Catherine is an inaugural Expert-in-Residence with The Earthshot Prize and a member of its Expert Advisory Panel. She was most recently Director of Climate Market Strategy and Investments at X, the Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X). Previously at Emerson Collective, she helped to build the environmental practice, and led venture investments and partnerships to address challenges in natural ecosystems. She also served as Senior Advisor, Impact Investments for Nia Tero, a global collaborative focused on the guardianship of Indigenous Peoples. Prior to that, Catherine was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, an investment banker, and a hedge fund portfolio manager. Catherine holds undergraduate degrees from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ben Saunders is a record-breaking polar explorer, 3x TED keynote speaker, a scout for Sequoia Capital, and the founder of Kintanna Ventures which backs the most promising early-stage climate founders.
Ben’s achievements are at the outer limits of human endeavour: he organised and led the longest human-powered polar journey in history; a 108-day return journey to the South Pole on foot that spanned 1,800 miles, the equivalent of 69 back-to-back marathons.”
Investment Partner, Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon
Adiari Vazquez is a Harvard-educated Ph.D. scientist and VC investor. She is passionate about leveraging disruptive tech, and enjoys meeting ambitious entrepreneurs addressing big challenges. She currently leads European investment activities for the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund – a $2 billion corporate venture program backing companies accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon. She was previously an investor with Next47 (Siemens’ €1 billion venture fund) and Industrial Tech lead for Caixa Capital’s Venture Capital team, where she was an active venture builder and early-stage investor in startups innovating in Chemistry & Materials, Sensors, Digital Industry, IoT, AgTech, and Energy. Adiari has also been an advisor to the European Commission on defining strategies for stimulating green and industrial innovation. She previously worked as a Cleantech Consultant and Engineer in Boston, US. She holds a B.Sc. in Engineering Sciences, a Masters in Microbial Geochemistry, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry and Engineering all from Harvard University, where she also lectured as a Teaching Fellow.
Board/Co Founder, Lyst & Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, Oxford University’s Engineering Department and ZERO Institute
Chris is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, working with climate and deep tech startups at Oxford University’s Engineering Deparmtnet and ZERO Institute. He also advises climate companies including Clarity AI, Granular Energy and Supercritical. Prior to that, he was founder/CEO of Lyst (used by 200m people every year, raised $200m), was an independent board member at Depop from Series B to sale to Etsy for $1.65bn in 2021, and before than was a venture capital investor.
Founding Partner, 2150
Christian is a technologist and experienced venture capitalist. He is a founding Partner of 2150, a venture capital fund seeking to make our urban environment more
efficient and sustainable through technology.
Prior to co-founding 2150, Christian launched White Star Capital, a venture capital fund with over $250m in assets under management and a global presence. Previously, Christian held product and geographic leadership roles through the scale-up phase of some of the world’s largest technology companies, notably as
head of international business development at Facebook and head of new markets at Google.
Christian holds a BA in economics from Duke University, an MBA from The Wharton School and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Senior Partner, Environment Technologies Fund
Senior Partner at the Environmental Technologies Fund with +15 years experience in Venture Capital investing in technology companies across Europe at the convergence of digital tech, sustainability and impact. Previously at Goldman Sachs’ M&A advisory group notably covering the renewable energy and environmental services sectors. Also worked as a management consultant at ICF International, focusing on the transportation and aerospace sectors across Europe and Asia. MBA from Harvard Business School and MSc in Aerospace Engineering from ISAE-SUPAERO.
SVP of Commercial Development, GIST
Mahima is the SVP of Commercial Development at GIST Impact, a sustainability data and analytics startup that helps corporates and investors calculate their impacts on society and the environment, and she leads GIST’s work on building new commercial partnerships and product propositions.
She was previously a Director at Xynteo, where she worked with multinational companies (including Unilever, Mastercard, Microsoft, and IKEA) to design and develop solutions to complex societal and environmental challenges like plastic waste, access to energy, and clean water.
Her background is in product innovation, and she has led teams to develop several new-to-world products in the wearable technology and smart home categories.
Mahima is on the Advisory Board of BirdLife International, and a mentor to several circular economy and climate tech startups.
She graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies.
Venture Partner, White Star Capital
Felix is a New York State lawyer, entrepreneur, and from time to time angel investor. After practising commercial litigation, Felix co-founded several startups including online survey app Voicepolls, digital election service Votebox and most recently Resell As A Service platform Reflaunt. Felix is currently Venture Partner at White Star Capital where he has a particular interest in Climate Tech.
Investment Analyst, Contrarian Ventures
Tom is an Investment Analyst at Contrarian Ventures. With a strong technical foundation built from studying Aerospace Engineering and Quantitative Finance at TU Delft in the Netherlands and having passed the first level of the CFA charter, Tom helps bridge the gap of frontier technology and finance to offer a unique perspective in the world of venture capital. His South African roots and global educational experience helped to shape his understanding of the essential role of technology in driving global change. Within Contrarian Ventures, Tom leverages this unique blend of skills to identify and support emerging climate tech innovations, actively contributing to the pursuit of a net-zero future.
Investor Partner, Clean Growth Fund
Susannah is a specialist environmental investor with 25 years’ experience in startup growth, finance and investing within the climate change and resource efficiency space. She is an Investment Partner at Clean Growth Fund she leads Seed and Series A investments into early-stage UK clean tech companies with potential to enable significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Susannah is passionate about business models which aim to maximise their use of funds and resources to create sustainable enterprises that achieve specific environmental or social outcomes. Susannah has held previous roles at Sustainable Ventures, Carbon Trust Enterprises, WRAP and HSBC. She holds Board and Trustee positions for both start-ups and charities focused on environmental and social outcomes. She is an advocate for female entrepreneurs and is the co-founder of fivethirteen.org a not for profit increasing investment flows to female entrepreneurs she also leads the Finance initiatives for the Mayor of London’s Women in Cleantech programme.
Director of SSE Business Energy
Aled has over 20 years experience in senior roles across sectors including energy, M&E contracting, telecoms, FM and recycling. Aled is leading over 900 staff delivering energy retail services to 160,000 business, public sector and not for profit customers and is also a member of the SSE Energy Solutions Executive Committee.
Senior Investment Director, Nesta
Alex is Senior Investment Director in Nesta’s investment team, with a focus on backing investments that align to the Sustainable Future mission. Alex also manages Nesta’s technology venture investment portfolio.
Alex has worked in venture capital for 20 years making and managing investments into early stage businesses, from seed stage ideas to larger rounds into more established companies (Series A/B). Prior to Nesta, he worked as an investment manager at Foursome Investments, the direct investment vehicle for a high net worth family. Alex started his career in the design & marketing industry, working as an account manager for Conran Design Group and others.
Outside of work, Alex can be found apologising to his teammates during 5 aside football, trying to convince his sons to lend a hand in the garden and walking up hills.
Chief Investment Officer, ZeroAvia
Katya is passionate about deploying and financing tech-driven solutions to climate change. She is the Chief Investment Officer of ZeroAvia (previously CFO for 4 years), a pioneer in the hydrogen-electric aviation space that has raised over $220m to date from leading climate and strategic investors. Previously she set up and ran the early stage VC arm of SYSTEMIQ, a leading sustainability advisory and investment firm. Katya started her career in investment banking at Lazard and Deutsche Bank, and private equity at a $2bn SWF. She holds a BA/MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Head of Net Zero Innovation, EDF
David is Head of Net Zero Innovation at EDF. His mission is to lead innovations that accelerate the world’s journey towards net zero. He works with internal teams and external partners to rapidly develop and scale high-impact innovations. After gaining an MSc from Imperial College, David started his career in sustainability consulting before joining and then leading EDF UK’s sustainability team. He then spent two years in Paris as part of EDF’s global Sustainable Development team. Returning to the UK, David took the role of Head of Digital Innovation in EDF UK’s R&D team before moving to Beijing to build a new digital innovation team inside EDF China. David is a Fellow of the RSA and a visiting lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School. Formerly, he was a Non-Executive Director of Exeter Science Park and was on the advisory board of the UK Government’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence.
VP Climate & Circularity, Wiliot
Antony Yousefian passionately believes in harnessing technology for meaningful impact. As VP of Climate & Circularity at Wiliot, he leads the strategy and application of Ambient IoT to accelerate the circular and regenerative economy. Beginning in asset management, he shifted his emphasis to ESG and impact investment. Captivated by the transformative power of data in environmental insight, he ventured into tech, scaling 30MHz’s agricultural IoT solutions and founding Bx to assess farming’s ecological impact. Antony remains deeply embedded in the startup arena, as an impact VC investor at TFT.VC and chairs the Advisory Board at Agrimetrics, UK’s leading Agtech centre.
Venture Partner, Starshot Capital
Zoe Samuel is a venture partner at Starshot Capital, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage climate startups. Zoe previously worked at Google, where she co-created Alphabet’s largest internal grassroots climate solutions community, Anthropocene, now over 4000 strong. Anthropocene supports Google climate projects such as Project Sunroof, AnthroKrishi, and many more, as well as providing educational and career resources to Googlers seeking to contribute to climate solutions. Zoe also led circularity and climate programs and engagement for gTech, one of the larger divisions at Google, working toward a world without waste.
Tom Jarman is an independent consultant working in decarbonisation, sustainability and energy, with expertise in the construction and housing sectors. He has over 15 years client-side experience in the construction sector, including project development, project and programme management, sustainability, Planning, newbuild, housing retrofit, Building Information Modelling and energy planning. His work with clients focusses on strategy and governance, as well as the development of effective
operational structures, organisational and stakeholder engagement, in both contract and interim management roles. He is an active industry volunteer, and regularly speaks on industry issues and challenges (especially the reality of the construction sector) as well as acting a mentor to small, tech-and climate-focused startups. He participates in working groups at national and regional level via the Construction Leadership Council, National Retrofit Hub and Constructing Excellence North East. In 2019 he received the CENE Award for Outstanding Achievement. Tom has worked with Tech Nation as a mentor and judge since 2020.
Director of Emerging Trends, Savills
Nicky is Director of Emerging Trends at Savills, a global real estate company with over 700 offices worldwide, employing more than 40,000 people in over 70 countries.
In a unique role, she works with clients and colleagues across the Savills business, acting as an advisor, communicator and mentor.
As a regular contributor to the debate about the built environment, she is particularly interested in the creation of community and culture, the interaction between the physical and digital worlds and addressing the climate and biodiversity crises.
Her most recent work has been focused on biodiversity, natural capital and nature-based solutions and she co-hosted a Savills podcast series on this theme.
Nicky enjoys the opportunity to mentor and is committed to supporting programmes which promote entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion and which address the climate and biodiversity crises.
General Partner & Co-Founder, Eka Ventures
Jon is a General Partner and Co-Founder at Eka Ventures, a seed stage venture firm that invests in climate and health technology. Jon founded Eka alongside Camilla Dolan to build a leading venture firm that integrates impact investing with mainstream venture. Eka manages a £70m fund and has made 15 investments to date. Prior to starting Eka, Jon spent 11 years at MMC Ventures, ultimately as Co-Managing Partner.