The Big Picture Panel of the IPBN Sustainability Conference 2022

Bringing a wealth of knowledge to the round table

Green initiatives are finally the leading grant award winners when it comes to investment, and rightly so considering our planet has been largely ignored by policymakers and investors on this scale. According to the recent Cop26’s Priorities for Public Climate Finance agenda, “Urgent action is required to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. The transition to a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future will require action at all levels across the world. It will also require all forms of finance…We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset our economies in a way that delivers sustainable, good quality jobs, more resilient societies, and greater equity, while also tackling head-on the climate change and biodiversity loss emergencies.”   

IPBN member company Yunit Consulting posted recently that under the Portuguese Resilience and Recuperation (also known as the bazooka) fund, there would be an investment of “705 million euros to accelerate the transition to carbon neutrality. It recently opened a warning to support industrial decarbonization. Beneficiaries are companies with economic activities in the sectors of industries: B - Extractive or C - Transformers. [In other words], industrial zone management entities.”

But it’s not just public programs and incentives that will get us to net-zero by mid-century. Private finance systems need to be built and initiated quickly. As the Cop26 document that laid out a framework to help quicken the pace reads, “The objective for the private finance work for COP26 is simple: ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account. This requires the right framework so that the financial sector can allocate capital to manage risks and seize opportunities in the transition to net zero.” That’s why the organizers of the conference developed the COP26 Private Finance Hub to work with the private sector and other stakeholders to keep us on track.

In terms of green investment, both public and private, it’s essential to know what needs immediate focus so we can build a proper timeline toward success. That’s why the IPBN is hosting its annual St. Patrick’s Day Sustainability Conference on March 17 at the Center for Commerce and Industry (CCIP) in Lisbon with the help of the conference's official partners Enterprise IrelandHeritage HotelsKRA Renewables, and Konceptness

The first panel of the conference will focus on the “Big Picture” in terms of innovation on a grand scale to highlight key players and initiatives in innovation working toward a green future. The session, moderated by the Chair of the IPBN Aoife Healy, will be a round table discussion between experts in their respective fields Natalie Samovich, Co-Founder & Innovation Strategy Lead of the Resilient Group and Member of the Steering Board of the Alliance for IoT InnovationMark Kellett, Founder & CEO at Keltech IoTCarolina Almeida Cruz, Co-Founder & CEO of C-More beyond the Obvious & Portuguese Tech Award Winner 2021 in the category Sustainability & Climate Change Activism, and Lee Hodder, Director of Strategy & Sustainability for GALP. Their wealth of experience and their deep understanding of what it means to push for sustainability is sure to both instruct and inspire all who attend the conference. 

Natalie Samovich is the co-founder of co-founder MCPV.eu and is currently heading EU Research and Innovation projects based in Lisbon, Brussels, and Amsterdam within digitalization in the energy domain and green hydrogen. She designed and developed the Solar Demonstration platform and Solar Lab platform. The Solar Demonstration Platform was co-founded in 2011 and established an innovative shared renewable infrastructures awards nominated model. Natalie also contributes towards policy and research as Chair Working group on Smart Energy at the Alliance of IoT Innovation (AIOTI), member of SB. She chairs ETIP-SNET platform Working Group 1 on EU Smart Grids. Meanwhile, Natalie is developing spin-off ventures in the digitalization of energy and advanced manufacturing of the next generation PV. Her research interests are related to digitalization in energy, interoperability, and the related business models, renewable energy systems, Internet of Things impact on energy systems, and the related socio-economic impact issues within smart grids. Industry 4.0 and 5.0 topics are closely related to her work. She serves on a number of advisory boards. She says, "My goal is to facilitate the introduction of distributed renewable energy systems and solutions to reach decarbonization and sustainable development goals. Collaborations development, new business models creation, and an overall system innovation are essential components of [my] approach."

Mark Kellett is the Founder and CEO of the Global Property and Infrastructure Technology business, KelTech IoT Networks that leverages over 25 years in the Technology, Telecoms, and Property Industries. That experience has been gained in roles as CEO/CFO with Global business experience in the Tech, Software, Telecoms, and Media sectors working for firms such as Yahoo!, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems, and Aer Lingus. Mark was Recognised in 2018 as one of Ireland's Top 100 CEOs and shortlisted to the Final 12 in the Business & Finance Company of the Year Awards 2017. He says, “I’m a strong action orientated advocate of the Start-Up / SME community and currently serve as a member of Enterprise Ireland's Start-Up Advisory Panel. I've previously held roles such as the President of the North Dublin Chamber of Commerce, a Board member of Dublin City University's Enterprise Advisory Board.”

Carolina Almeida Cruz is a woman of the world, anchored in Portugal. She loves the human race and is passionate about the way people behave in different contexts. From an early age, she traveled and surfed the world with a family teaching that sharing opinions is different from arguing. She graduated in PsychologyFinancials for Non-Profits at Harvard, Social Impact and Innovation at the UN University for Peace, she still loves to learn about everything with a special preference for sustainability and the way organizations manage the responsibility for people and the planet; and as a founder of SAPANA, she believes it embodies exactly this. She worked in the UN agency ILO helping women and orphans, which clearly changed her perspective on the world. She received the Women Economic Forum “Iconic Women Creating a Better World" Award in 2019 and is currently researching Human Rights while leading her B-Corp consultancy C-MORE. Carolina said, in this article for the Portuguese news outlet Observador, “Fortunately, many of us want to become more and more aware and smarter, as consumers, companies, suppliers, without putting a mortgage on the planet or people. Making informed and informed decisions can seem like an impossible task – after all, other parts of the world are so far away! – especially when big brands fail to be transparent about the value chain and information on the subject is dispersed and conveniently hidden.”

Lee Hodder joined Galp in October 2021 as Director of Strategy & Sustainability where he is playing a key role in defining & driving Galps pathway through the Energy Transition. He has 18 years of energy industry experience including 15 years at Shell where he worked across the globe in locations such as Qatar, the USA, Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway. Prior to joining Galp, Lee held a range of senior roles at Shell including the Group Head of Investment Appraisal, VP Upstream Digital Transformation, and the Country Chair of Denmark, Greenland & Iceland. Lee holds an MBA from Harvard Business School & a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Qatar University. Lee says, “I have seen the positive role the industry can play in people's lives but am acutely aware of the negative impact if it's not managed responsibly and in line with society's expectations. I'm a strong believer in the need to accelerate the energy transition, the need for energy companies to fully embrace this path, and the need for collaboration to achieve this. Above all, I believe in the need for ‘humble leadership’ - leaders that listen and that empower people to deliver impact above their expectations.”

Registration is open for the St. Patrick’s Day Sustainability Conference. Don't miss this chance to lead your business into a better future for us all.