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Berlin startups and indigenous people: an unprecedented alliance to protect the rainforests?


Humanity is facing severe challenges as climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation are all accelerating. Can they be addressed by a joint effort of new and old civilizations? How can the Berlin tech world and the indigenous people work together to advance innovation to improve our relationship with nature? Is there a way for the Berlin startup scene drive engagement to support nature protection efforts?


The discussion will be kicked off by our two honored guests from Ecuador: 


Manari Ushigua – an entrepreneur, ceremonial leader, healer, and the leader of Sápara nation from the Amazon rainforest.


Belén Paez – the President of Fundación Pachamama, a nonprofit organization protecting the rainforest and advancing the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples of the Amazon. 


Manari and Belen work with the Amazon Sacred Headwaters project. They aim to protect the most biodiverse area of Amazon from the ever-growing influence of the extractive industries – oil and mining – and the destruction they cause to people, natural habitats and the climate. The project fights new concessions for the industries, aims to secure the role of the indigenous people as the guardians of the forest and does this in part by integrating innovation and new technologies. It also develops a new regenerative economic model based on the realities of the Amazon rainforest.


Special guests & other members of the panel:


Lubomila Jordonova is the founder and CEO of Plan A – the first data-driven action platform in the fight against climate change. Plan A is Berlin-based startup, developing an algorithm which predicts where and how climate crisis will hit the hardest. The company matches planet-conscious businesses with environmental organisations and innovators that address the issues identified by their algorithm which are in need of financial support. 


Malika Virah-Sawmy is a scientist at Humboldt who recently co-led a science advocacy partnership between 700 European scientists and more than 300 Indigenous groups – demanding the EU to commit to more sustainable trade with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. 


James Farrell is a co-founder of Topia.us – the winners of “Scaling wildlife protection” track at the Odyssey Hackathon 2019. Topia aims to empower NGOs and local heroes on the ground by helping them to create, showcase and learn from data generated by their activities. Measurable impact is directly connected to donors, by allowing NGOs to issue badges, which are backed by real time validated data.




July 11, 2019

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


2nd Floor, Kiefholz, Factory Görlitzer Park


Member Event, Public Events

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