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Finding Purpose in a World of Need

Finding Purpose in a World of Need


Some of us have a clear idea of what we want to do: what work brings us joy, what skills come naturally to us, and what kind of job will fulfill us until we retire. Knowing your intended direction can allow you to focus and take intentional action toward achieving your goals. Yet even the best-laid plans can be derailed given the right opportunity–sometimes for the betterment of not just yourself, but also the world.

A Career Change for Impact

Nikita Demidov








While working on his undergraduate degree, Nikita Demidov was president of the Texas State Net Impact Chapter. After his team won Net Impact’s Future of Energy competition in 2018, by combining blockchain technology with decentralized solar energy generation, Nikita revised his career plans to shift away from wealth management to renewable energy transitions in Houston. "If you asked me 5 years ago, I would never have thought about working on energy projects in Houston. However, this is an amazing hub of energy innovation and I've been very motivated to see so many people in our community working very hard on energy transition," Nikita says. 

Upon his graduation from Texas State, he joined Trillium Energy, an alternative fuel solutions company, to develop alternative infrastructure projects, including solar, hydrogen, and renewable natural gas (which includes using methane from cattle waste as a transportation fuel). In 2021, Nikita graduated with his Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Houston and plans to continue his work with Trillium Energy by helping the company decarbonize long-haul trucking. When asked about why he is interested in solving this particular challenge, Nikita noted, “eclectic vehicles are great solutions for personal transportation, but long-haul trucking is very different. The current grid in the US cannot provide enough electricity to fuel Class 8 trucks in remote parts of the highway system. Upgrading this infrastructure would take decades, but we need scalable and sustainable solutions today. I think providing clean solutions to heavy-duty customers is a complicated but very interesting puzzle. This is something I feel really passionate about.”

 Looking Ahead

Over the next five years, Nikita plans to evolve the clean energy business to deliver solutions like hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and renewable diesel to customers around the country. He also wants to continue supporting the clean energy entrepreneurs in Houston by staying involved with Houston Angel Network and other clean energy incubators in town.

Having a plan for your career is important, but it is equally important to test your assumptions about what you’re capable of doing and how you can create the most impact. Ask yourself regularly if the skills you’re building are driving you toward a meaningful career. Be honest with yourself when your plan isn’t resulting in the gratification you thought it would. Perhaps most important of all, keep your eyes open for opportunities where you are uniquely positioned to contribute and take action in a meaningful way. You never know when an unexpected opportunity might reveal your true calling.

Get Involved

If you want to learn more about how you can use your passion and skills to build a career in social impact and sustainability and collaborate with like-minded people interested in making the world a better place, join your local Net Impact Chapter today. To get involved today, visit:


J. Y. Strain (they/them/their) is a project manager, writer, and restorative justice facilitator living in Oakland, CA. Having worked in the nonprofit sector since 2011, Strain began their career in recreation and personal care for people with disabilities before moving to advocacy work with the Human Rights Campaign. Most recently, they have worked for Year Up as a project manager and project management instructor, serving the organization's mission to connect Opportunity Youth to careers in technology. Now with Net Impact, Janna works with the programs team as a project manager for the Reimagining Capitalism series.