Nordic's largest climate tech conference, The Drop, was hosted in Malmö, southern Sweden
The Drop is a climate tech conference, on 21st September 2022 in Malmo, Sweden. It takes place in Lokstallarna, a restored railway workshop dating back over 100 years. It is co-organised by European climate venture capital fund Pale blue dot, brand studio Revolt, local grassroots organization Skane Startups, and it is funded by the European Regional Development Fund via Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Almi, Malmo Stad, Region Skåne, and Event in Skåne, with foundational sponsor venture capital fund 2150.
The Drop is a climate tech unconference: a place where climate minds meet, learn and collaborate. It is designed for people who want to meet and learn from the founders, investors and climate experts who are driving solutions to the climate crisis forward - and make connections they will carry forward for many years of impact to come.
It is an in-person conference so people can create the depth of connection to unlock a much bigger impact over time: more conversations, more engagement and deeper relationships.
Insights from The Drop
During The Drop, we brought together over 500 best climate founders, leading VCs and LPs, tech talent, and climate scientists to The Drop. The participants listened to:
- 4 fresh take climate keynotes
- 13 panel discussions on the thorniest questions in climate tech
- 8 decentralized ripple sessions - run for and by the leaders of the climate community
The speakers shared many innovative ideas on climate solutions. Here are some valuable takeaways.
Raising public awareness is a big step forward to any climate positive decisions.
Lisen Schultz is the Programme Director for the Stockholm Resilience Centre's executive programme in resilience thinking. She talked about the grand challenges facing humanity, but also at the paths we might take to enable 10 billion people to meet their needs within the capacity of this planet. In particular, she shared about the role of corporate leadership and what we have learned in training CEOs and board chairs of influential companies in understanding and implementing the latest climate science.
Changes happen in many aspects of society. Raising awareness of each individual is equally important as involving large corporations. Staffan Qvist, a Swedish engineer and consultant to clean energy projects around the world, shared challenges in reducing fossil fuels despite the strong awareness of the negative impact of fossil fuels from the public.
His presentation explored the question of whether there is a way we can avoid the loss of existing significant fossil plants and investments, the loss of local jobs, and negative economic impacts, while avoiding emissions and enabling a more cost-effective and rapid transition to a sustainable energy system.Transforming existing fossil energy stations is a good way to solve the problem because it’s not just a scientific choice, it’s also a humanized choice.
Utilizing existing resources to reduce CO2 in atmosphere
Raffael Jovine, Founder & Chief Scientist of Brilliant Planet, gave a wonderful speech on an incredible solution that can solve the problems of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. The idea is to utilize hot deserts and oceans, which cover a large part of the earth, to reduce the CO2. It’s such a cost efficient idea, and it’s already put into practice.
Specifically, he showed the audience how to bring the power of the ocean to land while deacidifying very large volumes of seawater to pre-industrial levels. With a little local help, a combination of abundant seawater and nutrients from the ocean, sun, land, and a small amount of renewable energy, natural microalgae in coastal deserts can sequester CO2 at gigaton scales. Importantly, this can be done in a truly additive way that does not deplete or displace ecosystem services or other resources.
There’s always risk in any revolution
In one of the panel discussion on employee activism, hosted by Heidi Lindvall, GP of Pale Blue Dot, Alex Wright Gladstein Founder of Sphere, Maren Costa, Co founder of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, talked about employees should dare to take the risks if they want changes, because changes come with risk. Working with internal communication can increase the chance to succeed. They also need to be honest with organizers and yourself what kind of risk they’re willing to take. Silence will always benefit those in power. Now it's a good time to create movements inside of companies and organizations and speak up for climate.
With increasing interest in talents who want to work in the climate space. Many companies need both impact-driven and purpose-driven employees. Certain skills are scarce in big, powerful corporations. If you have one of those skills, you have huge leverage. But the companies also check if the candidates align with the climate positive values. There are things to be noted that, during the hiring process while the team grows, the hiring methods will be different.
Vegan snacks, Fika, and Networking
Lokstallarna venue itself reflects the theme of the event—climate and sustainability. The venue was refreshing as it combined modern, elegant string design with existing train repair infrastructure, pipes, screws and springs coming off the ground.
At The Drop, fika, lunch, and local snacks sampling were offered. Every guest had two free lunch choices. During the sampling session, we proudly offered local food and snacks for the guests. Many suppliers were Skåne based startups that are socially and environmentally sustainable.
For example, BettaF!sh makes seaweed-based fish alternatives, allowing consumers to save the ocean while enjoying their favorite foods. With BettaF!sh, coastal communities can continue their livelihoods with regenerative and sustainable seaweed cultivation instead of fishing. SimplyNowaste’s mission is to develop and produce the best products from current market byproducts. This is their contribution to the fight against food waste and fight for the planet.
The dinner is hosted by Yalla Trappan, a work-integrating social enterprise and women's cooperative that started in Rosengård in Malmö in 2010. Their goal is to create job opportunities for foreign-born women with little or no work experience and contribute to increased self-esteem and independence.
Being a volunteer was a great way to experience The Drop. Volunteers can network amongst some of the leaders in the field and be part of the inaugural event. They can also work with incredibly ambitious, curious, and driven people in the venture capital and climate sector.
Many of these volunteers are young, ambitious and driven students from Malmö University and Lund University. Not only did they support the preparation, registration, cloakroom, stage management and every other part throughout the event, they also brought warm hospitality and positive energy during the day.
Thank you volunteers! We look forward to teaming with you again and continuing to make a difference for the community.
Many top climate tech investors have participated the Drop. Below is a list of investors who are happy to share their contact information: