May 2, 2023
The Winners Were Announced Today at the AI For the Planet Global Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City
Albo Climate Created a New Paradigm of Transparency and Scalability in Nature-Based Climate Solutions with State-of-the-Art Remote Sensing Technology for Monitoring Carbon Removal and Land Use
Conservation X Labs Aims to Help Every Conservationist on the Planet Achieve Their Impact Goals by Building Useful and Scalable Technologies
Husk Power Systems Powers Rural Communities across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with Renewable, Affordable, and Reliable Mini-Grids and Energy Services
BOSTON—Eighty-seven percent of public- and private-sector leaders who oversee climate and artificial intelligence (AI) topics believe that AI is an asset in the fight against climate change. But there are numerous roadblocks to implementation at scale, from inadequate funding and training to lack of access to decision-makers. The AI for the Planet Alliance, a multidisciplinary global platform to drive AI solutions for climate change at scale, is providing the critical support necessary to overcome some of those challenges and today it announced the winners of their first Call for Solutions competition.
The winners were announced at the Artificial Intelligence for the Planet: Solutions for Climate and People Global Conference, an event co-organized by the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, co-hosted by BCG X, the tech build and design unit of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Startup Inside, and AI for Good with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT).
Bringing together climate AI leaders and innovators from around world, the conference fostered dialogue between key actors, highlighted how different ecosystems are taking action, and identified key climate priorities. The conference took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and was a side event of the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Forum, a leading forum at the United Nations focused on science, technology, and innovation cooperation in support of Sustainable Development Goals.
The inaugural Call for Solutions competition kicked off in June 2022 and invited organizations to propose innovative AI projects to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience challenges. Contestants entered submissions spanning several disciplines ranging from biotechnologies, climate risk, energy optimization, greenhouse gas emissions baselining, waste management and monitoring, and policy tools. The submissions covered every maturity stage, with 78% of them integrating a Global South context in their design, 49% already being commercially available, and 51% being at least partially open source.
“We are enthusiastic about the winning startups of the competition demonstrating that the potential of AI to lessen climate change is huge. Our goal is to support the most promising AI climate change solutions worldwide and accelerate their scale across the Global North and South. We are proud to welcome and award the winning startups at the United Nations Headquarters for the third global conference AI for the Planet.”
—Damien Gromier, founder of AI for the Planet, and CEO and cofounder of Startup Inside.
The Call for Solutions Prize Winners:
Albo Climate, Israel, awarded the BCG X Acceleration Strategy Project Prize and the IBM Coaching Prize
Husk Power Systems, USA, awarded a technology prize from a leading technology company
Conservation X Labs, USA, awarded the BootstrapLabs Mentorship Prize
The contestants were evaluated by a jury made up of AI for the Planet Alliance steering committee and advisory board members. Information about the advisory board and its members can be viewed here.
Descriptions of the winners’ submissions, as well as how their projects help the climate and leverage AI and analytics can be viewed here.
Watch this short video to learn more about the Call for Solutions competition and winners. “Despite facing disproportionate impacts of climate change, the Global South plays a critical role in shaping a sustainable and resilient future. With their groundbreaking approach to nature-based carbon offsetting, Albo Climate is setting the standard for precise and effective climate mitigation strategies across diverse ecosystems, helping to secure a future flow of capital from the emitters to the communities who deploy climate positive actions.” —Hamid Maher, managing director and partner at BCG X and member of the AI for the Planet Alliance steering committee.
“At BootstrapLabs we have invested in artificial intelligence applications for the core pillars of our society since 2015. Both climate and energy are fundamentally important to our future as a species on this planet. Nurturing the diversity of nature and our planet is part of this, and Conservation X Labs has taken a very interesting approach to applying AI and data to not only solving problems, but also to contributing to the long tail of innovation around this important challenge.” —Nicolai Wadstrom, CEO/GP/founder, BootstrapLabs and member of the AI for the Planet Alliance advisory board.
“IBM has a long history of environmental leadership. Not only do we seek to operate our business in ways that can minimize the impact on our planet’s ecosystems, we also help our clients use technology to drive their sustainability goals. To continue driving this mission, we look for causes that support sustainability and innovative ways that companies are approaching decarbonization, climate risk modeling, and monitoring. IBM is proud to grant our prize to Albo Climate, and we are committed to coaching promising startups and partners to explore technology synergies in the AI domain, from embeddable AI to foundation models.” —Christina Shim, vice president, global head of Product Management and Strategy, IBM Sustainability Software and member of the AI for the Planet Alliance advisory board.
ABOUT THE AI FOR THE PLANET ALLIANCE AI for the Planet is an alliance created by Startup Inside, with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and BCG X as knowledge partners, and in collaboration with the AI for Good Foundation; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT).
It is a unique, multidisciplinary, and diverse coalition intended to: 1. Promote innovation in applying advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to climate challenges, supported by global experts from academia, startups, and the public and private sectors; 2. Act as a global platform for identifying and prioritizing the leading tools and use cases for AI in addressing the climate crisis; 3. Identify and champion the most promising solutions for addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation and resilience, especially in the Global South, offering the solutions visibility and recognition; 4. Ensure impact at scale through concrete and measurable actions, such as building access to funding and to practitioners on the ground; and 5. Facilitate the development of networks between project teams, investors, and experts in the field—including startups, corporations, and the public sector.
ABOUT BCG X BCG X is the tech build & design unit of BCG. Turbocharging BCG’s deep industry and functional expertise, BCG X brings together advanced tech knowledge and ambitious entrepreneurship to help organizations enable innovation at scale. With nearly 3,000 technologists, scientists, programmers, engineers, and human-centered designers located across 80+ cities, BCG X builds and designs platforms and software to address the world’s most important challenges and opportunities. Teaming across our practices, and in close collaboration with our clients, our end-to-end global team unlocks new possibilities. Together we’re creating the bold and disruptive products, services, and businesses of tomorrow.
ABOUT BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.