I am an ecologist and research scientist working at the nexus of conservation, economic development, and climate change policy. My work has covered greenhouse gas accounting protocols and UN SDG reporting, natural resource management and planning, and ecosystem service markets. Following my graduate degrees in Ecology and International Development, I have been awarded the Harvard Travellers Fund, and the NASA DEVELOP National Prize for research presentation.
What do you do at ReGen Future Capital?
I am director of natural capital with the US Soil Regeneration Programme. Much of my work focuses on coordinating farmers, data, and marketplace opportunities in service of transitioning business-as-usual farmlands to regenerative agriculture. However, my responsibilities at ReGen span multiple programmes to strategize nature-based solutions across industries and technologies. More specifically, I work to identify opportunities for ecosystem regeneration through services naturally provided to people, such as clean water or carbon sequestration, and translate those climate change solutions into economic values that benefit business, society, and the environment.
What attracted you to ReGen Future Capital?
ReGen Future Capital dreams big and delivers concretely. Rather than many separate portfolios of projects and end goals, ReGen has created an ecosystem of diverse investment opportunities, scalable technologies, and most importantly, environmentally regenerative programming that synergize with each other. There are very few organizations that bring together the missions of an ESG model for growth with the global revisioning of how we can restore degraded ecosystems in practice. Regen Future Capital also happens to have an impressive breadth of knowledge, abilities, and compassionate people on its team. It’s an organization that truly feels like it wants to change the world.
What is the role of the investment community in responding to the climate crisis?
I used to work in applied conservation sciences – living in the field studying wildlife, designing protected areas, building scientific consensus for ecological management. Though at every turn, no matter how dedicated the group of practitioners, how thorough the plan of action, or important the goals, a lack of investment in these projects was nearly always the limiting factor in creating a positive, lasting impact on the ground.
We need to start recognizing the many economic values in our ecosystems if we want to continue receiving the values those ecosystems provide to our economy. Those values have always been there, it is now just a matter of bringing them into the fray, through solutions such as low-carbon and regenerative investment. Currently, it’s a wild-west of new financial mechanisms, emerging markets, and political initiatives that aim to do just that. The role of the investment community is to begin using and shaping those tools in our new regenerative economy.
Why is it important to reconnect humanity with nature?
Humanity and its business sphere have pretended to exist separately from nature. Just as the average person doesn’t know where their apple was grown or how their computer was manufactured, the average business doesn’t know how nitrogen is fixed or how the changing weather affects their bottom-line. And so, there hasn’t been much awareness around about the true costs associated with the exploitation of nature or the benefits that it provides. Natural capital has so much to offer, and yet we continue to neglect it. Reconnecting humanity with the true concept of nature and all its services to us is how we begin to save the environment, and how we save the environment will, of course, be the answer to how we save ourselves.
How do you think the conversation on climate has changed in the last five years?
Climate change has gone from a peripheral point of conversation to the centerfold. Over the past few years, governments, multinational organizations, business, and leaders of all kinds have directed their attention to the fallout of human-caused climate change, and for good reason. Climate change effects everything, everyone, and every future we can imagine. It is inflicting irreversible damage to our ecosystems, imperiling business-as-usual operations, and changing the way we are able to rely on our environments for even daily activities.
Though the idea of climate change is nothing new, the mobilization of people’s will to act big and small is a more recent phenomenon. There are unprecedented calls for climate change solutions centered on action – in policy reform, market regulation, political reorientation, and social responsibility for business – and this is just the start. I reckon we are now beginning to see the tip of a new era of global and local economies, and climate change is quickly becoming the undeniable rallying-point.
Finally, what is your call for this business? What do you want to contribute that will make you feel fulfilled as an individual?
I hold high hopes for ReGen Future Capital’s regenerative investment programmes and its mission to reorient global economies. My call for this and every other business is to treat natural resources as just that – resources that are provided through nature, resources that demand compensation and stewardship. My role and goal at ReGen Future Capital is to be a champion of this idea and work to ensure that nature, its resources, and society are developed in harmony. Being part of a business and a programme of regenerative and low-carbon investment, which can realign with this ideal, is incredibly gratifying