talking about a business relationship or a personal relationship, um, I, I try to listen more than I speak, at least at the beginning, uh, to make sure that I understand what, what is being said, what, what is a concern. Uh, I make sure to make eye contact, uh, while I’m doing it.

Um, I will repeat back, uh, occasionally, “Okay, so what I’m hearing is”, to make sure that there’s that, that connection. And I’ll, I’ll give you example of something, this is now getting into personal relationships, but something I do with my wife and I do this every day, uh, without fail. Um, when, I, I’m often home before she is, uh, and so when she comes home from work, um, I may be working on some important deadline, I may be doing something, um, stop what I’m doing and I just make eye contact with her and I let her tell me about her day, or her commute, or whatever it is, and I, I make sure that she has my full attention and, and the process is, is pretty quick now because I do it, uh, every day.

But somewhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes there’s a noticeable shift in the energy between the two of us, and it’s, it’s clear that a connection has been made and we are on the same page, and there’s this kind a, almost like, um, like a noticeable relaxing in the posture that that’s happened, that there’s, I can almost feel it, like a click or something. And then from that point, um, we can continue the conversation, but I don’t need to pay as much, um, not that I’m not paying attention to her, but I can put my eyes on other things-

Scott De Long :             Nice, nice cover right there (laughs).

Dan England :               Yeah (laughs), but I can, I can do things around the house and, and we’ve, we’ve now made a, a connection. And I do that every day and, and we have a, a strong trusting relationship, and, and I, I use the same techniques whether I’m, I mean not that I’m trying to apply a technique, but it’s just something that, that I, I notice advances trust in relationships.

Scott De Long :             Does it work with employees?

Dan England :               Yeah. Um, I think employees, uh, very often want to feel heard. Uh, I think it’s likely, if you’re talking about an employee-boss, uh, scenario, um, there’s often some sense of anxiety that employees don’t feel heard. And so, um, in, in my experience, uh, it has been very helpful to maintain eye contact and, and make sure that someone feels heard, and, you know, to, to address whatever, whatever it is. And, and so if employees have a sense of openness that they can describe, um, uh, maybe a concern or a, maybe a vision or something that they have that they, they feel that the company’s missing out on I think that’s great. I want to make sure that we’re not talking about maybe opening the door to some employee who always has a concern, every day there’s something to feel heard about.

That’s maybe a different, a different category, but if we’re talking about the, the vast majority of, of staff, intelligent, mature-thinking people that occasionally have concerns, they wanna be heard, then I think that’s a, a very important technique.

Scott De Long :             So what do you do when an employee needs your time, right, so let’s go with the, let’s go with the power dynamics, right, they need your time, uh, it’s not a scheduled thing, but it’s something that’s important tot them at the time, enough for them to come into your office and interrupt you from whatever it is you’re doing, and you’re in the middle of something. I just had this happen to me today and I, I think I handled it poorly. Um, so what, what would you do? How would you handle that?

Dan England :               So that’s a, that’s a, a great question and a, and a, a frequent problem that I’ve, that I’ve had, uh, in, in the past. Um, I, I will allow basically any employee to interrupt me, um, essentially the one time. You know, if they have something that’s urgent to them right now and that these, these people and their, their efforts and their feelings towards me, and, and the company are important and I wanna preserve that, even if I’ve, working on something important. Um, then I, I will a-, I will assume that most people don’t have an urgent need unless there really is something urgent. So I give them the benefit of the doubt and I’ll stop what I’m doing, even if I’m annoyed, and I will listen to what they have to say.

If I recognize that this person has a pattern, that, that it’s not a one-time thing, but this is a pattern then I will ask, uh, this person to ask me for my time. Um, say, “Hey, I have something, can I, you know, can you find some time to talk to me today? Can I have five minutes later today?” And, and that, just this little permission of my time, giving me back the, the courtesy of control of my own time helps with my own irritation. I’m, I’m a living, breathing human too and I have, I have emotions, and I find myself feeling frustrated and resistant to somebody who springs some topic on me unannounced. So, like I said, I will get past that and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Everybody can have an emergency or some urgent thing. If that person I think has a problem with respect of my time then I’ll sort of put this little kind of back and forth, and, and it helps them figure out, okay, is this, is this really urgent, and it calms them down knowing that they will indeed have a piece of my time and we have scheduled that, you know, 3:00 this afternoon or 9:00 A.M. tomorrow, or whatever it is. They, they know and they can relax knowing that they will have the boss’ attention, even if it’s not right in this instance.

Scott De Long :             That’s great. So we’re getting close to the end of our time right now, but what I like to do is reserve just a little bit of time for you just to talk a little bit more about your current company and what you do, how you do it, what’s unique about that, just to give a little thanks for the time that you spent with us today. So, tell me a little bit more about Convert Coal.

Dan England :               Uh, well thank you for having me and, and, yeah, I’m, I’m happy to talk about it. Uh, it’s, it’s something that is exciting to me and I’m very passionate, which is, which is weird because just to hear the name coal, and I’m talking about the dirty black stuff that, you know, we burn for electricity, uh, it’s, you know, it seems counterintuitive to talk about that, to have a breakthrough technology with it, or to talk about clean energy, especially here in Southern California where, you know, we like to talk about wind and solar, and those kinds of things, but, uh, I’m very excited by this. Because there are many places in the world that are just deeply dependent on coal and will not, you know, will not be going anywhere to anything anytime soon.

And I’ll give you some examples. Uh, Eastern Europe, um, Southeast Asia, uh, China, uh, some places in S-, Southern Africa, uh, the entire infrastructure, uh, is, is, uh, r-, revolving around coal and they have terrible problems with pollution, uh, environmental problems. Uh, it affects forest and wildlife, uh, it affects, uh, people’s health, uh, and it’s, and it’s lethal. Uh, I’ll give you an example, uh, in Poland, just Poland alone, 40,000 people a year die, uh, based on, uh, lung-related problems specifically from coal burning firep-, uh, power plants.

And it’s, it’s a drag on Poland, or the U.S., or anyone, to try to clean up what they’re doing. It’s, coal is a dirty thing, it’s pretty cheap to dig it out of the ground and burn it and make electricity, and, and you can turn you lights on or run your iPhone and not really think too much about it, um, but it’s a dirty thing and our technology can clean that up and rather than having it be some expense, some line item expense of like okay I have to clean this up to meet some government-mandated level, and how much it’s gonna cost me to do XYZ thing. The thing that makes me so excited, uh, is that our technology is actually profitable. We create a byproduct of synthetic crude oil and the manufacture and sale of that byproduct is, far and away, enough to cover all of the cost of cleaning up the coal and then some.

So, suddenly somebody with a compliance cost issue can make a clean, uh, clean airstream, clean electricity, and make a profit for it, and that’s useful in the U.S. and these other places of the world that I mentioned.

Scott De Long :             Well that sounds great. Um, good luck with that. Dan England, I appreciate the time that you’ve taken with us today and, uh, thank you for coming in and, uh, sharing with our audience.

Dan England :               Thank you for having me.