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Harnessing systems and design thinking to solve our greatest challenge

“Sustainability” is now a sterile concept. We have to learn from Nature to address the climate emergency

Two decades ago when I coined the word “cleantech,” little did I imagine that in the years to come US$200 billion of venture capital would be invested in innovative cleantech start-ups and growth-stage companies around the world. Already investments in entrepreneurial innovation have dramatically reduced the cost of batteries, solar cells and other technologies – what some are calling “climate-tech” – while spawning whole new consumer offerings, such as alternative-protein foods, electric vehicles and smart thermostats. Today, there’s no shortage of scalable solutions, and more are on their way. And yet, the climate emergency becomes ever more perilous, with growing awareness that it’s a symptom of deeper ecological and social crises – inter-related crises dramatically exacerbated by the pandemic.

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