Just as we have seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, climate change has the potential to wipe out decades of progress in improving the lives and livelihoods of people living in the developing world, and now is the time for collective action.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and its often devastating effects are felt by people throughout the world, rich or poor. But like so many crises, it is often the poorest whose lives are disproportionately affected, and particularly those living in developing countries which are less well-equipped to respond to its most life-altering consequences.
Despite the funding that has been directed towards climate action in recent years, a lack of quality data and information, a limited understanding of the needs of affected countries and populations, and a perception that return on investment will be low has led to innovators and entrepreneurs focused on climate adaptation and resilience failing to attract the funding they need to test the effectiveness of their innovation. Just as we have seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, climate change has the potential to wipe out decades of progress in improving the lives and livelihoods of people living in the developing world, and now is the time for collective action.
This talk was part of our Countdown to COP series. Chaired by Charles Donovan, Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School speakers include Alix Zwane, CEO of the Global Innovation Fund; Nathanial Matthews, CEO of the Global Resilience Partnership, and Andrea Alvares, Chief Brand, Innovation, International and Sustainability Officer at Natura&Co.
Charlie Donovan is Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School and Academic Director of the MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance. He is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Finance. In his corporate career, Charlie has been a clean tech company co-founder and CFO. He was previously Head of Structuring and Valuation for Global Power at BP plc and part of the strategy team that launched BP Alternative Energy with an $8 billion funding commitment. Charlie began his career as an Energy Policy Analyst with the US Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration. Professor Donovan holds a bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, graduated from the MBA program at Vanderbilt University, and completed a Doctorate in Management at IE Business School. He is the editor and co-author of Renewable Energy Finance: Powering the Future, now in its 2nd edition.
Alix Peterson Zwane is Chief Executive Officer of the Global Innovation Fund, a hybrid investment vehicle that accelerates evidence-based innovation through early-stage debt and equity investing, as well as grant-making. GIF is backed by leading bilateral aid agencies, corporates, and foundations and contributes to filling the pioneer gap between development assistance and development finance. Alix has 20 years of experience advancing the agenda of evidence-based aid and international development as an investor, a social entrepreneur, and an innovator. She was the first employee and Executive Director at Evidence Action, a non-profit that develops service delivery models to scale evidence-based programs. Under Alix’s leadership, Evidence Action catalysed school-based deworming for hundreds of millions of children around the world, and safe drinking water for millions of people in four countries. Alix has also advocated for evidence-based philanthropy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google.org, where she set strategy, made investments to support new public service models that work for the poor, and developed models for outcome-based grant-making. She was a member of the faculty of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at the University of California, Berkeley and has published in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Non-Resident Fellow of the Center for Global Development. Born and raised in Colorado, she divides her time between Washington, D.C. and London.
Nathanial Matthews is Chief Executive Officer at the Global Resilience Partnership, a group of over 60 organisations joining forces to surface and scale innovation, share knowledge, influence policy and advance thinking on resilience.
Nate previously worked in leadership roles with the CGIAR, UNEP, the International WaterCentre, NGOs and in the private sector. He has experience overseeing the implementation of hundreds of resilience and adaptation projects and programs in partnership with governments, NGOs and the private sector across more than 30 countries. Nate’s expertise has been recognized through contributions to various global networks, boards and committees including as a Lead Author in The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an Obama Foundation Mentor, a Munich Re Risk Award Judge and as part of the leadership team of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance. He has a PhD in Geography from King’s College London and has published over 65 research articles and two books on climate change, agriculture, water management and ecosystems.
Andrea Álvares is Chief Brand, Innovation, International and Sustainability Officer at Natura. Prior to Natura, she held General Manager, Marketing and Strategy roles at Pepsico and P&G. Andrea is a board member of the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and of Ethos Institute. She is also a founding member of Women of Brazil and is actively engaged in several female empowerment initiatives.
Andrea has been awarded Forbes Most Influential Women in Brazil, Advertising Age Women to Watch, and Top 10 Female Executives by Valor Economico newspaper.
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