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BioCarbon Engineering at the World Economic Forum

Bringing the technology to power the 4th Industrial Revolution to Davos

BioCarbon's co-founder Irina Fedorenko was invited to speak at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) 2019 in Davos. She presented BioCarbon's innovative solution at the Sustainable Development Goals tent in collaboration with other WEF participants on restoring land challenge during the Solver Series talk. Irina pitched about the future of drones at the Civana launch party and spoke about sustainable finance at the Future of Humanity Forum.

BioCarbon Engineering is honoured to be one of the technologies on the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution conceptualised by WEF and we hope that this will also be the First Sustainable Revolution too.

Below is her personal take on the World Economic Forum, Davos 2019

Being in Davos was like being in the centre of the world for a week with all the global leaders, excitement and innovation; but also sadly surrounded by unbelievable ignorance regarding pressing challenges such as Climate Change. Despite the justified criticism of excessive opulence and the ever-increasing arrival of attendees by private jet, I would like to highlight transformative dialogues and connections that shaped my WEF experience.

On 23 January a group of Oxford University students and alumni took to the floor in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Tent speaking on behalf of the largest philanthropic scholarship supported by the University of Oxford, the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust Scholarship and Leadership programme of which I am an alumna. We shared the most challenging issues facing our countries of origin and how our time at Oxford and within the Leadership Programme has inspired and equipped us to be the driving force behind solutions. As I highlighted in my talk, the scholarship and the support of philanthropic organisations were one of the main factors that enabled me to become an entrepreneur and start BioCarbon Engineering without fear of failing.

While the WEF attracted global industry leaders to discuss the most critical problems facing society, we used this opportunity to remind them of the urgency and vitality of investing in young people who can together work towards a more tolerant, understanding and sustainable world. In the words of the Trust Chairman Andre Hoffmann : "Knowledge and skilled leaders are needed to shape more equitable and sustainable societies, particularly in trouble-stricken regions."

Read more about the programme here:

On 24 January I spoke at The Solver Series. This event was hosted by Mark Turrell the founder of unDavos, the platform which provides access and cross-pollination of ideas and connects the 'doers' who want to change the world and build collaboration to achieve this. The dialogue was focused on water and technology and how innovation could be a force for good in ecosystem restoration and replenishment of water tables globally. Exciting technologies have been highlighted such as Weathertec that uses solar-powered installations to turn atmospheric humidity into rain and of course our drones which can massively scale up revegetation efforts and monitor progress. Everyone agreed that the key to large-scale environmental restoration is wise governance and land management and any "silver bullet" technology would have to be incorporated into local society to make land restoration long-lasting.

Another highlight of the day was the SDGs 2030 party which celebrated our future planet as if it had achieved all of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and how our world would be looking by then. I used this opportunity to get on stage and draw a picture of a future of stabilised global climate where all our forests have been protected and all 350 million hectares currently in need of restoration have been reforested.

On 25 January, the last day of WEF, the Future of Humanity took place which addressed the delivery of the SDG's - the global vision for humanity on our planet and the attention paid to economic solutions for sustainability. A rare, unique blend of people passionately committed to provide sustainable and purpose-driven services, to build regenerative and inclusive economies and create green jobs took to the stage for the entire day. The event was filmed and will be turned into a film for the wider audience.

I was speaking as part of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security panel with Ashish Domah founder of the SDG's Company; Dr Bremley Lygdoh founder of World View Impact and Alan Laubsch the CEO of Earth Pulse. We covered the topics of land restoration, technology and the role of blockchain in creating sustainable economies and green jobs.

While the panel has recognised the importance of the small and individual actions in achieving sustainability targets, it has been emphasised that large-scale actions more than often come up from the top, driven by visionary CEOs, businesses and politicians. It is encouraging to see real action taken by corporations as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility strategies and we are excited to be in a position to help businesses achieve their targets and stay ahead of the curve.

I have learnt a lot at WEF and I am looking forward to returning in 2020 with more good news to share about the sustainable transformation taking place through technology and large-scale land restoration.

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