Keeping apace of the latest trends and innovation in climate tech and sustainability — an area that touches every industry and city — is nearly impossible. It’s why we created the Sustainability Stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 and invited the best and brightest minds to share their insights.
The dedicated Sustainability Stage will cover the headwinds and challenges for startups seeking to raise capital, how cities are turning to innovation to adapt to and mitigate climate change, and the progress and opportunities within the world of fast fashion, energy and sustainable agriculture.
We’re even getting beer involved.
Climate change is already affecting the way we live. As a result, a new crop of startups are popping up with products and services aimed at climate mitigation and, increasingly, adaptation. We’ve tapped venture capitalists who have their fingers on the pulse of climate tech and sustainability, as well as founders and industry experts. We’ve also invited U.S. mayors — who are at the center of climate change, innovation and policy — to participate.
Here’s a first look at our agenda! TechCrunch Disrupt will be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from September 19–21.
Lots more to come, but we’re excited to share this first look at the Sustainability Stage!
The Sustainability Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023
Raising in a New Climate
with Arvind Gupta (Mayfield), Libby Wayman (Breakthrough Energy Ventures)
Hear from investors about the current headwinds facing climate tech, where they’re finding new opportunities, areas that are overlooked, areas they wish more startups would enter, and more.
Clearing the Air on Tech and Cities
with Mayor Andre Dickens (city of Atlanta) and Mayor Kate Gallego (city of Phoenix)
Fast-moving tech, slow-moving government. Or so the story goes. In the era of climate change, city leaders are more eager than ever to embrace new technologies to promote sustainability. But that doesn’t mean everything is always rosy. We’ll hear from city leaders on the highs and lows of bringing sustainable tech to urban spaces.
Doing Something Concrete on Climate
with Rick Fox (NBA champion and CEO, Partanna)
Nearly 10% of the world’s carbon pollution can be found right under our feet — literally. Cement is one of the least climate-friendly materials, yet it’s also one that the world depends on for housing, transportation and commerce. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Three-time NBA champion Rick Fox will be joining us to discuss his carbon-negative concrete startup Partanna, the role of teamwork in startups and his desire to make a dent in climate change.
Is Sustainable Fast Fashion Possible?
with Jim Ajioka (Colorifix), Elizabeth Esponnette (Unspun), and Julie Willoughby (Circ)
Giants in fast fashion know the greenwashing game like the backs of their hands, yet the industry’s actions speak louder than words. As brands cash in on TikTok-fueled microtrends and embrace their products’ shrinking life spans, their dependence on fossil fuel ingredients, toxic dyes and worker exploitation harms people and the planet. Can the industry address its toll while still attracting customers with the latest looks and ultra-low prices? Join us as three trailblazers weigh in on the future of circular fashion, sustainable materials and the roles they believe emerging tech will play in decarbonizing the industry.
The Upside (and Downside) of Cultured Meat
with Uma Valeti (Upside Foods)
In the fight to reduce our carbon footprint, there is perhaps no bigger challenge than food, or more specifically meat. Raising, processing and distributing cattle, chicken and pork products are among the largest contributors to greenhouse gasses. So what if we grew it in the lab? Uma Valeti, founder and CEO of Upside Foods, aims to do just that. Come to the Sustainability Stage to learn the obstacles that stand in Valeti’s way — including getting consumers to literally take a bite — and if this nascent industry stands a chance.
Beer, Lab Meat and Climate Chaos
with Charles Denby (Berkeley Yeast), Matthew Walker (S2G Ventures)
As climate awareness and anxiety grows, so too has the proliferation of loosely defined terms like regenerative and sustainable agriculture. Yet, what matters most is relatively straightforward. We know business-as-usual isn’t working in virtually any industry as far as the climate goes, and that includes agriculture. Enter startups such as Berkeley Yeast and S2G-backed Future Meat; these and other emerging tech firms are developing new ways to deliver the same (or even better) foods and drinks we love, ideally without wreaking havoc on the planet that makes such foods possible. Join us as key figures in agtech dish on the greatest obstacles and opportunities they see in the sector, from the future of beer and lab-grown meat to the ways supply chains can evolve to meet environmentally conscious consumers’ demands.
Decentralized, Decarbonized and Fully Electrified — Tomorrow’s Grid
with Donnel Baird (BlocPower), Piyush Mathur (Odyssey Energy Solutions)
Electrify everything: It’s one of the leading solutions to the climate problem. But doing that isn’t as easy as simply swapping smoke stacks for solar and wind power. It’ll require an entirely new electrical grid that’s ready for new ways of generating and using power. Join us to hear how innovative startups are working to remake the grid from the bottom up.
TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 runs September 19–21 in San Francisco. Buy your pass now! Seriously, what are you waiting for?
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