Our Philosophy

Things that drive us

SDGx is a new ecosystem that invests in deep technology talent and matches them with growth opportunities to drive scale, revenues and SDG-aligned positive impact.

Our mission is to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals through the advancement of next generation technologies, building talent that can drive positive impacts and facilitating investments that can return market+ returns.

Our Vision – a world where citizens have the opportunity, inclusive engagement and are empowered to shape a sustainable future for humanity.

Founding Partners

David Galipeau

Founding Partner

Jeremy Liddle

Founding Partner

Christian Walter

Founding Partner

The Side Effect of Economic Growth

Since the start of industrial revolution humanity has seen unparalleled growth and prosperity, particularly in the western world. Globally, more and more people enjoy a healthier, more comfortable and less dangerous life. At the same time humanity has created an ever widening gap between the rich and poor, is melting the arctic and killing other lifeforms, fueled largely by demand for economic growth. 

The challenges humanity faces have been acknowledge by all governments that take part in the UN general assembly.

They are outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

These 17 Goals are a blueprint for a better, more equal and more sustainable world.  

Complex Systems

Achieving these 17 goals is possible, but at the current rate of addressing the SDGs it will not happen. The problem is partially inherent in the goals themselves – as they sometimes contradict each other. Economic Growth does not necessarily go together with reducing emissions, at least not with the current energy mix. 

It is however not a surprise that the goals are sometimes contradicting, after all they are  dealing with a (or “THE”) complex system – the behavior of the world population and all institutions that come with it.

Individually we have a solution for all problems.

Climate Change for instance – The first electric car was build around 1890, the first solar cell in 1953 and Shell and Exxon published a paper on the danger of climate change in the 1980s. In fact 1968,  The Club of Rome was founded and published the Book “Limits to Growth”, as they realized that the world can’t continue on it’s path. The book holds true until today (Source: Is global collapse imminent? ).

The modeling of the Stockholm Resilience Center might be more sophisticated – but the fundamental truth has been known for more than 50 years. Despite all the knowledge and technology, we have still not been able to stop human made climate change. Why? We live in a complex world of diverging interests.

We are inherently bad at making decisions on large scale and long term horizon, especially when it comes to things where we can’t observe a direct effect. We believe that we need solution that can play by the rules of the system and just do things differently, and by doing so prove that there is a better way. 

Hunger, poverty, environmental degradation, economic instability, unemployment, chronic diseases, drug addiction, and war, for example, persist in spite of the analytical ability or technical brilliance that have been directed toward eradicating them. No one deliberately creates those problems, no one wants them to persist, but they persist nonetheless. That is because they are intrinsically system problems. They will yield only as we reclaim our intuition, stop casting blame, see the system as the source of it's own problems [...]

Donella H. Meadows

Finance and Technology

Technology alone will not solve the problem. We have the technology already. We have had it for decades. The problem needs to be solved at systems level. We believe that we need to create and ecosystem of solutions that can address these problems on a systems level. This is why we founded SDGx. 

We believe it takes an ecosystem to change an ecosystem.

As we look at society and how it functions, we have defined three areas where we can create significant impact. Finance and Business, Science, and Philanthropy.

The financial industry is probably the most important industry in the world, not because their direct output is massively harmful, but because the power, control and by that extension their indirect output has.  

Every dollar invested in an oil company will result in drilling more oil. Every dollar not invested in education will mean more inequality. The financial industry controls the world. We need to change financial flows. This is why we have launched an Early Stage Venture Capital Fund to invest in companies that create positive impact and limit negative externalities.

Venture Capital  allows us to invest in young, fast growing companies that have almost zero legacy. This means we can create processes, KPIs and values that align with our goals. We can measure inputs and outputs from early on and steer companies into a sustainable direction. 

Secondly, it allows us to invest in scaleable companies that use . This technology might not always have a direct effect on the SDGs or Climate Change, but can have the potential to change the whole system for the better.
 

Science, Education and Technology

Our second activity has been to establish the Near Future Lab, a research lab and global network. The first Near Future Lab is located at the Yunus Centre at the Asian Institute for Technology. Like Muhammad Yunus, we realized that we need to build solutions that are scientifically sound and can be taught to the next generation. 

We are not looking at fundamental research as much as we are looking at the effect of technologies on society, within different socio-economic context. This requires multi-disciplinary research from all around the world. This is why we are establishing a global network of universities to work with. This allows us to facilitate student and researcher exchange and build bridges to tear down prejudice and barriers. 

We want to establish a network that can harness the global knowledge and apply it locally. Hence, research outcomes will try to strike a tone that can be useful to academics, policy makers and the general public alike.

Citizen 4.0

With the fastest growing middle class and new political models, sustainable solutions are vital for survival.

The World Economic Forum is calling this ‘Governance 4.0’

Science, technology and innovation are rapidly converging to produce new products, services and markets that will have a game changing impact.

Governments are calling this ‘Industry 4.0’

We will establish a new narrative that puts people at the center of technology development and adoption.

We call this ‘Citizen 4.0’

In the end, it is about humans.  

For each and everyone. Our vision is a world where citizens have the opportunity and are empowered to shape a sustainable future for themselves. 

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