Sustainability changemakers poised for action at annual summit

14 June 2023 by Elisabeth Tengbergen
blog author

​At Acre, we pride ourselves on networking and building meaningful relationships around the world to help accelerate action where the planet needs it most.

It is why we firmly align with our purpose, to create systemic change for our planet and society by activating people’s potential.

I recently returned from ChangeNOW, the world's largest event of sustainable solutions for the planet, with Jack Malhotra-Mulloy, Acre’s Head of Impact Investing (EMEA). We gained first-hand knowledge of the innovations and their immense potential, which has really struck a long-lasting chord with us both.

The conference united impactful changemakers and creative innovation solutions for many of the world’s most pressing challenges, with business leaders, policy-makers and entrepreneurs discussing ways to tackle the climate crisis together.

ChangeNOW was held in the Grand Palais Ephémère exhibition hall in the Champs de Mars, Paris, where 400 visionary speakers (spanning 120 countries) showcased inspiring state-of-the-art solutions for the planet and future change-leaders presented pioneering start-up pitches.

The three-day conference attracted a staggering 1,200 investors this year which was indicative of how the event has scaled in size, in just a few years it has evolved from a much smaller event to a large and highly regarded international summit.

Networking opportunities
Summit highlights included an invitation to the Singapore Sustainable Ventures lunch event, organised by our friends at Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Singapore Global network.

It was great to put faces to names of those who are passionate about the cause, including the honour of meeting ChangeNOW Founder & CEO Santiago Lefebvre, as well as YC Choy, VP and Head of Region, Europe at Singapore EDB, Arnaud Blandin, Mentor, Advisor and Connector - Climate, Sustainability, Strategy & Technology and Jamie (Soon Jia Mei) Soon Kesteloot, Business IP Strategist who is building the bridge to connect R&D, Intellectual Property and Business.

During our stay in Paris, Jack and I were also invited to the Embassy of the Netherlands for a networking cocktail, hosted by Michael Pistecky, Head of Economic Section, who made us feel very welcome. It was a very pleasant event where we met with an interesting and highly diverse group of people, including Mert Kumru, Campaigner World's Youth For Climate Justice, LLM Student Public International Law, Merijn Zondag, CSO of Alkemio, Farah Obaidullah, Founder and Director of Women4Oceans and Garance Aulagne, Global Partnerships Manager at ChangeNOW.

Looking ahead
I would be delighted to return to next year’s ChangeNOW edition, potentially joining forces with and considering showing the movie

Did you attend the ChangeNOW conference this year? What were the key messages you took away with you and what were your favourite solutions to healing our planet?

If you didn’t attend this year but feel inspired and motivated by the hundreds of like-minded, talented changemakers, we at Acre can utilize our broad global network of highly-skilled individuals to help connect you or your business to the people who are poised to drive change and accelerate decarbonisation efforts for positive impact. Click here for the current job opportunities that we have available across the globe.

Elisabeth is a Principal Consultant within Acre's Sustainable Business team, based in Amsterdam. She leads senior searches for Acre across the Professional Services, Industrial Manufacturing, Built Environment/Real Estate/Construction industries, and supports Acre’s mission to further build out its practice across Europe. Prior to joining Acre, Elisabeth worked for a reputable Dutch Executive Search firm, where she was responsible for the search of high profile (non-) Executive Board assignments across public and private sector organizations, in a wide array of industries.

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