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 worlds 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.
Here’s a look at the complete Sustainability Stage agenda! TechCrunch Disrupt will be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from September 19–21.
The Sustainability Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023
Raising in a New Climate
Hear from investors about the current headwinds facing climate tech, where they’re finding new opportunities and areas they wish more startups would enter. Where opportunities might be found, overlooked areas and more.
With Po Bronson, managing director, IndieBio and general partner, SOSV; Arvind Gupta, partner, Mayfield; and Libby Wayman, partner, Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Clearing the Air on Tech and Cities
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.
With Andre Dickens, mayor, city of Atlanta; Sundeep Jain, chief product officer and SVP of Engineering, Uber; Prashanthi Raman, VP, Global Government Relations, Cruise.
Doing Something Concrete on Climate
Nearly 10% of the world’s carbon pollution can often 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 so environmentally destructive. Three-time NBA champion Rick Fox will be joining us to discuss his concrete startup Partanna, the role of teamwork in startups, and his desire to make a dent in climate change.
With Rick Fox, co-founder & CEO, Partanna.
Is Sustainable Fast Fashion Possible?
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.
With Jim Ajioka, co-founder and chief scientific officer, Colorifix; Beth Esponnette, co-founder and chair, unspun; Julie Willoughby, chief commercialization officer; Circ.
The Upside (and Downside) of Cultivated Meat
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 all in the lab? Uma Valeti, founder and CEO of Upside Foods, is aiming to do just that. Come to the sustainability stage to learn the obstacles that stand in Upside’s way — including getting consumers to literally take a bite — and if this nascent industry stands a chance.
With Uma Valeti, founder and CEO, Upside Foods.
Beer, Lab Meat and Climate Chaos
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 Ventures–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 wrecking as much 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.
With Charles Denby, co-founder and CEO, Berkeley Yeast; Monica Varman, partner, G2 Venture Partners; Matthew Walker, managing director, Food and Agriculture, S2G Ventures.
Decentralized, Decarbonized, and Fully Electrified — Tomorrow’s Grid
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.
With Donnel Baird, founder and CEO, BlocPower; Kathy Hannun, co-founder and president, Dandelion Energy; and Piyush Mathur, co-founder and chief business officer, Odyssey Energy Solutions.