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Cisco’s Grantee and Investee Partners at Climate Week NYC

By Peter Tavernise

Cisco’s Grantee and Investee Partners at Climate Week NYC

By Peter Tavernise

Published 09-27-23

Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.

In a park looking through a break in the trees there there many skyscrapers in a NY skyline.

Climate Week NYC, one of the largest annual climate events since 2009, brought together international leaders from business, government, and civil society to showcase global climate action. This year’s theme was “We Can. We Will,” focusing on an action to drive a more sustainable future together. Participants used the full week of more than 400 scheduled events as a rallying call to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and to be on a path to net-zero by 2050.

Cisco and the Cisco Foundation, along with our Climate grantee and investee partners, understand that the sustainable future we want to move towards is one that is inclusive, resilient, and regenerative. Together, we focus on innovation as a key avenue to foster more inclusive communities, more resilient bioregions, and circular and regenerative economies. That is why we asked some of our grantee and investee partnership leaders, “How does it benefit your organization to participate in Climate Week, and what are you looking forward to most about the event?” This is what they had to say.

Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, CEO of Mercy Corps

“The climate crisis disproportionately affects the communities Mercy Corps works with – people facing poverty, conflict, environmental degradation, and more frequent and unpredictable extreme weather. And the individuals most impacted by climate change have often contributed the least to it.

We partner with local communities on climate solutions, from adaptation to sustainable energy, that bring practical, meaningful change at the local level, then mobilize our global team to scale and replicate them worldwide.

Climate Week is an opportunity for us to learn from peer and partner organizations, build new partnerships, and unlock new ideas and opportunities for collaboration across sectors to tackle the greatest threat of our time. 

No single organization can solve the complex issues facing the world today – and it will take all of us, across all sectors to advance the climate action our world needs now. This is why we champion partnerships that bring together expertise, ideas, tools, and resources in support of the shared goal of creating a better world – that’s what we’re most looking forward to.

The new commitments, ideas, and partnerships that come out of Climate Week will make a difference in protecting our planet and people already experiencing the consequences of the climate crisis.”

Lance Pierce, CEO of NetHope

NetHope‘s participation in Climate Week is bigger than just building awareness. The crux of our Climate Interactions program lies in our community of humanitarian and preservation organizations, their ecosystems, thematic initiatives, local and marginalized communities, and technology partners. Our vision is to help minimize or reduce the impact of climate change on vulnerable people through more effective and innovative use of digital technologies for resilience and adaptation. NetHope is a consortium of leading global nonprofits with over 60 nonprofit Member organizations who collectively serve over 1.67 billion people in 190 countries, and more than 50 corporate technology partners that collaboratively work to tackle global challenges by leveraging digital solutions.

NetHope believes we can help reduce or minimize some of the shorter-term impacts of climate change by leveraging the combined experience and knowledge of our community. The catastrophic threat posed by climate change, with the potential to nullify decades of humanitarian advancement, has catapulted it to one of the 5 top priorities we have at NetHope and is shared by our humanitarian and conservation Members.

Tackling the climate crisis, requires bold, collective action. NetHope looks forward to Climate Week, to COP28, and beyond, working with likeminded partners to help leverage the reach of the NetHope community via digital, data, and partnerships to help more people in more places in the face of certain climate change.”

Kelly Erhart, Co-founder and President of Vesta

Vesta looks forward to the solutions-oriented and connective nature of Climate Week.

Vesta’s strength as an organization comes from the immense cross-sector collaboration we have mobilized to advance Coastal Carbon Capture as a nature-based carbon removal solution.

Climate Week offers a unique opportunity to connect with corporates, investors, technical experts, and other organizations in the space to advance industry knowledge and workshop solutions to key development blockers.

Climate Week is a vital touch point for Vesta with the larger environmental community and offers unparalleled opportunities for us to establish additional partnerships in order to advance Coastal Carbon Capture along its path to becoming the most scalable, cost effective, and energy efficient form of permanent carbon removal.” 

Cecilia Foxworthy, CEO of Agora Partnerships

“Participation in Climate Week helps Agora Partnerships be on the vanguard of climate technologies, innovations, and models as we develop our Cisco Foundation-supported digital repository of eco innovations for SMEs in Latin America.

These spaces of interchange where the climate is at the center of discussions, are of extreme importance to our organization, not only to learn from the titans and innovators of the industry but also to share our point of view and ensure the challenges and opportunities related to climate in Latin America are being talked about.

We look forward to meeting old partners we’ve worked with over the years, and to meeting new friends as we exchange ideas and collaborate to protect our planet and all its beings.”

Deborah Stern, Co-Founder of Capital for Climate

Capital for Climate’s purpose is to guide and accelerate capital allocation to achieve a net zero, nature positive, just transition. With Cisco Foundation’s partnership, we’re creating the world’s most comprehensive Nature-based Solution (NbS) Investment Platform – powering the network of NbS opportunity-focused investors to confidently allocate with the right data, tools and community. Mobilizing capital to Brazil’s NbS is one urgent focus.

“Climate Week – gotta love it. It offers an amazing crucible to make mission-critical connections – from white-board sessions with our closest collaborators (some we’ve never met in person!), to forming new relationships at a myriad of events.

Exposed to a wealth of information, people, projects, we get to see an ever-richer map of the ‘tribe’ and to tap into the stream of emerging narratives … that can…that will…that are…speeding our collective success. 

On the flip side – Climate Week can be utterly dizzying. So, I plan my agenda, but especially look forward to the serendipities that often yield remarkable connections, enabling quantum leaps for my work and our collective mission.” 

Eric Berlow, CEO of Vibrant Data Labs

Vibrant Data Labs (VDL) is proud to be on the ground for Climate Week this year and our mission is clear: help all the disparate hands that are working on the existential crisis of our time, come together to collaborate more effectively and strategically toward global climate justice outcomes. 

VDL has been requested as a featured presenter alongside leading climate finance investors, philanthropists, scientists, and movement builders. At these events, we will showcase how we bring our unique ecological perspective and novel data science approaches to building tools that lead to greater collaboration across the climate change ecosystem. 

Throughout the week, we will have the opportunity to engage with our long-time partners in person, meet new leaders, and learn from the field.

We hope to bring a rare combination of science and hope as we all look forward to the challenges ahead. Being present at Climate Week will help VDL continue to understand and define the biggest impact role our team can have in this growing field.”

Nicole Etchart, Co-Founder and CEO of NESsT

“This year, during Climate Week, NESsT will collaborate with leaders from various sectors across the Amazon, including government representatives, Indigenous and traditional communities, investors, and local businesses, to launch the Pan-Amazonian Network on Bioeconomy.

At the event, we will collectively present the recommendations generated by 300 participants and 100 institutions who took part in the Belem Panamazonia Bioeconomy Conference on June 21st and 22nd, 2023. The launch aims to underscore the importance of conserving the Amazon and promoting sustainable development, with a specific focus on climate-smart approaches that strengthen biodiversity and involve traditional communities in the region.

As part of the Pan-Amazonian network on Bioeconomy, NESsT seeks to amplify the voices of Indigenous and traditional communities in the bioeconomy and connect more local, environmentally conscious businesses in the rainforest to sustainable markets.

Through the NESsT Amazonia Initiative, we currently support a portfolio of 48 enterprises that are driving bioeconomy solutions and enhancing the well-being of traditional communities while safeguarding the environment. This portfolio encompasses a diverse range of solutions, from Indigenous-led initiatives supporting Amazon River fishers to early-stage tech companies dedicated to delivering and expanding climate solutions in the Amazon.”

Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO of Solar Sister

“Attending Climate Week is a great opportunity to engage with diverse stakeholders involved in climate justice. Solar Sister emphasizes women’s crucial role in implementing and adopting clean energy solutions, especially in rural and underserved areas, and we are deeply committed as a key player in the intersection of climate change, women’s empowerment, and clean energy. By showcasing how women’s economic empowerment and clean energy go hand-in-hand, Solar Sister underscores the message that tackling climate change and gender inequality is a synergistic effort. 

Climate Week provides a prominent platform to amplify the importance of Solar Sister’s mission to a global audience. Attending offers a good opportunity to meet with potential partners, donors, and other stakeholders to foster collaborations, funding opportunities, and new initiatives. Additionally, Climate Week is an excellent forum to learn valuable insights into the latest technologies, best practices, and policies in the clean energy sector from other industry leaders and innovators. 

As CEO of Solar Sister, I look forward to leveraging the opportunities that Climate Week offers to advance our mission, foster collaborations, and inspire greater change in the fight against climate change and gender inequality. It is inspiring to reconnect with colleagues working towards a more sustainable future.” 

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