"If I'd asked them what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
Fundamental to our work of engaging entrepreneurial innovation in response to unmet social needs is translating these needs - hunger, disease, public safety - in terms that mobilize entrepreneurs. This reframing of global threats or public policy problems into actionable opportunities is core to our work.
We joined the White House's Climate Data Initiative to apply this work to climate threats to food and water systems. In collaboration with the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities network, Risky Business and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, we interviewed representatives from cities facing flood and drought, researched the economic impact of these threats on various industries, and developed initial findings on the size and nature of demand for innovation in this space with actionable points of entry. We have also leveraged our network of private investors to understand how early and late stage venture capital firms are placing their investments and how we anticipate this evolving over time: all critical considerations for entrepreneurs. We will continue rolling out research over the coming months.
This first framework breaks down and segments climate threats to agriculture and water systems, and identifies what innovation looks like in each. The resulting opportunity roadmap offers a framework within which we can identify demand-driven market opportunities for entrepreneurs.