750 impact leaders across climate, health, education and workforce came together in New York to kick off 100 days of Impact around the world.
As New York welcomed the world to the 77th UN General Assembly, the HolonIQ 2022 Global Impact Summit brought together leaders from across the country, as well as those attending Climate Week, EdTech Week and Digital Health New York.
The agenda packed in four parallel tracks of presentations, workshops, fireside chats and discussion panels with global CEOs, industry leaders and regional experts on topics as diverse as electrification and carbon removal, tele-health and hybrid healthcare, the future of education, and ESG vs impact investment management and measurement. Following HolonIQ’s signature interactive and data-driven overview of the global impact economy, the opening panel session featured Alex Amouyel from MIT Solve, Rebecca Winthrop from the Brookings Institution and Tiffany Norwood from Tribetan, who shared reflections on how we move towards a more sustainable and inclusive future, inviting us to “radically rethink all our climate, education and health systems” (Alex Amouyel).
Google Cloud closed the opening session in New York with Steven Butschi, Director of Education at Google Cloud, sharing lessons learned from 2021 and a vision for the future of education, sustainability and healthcare.
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Climate track: sustainable materials, city planning, clean energy and carbon-negative diamonds
The Climate track in New York included speakers from government, investment, professional services, and climate tech companies on topics from decarbonization to green skills. The morning started with insights from Climate Tech VC’s Kim Zou and Sophie Purdom on the growth of climate tech funding, before HolonIQ’s Co-CEO Patrick Brothers and VP CX and Partnerships announced the North America Climate Tech 200, HolonIQ’s annual list of the most promising Climate Tech startups.
“One of our biggest challenges has been establishing a unified definition for what sustainable materials even means globally. It's hard to make an impact if you're aligning on definition all the time.”
City planning and infrastructure was a key topic; the City of Ithaca’s Director of Sustainability Dr. Luis Aguirre-Torres talked about their partnership with BlocPower to transform the city’s building stock and reduce building CO2 emissions by 40%. Later in the day a panel featuring NYU’s Pat Sapinsley explored major catalyzing events for building decarbonization in New York, and HolonIQ’s Beth Hogan explored a data-driven model for green spaces in Philadelphia with Julianne Schrader Ortega.
As CEO of Aether Diamonds Ryan Shearman introduced the world’s only diamonds alchemized from air, decarbonization was high on the agenda across the program, including a panel on 24/7 clean energy which raised issues of decades-old utilities infrastructure and huge data gaps that impede meaningful progress. Leaders at the forefront of product development and investment in sustainable materials talked about growing demand for sustainability from consumers as news events raise awareness of impacts like manufacturing issues and ocean waste, whilst Clarity AI’s CMO Chris Ciompi, who earlier in the week announced plans to tackle greenwashing in the fashion industry, noted the politicization of ESG, and the need for precise language and open data.
Equity, access, talent and global innovation
Education and skills featured in both climate and health tracks in various forms, showing just how closely the impact ecosystem is connected. The summit heard updates and fresh perspectives from familiar faces, including Chip Paucek, CEO of 2U/EdX, who noted after his fireside chat with HolonIQ Co-CEO Maria Spies that their recent transformation to a platform company and focus on access and affordability ”feels like our IPO all over again!”.
“Anyone who says being a CEO is a hard job has never been a teacher”
(Trish Sparks, CEO, Clever)
Krishna Vedati, President of Global Growth at BYJU’s, shared strategies on the future of education, as parents and educators of the ‘COVID kid’ generation scramble to combat learning loss and rethink the way modern learning is achieved. Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, was also focussed on access and affordability as the company looks to a ‘third chapter’ connecting learners with jobs, wherever they choose to study and work.
Access and equity were key themes in a hugely popular panel session on evidencing outcomes, featuring Marni Baker Stein (WGU), Verna Lalbeharie (EdTech Hub), Stavros Yiannouka (WISE) and Rachel Manning (Google Cloud). The panel noted that 70 percent of the youth population in middle and low income countries is in “learning poverty” post-COVID; Marni Baker Stein added that WGU is “doubling down on our commitment to equitable outcomes for students - not only completion outcomes but post-graduation impact for our students”.
Other announcements and updates included the acquisition this week of ChildCare Education Institute by Online Learning Pioneer StraighterLine as they expand focus on flexible, career-aligned credentials. StraighterLine’s CEO Heather Combs participated in a Fireside chat during the Summit with OpenClassrooms' Naomi Brezi.
Maria Spies also guided the audience through the North America EdTech 200, HolonIQ's annual list of the most promising EdTech startups from North America.
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‘Virtual first’ care, harnessing the power of AI and responding to the global healthcare workforce challenge.
HolonIQ’s Future of Health track brought together innovators, educators and healthcare visionaries to discuss what comes next for a sector still coming to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic and the structural changes it has brought about - both in North America and globally.
A major trend of the past two and half years has been the rise of remote consultation in healthcare and the CEOs of Vori Health (Ryan Grant) and Bold Health (Elena Mustatea) each shared their views on what it means to run a ‘virtual first’ healthcare business in 2022. With a focus on the remote management of chronic conditions (MSK and gastrointestinal problems, respectively) both CEOs had benefited from changing attitudes to technology during the pandemic. However, each agreed that digital health innovation can’t simply be about digitizing existing practices; the health sector has an opportunity to redefine how technology and data can power decision-making and it can’t afford to waste it, they argued. Ron Emerson, Global Healthcare Lead at Zoom, also offered a unique perspective on the role of telehealth in today’s healthcare landscape. Sharing the inside story of Zoom’s stratospheric growth Emerson provided fascinating context on the current state of telehealth, having spent the last 24 years working in this area for various organizations globally. Despite Zoom supporting a third of all virtual consultations in the US market, he felt we are merely scratching the surface at this stage.
Healthcare faces a number of staggering challenges in the coming years and there are few as daunting as the increasing levels of people being diagnosed and living with dementia. The condition currently costs the US health system $290B a year and projections show global cases of the disease could triple by 2050. Frank Amato, CEO of Synaps DX, elucidated both the scale of the challenge facing the market but also the promising progress being made in the field of biomarkers and the potential for transforming how we think about neurodiagnostics. In a fascinating session, Gary Conkright of physIQ debunked myths around what artificial intelligence can and can’t do in healthcare. A career physicist and inventor, Conkright shared his unique insights into how concepts such as ‘digital twins’ are set to revolutionize approaches to the monitoring of an individual’s health but also fundamentally change the clinical trial industry.
The health track featured a number of sessions dedicated to unpacking one of the most pressing issues facing healthcare systems globally - where is the next generation of the health workforce coming from? Identified as a major issue prior to the pandemic by the World Health Organization, healthcare is now undeniably facing a serious staffing crisis. From nurses to neurosurgeons, health systems are running at a resource deficit that has only been exacerbated by the high burnout levels of those fighting COVID-19 on the front-line. Expert insight was provided from a range of speakers, including: Shiv Gaglani, CEO of Osmosis (part of Elsevier); Steve Fireng, Global CEO, Keypath Education; Linda Plank, Dean, Baylor University and Michael Bodekae Larson, CEO of higher education disruptors Labster. Attendees also heard from digital health luminary Lori Evans Bernstein about her newest venture, Caraway, which is on a mission to address the crisis of women's health provision on university campuses across America - an area at the center of the political and legal fallout of the recent Roe vs Wade reversal.
During the day, HolonIQ’s VP, Health, Vernon Baxter, also unveiled the North America Health Tech 200 - the annual list of the most promising startups from across digital health, biotech, medtech and other areas where entrepreneurs are driving healthcare innovation.
Follow 100 Days of Impact
The New York Summit marked Day 1 of 100 Days of Impact and the beginning of a global wave of ideas and inspiration for the future of impact. As each week unfolds, we’ll continue to share key themes and content from each summit, including speaker highlights, insights from leading organizations and the winners of our regional EdTech, HealthTech and ClimateTech 1000s.
Stay tuned here for a weekly wrap as we move from New York and Mexico City to Bengaluru, Singapore and Jakarta, with exclusive insights from our participation at COP27 before our final summits in London, Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm. Be part of the action by registering for any of the face to face or virtual summits around the world, and see for yourself how 100 Days of Impact unfolds with our 5,000-strong global community.
Whether you’re participating or spectating from afar, find out the latest with #HolonIQSummits and by following @HolonIQ wherever you get your socials.
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Global Insights from HolonIQ’s Intelligence Unit. Powered by our Global Impact Intelligence Platform.