Jim Fournier

Co-founder, President & Board Chair

Jim is founder of Carbon Path, which brings together his decades of experience in sustainable systems, carbon and climate, with his work on information technology, digital identity and automated data exchange. He is founder and CEO of JLINC Labs. JLINC is an open protocol for automated ‘permissioned data’ exchange on the Internet.


He is also cofounder of Planetwork, a San Francisco based NGO that produced the Planetwork Conference in 2000, focused on global ecology and information technology. That seminal event led to an international initiative to create the ASN, a social network for civil society –– long before Facebook. Jim also put $10k into the key social network patent to keep it in the public domain, resulting in founder’s shares in the Linkedin IPO.


In 2005 he recognized the need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and invested in the first US biochar company. He ultimately moved to Colorado to found BEC with Dr. Tom Reed, the emeritus expert in the field at NREL, and inadvertently undertook the equivalent of an advanced degree in biomass energy and gasification. He represented the International Biochar Initiative at the UNIPCC COP for 3 years, BEC was selected as a finalist for the Branson Prize, and he sold the company in 2011.


By 2012 he had recognized that we could not remove carbon fast enough to avoid warming feedback and discovered Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB), first proposed by the eminent scientist Dr. John Latham. Jim undertook non-profit support for MCB and eventually became John’s protégé, studying climate modeling at NCAR and ultimately co-authoring a paper published in the pre-eminent scientific journal PhilTrans.


Planetwork had also launched the ‘user-centric digital identity’ community. Jim served on the board of the XDI.org initiative to create a distributed protocol for personal data. Following the Linkedin IPO, Jim used the windfall to hire the most respected developer from that community, Victor Grey, to build a distributed network for NGO’s and groups. While working on that, the two had a technical breakthrough and realized how to deliver what XDI had failed to for 15 years. They recognized that the insight represented a new layer for data exchange control across the Internet, filed a patent and formed Portable Data Corp (JLINC Labs) in April 2015.