Interview With Marc Buckley: UN SDG, WEF, Tech, Sustainability & Cities of Tomorrow

By Hernaldo Turrillo - Apr 08, 2020

Marc Buckley, ESG Sustainability Advisor, Activist, WEF Expert and Resilient Futurist  is interviewed by Dinis Guarda in this new series for citiesabc. In their dialogue, sustainability, environment and the role of technology collides as the answers to make the world a better place for future generations. In this context, cities are key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, since they are the main scenario where human interactions take place. Marc believes that it is in cities that this change should occur: “We need to create a resilient infrastructure through emerging technologies to be prepared for the future.”

Marc Buckley defines himself as a global citizen. He has traveled around the world to spread the ideas of sustainability, social awareness, equality and how important emerging technologies are to improve people's quality of life and be respectful of the environment. As an advocate activist, Marc told us that “one of the best things that has happened recently is the historical and unprecedented Paris Agreement signed in 2016.” There, some 195 countries officially acknowledged global warming and the need to pursue active measures to keep global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

Cities can be the perfect scenarios where new environmental policies can thrive and have a high degree of success. According to Marc Buckley, we have seen this across different cities around the world with policies regarding water filtering to collect water, creating new green spaces to set up communal gardens and rooftop gardens, or leveraging clean and renewable energy through solar panels. “Self sufficient cities are possible. We have the technology, the innovative techniques. We only need a better degree of collaboration between entrepreneurs, local authorities and inhabitants to make it happen.”

But for Marc Buckley, additional actions are needed to truly achieve global change, especially in times of crisis like this. The coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is putting so much pressure on healthcare systems and society as a whole, while making clear we were not ready for something like this. According to Marc Buckley: “If the world, healthcare systems and cities infrastructure would have been better prepared, they would be more resilient to this type of virus pandemic.” However, technology has helped us keep the world economy in motion while most of us need to stay at home to comply with self-isolation measures. “The world needs to function always. That is why it is so important to have digital tools - robots, automation, AI, IoT, in place.”

Technology, for instance, is also an important aspect of Marc’s thinking. As a food reformist, Marc Buckley believes that our current agriculture models are long outdated. In his reform, cities can play a role upgrading the agriculture model. “Agriculture is critical in times like this, but it is always forgotten [by decision makers]. We need to leverage new food models to create a resilient infrastructure through emerging technologies to be prepared for the future”. 

Marc has been involved in Climate Activism for a long time and he was one of the first to be trained by Al Gore. As a Climate Speaker he has made getting through the Climate Crisis towards Resilient Desirable Futures his life's work. He is an Advocate for the SDG's, UN Advisor as a Resilient Futurist, Social Innovation, Climate Change, Agriculture, Food, and Beverage Expert Network member of the World Economic Forum, Global Food Reformist, and Sustainable Futurist, Marc is on a mission to empower billions of global citizens to live an adaptive lifestyle of health and sustainability within planetary boundaries.

His aim is to reform the agriculture, food and beverage industry with impactful projects and moonshot companies. For example, he teaches and speaks worldwide on climate change and food reform. Marc has also taught entrepreneurs how to build and grow resilient, sustainable, and profitable businesses.

The most prominent examples are ALOHAS Resilience Foundation and the global project the ALOHAS ECO-Center. The ALOHAS ECO-Center is a sustainable food and beverage production company that creates renewable energy and resources without fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, or waste. As an expert on sustainable development, Marc consults for companies in their renewable transition with specialisation in innovative systems, recycling, packaging, and organic, raw, and vegan products.

As a Social Serial Entrepreneur, he has been involved in many companies as well as several international family businesses: indeed he comes from five generations of Germanys largest organic farmers and three generations of European Hydroponic Agronomists.

Marc is a Systems Thinker and Dynamic Systems Modeler with a deep understanding of the Exponential Function, Science, and Maths. He is a Blue Economy developer who graduated Summa Cum Laude and has completed degrees at several institutions.

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