Revolutionizing Aquaculture With Impact Investing: Change Agent Amy Novogratz on AquaSpark’s Mission to Transform Global Food Systems, the Ecosystem Portfolio Approach and much more (#018)
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Amy Novogratz is Co-Founder of AquaSpark, a global investment fund based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. AquaSpark is a holding company of innovative, novel solutions to some of aquaculture’s biggest challenges, investing in companies developing a sustainable, optimal food system all along the aquaculture value chain.
Amy’s career as a change agent has focused on building collaborative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Her early career highlights include helping set up SPAN, the Social Policy Action Network; developing and producing ‘Chat the Planet’, a web and television entity that bridged young people globally; later she served as Director of the TED Conference’s annual TED Prize for almost a decade, leading more than 20 global collaborations across a broad spectrum of sectors, including healthcare, education, science, technology, conservation, art, and activism.
Notable projects during Amy’s time at TED include: Jamie Oliver’s Food revolution, JR’s Inside Out Project, Bono’s One.org and Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue. It was on an expedition with marine biologist Sylvia Earle to the Galapagos Islands that Amy met Mike Velings, with whom she developed a shared vision to transform the aquaculture fish farming sector into a more sustainable industry, leading to the launch of AquaSpark – the first global investment fund dedicated to sustainable aquaculture – in 2013.
Amy serves on the boards of eFishery, Energaia, and Xpert Sea.
In today’s episode, we discuss the aquaculture industry and the need for its transition into a more sustainable food supply. A natural-born change agent, Amy recounts her odyssey journey starting out early in her career in activist theater which she soon felt was too indulgent. She then did an about-face and worked at a series of jobs, first with a think tank, and moving later to co-found the Social Policy Action Network with the objective of impacting culture. This ultimately led to a number of television-related media projects and eventually landing at the TED conferences.
Amy explains the challenges that the sustainable aquaculture sector faces and the increasing role of technology in finding sustainable aquaculture solutions. We discuss Aqua-Spark’s theory of change and the eight components they use to measure their sustainability. She speaks about AquaSpark’s ecosystem approach to portfolio management, how they select their investments, their due diligence process, examples of investments they’ve made and much more.
Show notes: https://sri360.com/podcast/amy-novogratz
About the SRI 360° Podcast: The SRI 360° Podcast is focused exclusively on sustainable & responsible investing. In each episode, Scott Arnell interviews a world-class investor who is an accomplished practitioner from all asset classes. In my interviews, I cover everything from their early personal journeys—and what motivated and attracted them to commit their life energy to SRI—to insights on how they developed and executed their investment strategies and what challenges they face today. Each episode is a chance to go way below the surface with these impressive people and gain additional insights and useful lessons from professional investors.
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