ImpactAlpha, April 6 – Hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers in East Africa are facing not only COVID, but also the worst locust swarm in decades. Most of their farmland is uninsured; when they lose crops, they lose income. Netherlands-based agtech company VanderSat uses satellite data to analyze farmland conditions using microwaves, rather than images.
The science and tech mobilization that helped win the war also left behind antibiotics, microwaves, nukes and computers. Now, a new generation of impact-oriented investors, technologists, scientists and entrepreneurs are looking for breakthroughs to face down a global threat on a similar scale.
If a whole generation of mission-driven enterprises go under in the looming recession, it will take years if not decades to rebuild the ecosystem.
“Cities who have taken a resilience approach are better prepared,” says Global Resilient Cities Network’s Lauren Sorkin.
The COVID-19 outbreak has revealed the fragility of our system as it's currently organized and is making a strong case for the principles of sustainable investment, said Generation Investment Management's Colin le Duc in a conversation with ImpactAlpha.
The world has just achieved what few thought was possible even a few months ago: distributed and concerted global action to make the kind of deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that are necessary to forestall the most cataclysmic effects of climate change.
A collective safety net, says Open Road's Maya Winkelstein, “will be our best chance at reducing the longer term economic effects on the sector hitting in fall, even after we are well past the public health moment.”