This article was published on May 17, 2023

Tech’s role in the quest for climate justice: What not to miss at TNW Conference

AI, blockchain and Web3 are joining the good fight

Tech’s role in the quest for climate justice: What not to miss at TNW Conference

Award-winning innovators Caroline Lair and Lucia Gallardo will be speaking at TNW Conference, which takes place on June 15 & 16 in Amsterdam. If you want to experience the event (and say hi to our editorial team!), we’ve got something special for our loyal readers. Use the promo code READ-TNW-25 and get a 25% discount on your business pass for TNW Conference. See you in Amsterdam!

Social inequality and climate risk have become central to understanding what will drive innovation – and investment – for the future. On day two of TNW Conference, Caroline Lair, founder of startup and scaleup communities The Good AI and Women in AI, and Lucia Gallardo, founder and CEO of impact innovation “socio-technological experimentation lab” Emerge, will be on the Growth Quarters stage for a session titled Technology-Driven Climate Justice.” 

The climate crisis is itself the result of a deeply embedded and systemic exploitation of nature and people in the name of profit. Its impact is already being felt disproportionately over the world, with severe heat waves, droughts, and entire nations disappearing below sea level. What’s more, the people worst affected are those who have contributed little to the greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming.

Climate justice is the idea that climate change is not just an environmental but also a social justice issue, and aims to ensure that the transition to a low-carbon economy is equitable and benefits everyone. Lair and Gallardo will specifically speak about how technologies such as AI, blockchain, and Web3 can play a crucial role in addressing these issues. 

AI for good

Artificial intelligence can be applied in the quest for climate justice in several ways, given that it is implemented in a way that ensures transparency, accountability, and fairness. These include data analysis and prediction, discovering patterns and informing policies, as well as evaluating their effectiveness. 

It can also enhance climate modelling capabilities, crucial for developing adaptation strategies. Furthermore, AI-powered technologies can monitor, for instance, weather systems with real-time data and also optimise resource allocation and energy distribution.

Reimagining value

Emerge’s objective is to “reimagine impact innovation with regenerative monetisation models.” Regenerative finance goes beyond traditional models that focus on profit, taking into account broader social, environmental, and economic impacts. 

Blockchain technology can, for instance, offer transparency for transactions, ensuring that funds are indeed directed to regenerative investments. It can also tokenise regenerative assets such as renewable energy installations, sustainable agriculture initiatives, or ecosystem restoration projects, representing them as digital tokens and making them more accessible to a broader range of investors. 

Meanwhile, in the words of Gallardo, “Integrating crypto into existing ecological initiatives doesn’t automatically mean it is applied regenerative finance. We must be intentional about how we’re reimagining value.”

Reclaiming an equitable future

Why am I looking forward to this session? The theme of this year’s TNW Conference is “Reclaim The Future”. In all honesty, I belong to a generation that, while I hopefully have several decades more of on-earth experience ahead of me, will most likely not have to deal with full-on dystopian scenarios, battling to survive climate catastrophe.

I am also privileged in terms of geographical location and socioeconomic status not to have to worry about immediate drought and famine. (Flooding may be another matter, but as someone said when convincing me to move to Amsterdam – “wouldn’t you prefer to live in a place that is already used to keeping water out?”) 

However, this does not mean that we who enjoy such privileges get to simply shrug our shoulders and carry on indulging in business as usual. TNW has always been about the good technology can do in the world. And what is better than employing it in service of one of the greatest challenges of our time?



Beyond the obvious urgency of the topic, I am excited to attend the session because, let’s face it, the moments in the tech industry where women grace the stage alone are few and far between. According to the World Economic Forum, only 22% of global AI jobs are held by women. In this instance, it is particularly potent as women and girls suffer to an even greater extent from issues arising from climate change such as food insecurity, water scarcity, and displacement with associated gender-based violence. 

The female lead

Caroline Lair is the founder of The Good AI, a community of AI talent, startups, and scaleups that are committed to helping companies transition toward a more responsible and sustainable business. She is also the co-founder of nonprofit Women in AI, a platform where women in artificial intelligence can come together to share, learn, and support each other. Furthermore, she has worked at Snips, building private-by-design AI Voice Assistant, which was acquired by Sonos in 2019, and was an investor and partner of HCVC venture capital firm. 

Lucia Gallardo is the founder and CEO of Emerge, which calls itself an experimental technologies lab at the convergence of sustainable development and social impact. She also sits on advisory boards and standard-setting committees and councils such as at the InterAmerican Development Bank and World Economic Forum. Among many other accolades, she has been named MIT Innovator under 35, and worked with clients including the US State Department, Hard Rock International, and the United Nations Development Program.

Caroline Lair and Lucia Gallardo are only two of the amazing speakers we have lined up at TNW Conference this year. You can find more on the event agenda — and remember: for a 25% discount on business passes, use the promo code READ-TNW-25

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