From 27 to 29 June 2023, Therme Group participated in the World Economic Forum’s 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China. Representing Therme Group and the impact investment initiative, Impact One, Mikolaj Sekutowicz spoke at the convening that drew together 1,500 global leaders from business, government, civil society and international organisations, as well as innovators and academics. Stakeholders from around the world returned to the tradition of the Forum’s “Summer Davos” on this year’s theme of Entrepreneurship: The Driving Force of the Global Economy.
Opening the annual meeting, Li Qiang, the Premier of the People's Republic of China, welcomed participants and set the tone of the convening:
Li Qiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China © Copyright: World Economic Forum/Benedikt von Loebell.
Increasingly competitive geopolitical and geo-economic environments pose major challenges for decision-makers to make progress on critical common goals, such as energy transition and safeguarding nature and climate. As various crises continue to impact the global economy, the annual meeting highlighted the urgent need for global collaboration and innovative, yet practical solutions. Recognising these global challenges, Impact One is working towards implementing scalable and evidence-based solutions for promoting social and economic models for healthy, climate-positive urban living. By introducing a new asset class of Wellbeing Infrastructure, Impact One looks to create a balance between nature and contemporary urban life.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Geneva stated:
Klaus Schwab, Founder, Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum Geneva © Copyright: World Economic Forum/Benedikt von Loebel.
Bringing Impact One’s expertise on nature-positive interventions in cities to the fore, Mikolaj Sekutowicz contributed to the panel Watering the Concrete Jungle: The Growth of Nature-Positive Cities on Tuesday, 27 June 2023. Panellists included Yoo Jeong-Bok, Mayor of South Korea’s Incheon Metropolitan City; Kotchakorn Voraakhom, Chairwoman of the Climate Change Working Group at the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA World); and Xuemei Bai, distinguished Professor for Urban Environment and Human Ecology at the Australian National University. The goal was to propel the conversation on the systemic and economic barriers that continue to hinder urban resilience, liveability, equality and prosperity. The discussion centred on solutions for restoring biodiversity, such as increased tree-canopy cover, green stormwater infrastructure, urban parks and pedestrian streets, and how their implementation can increase social, health and economic benefits with the potential to create more than 59 million jobs worldwide.
Panellists (from left to right): Jennifer Schenker, Journalist at The Innovator (moderator); Yoo Jeong-Bok, Mayor of South Korea’s Incheon Metropolitan City; Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO of Landprocess, Founder of Porous City Network and Chairwoman of Climate Change Working Group at the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA World); Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Vice President of Therme Group; and Xuemei Bai, Distinguished Professor for Urban Environment and Human Ecology at the Australian National University. © Copyright: World Economic Forum/Benedikt von Loebel.
This dialogue was a foundation stone for Therme Group and Impact One’s upcoming partnership with the WEF’s Nature-Positive Cities Agenda and its flagship community, the Global Commission on Nature-Positive Cities, set to begin in autumn 2023. The commission addresses shared urban development challenges and taps into the power of trusted public-private interaction to design the cities of the future. Cities that will assume a regenerative approach towards nature and see ecosystem health as an imperative condition for business competitiveness and urban life. Through the commission, solution-oriented dialogues and public-private collaborations will convene to address the most pressing urban challenges through nature, showing that it is socially desirable, financially viable and environmentally urgent to deliver nature-positive cities.
Underpinning Therme Group and Impact One’s outlook on urban transformation is the idea that environmental compensation for the development of any infrastructure must be taken into consideration during every phase of its conception. Mikolaj Sekutowicz explained: