Three days at ChangeNow 2024 in Paris felt like stepping into a desirable future where all the global climate-related problems are solved.

ChangeNow 2024

30.000 future driven, passioned and very international investors, founders, researchers, activist, private, political and corporate leaders gathered at the foots of the Eifel Tower. It was part of their efforts to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. It is the biggest gathering of its kind on the planet, and it is growing year on year. 

This blog post summarizes the key takeaways from each of the three action-packed days at ChangeNow.

Day 1: Rethinking the Fundamentals

  • Ethics of AI: The environmental impact of AI is often overlooked. We need to consider its entire lifecycle, from resource extraction to energy consumption. Ultimately, AI is a societal conversation, not just a technological one.
  • Ocean & Water Scarcity: Water is our lifeblood, and the health of our oceans is critical. ChangeNow highlighted innovative solutions to water scarcity and ocean conservation.
  • Purpose-Driven Business: Many speakers emphasized the importance of purpose- and impact-driven businesses. Sandrine Dixon urged us to address core issues like poverty before tackling climate change.

Day 2: Collaboration is Key

  • Recycling vs. Reusing: The debate continues, but all agree that reducing single-use packaging is crucial. Vytal, a reuse container startup, offers a promising solution that incentivizes circularity.
  • The Power of Collaboration: Collaboration across brands, retailers, and even countries is essential for a successful sustainability transition. We need to share knowledge, resources, and best practices.
  • Financing the Future: Climate tech startups need more funding, especially outside of energy and mobility sectors. The EU needs to step up its financial support for these ventures.
  • Leadership for Change: Businesses that prioritize sustainability will be more successful in the long run. Leaders need to commit resources, integrate sustainability into R&D, and inspire hope for a better future.

Day 3: Uniting for Change

  • Beyond Technical Solutions: Environmental sustainability needs to go beyond technical solutions and address the emotional aspects. We need to connect with people’s feelings to drive change.
  • A United Front: Timothee Parrique proposed a powerful message: eco-minimalism, eco-socialism, and eco-modernism need to unite as the “Avengers of Sustainability.” Each approach offers valuable tools for creating a sustainable world.
  • True Cost Accounting: Michel Scholte emphasized the importance of true cost accounting, which incorporates environmental impact into financial statements. This is crucial for businesses to understand their true sustainability performance. This would also include a global carbon price.
  • Building a New Dream: Activist Lisa Neubauer challenged the idea that hard work alone can solve everything. We need a new narrative, a new dream of a sustainable future that is desirable and attainable. This will inspire action and create a collective movement for change.
Karel J. Golta and Tessa Wernink – Fairfone co-founder

Closing words

ChangeNow 2024 was a powerful reminder that we are not alone in the fight for a sustainable future. By working together, with a renewed sense of purpose and a focus on both practical solutions and emotional engagement, we can build a better world for generations to come.

Karel Golta

Karel J. Golta

CEO + Founder

Karel, CEO and founder of INDEED, is Swiss but far from being neutral. When he's not planning "the next big thing" with clients, you can controversially discuss with him the value of design.

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