Foresight Sustainability Forum

How can we use cross sector collaboration to mobilise capital towards sustainable goals?

International leaders in sustainability and investment gathered at the Eden Project to explore the fundamental challenges and opportunities from the future of food to the evolution of natural capital investment. 

Watch the highlights here.

Keynote: Mission Zero

Chris Skidmore MP

Chris Skidmore talks us through the importance of his Mission Zero report and how it has sought to establish a delivery ecosystem to achieve the best possible decisions for the future. Chris goes onto discuss how we create the ‘big bang’ moment for net zero – a pledge that was signed 4 years ago with almost 90% of the world’s GDP under some form of net zero commitment. He also reminds us how we must invest in nature restoration and protection as part of the UK’s plans for climate recovery and economic growth.


The cascading effects of the energy transition on the sustainability transition

Dan Wells, Partner, Foresight | Augusta Grand, CEO, Eden Geothermal Limited | Chris Skidmore MP | Stewart Langdon, Partner, Leapfrog Investments | Kingsmill Bond, Senor Advisor, RMI

Global energy markets are undergoing a dramatic shift from a fossil fuel-based system of energy production and consumption to renewable sources like wind, solar and lithium-ion batteries. At the same time, the recent supply chain crunch, compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has shone a light on the fragility of our energy system and further highlighted the need to decarbonise. What is less understood, however, is how this transition to a low-cost, resilient, low-carbon economy may impact the broader sustainability transition and other sectors of the economy in ways which right now might seem unimaginable. This panel explores the implications and cascading effects of the global energy transition.


Nature vs technology solutions: How do we tackle the climate crisis?

Mark Brennan, Partner, Foresight | Lord Deben, Chair, Climate Change Committee | Alexander Voigt, HH2E | Josephine Bush, Non-executive Director, Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company | Edward Pollard, Strategic Director, The Biodiversity Consultancy

Utilising both technology and nature is essential if we are to achieve the targets set out by the Paris agreement and secure a stable and liveable future for all. But with the stakes so high, will nature-based solutions or technology offer the most effective means for addressing the climate crisis? A concept taken from Charles Mann's book, “The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Duelling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World”, which describes the perspectives of Wizards (who see technology as the solution) and Prophets (who believe in behavioural change) is what has inspired our debate format. Two teams deliberate on the role of nature vs technology in the fight against climate change to determine which is most effective.


How can technology-driven approaches help avert a global food crisis?

Jai Mallick, Investment Manager, Foresight | Dave Chen, CEO & Chairman, Equilibrium| Dr Andrew Swift, CEO, Fera | Jamie Burrows, Founder & CEO, Vertical Future| Sten Falkum, CEO, Hima Seafood

Global food systems are under extreme pressure from rising populations, worsening climate impacts, and increased geopolitical conflict at a time when traditional forms of food production such as open-field agriculture and ocean-based aquaculture are seeing lower production yields and greater environmental concerns. As the next generation of technology-based food production solutions continue to emerge, with the promise of productivity, efficiency and sustainability at their core, our interdisciplinary panel explores the benefits of technology-led food production, barriers in scaling-up these solutions and the role of infrastructure investors within the transition to sustainable and resilient food systems.


The evolution of natural capital investment

Henry Morgan, Infrastructure Sustainable Investment Lead | James Cairns, Director, The Palladium Group | Hiba Larsson, Principal, NatureFinance

Natural capital comprises the Earth’s land, air, oceans, and biodiversity. It is the single most important input into the global economy, with more than half of global GDP depending on natural resources. Yet humankind’s current demands on nature far exceed its capacity to supply, and it is a question of survival to redress this imbalance. Drawing on the recent successes in areas such as the energy transition or the developing carbon markets, our panel explored what the future holds for investment into natural capital and what innovations we are likely to see.


Closing remarks

Chris Holmes, Partner, Foresight | Kingsmill Bond, Senior Advisor, RMI

Chris and Kingsmill summarise the key takeaways from the forum concluding why cross sector collaboration is key to tackling the deeply intertwined climate change and biodiversity loss crisis' that are threatening the well-being of humans and nature.


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