Breakthrough Innovation at the Intersectionality of Funding, Digital Technology and Policy - Accelerating Systems Change for Climate Equity, the Blue Economy, the Green Energy Transition, and the SDGs

12:00 - 13:30 EST
09:00 - 10:30 am PST


Hosted by The Joint SDG Fund Breakthrough Alliance, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs of Southern California and Stanford Alumni For Sustainability, this event will showcase how the United Nations development system is innovating through collaboration to create joint programs and initiatives, including partnerships with the private sector, that can create greater leverage to finance the SDGs, in specific geographic areas of themes. 

The world ocean contributes significantly to our economy and social life, including to the provision of food security, transport, energy supply, tourism, and many of the planet’s most critical ecosystem services. The ocean contributes over US$3 trillion per year to the global market economy, or 5% of GDP, but opportunities for the sustainable management of marine natural capital well extend this provision.

The integrity of oceans is at significant risk due to a range of ocean management policy and market failures leading to overexploitation, pollution, introduction of invasive species, habitat loss and ocean acidification. 90% of global fish stocks are fully exploited or overexploited.  If much needed investments are to be unlocked, private capital must be engaged.

The Green Energy  transition is not happening fast enough. If we are to combat the climate crisis, we will need to leapfrog on innovation, policy and financing. As leading academics such as those at the new School of  Sustainability at Stanford, partners such as those at the Rockefeller Foundation’s new Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet,  and  the private sector  catalyze disruptive solutions and partnerships for  the  Green Energy Transition/Revolution, this is a moment to  bring the full power of tech, media and markets  to  accelerate this transition.

At this event we are planning interactive dialogs on  challenges and opportunities to bring the power of media, tech and markets to accelerate SDGs. We hope to catalyze breakthrough partnerships, breakthrough innovations  and breakthrough financing.



Ms. Ditte Juul Jørgensen

Director-General for Energy, European Commission

Ms Ditte Juul Jørgensen became the Director-General for Energy at the European Commission on 1 August 2019.  In this capacity, she leads the Directorate-General and its efforts to ensure access to affordable, secure and clean energy for all Europeans, and to drive the process of becoming the first climate-neutral continent while contributing to Europe’s sustainable growth and energy security.

Before assuming this role, Ms Juul Jørgensen served as the Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. During this time, Ms Juul Jørgensen steered work to ensure that companies compete equally and fairly on their own merits to benefit consumers, businesses and the European economy as a whole. A committed civil servant in the European Commission since 1992, Ms Juul Jørgensen has experience as a senior manager in the Directorate-General for Trade, leading European Union enforcement policy and negotiations in the World Trade Organization.

Ms Juul Jørgensen’s career also includes service as the Head of the Economic Section of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York, where she represented the European Union on trade, sustainable development, international partnerships, finance and legal issues. Other formative experiences include work in the Directorate-General for Competition and at the European Court of Justice. Ms Juul Jørgensen is a law graduate from the University of Copenhagen and the College of Europe.

Ms Sanda Ojiambo

Ms. Sanda Ojiambo

Assistant Secretary-General; Executive Director & CEO of the UN Global Compact

As the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanda Ojiambo launched an ambitious new UN Global Compact Strategy to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.

During her tenure, she has also promoted stronger business engagement with UN partners to deliver and finance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sanda Ojiambo brings to the UN Global Compact more than 20 years’ experience in the public, multilateral and private sectors including as Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Safaricom Plc in Kenya; and capacity development work in CARE International and United Nations Development Programme Somalia. Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed relationships with key business entities and civil society organizations and led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives.

Sanda Ojiambo holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Canada.


Mr. David Hochschild

California Energy Commission Chair

David Hochschild was appointed chair of the California Energy Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom in February 2019. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members are required by law to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.

Chair Hochschild's career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy, and the private sector. He first got involved in the solar energy field in 2001 in San Francisco as a special assistant to Mayor Willie Brown where Chair Hochschild launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He also cofounded the Vote Solar Initiative, a 60,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state, and federal levels. He was executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

For his work to advance clean energy, Chair Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club's Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association's Clean Air Hero Award, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Chair Hochschild holds a bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College and a master of public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.


Ms. Radhika Shah

Co-President Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, Co-Chair of Joint SDG Fund Breakthrough Alliance

Radhika is an angel/impact tech investor, passionate about civic engagement, community building & transformative social change. She is Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs (a Community of 2000 Stanford alumni, students & faculty come together to advance Tech Innovation & Entrepreneurship), a Fellow and Founding Chair of the Tech Advisory Group at The Stanford Center for Human Rights & International Justice and a Sr. Advisor to The Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University.

She is an advisor to the global Sustainable Development Goals Philanthropy Platform (a UNDP / WINGS Collaboration), Board Member at Center for Effective Global Action, U.C. Berkeley (bringing together mission driven academics across US west Coast Universities to work with Governments, NGOs around world for evidence-based research/action to reduce poverty), Advisor to Impact Experience,  Illumen Capital a Fund-of-Impact-Funds reducing Implicit Biases, to Benetech (Empowering Communities with Software-for-Social-Good), and TechAdvisor to The Business and Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC). Radhika holds a MSCS from Stanford and a U.C. Berkeley MBA.

Keith Coleman

Mr. Keith Coleman

Distinguished Visiting Scholar Emeritus mediaX at Stanford University and Co-Founder of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs Southern California, Co-Chair of Joint SDG Fund Breakthrough Alliance

Keith is a researcher, investor, and startup adviser, focused on social impact and collective well-being. A Distinguished Visiting Scholar Emeritus with mediaX at Stanford University, an interdisciplinary thought leadership and industry affiliate program. Keith is member of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs and also Co-founder of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs of Southern California, mentor/coach for entrepreneurs via Stanford Venture Studio.

His service focuses on intercultural equity and excellence in climate action, education reform, public health innovation, and social finance. Keith is a board member of Climate Action Pathways for Schools (providing inspiring climate STEM-based education programs and actionable projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving money for school districts). Keith assists Rutgers Law School / Center on Law, Inequality, and Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) in its public health innovation initiative: “Colored by Covid” (supporting public health innovation to mitigate disparities in care for underrepresented patients through funding research and healthcare startups). A Limited Partner in JumpstartNova, (elements of Keith’s social finance work examine equity and social impact issues of investment management and health, centering the context and knowledge of people of color). Keith serves on the Executive Council of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California (providing aerospace manufacturers and their supply chain with tools, talent, and capacity to master the future while supporting ESG & SDG values). He is a signatory to the Racial Justice Investing coalition (building equitable institutions with socially principled investors, evaluating the role of wealth and capital in persisting injustice through an SDG lens). Keith has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, Stanford-in-Oxford/Magdalen College, his master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, and is an Associate Member of the Meharry National Alumni Association.


Mr. Craig Cogut

Co-Founder of Apollo Global Management and Founder, Chairman & CEO of Pegasus Capital

Craig Cogut has spent a career building successful investment businesses. Mr. Cogut founded Pegasus, a private equity fund, in 1995 and serves as its Chairman and CEO, and is a member of the management committee and the investment committee. Through Mr. Cogut’s leadership, Pegasus has focused on sectors influenced by global resource scarcity and the need to combat climate change, as well as on the growth in demands globally for human health and wellness, leading to Pegasus becoming the first U.S. private equity fund manager to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund.

Pegasus currently manages the Global Subnational Climate Fund, which is focused on climate mitigation in emerging markets, and the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, which is an oceans - focused adaptation fund that seeks to enhance the resiliency of coral reef ecosystems.

In 1990 Mr. Cogut co-founded and was one of the original partners at Apollo Advisors L.P., a position he held for six years preceding the creation of Pegasus. Mr. Cogut is currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of PanTheryx. In addition, Mr. Cogut has been an active philanthropist in the fields of improving education, building civil society and championing environmental and health issues. Mr. Cogut currently serves as Chairman of the finance advisory board of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet, a non-profit focused on leveraging private finance for public good in order to achieve sustainable development goals. Mr. Cogut is an alumnus of Brown University and Harvard Law School.

Vaughan Prat

Mr. Vaughan Pratt

Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University

Vaughan Pratt is Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University.  He obtained a double honours degree in pure mathematics and physics from the University of Sydney, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University under Donald Knuth.  He taught at MIT from 1972 to 1980 and subsequently at Stanford University until his retirement in 2000. 

After a decade of work on pocket workstations and autonomous vehicles, in 2010 his interests turned to geophysics with a focus on global environmental change.  He has made a number of presentations in this area at the annual fall meetings of the American Geophysical Union. 

His current research addresses the limited funds available for slowing the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2, arguing that $80 per ton of CO2 removed from the atmosphere as contemplated by America's Inflation Reduction Act is too expensive to have any appreciable impact.  His present research is focused on methods capable of removing a ton of CO2 from the atmosphere at less than $10 a ton.

Asif Saleh

Mr. Asif Saleh

Executive Director BRAC Bangladesh

Asif Saleh is the Executive Director of BRAC. Since its founding in 1972 in Bangladesh, then one of the world’s poorest countries, BRAC has grown to become one of the largest NGOs in the world with programs in Asia and Africa that reach more than 100 million people, providing them with tools to move from poverty into secure, resilient livelihoods.
Prior to joining BRAC, Mr. Saleh worked as a policy specialist for the Access to Information (A2i) Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangladesh. He spent 12 years in Goldman Sachs in different fin-tech roles in New York and London ending his term there as an Executive Director. He has also worked in Glaxo Wellcome, IBM and Nortel. Mr. Saleh is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Millions Learning International Advisory Group, Brookings Institute, a member of the advisory group of South Africa-based Innovation Edge, an institution promoting early childhood development. He is a member of the Global Board for Generation Unlimited, a global body of UNICEF promoting youth skills, and also a member of the global governing council of Water Resource Group 2030. He was recognized for his work by Asia Society’s Asia 21 programme in 2008, the Bangladeshi American Foundation in 2007, and was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow in 2012. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013. Mr Saleh holds a Bachelor's degree in computer science and an MBA in management and marketing from the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Global Director of Programs at Aga Khan Foundation Nicholas provides oversight and leadership of AKF's Global Programme Portfolio. Nicholas has worked for AKF in the United Kingdom, as AKF’s CEO in India and in Portugal, and led AKF’s global Civil Society portfolio. Prior to joining AKF in 1997, Nicholas worked in social services in London and with refugees and asylum seekers in Southeast Asia. He has also held senior management positions in the fields of technology, media and communications. Nicholas holds

Mr. Nicholas McKinlay

Global Director of Programs at Aga Khan Foundation

Nicholas provides oversight and leadership of AKF's Global Programme Portfolio.Nicholas has worked for AKF in the United Kingdom, as AKF’s CEO in India and in Portugal, and led AKF’s global Civil Society portfolio.

Prior to joining AKF in 1997, Nicholas worked in social services in London and with refugees and asylum seekers in Southeast Asia. He has also held senior management positions in the fields of technology, media and communications.

Nicholas holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (distinction) from the University of Liverpool and a BSc (First Class) in Human Psychology from the University of Loughborough in the United Kingdom. He has completed advanced management and leadership courses at Babson College, USA, the Indian Institute of Management and Harvard Kennedy School. Nicholas speaks English and French.


Ms Darlene Fukuji 

Ms. Darlene Fukuji 

Director at the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership, Brentwood School

Darlene Fukuji is the Director at the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership with Brentwood School, preparing students to engage with real-world challenges and explore solutions within and beyond the classroom. Darlene was formerly the Associate Director and clinical professor at Loyola Marymount University's Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship, where prior to that, she had obtained her BA and MBA. She is passionate about startups, education, family businesses, socially responsible enterprises, design thinking, problem-solving and equity to improve the world. Darlene was also an engagement manager at Growthink, a boutique consulting and investment banking firm for entrepreneurs, where she helped more than 250 companies start, grow, and exit.

Outside of work, Darlene is also the president of the Toshiko Takaezu Foundation; secretary of the Westchester Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees; serves as a board member for the Jacaranda School for orphans in Malawi, Women Leaders in Family Enterprises (WLife), the social enterprise, Balthazar & Rose, and a member of the YMCA Teen Task Force, focusing on teen engagement & teen mental health.


Mr. David Geeter Alvarez

Managing Partner, Futura Fund for Puerto Rico

David Geeter Alvarez is a diaspora Puerto Rican who holds a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University where he focused on Island Ecology, Design, & Social Entrepreneurship. David was an early member of StartX, the Stanford Startup Accelerator and supported a number of early stage companies & investors. 

In 2016 he became the youngest Promoter of New Business with the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce exploring Impact Market sectors under new and existing tax incentive codes. In 2018, David moved to PR and led the first SDG Impact Accelerator program with Parallel18, Facebook, and Acumen to support Caribbean entrepreneurs. He then co-developed and managed the first clean energy project accelerator in PR focusing on improving capital access.

Today, David co-leads Futura, an impact venture studio and early stage impact fund for food & energy systems innovation, currently raising $25M towards their first round of catalytic impact investments.


Luke Halsey

Partner at AiiM Partners

Luke Halsey is Partner at AiiM Partners, which invests in businesses with differentiated technologies to solve climate change problems and achieve strong risk adjusted returns within 10 years.

The AiiM team, comprising investors, entrepreneurs, operators, and researchers, has a ten-year track record in the space and has invested in market leaders that have benefitted 3 million people worldwide with 50 percent of the assets invested in women founders and CEOs.


Yihana von Ritter

Associate Director of Private Fund Investments at Align Impact

Align Impact is an impact investing advisory firm directing family office and foundation capital towards impact. Yihana's work in manager selection includes sourcing investment opportunities across asset classes and thematic areas, conducting deep financial and impact due diligence, and reporting on portfolios. She joined Align Impact in 2019 after completing her graduate studies at Yale and holding impact investing roles at Agora Partnerships in Colombia and Investing for Good in the United Kingdom. Previously, Yihana worked with various non-profit organizations in the United States, Panama, and Colombia. She was the Country Associate for Clinton Health Access Initiative where she led national-level operations in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and El Salvador, partnering with Ministries of Health to eliminate malaria. Yihana also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay as a Community Mobilizer and Health Educator where she co-founded the nonprofit Encarnacion Sustentable. Yihana holds an MBA and a Master of Global Affairs from Yale University and a BA from Stanford University.



Ms. Lisa Kurbiel

Head of the Secretariat of the UN Joint SDG Fund

As Head of the Joint SDG Fund, Lisa Kurbiel promotes partnerships with Governments, UN entities, civil society, academia and the private sector to design and implement integrated policy approaches and financing vehicles to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. She previously served as UNICEF Chief of Advocacy and Partnerships in Kenya and UNICEF Social Policy Specialist in Somalia and Mozambique.