Born in Shillong, located in the highlands of Meghalaya in northeast India, I left home at 17 on a mission: to see sustainable development driven and practiced across the planet. My experience at the 1995 UN 50th Anniversary Assembly in New York left me convinced that helping people build a better life through social, environmental, and economic development was what I wanted to do.
I joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and worked on the Gulf of Mannar biodiversity protection project in Tamil Nadu. This led to a move to New York to join the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), where I worked with the 9 Major Groups of Agenda 21 created at Rio Earth Summit.
My Prime Minister in India appointed me as the official Youth Representative to the UN Millennium Summit, where I addressed world leaders at the 2000 Millennium Assembly. I later joined the Environment Department of the World Bank and worked on linking poverty reduction and environmental management by analysing policy challenges and opportunities.
What do you do at ReGen Future Capital?
As Director of Partnerships, my role at ReGen Future Capital is that of a bridge-builder. My goal is to create long-term business relationships with mission aligned funding agencies and like-minded organisations and help to implement regenerative projects around the world.
What attracted you to ReGen Future Capital?
I was attracted to work at ReGen Future Capital by the young and dynamic team, which is led by a dedicated and experienced founder. ReGen Future Capital always puts tangible impact at the core of its efforts, and I was really attracted to the idea of coming on board to join this amazing team of changemakers.
What do you see as the power of ReGen Future Capital’s mission?
ReGen Future Capital has a pioneering strategy – seeking to restore the balance on Planet Earth by building a robust, regenerative economy. The biggest strength of ReGen Future Capital is its mission to create a paradigm shift in the way we do business with our planet and how we measure our impact; it is a mission which is currently unique in the business sphere.
How should the investment community respond to the climate crisis?
In order to respond to the climate crisis, it is imperative that the investment community shifts its current investment focus to fresh, innovative and progressive projects. This rethinking business as usual is what will allow us to reconnect people with planet, restore ecosystems, and regenerate natural capital.
Is it possible to redefine capitalism and rethink ‘business as usual’?
I believe that the only businesses that will survive in the future are those that have integrated Total Accounting Frameworks into their core business strategy, thereby measuring their impact on the 6 capitals (financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and natural) through their entire supply chain. Indeed, it is only by a shift away from the “business as usual” approach that we can move closer towards a fully regenerative economy, thereby restoring the balance on earth.
Why is it important to reconnect humanity with nature?
I believe we need to shift the level of consciousness globally by reconnecting humanity with nature, even more so in a post COVID-19 world.
The extractive capitalist system has uprooted humans from valuing and appreciating nature, and the vital, life-supporting ecosystem services that it provides. The unsustainable production and consumption of goods and services since the era of the industrial revolution have depleted our natural resources.
It is therefore essential that we fundamentally change our relationship with nature now – before our planet moves ever closer to its tipping point.
What excites you about regenerative investment?
I believe that our only hope to restore the balance on earth for generations to come is by focussing all our resources on regenerative investments. I am glad that ReGen Future Capital has developed extensive regenerative investment programmes, with a plan to roll out low-carbon technologies and share profits between investors and projects. It is ideas like this which will help to restore and protect natural resources at scale.
How do you think the conversation on climate has changed?
We have seen an enormous shift take place in recent years – the conversation on climate has moved from the sidelines to front and centre of the agenda. The impact we all have on our planet has truly entered the public consciousness for the first time.
Thanks to the leadership and commitment of young people like Greta Thunberg from all over the world, we are no longer just talking about addressing climate change – we are actually taking the action necessary to tackle the climate emergency which faces us all. More and more cities and countries are under pressure to act and have now declared their own climate emergencies.
What keeps you hopeful that we can tackle the climate emergency?
It is essential that we capitalise on the momentum created at a global scale by these dedicated young people. One way we can achieve this is to convert it into real, tangible projects on the ground through the means of regenerative finance and investment. Because of the actions taken by these young people to hold their political leaders accountable, I am hopeful that we can tackle the climate emergency by meaningfully engaging them as our partners on the ground.
Finally, what do you want to contribute as an individual and a business?
For the last 25 years of my life I have been working on the ground building projects to restore and regenerate degraded ecosystems. These projects have covered natural environments from mountains to oceans and from deserts to forests working in partnership with local communities and indigenous peoples in countries all over the world.
After meeting the ReGen Future Capital team and understanding the mission, I felt that I have finally found my mothership to bring on board all the regenerative projects that I have been working on – now we have the opportunity to scale them up at the rapid pace which is required to tackle the climate emergency. My mission is to plant one billion mangrove trees by 2030 and drawdown one billion tons of CO2 from our planet’s atmosphere. I believe we can achieve this goal using the ReGen Future Capital regenerative investment and that would bring the ultimate fulfilment for me on a personal level.