2021 Bloomberg New Economy Catalyst Agenda

All times for the following event are in EDT – Eastern Daylight Time

June 30 - Wednesday

5:00 am


Overview: Climate change, environmental degradation, and poverty are global challenges in need of global solutions. But in much of the world, and especially in the world’s developing countries, these challenges are perceived as a tradeoff: preserve the natural environment and help the climate or grow the economy and create jobs and livelihoods. But does green technology offer the promise of a third way? Can more investment in green technology reduce emissions and also promote growth and human development in the emerging world? In this discussion, we’ll meet the entrepreneurs — from places ranging from Sierra Leone to Finland — creating the emerging green tech that can help protect the planet while creating jobs and prosperity.

Opening Remarks

Michael R. Bloomberg

Founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies; Three-Term Mayor of New York City
5:05 am

Getting to Net Zero: The Warning from Covid


Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

Mayor , Freetown, Sierra Leone

Sarah Hanson-Young

Senator for South Australia

Ma Jun

Founding Director , Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs
5:30 am

What's Next in Green Technology

5:35 am

Africa’s New Solar Grid

In Africa, where half the population lacks access to power, inexpensive solar-powered microgrids offer the promise of development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from burning wood and crop waste. Easy Solar makes solar energy accessible and available in Sierra Leone and Liberia.


Nthabiseng Mosia

Co-Founder , Easy Solar
5:45 am

The Robots Cleaning Rivers and Oceans

Plastic waste is choking our waterways and harbors. Eight million tons end up in our oceans each year, killing wildlife and poisoning the food supply. A lasting solution will require bold policy innovations, industrial curbs and lifestyle changes. Meanwhile, there’s an urgent need for clean-up efforts. BluePhin Technologies developed six prototype robots that, when deployed, pull plastic waste out of the ocean.  Now, founder Simran Chowdhry is adapting the robots’ waste-detection algorithm to be able to filter out liquid waste like oil and algae.


Simran Chowdhry

Co-Founder , BluePhin Technologies
5:54 am

Betting on Biocarbon

What if…we could remove a gigaton of carbon from the atmosphere by 2030?


Henrietta Moon

Co-Founder and CEO , Carbo Culture
6:00 am


Overview: How will the world feed nine billion mouths by 2050 without hastening climate catastrophe? Plant-based dairy and meat alternatives are part of the answer. Gene-editing has the potential to improve crop quality and yields. But farming practices must also be made more sustainable. Technology is the key. Just as cloud-based agricultural data has revolutionized industrial farming in the developed world, it must be made to work for smallholders in Africa, China and elsewhere.

Opening Remarks

6:02 am

Feeding the World While Healing the Planet

Can we develop and scale technologies to grow and distribute nutritious food in the right places, using the right methods, while minimizing the enormous impact of food production on the environment? How should farmers be incentivized to adopt sustainable practices?


Sara Menker

CEO and Founder , Gro Intelligence


Carol Massar

Co-Anchor , Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Television and Radio
6:22 am

Planting the Seeds of a Green Food Revolution

A food revolution is under way. A sign of the times: The new menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan is meatless. Switching to a plant-based diet is a powerful step that individuals can take to save the planet; it would reduce emissions, save water, relieve pressure on the land and cut pollutants. NotCo uses AI to reverse engineer animal products and recreate them using a combination of plant-based ingredients. The goal is to produce a lineup of plant-based dairy and meat alternatives that taste closer to the real thing.


Matias Muchnick

Founder and CEO , NotCo


Andrew Browne

Editorial Director, Bloomberg New Economy
6:35 am

High-Tech Farming: From Old MacDonald to MacAir

Agricultural best practices in advanced economies revolve around big data, genomics and AI.  Our catalysts are deploying these technologies in emerging markets, with the aim to make farming in the developing world more productive, competitive and sustainable. The goal: to turn smallholder farmers into tech entrepreneurs.


Justin Gong

Co-Founder , XAG

Alloysius Attah

Co-Founder and CEO , Farmerline
6:55 am

The Big Catch: Lab-Grown Seafood

What if…cell-based crab meat, grown in a lab, could sustainably source enough protein to satisfy the world’s growing demand for seafood?


Sandhya Sriram

Co-Founder and CEO , Shiok Meats
6:59 am

Closing Remarks

7:00 am

End Part 1 Program

10:00 am


Overview: From Latin America to Asia, innovators are challenging the financial status quo. Cryptocurrencies aim to rival the dollar and other “fiat” currencies. Smartphones and apps are offering services to customers that banks too often neglect. The entrepreneurs scaling these innovations are offering financial inclusions to the under-banked and the un-banked, the poor and the disenfranchised. In the digital age there’s both profit and purpose in reaching the masses at the bottom of the financial pyramid. Are digital currencies the future of money — or better yet, a means to achieve greater financial inclusion? At the heart of the debate around the future of crypto and digital currencies is a question of who controls the future of money: private actors and individuals, or governments and central banks.

Opening Remarks

Michael R. Bloomberg

Founder of Bloomberg L.P. & Bloomberg Philanthropies and Three-term Mayor of New York City
10:05 am

The Making of a Southeast Asian Fintech Giant

Ride-hailing firms are pivoting into all-in-one super-apps, leveraging their seamless payments systems. Nowhere are the opportunities greater than in Southeast Asia, which has a population of 600 million — many of them unbanked. Singapore-based Grab has expanded from its delivery and ride-hailing origins, into a fintech company, with a range of consumer financial, payments and microlending services. Could this expansion into financial services fuel faster growth in Southeast Asia’s red-hot digital commerce sector?


Anthony Tan

Co-Founder and Group CEO , Grab


Haslinda Amin

Chief International Correspondent for Southeast Asia , Bloomberg Television
10:22 am

Ideals vs. Pragmatism: The Future of Crypto

Sam Bankman-Fried is a billionaire, but he shares a Hong Kong apartment with roommates – and occasionally sleeps on a beanbag in his office. The Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange that he founded, FTX, has already had a very big year processing digital currency and crypto derivative trades. Its next frontier: tokenized stocks.


Sam Bankman-Fried

Founder and CEO , FTX


Tracy Alloway

Executive Editor , Bloomberg
10:35 am

Challenging the Banking Status Quo in Latin America

About half the population of Latin America has no access to financial products, according to the World Bank. Its traditional banking system is associated with high fees and difficult-to-obtain lines of credit. Sao Paulo-based Nubank has spent eight years challenging those banks, and now offers banking and financial services to more than 25 million users.


Cristina Junqueira

Co-Founder , Nubank


Felipe Marques

Wealth Reporter , Bloomberg News
10:45 am

Blockchain and the Future of African Finance

Covid-19 has led to historic portfolio outflows from emerging and frontier markets. Pushing in the other direction is Kenya-based AZA, which facilitates low-cost, digital currency trading solutions using blockchain. AZA hopes to make it easier to do business in Africa and other frontier markets.


Elizabeth Rossiello

Founder and CEO , AZA Finance


Caroline Hyde

Anchor , Bloomberg Television
10:55 am

Enabling the First All-Crypto Economy

What if…you could build an entirely crypto-based economy in Venezuela, where Stablecoins replaced the volatile bolivar, becoming the primary form of payment for consumers, merchants, and suppliers?


Simon Chamorro

CEO and Co-Founder , Valiu
11:00 am


Overview: How could a life-sciences revolution transform our approach to disease…and human existence itself? What are the implications for humanity if we have the power to overrule natural selection?

Opening Remarks


Caroline Hyde

Anchor , Bloomberg Television
11:15 am

Fighting Cancer with CRISPR

What if we could arm cells with the tools they need to eliminate certain types of cancer? That is the ultimate end goal for Caribou Biosciences, a Berkeley, California-based genome-editing biopharmaceutical company.


Rachel Haurwitz

President and CEO , Caribou Biosciences
11:25 am

Unlocking Africa’s DNA Secrets to Improve Medicine Around the World

54gene wants to take on inequality in precision medicine, by building a genomic dataset across Africa. The company hopes to uncover some of the factors driving disease across the continent’s genetically diverse population.


Abasi Ene-Obong

Founder and CEO , 54gene


Naomi Kresge

Journalist , Bloomberg
11:35 am

Flight of the Drones Brings Better Health Screening to Africa

After her mother died of cancer, Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa vowed to bring better early screening and detection capabilities to remote areas in her native Uganda. The result has been Chil Lab, which uses drones and mobile technology to transport patient samples to the hospital for testing.


Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa

Founder and Executive Director , Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab


Carol Massar

Co-Anchor , Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Television and Radio
11:45 am

The Unlimited Potential of Messenger RNA


Noubar Afeyan

Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna; Founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering
11:59 am

Closing Remarks


Caroline Hyde

Anchor , Bloomberg Television
12:00 pm

End Part 2 Program

8:00 pm


Overview: Covid-19 has supercharged a transition to e-commerce, with profound implications for the future of cities, labor practices, business competition, and the environment. How will e-commerce giants use their digital power to reshape the global economy? Will the winner-take-all model collide with a growing grass-root movement around the world for economic justice and social equity? How can governments and regulators ensure that in a digital future, all citizens are winners?

Opening Remarks

Michael R. Bloomberg

Founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies; Three-Term Mayor of New York City
8:02 pm

The 21st Century Consumer

The rapid adoption and use of e-commerce during Covid is transforming life in both advanced and emerging economies. How will these technologies reshape cities? And what happens if brick-and-mortar retail outlets disappear, taking the jobs they supply with them?

8:20 pm

Buy Now, Pay Later: Financing the Gen Z Consumer


Nick Molnar

Co-Founder and Co-CEO , Afterpay


Andrew Browne

Editorial Director, Bloomberg New Economy
8:35 pm

Radical Chic: A Sustainable and Transparent Fashion Supply Chain


Ankiti Bose

Co-Founder and CEO , Zilingo
8:54 pm

Shrinking Urban Spaces: The One-Minute City

What if…we could all live in one-minute cities, with access to everything we need on our doorstep?


Kieran Long

Director , ArkDes
9:00 pm


Overview: Some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs are conquering space. Soon, they will offer the thrill of “space tourism’, and in the more distant future even the prospect of colonies on Mars. Meanwhile, low-cost rocket launches are enabling a host of technologies to improve life on earth, from monitoring the effects of climate change, to predicting disease hot-spots, and combating hunger through precision agriculture. The next breakthroughs may come in space-based manufacturing and orbiting solar power stations. Which vision of space will prevail? Is it an escape from earth’s existential problem, or the solution?

Opening Remarks

9:02 pm

The Middle East Looks From the Desert to the Stars

After leading the UAE’s Mars Mission early this year, HE Sarah Al Amiri is turning her attention to building a collaborative ecosystem for space research and development, and looking into how space-enabled technologies can be applied to real-world challenges.


H.E. Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri

Minister of State for Advanced Technology, United Arab Emirates; Chairwoman, UAE Space Agency


Manus Cranny

Anchor , Bloomberg Television
9:15 pm

The Down-to-Earth Applications of Space

The application of space technology could have widespread benefits for emerging economies. Danielle Wood is focused on using space technologies to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Danielle Wood

Director of the Space Enabled Research Group , MIT Media Lab


Andrew Browne

Editorial Director, Bloomberg New Economy
9:25 pm

The Space Startup Connecting Everyone and Everything on the Planet

Swarm Technologies offers internet of things satellite service for as little as $5 a month, and the application of its IoT-enabled ‘Swarm tiles’ offers a multitude of uses, including water and crop yield monitoring, emergency response services and whale tracking.


Sara Spangelo

Co-Founder and CEO , Swarm
9:35 pm

The German Rocket Startup Disrupting the Space Launch Industry


Daniel Metzler

Co-Founder and CEO , Isar Aerospace
9:50 pm

The World from Space: A Conversation with an Orbiting Astronaut


Megan McArthur

Astronaut , NASA
9:56 pm

Closing Remarks

10:00 pm

Program Concludes