Ben Banerjee

Info
Сareer/Professional experience:

Serial Entrepreneur. Created and co-founded a few International Organisations.

Respected Thought Leader on Impact Investment and Climate Change.

Expert on Investments and anticipation of crises and flow of Events on the macro-economic level.

Speaker at International Events on Impact of Investment, Climate Change and economical and social impacts of new technologies like Blockchain.

Advisor to a few world leaders and governments on Macro-economic, Financial, and Investment policies.

Well connected to and advising few world leaders on the flow of events and policy changes.

Guest of Honor to President Obama’s Second Inauguration Ball.

Personal awards and excellences:

Active as an Impact investor and Thought Leader for more than two decades.

Country:
Switzerland
Location:
Switzerland
Followers count:
Description

Hi, I'm Ben,

President of Swiss Impact Investment Association (siia.ch)

Advisory Board Member of Climate Leadership Coalition (clc.fi)

East West Institute (eastwest.ngo)

Senator of World Business Angels Investment Forum (wbaforum.org)

Profile Feed
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Recently I was in a panel discussion with few intellectuals from the US on the topic of whether the US will remain a superpower in 2040. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this choice is in the hand of American voters today, because the internal threat to the US is far greater than the external ones.

For the Conservatives of the US who still live under the delusion that the Republic Party belongs to them, History has some important lessons for them. The fact is that the Republic Party today is a party of (Trump-) loyalists and has turned into a party of Conspiracy believers, white supremacists, anti-democratic and non-tolerant. Clearly marching in the footsteps of Germany of the mid-1930s.

Added to the above, many of the institutions which made the US a superpower for the last 7 decades have been dismantled or severely weakened during the term of President Trump.

My advice to each and every Republican Party member and voters should be to seriously reconsider. Their vote or support to the present Republican Party is the vote for the greatest threat and internal enemy of the US. So it is in their hand, whether the US will remain a Super Power or collapse in complete social, economical, and environmental chaos.

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This project is set up in the name of my sister Joya. Her whole life she supported and helped the poor and underprivileged in India. After a short fight with Covid, she passed away on 29.04.2021

In her memory, we created this Global project. Everyone is welcome to support in any way he or she can. You can do so directly to the projects we are going to list here. We will select the ones which are most effective and efficient and are helping the neediest.

The first Indian foundation we have selected to partner is
Safe in India Foundation (www.safeinindia.org).

They require fund to implement the following plan.

Plans for Covid19 Wave 2: A number of initiatives in pilot/development using our core strengths and partnerships. We are not rushing into quick fixes as many solutions will be needed for several months. We will need to be nimble and flexible to assist in real needs:

1. Set up an Isolation/Assistance Centre (“Bachao Ghar”) in Naharpur village, Manesar (near Gurgaon; population c.150,000) with basic medical equipment for workers who live in crowded rooms/tenements, with separate space and toilets for women, community kitchen, etc in coordination with local Sarpanch, police and administration. 

2. Join partner NGOs to set up a call centre that sits in the middle of workers and doctors to improve coordination, provide reliable latest information/advice on disease, equipment, medical facilities available, etc and to refer only the deserving cases to doctors for advice. 

3. Provide an income source to workers through a regular survey programme (“Bolo Toh Jaane”) on ESIC’s Covid services also empowering them with knowledge and helping ESIC react better to Covid19 wave 2 than wave 1: Workers will conduct regular surveys, for which they will be paid, of their fellow workers on ESIC’s services. Quick regular feedback will help millions of workers eg. a better unemployment scheme can disburse Rs 500+ crore rupees compared to INR 50 crores now. 

4. Supply oxygen concentrators/cylinders in areas of dire need: Good quality hardware is needed in areas where mainstream distribution does not reach. 

5. Set up Oxygen generation capacity in ESIC Hospitals as many of them are short in this capacity. Each hospital can serve 0.5m workers. 

Budget and Reporting: The total cost of all the above will be in excess of USD 300'000. Progress will be reported through regular SII blogs/updates, at least monthly.

You can read more on their detailed activities and background here.

For their present requirement, they are looking to buy:
An Oxygen Generation Plant of 200-500 LPM for an ESIC hospital in Manesar that serves more than 0.5m workers and their families and this will give them a long term solution.
All support for procuring this machine is most welcome.

Donations:
All Indian residents: Here you will find all Banking details for your donation.

For all non-Indian residents: You can donate the below amounts, click on the amount, new page will open, scroll it down and click the button PAY.

DONATE NOW CHF10CHF50CHF200CHF500CHF5000CHF50'000

You can also donate directly using the Bank details:
Name: Galileo International Impact Investing Centre, Bundesplatz 6, 6300 Zug, Switzerland
Bank & Account Details: Verein Galileo IIIC, Alternative Bank Schweiz,
IBAN: CH 12 0839 0035 4513 1000 3
BIC (SWIFT-Code): ABSOCH22

Please do write in the Reason: 'Donation for Project Joya'

Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions or advice.

With warm regards,
Ben & Sveta Banerjee

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image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=294&dpx=1&t=1620629080Last week Tuesday I was at a meeting and was listening to H.E. Sanna Marin Prime Minister of Finland, in my opinion, the most courageous and ambitious political leader of Europe in leading her country to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Her conclusion that the whole world should work together on this global crisis hit the point. The issue is that even in Europe, where consensus is far to seek, she stands out strong on principle. Maybe once again Finland will show the way and be at the forefront of Climate Action.

As visible in the UN report, it seems that none of the EU members or the other large Carbon emitter countries have any concrete policy in place which shows that their country will achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030.

Going forward, an old friend, Idar Kreutzer from Finans Norge mentioned that in his opinion, the changes have to take place in 

  • Sustainable finance
  • Public procurement (green and innovative)
  • Green transformation (here not only Technology and Finance is the key, but also the people and their way of life)

It seems that the investments in Carbon absorption activities have doubled compared to the last decade but we still have a long way to go.

Interestingly Marcus Wallenberg mentioned that he foresees that financial institutions like Banks should keep in consideration that soon they will be forced to change faster than they anticipate because of regulatory changes and these new regulations will also prevent ‘green washing’. On other hand, he also mentioned that the financial sector will need support from the government to transform.

But there seems to be one important point missing in all these discussions and that is Nature-based solutions, which we at CLC have chosen it to be one of the key elements to focus on this year. The sorts of alternative solutions being looked into to make us aligned to Paris Agreements are:

  • Solar Economy
  • Hydrogen Economy
  • Circular Economy
  • And Nature-based solutions

Apparently, quite a lot has been achieved since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. Especially there has been progress on low-carbon solutions and markets are transforming faster than most people realize.

The statement of H.E. Jyrki Katainen, whom I had met a few years ago at a UN Climate Summit in NYC that Public financing will not be enough to reach the Paris Agreement is very true. But then I fear that just like the Sub-Prime Crisis, we will end up in a situation when the public money will be used to repair or compensate for the immense damage which is being caused by the wrong investments of the financial sector.

 Thus to summarize, despite the rising awareness and all the scientific reports, the ground-level facts remain as follows.

  • To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030, the Political leaders of each and every country will have to take unprecedented steps, which will mean implementing unpopular policies. 
  • Despite so much movement of funds towards Green and Impact Investment, still little is reaching the actual projects and investment areas and the Co2 emission and damage to the environment is going on at an ever-increasing speed. 
  • And lastly, although our governments and industrial leaders are making the commitments to fulfill the commitments made in the Paris Agreement, the financial sector is investing towards a 5 to 7C rise. A concrete example is that we might all have a strong opinion on the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, but it is our own European Pension Funds that are directly and indirectly responsible for 30% of it.

My conclusion is that the greatest threat to mankind not achieving Paris Agreement is the lack of vision and courage of the present political leaders.

 

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It seems that President Biden has initiated the path to reign in some of the freedoms of the Free Market. In my opinion, for the first time in decades, the western world seems to have a leader who thinks long term. 

Free Market has done many goods but also has brought America and the Western world to the brink of bankruptcy and social collapse.

So as we speak, the followers of the Free economy in the US and the EU are still freely and massively investing and trading with totalitarian countries like China, while inequality is increasing rapidly within its own border. It is today also the main cause of Climate Change and the destruction of Bio-diversity.

In conclusion, President Biden is truly on the right way when he invests in infrastructure, society, and education. And if we want to have a future for ourselves and our children, then it is time that we need to consider moving away from Shareholder Capitalism to Stakeholder and Conscious Capitalism.

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Last Thursday, it was once again a honor to be invited to speak at Horasis, on invitation of Frank-Jürgen Richter .

I had the honor to be included in the list of many distinguished speakers, including my colleague H.E. President Armen Sarkissian (from EastWest Institute).

Looking forward to the next Horasis program when we can take the discussion on Social and Environmental problems further.




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Report from Impact Investors Council

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This article can be seen as a continuation of my previous articles ‘Warnings from History’ and ‘EU-China Investment deal’ where I wrote of the depth EU is prepared to stoop with its behavior towards China. 

By signing the Investment Agreement, the EU offered legitimacy to the Chinese leadership despite all atrocities and crimes committed by them. I remember reading somewhere that Merkel and her cronies are the driving force behind this agreement. One possible reason might be that Merkel’s upbringing in Former East Germany, clouds her understanding of the value of true Freedom and Democracy. Or the greed of selling German Automobiles to China makes her abandon the democratic ideals of European nations? I shudder to think of the third obvious reason.

What still surprised me today is that while the US, UK, and Australia are strongly condemning the reports of systematic rape in the Uighur camps in China, there is (once again) silence from EU leadership. I repeat once again the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr.  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=226&dpx=1&t=1612526566

The day may be arriving soon, when the leadership and elites of EU like Pontius Pilate will be trying to wash their hands from the blood of innocent Tibetans, Uighurs, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Indians, etc……

History is watching!!

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image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=219&dpx=1&t=1612078711Last Friday we had the opportunity to have a discussion with H.E. Prof. Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. It was one of the most educational discussions I have ever had. She is no doubt one of the most learned Politicians I have had the privilege to talk with.

If you are interested in our TV program then you can find all information and recordings of this and other conversations on the website:
https://camomile.ch/page/view-event-profile?id=25
or at
https://ibmtv.tv/title/swiss-impact/

We covered many points. I found one point very interesting, which I will like to summarize here as I believe that it is valid for the whole world, including the Western countries. This point was the reason which makes Mauritius the success story of Africa nearly in every aspect whether social, economic, or ecological.

Apparently, since the independence of the country, the policymakers have focused on two important items. Free education for all and well developed Social Security System.

Free education for all, especially for women has had huge economical and social benefits. Not only did it speed up the transition to a knowledge economy but also brought the population growth under control.

The social security system brought stability and equality. She added that the Policymakers also noticed that a good social security system encourages innovation and incubates entrepreneurship. I know this to be true also in Europe, where one sees the Nordic countries and countries like Switzerland still leading Europe in many sectors. I remembered these being also the same countries relatively least impacted during Financial crisis’s.

In conclusion, I believe that there is a lesson to be learned here, by Policymakers around the world. Especially the so-called Liberal Policymakers in richer parts of Europe who are working hard to demolish its existing Educational and Social Security systems in the name of Globalization. In my opinion, the consequences will weaken Europe’s long term economic perspective but also tear away at its social fiber.

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Dear all,

With this I remind you of our show tomorrow afternoon at 15:00 CET.

This will be a weekly TV show on how Impactful investments and businesses are helping to implement the 17 UN SDG’s worldwide to preserve the world for future generations.

We will be having enlightening and in-depth conversations with newsmakers, celebrities, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, project owners, investors, politicians, business leaders and encourage them to act. We already have a list of amazing people lined up for you for the coming weeks.

We start our program with our dear friends from MAPS (Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) who will be joining in from Canada.

We hope that all of you would be joining us at the show. You will be able to find all information on our show of tomorrow and all the future ones at the link:
https://lnkd.in/dhcKJKZ

Till tomorrow.
With warm regards, Ben

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Yesterday was an unprecedented day in the history of Liberal democracies. The President of the most powerful democracy in the world incited his followers to commit insurrection and lay siege to the Parliament. This act will have far-reaching consequences. This will be debated and discussed by many and to make matters worse, this may be the beginning of a new trend.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=199&dpx=1&t=1610016020I am afraid that going forward, Republicans will try to whitewash (even with using misinformation) and forget the whole incident as quickly as they can. Media giants like Rupert Murdoch have still to learn that the consequences of playing dangerous games for monetary gains, usually take unanticipated turns and never ends well for anyone. The right way to solve this is to bring to justice all those who are directly and indirectly responsible, including the sitting President who initiated it. They should be held responsible for their words and actions and made to pay for all material and immaterial damages. A good place to start is laying claim on Trump’s US$ 200 Million plus Save America PAC Fund.

This event should not be seen as one limited to only the west of the Atlantic. Europe will do better not to sit on its laurels. This event could have as easily, happened here in a country like Germany.

In conclusion, I think that the main lessons to be learned from yesterday are:

When senior politicians or established parties, flirt with demagogues, appease his fantasies and sometimes even accept him as a leader, in return for power. The usual consequence is that in long term, they themselves get burned. History has more than enough examples of this and as the quote goes “Snakes in your backyard won't bite only neighbors”.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=200&dpx=1&t=1610016020The political elites of democracies should not alienate themselves from large sections of the societies. They should listen and address the issues of their citizens, however far-fetched they may seem. Otherwise, events like yesterday or developments of parties like AfD in Europe prove that unaddressed issues can lead to severe disenchantment which is deadly for Democracy.

Social tensions are fueled by Inequality in the action of authorities. There was a stark difference between image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=198&dpx=1&t=1610016020how the Law Enforcers acted yesterday against Trump supporters and those in Washington on 2nd June 2020 against the black protesters after the death of George Floyd. This is another feather in the cap of the Republicans from Trump's legacy. The only way to correct it is to make Trump and his supporters face the same consequences as any other.

This is once again a warning and prelude of what is yet to come if our present leaders do not learn and amend their ways.

Ben Banerjee, 7.01.2021

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I had the privilege to join an esteemed panel on 24th December afternoon for a short while. The topic was ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities in the 21st century’.

Today I will just try to summarize what my thoughts were on this topic and also points mentioned by my fellow panelists in the short time that I was in the Panel before I had to run to celebrate my Christmas Eve. J

Initially I started by mentioning that I have had some previous experience with the topic of Smart City in Georgia, DRC, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong, Algeria, and of course the Netherlands and Finland. In my opinion, although the term ‘Smart City’ might not be very old the methodology being used has been there for some time.image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=193&dpx=1&t=1609066527

I summarized the requirements which are important for the successful implementation of Smart Cities are:

  • Long Term Planning. Smart City development is not something done in a few months or years but takes decades.
  • Support from Authorities. Without the full support and buy-in of local authorities and citizens, it won’t succeed.
  • Cooperation between all stakeholders. All stakeholders will have to work together.
  • Availability of resources. You need access to huge resources, from funds to technical advisors to city planners, etc. 
  • Fund and Investors. As we know from our experience that if the Smart Cities are designed sustainably then there are enough pools of funds available for investment in its development. The source of the funds can be from institutional investors and Impact Investors (due to their characteristic of long-term thinking and investment with impact).
  • Major Contractors. You need experienced and resourceful Project Developers.
  • All kinds of liabilities have to be very well thought out, documented, and mitigated.
  • Very strong and experienced management team to guarantee the success of the project.

Many aspects of Smart Cities were discussed, even the definition. It should not only planned as Efficient and Sustainable but fulfill many criteria, which might differ from city to city. 

Few interesting points mentioned where like:

  • The planned implementation of Transportation. For example, a smart traffic system can guide the traffic, study the flow of traffic, adjust the traffic lights in a way to reduce the idle time, thus decreasing CO2 emission sharply
  • Existing and new infrastructure have to be well synchronized. It was mentioned that US cities sometimes have similar issues like that of the Developing World, as quite a few cities were developed without planning. So here we speak of retrofitting. 
  • Cities sometimes seem to also have different needs, so the planning has to be customized to their requirements. Complete buy-in from all stakeholders (including governments and individuals) is required. It was mentioned that the buy-in doesn’t have to be 100% but still, agreement on main points is very important
  • There will be foreseen and unforeseen side-effects. For example, as many countries are rolling out 5G implementation, soon technologies like the ‘Internet of things’, self-driving cars might make use of Traffic Lights obsolete

One point is quite clear, that Smart Cities offer huge potentials to businesses and entrepreneurs, especially the technical ones. A few points and examples mentioned were:

  • Social Networks. Covid-19 seems to have underlined one of the uses of Social Media. Proceeding in the same way, AI can be used to study social networks and determine the existing and potential bottlenecks in the city. Or analyze at which location most crimes are taking place or likely to take place and allocate the police resources accordingly.
  • Traffic. As mentioned earlier, the traffic situation can be studied and analyzed. This information can not only be used to determine the traffic flow but also to plan parking locations and availability.
  • Health. The roads can be planned such to encourage the use of Cycles instead of cars but also make it safer for them. Also, access to the location for the physically challenged.
  • Environmental friendly technologies are developing at exponential speed. LED Bulbs to Permeable concrete (allowing excess water to soak into the ground), to urban gardening to small scale renewable energy production technologies are easily available and will be easily available to keep the cities adhering to Paris Climate Agreement.

Here I did mention two issues to be considered. Firstly I noticed that my distinguished Panel consisted mainly of members from countries with new cities. While myself being from Europe, with quite many centuries-old cities. In countries like the Netherlands, which is also quite densely populated, it is not always easy to build large infrastructure inside the cities, like Roundabouts, huge Parking Spaces, etc. The second issue, will be that citizen buy-in might not be easy with data sharing, as Europe has strong laws guarding privacy data and has historical reasons for it.   

Thus, in conclusion, Smart Cities are the future of many reasons, but it requires determination, resources, and long term planning, stakeholder management and most importantly sharing of knowledge and experience and global thinking. 

Ben Banerjee, 27.12.2020

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As my friend Jeroom Remmers (Managing Director at TAPP Coalition) pointed out that, in 1972 OECD countries had decided that they will implement the rule of 'Polluter Pays Principle. In other words, those who buy meat will have to pay extra to compensate for the environmental costs like Water, CO2, and Nitrates. Thus the farmers are rewarded for their extra efforts in the fields of environment, nature, and animal friendly. Unfortunately not much happened since then.

Fast forward 50 years, presently the same is happening with the Paris Agreement. Despite most countries signing it, and many coming forward with bold statements and commitments, In reality, the CO2 emission is still going up and there is still no light in sight.

Unless we start following up our agreements with measurable actions, with clear consequences, I am afraid, 50 years from now, our children will be fighting for survival on scorched earth and wondering at what happened with the Paris Agreement, like we are reading this attached document now......

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