In this episode of Breaking Barriers, Building a Higher Ground, we had the pleasure of speaking with Leslie Chang from Caelux a California-based startup at the forefront of solar technology innovation. Leslie, as the director of strategy and policy, shared her journey from studying economic history to consulting for global development organizations, and how her passion for sustainability and climate change led her to Caelux.

Caelux is not just pioneering in solar technology with their proprietary perovskite nanomaterials that promise to increase solar panel efficiency by 30%, but they are also deeply committed to inclusive workforce development and economic equity. Leslie highlighted the importance of local hiring, providing living wages, and offering career mobility within the company, emphasizing that their workforce should reflect the community they are part of.

We delved into the company’s strategic decision to manufacture domestically, spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers financial incentives for onshore production. Leslie pointed out the importance of messaging in the renewable energy sector, especially when it comes to bridging the divide in public perception and working with various stakeholders, including utilities, to ensure market readiness for new technologies.

Leslie’s insights into the future of the green economy and job creation were thought-provoking, stressing the need for the industry to come together to shape the market and make climate change relatable to the working class. It was a conversation filled with practical tips and a testament to how energy startups can be catalysts for change, not just in their communities but on a broader scale.

Leslie Chang is a distinguished figure in the tech industry, known for her dynamic leadership and innovative approach at Caelux Corporation. With a rich background in engineering and business, Leslie has been instrumental in steering Caelux’s growth and expansion in new markets. Her expertise lies in developing cutting-edge technologies and fostering a culture of creativity and excellence within the organization. Leslie is a respected voice in tech, often sought after for her insights on emerging trends and her commitment to sustainable practices. Her leadership style is characterized by her ability to blend technical acumen with strategic foresight, making her a key player in shaping the future of technology. Beyond her professional achievements, Leslie is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, actively working to inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders.

“We’re not just pushing forward innovative changes within renewable energy, we’re also building this muscle again to become a thriving, economically driven country focused on the middle and working class.” – Leslie Chang

Today on Breaking Barriers:

  • Innovative Solar Technology: Caelux Corporation is pioneering the next generation of solar technology with their proprietary perovskite nanomaterials, which can increase solar panel efficiency by 30%.
  • Economic Inclusion: Beyond technological advancements, Caelux is committed to inclusive workforce development, ensuring their workforce reflects the community and contributes to local economic growth.
  • Domestic Manufacturing: Caelux has made a strategic decision to manufacture within the United States, influenced by patriotic values and financial incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Intentional Hiring Practices: The company focuses on hiring locally and providing opportunities for career mobility, emphasizing the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Supply Chain Partnerships: Caelux is actively working to bolster domestic supply chains, advocating for tax credits and incentives that support not just manufacturers but also smaller suppliers.
  • Addressing Climate Change: Leslie Chang emphasizes the urgency of addressing climate change and the role renewable energy companies play in accelerating the transition to a decarbonized economy.
  • Messaging and Perception: The renewable energy sector faces a messaging challenge, needing to make the impact of climate change relatable to everyday people and bridge the divide in public perception.
  • Collaboration for Progress: The future of the green economy and job creation in the sector will require collaboration across companies, industries, and political lines to ensure market readiness and widespread adoption of renewable technologies.


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