As a native New Yorker with strong ties to Scotland, I eagerly anticipated Climate Week NYC, and I can confidently say that it lived up to my expectations. Thanks to the exceptional organisation by the team at Scottish Development International, our group of innovative scaling businesses had the opportunity to attend a range of well-curated events, such as WWF Nest and Climate Group. These events kept us fully engaged throughout the week.
Here are some of my reflections on the week:
One of the standout aspects of the events was the balanced mix of participants, including investors, SMEs, corporates, and NGOs.
While many “main events” featured strong corporate speakers, I couldn’t help but notice that some of these sessions were high-level and potentially lacked the action-oriented focus that was the call to action of the week.
Most events required an invitation to attend, which was fantastic if you were invited. However, for those seeking to attend without an invitation, it proved challenging to find ways to join in. Even when fully booked, these were often not fully attended.
Smaller, More Effective:
Personally, I found the smaller events to be the most effective. They were more tailored, facilitated easier networking, led to clearer outcomes, and often took place in interesting parts of the city, like Hell’s Kitchen, the Village, and Little Italy.
Embrace Comfortable Footwear:
Bring your walking shoes – and a strong umbrella! The weather varies from excellent sunshine to very heavy rain and with walking being the nicest way to see the city, sore wet feet are an inevitable consequence.
Throughout the week, I attended approximately nine events, including three major open events and six closed ones. I also arranged six to seven formal one-on-one meetings and engaged in numerous short conversations during conferences. People were incredibly approachable, helpful, and eager to engage. Notably, investors were readily accessible, direct, and well-aware of the importance and growth of biochar and biogas, even though there wasn’t a dedicated event or focus on this vital aspect of our energy and circular economy transition.
Would I come back? In a heartbeat! The city’s ambiance, venues, culinary delights, and vibrant atmosphere were outstanding. The amount of quality contacts is unrivalled. Perhaps next year we can create some focusing more on the biogas transition.
Challenges? The cost of accommodation, often reaching $800-900 per night without advance booking, and the high price of food, including a staggering $19 for a 3/4 pint, may deter some potential attendees. Additionally, there was a notable presence of senior corporate speakers conveying similar messages, which didn’t necessarily align with the “action” theme of the event. Lastly, helping delegates access closed or lesser-known smaller events could enhance the overall experience.
In sum, Climate Week NYC was a blast but exhausting. I walked easily 20-25k steps a day, oh and the plant based food at events was excellent.
We are buzzing to have pitched at the Scottish Development International Climate Week NYC event, where we had the opportunity to present our vision to venture capitalists and Scotland’s First Minister, HumzaYousaf. We also had the pleasure of meeting many talented businesses and knowledgeable investors who share our passion for sustainability.
To those we met during the week, you know who you are. Let’s continue working together to make a positive impact.
Stay tuned for more updates from Carbogenics as we continue our mission to drive sustainability and innovation forward. Together, we can create a greener, more sustainable future.