Ben Banerjee

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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)

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Dear All

Coming Friday afternoon at 15:00 CET we will be having John Duncan, the Initiative Lead for WWF’s No Plastics in Nature Initiative which brings together a diverse team of people from WWF offices working on solutions to one of the most complex challenges facing our oceans today as our guest on the TV Show "Swiss Impact with Banerjis".

We invite you to watch our show, to see how his team is working to make a difference to one of the most complex global challenges mankind is facing.

The Show will be broadcasted Live in many channels including Swiss Impact Channel and at many other Social media channels and you can watch the show at any preferred time.
Within 24 hours it will also be available on many Smart TV Channels including Binge, which you can even watch free of cost, on your own smartphone by downloading the App 'Binge'.
If your preference is to listen rather than watch, then you are welcome to listen to the Podcast. In few days, you will be able to do so here.

We are sure that after watching the Show, you will understand the complexity of the problem and the potential steps we can take to reduce this problem and support WWF in their activities.

There is a short introductory video attached to this Post.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Friday afternoon.

With warm regards,
Ben & Sveta

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Crime Against Humanity?

How long will be let Political Leaders get away with Crime Against Humanity, just because they are ‘democratically chosen’?

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The deforestation of Amazon Rainforest has again risen significantly.

In fact, the Brazilian institute INPE that monitors Amazon from the space, last Thursday (18.11.2021) reported that between August 2021 to July 2021, deforestation has risen with 22% more than the twelve months before. In fact under the reign of Bolsonaro, the deforestation has been increasing with double figures percentage each and every year. This despite all promises and commitments of Bolsonaro.

Not to forget, here we are talking about Amazon Rainforest, the Lungs of our Planet earth.  image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=400&dpx=1&t=1637412725

At COP26, Bolsonaro promised to stop with illegal logging by 2028 and mentioned that he has brought illegal logging under control. When asked by journalists, he declared that the status report of the Monitoring System Prodes of INPE is not complete yet.
Well, as per Mauricio Boivodic, head of World Nature Fund (WWF) in Brazil this was a complete lie as Bolsonaro and his government had received this report before COP26. In fact, the reality is that under Bolsonaro, the destruction of Amazon Rainforest has accelerated exponentially. Marcio Astrini, secretary of Brazilian Climate Observatory, mentioned that the government of Bolsonaro has made Environmental destruction its Grand Policy.

Since his early political carrier, Bolsonaro had promised to open the protected parts of Amazon for mining, commercial agriculture and other extractive activities. Even now, just this week he complained to potential investors in UAE, that criticism of Brazil for deforestation is wrong as the greatest part of Amazon is still untouched.

So in conclusion. How long should mankind allow such activities to continue without taking any actions? Should we let him get away just because he is ‘democratically chosen’? Wasn’t Hitler also democratically chosen?
We do choose to spend enormous resources to get Serbian leadership behind bars for Bosnia Herzegovina war, and let Leaders like Bolsonaro go free, even though their actions and consequences are far worse?
Isn’t it time that for the protection of Humanity and the Planet Earth, the Amazon Rainforest should be taken away from Brazil and put under UN Protection, and people like Bolsonaro followed up by ICC for ‘Crime Against Humanity’?

 Ben Banerjee. 20.11.2021

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Dear All

Coming friday afternoon at 15:00 CET we will be having the CEO and COO of the Company BeMup as our guests on the TV Show "Swiss Impact with Banerjis".

We invite you to watch our show, to see how this Startup is accelerating the energy transition in mobility 10 times.

The Show will be broadcasted Live in many channels including Swiss Impact Channel and at many other Social media channels and you can watch the show at any preferred time of yours here.

Within 24 hours it will also be available on many Smart TV Channels including Binge, which you can even watch free of cost, on your own smartphone by downloading the App 'Binge'.

If your preference is to listen rather than watch, then you are welcome to listen to the Podcast. In few days, you will be able to do so here.

We are sure that after watching the Show, you will be inspired by BeMup! Please feel free to contact them directly to engage with them.

Looking forward to seeing you all Friday afternoon.

With warm regards,

Ben 

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I am sure that I do not have to convince most of you today that our future hangs in balance. Most of us are looking with expectations and hope towards Glasgow for the COP26 (UN Climate Conference 2021) in the coming weeks.
We all know that Scientists have put together a comprehensive Report and have proposed Steps and Actions which we have to take to protect our Planet and ourselves.

Does that mean that we have the luxury to sit back and let the political leaders to finally make the right and scientifically backed decisions?
Well it seems that the answer is No

Few days back it leaked out that some countries and few very powerful lobby groups have been working behind the scene to force the scientists to change the key points in the Climate Report to be presented. Apparently even rich countries like Australia and Saudi Arabia have been arguing behind closed doors that the world does not need to reduce the use of fossil fuels as quickly as the current draft of the report recommends.

Can you believe this? 

To start with, as my friend, H.E. Prof. Dr. Jan Peter Balkende said few days back "the longer we take to act the higher the price will be in the future, and our failure to act will leave a huge burden for next generations"

The fact is that not only most major businesses have become aware of it and are taking actions, but even Governments. Like for examples.
The Dutch Government just completed their research on the impact of Sea Level rise on Dutch dikes and the US Government completed their research on upcoming conflicts caused by Climate Change. Why would they be doing this if Climate Change is not real.
Unfortunately, it seems that we still have 'so called' greed driven jokers who are questioning Climate Change and behind the scene are busy trying to dilute or undermine the urgent actions which the scientific community is proposing that mankind has to come together and take.

Please do not take me wrong, I have no issues with science based debates and discussions. After all our world leaders have become experienced in doing that. We have been discussing and debating anthropogenic Climate Change for more than 6 decades without achieving a single result. But where I do object is that when pure greed and short term economic gain takes the upper hand and Leaders start hiding, corrupting or mutating scientific reports for their own gain.

We all should come together and ask our leaders or representatives at COP26 to rise above petty politics and power games and do what they are sent there to do, that is make right decisions for the future of the people they represent.

I pray that just for once, every Leader understands two basic facts:
· that they do not only represent their country but the whole humanity, because despite all our differences, we all share the same Planet Earth.
           · The damages to the biodiversity and environment and the Climate Change are irreversible despite of advanced technology or all the propaganda going around

I am still waiting to see at least one Leader stand up, take Charge and be a True Leader of Humanity

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“Entrepreneurial spirit is also key for success” (Reto Möhr, 2021).

Last week Friday, our guest was Reto Möhr. Our show was once He is the managing director of Enabling Microfinance (EMF) and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry and has been involved for over 10 years in impact investing in various management positions. He is also the EMF representative in the association of charitable foundations and trust in Lichtenstein and very committed to sustainable financial centre in the principality of Lichtenstein. EMF is an independent provider of microloans for more than 12 years with the vision of catalyzing access to capital where it is needed most, it promotes financial inclusion to people in developing economies currently overlooked by the financial system. It is owned by the charitable enabling microfinance foundation. EMF has reached over 6 million people and helped them to reach a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families.

How to take people out of poverty? Reto suggested that there are two options doing that: one is to donate them money in order to help them individually, and the other one is to enable the “active poor” people who have skills to start a business to help themselves and their family to create a sustainable livelihood getting as a result a stable return for the investors.

In order to reach the audience which are not familiar with the topic, Reto was kind enough to define one of today’s main topic. Microfinance, which are unsecured loans to people who are currently excluded from the financial system so that they can create a sustainable business and get out of poverty.  

When Reto was asked which was his secret for success, he replied that the company is based on its people. Moreover, the entry bar is quite high, and they place a huge importance on risk management. His secret for success in developing countries markets is a team approach, being transparent with investors, and they are focusing on one pure microfinance product and on a specific niche in the microfinance industry, the micro entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Besides financial figures, he pointed out, impact investing boosts self esteem of the beneficiaries and give them back hope and thus the joy for life and a chance to break out of the shackles of poverty.

 Finally, when Reto Möhr was asked for a call to action, he replied. “We have roughly 1.7 billion people that still have not access to bank accounts live in poverty so then we need to do something about it”.

 

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Next week, we are having another amazing guest, Jason Hsu, also known as the Crypto Congressman. We will discuss the role of Impact Investment in the era of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Crypto Currency. 

You can watch us on most major Social Media Channels including Youtube, Smart TV and Podcast.

Looking forward to seeing you coming Friday again.

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“You can never be successful in a world that fails”.

Last Friday, we had one of the most thought provoking discussion with one of my old friend Prof. Dr. Jan Peter Balkenende, the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

This time I didn’t have a story to tell as the program was going to be a discussion anyway, especially on topics which interests us all. In many ways, I am proud that although my country is tiny and minuscule on world atlas, still it has been a global trendsetter in the sector of sustainability and impact investment.

Last week I was in the Netherlands on a 2 days long trip to show my son his country. Not only were we amazed with everything we experienced, but what my son noticed are the low prices, especially for us coming from Switzerland. Despite of having everything as well and sometimes even better organised, yet not expensive. How is this possible? To which our guest Jan Peter replied that one of the factors which has played a great part in the prosperity of the Netherlands is its capacity to innovate. 

Our guest is not only the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands (2002-2010), but also Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Member of the Club of Madrid, External Senior Advisor to EY, Associate Partner at Hague Corporate Affairs, Chairman at Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition and Chairman at Noaber Foundation. Throughout his impressive professional trajectory, he has embodied the innovation principles of the triple helix, which encompasses cooperation between government, academia and businesses. After his life in academia where he was a professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and his fruitful political career which led him to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands, he successfully made his way into the business sector. He then co-developed the “Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition” initiative, which is comprised of 8 companies that are working on sustainability issues. The common elements of his endeavors in the number of organizations and institutions where he is actively working on are geopolitical affairs, the future of Europe, sustainability, SDGs and circular economy.

Regarding the future of Capitalism in Europe, Jan Peter recognized the flaws of the hegemonic Anglo-Saxon capitalism, and celebrated the alternative kinds of capitalism which are products of the increased awareness as discussed below. He pointed out that the evolution of the paradigm led to the stakeholder capitalism, among others, having the core principles of long term thinking. Going beyond shareholders to include all the stakeholders, and having the right balance between economic, social and ecological aspects.

Jan Peter recognized Europe’s leadership regarding the SDGs, however, he pointed out that we (in Europe) are not on track yet. On the other hand, he emphasized that there have been significant improvements that haven’t been measured or reported properly, such as the increased awareness, which is a critical step towards the right direction. On this topic, he suggested that a meaningful change would require us to rethink our views, methods and techniques on measurement in a way that they depict success not only through short term financial results, but also by considering the societal elements, for they will increase its long-term value as a whole.

He invited us to consider SDGs as a joint effort in which we all should cooperate. By allowing others to reflect in our business performance we will be able to detect its flaws and thus act on it. Moreover, he suggested that if your business accurately report its performance, its chance of attractive investments from financial industry will increase.

Jan Peter then shared with us his insight about inter-generational responsibility. He added that the longer we take to act the higher the price will be in the future, and our failure to act will leave a huge burden for next generations. He pointed out that people who have power at this moment are the ones who can foster change, for he considers the means are there, the only thing missing is the willingness to do it.

Finally, Jan Peter called us to take action. “Think about your own responsibility, how can I contribute to the new realities, what am I doing now, and am I happy with it or should I rethink my own responsibility?”.
“It is our obligation to take care for a situation that we have created, and contribute to a better world in which no one should be left behind”

With this finished our program last Friday. For those who missed it can watch it at one of the following channels:

Please don’t forget to join us coming Friday on another amazing Show, and this time with a Fund from Liechtenstein which is transforming the life of many. They will tell us of how they have been successfully turning Poverty into Opportunity.

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Why do Academic Theories Fail?

A few days back was having a couple of beers with friends and enjoying a discussion. During the discussion, I reached the opinion that simple academic theories and models which seem like the most logical somehow don’t seem to work in real life. I will like to speak of one such example.

Being from the Netherlands which is one of the founding members of the European Union, we grew up tainted with the history of the Second World War. One such established theory was that when nations are interlinked economically then they have no reason to go to war with each other. That is because the nations are dependent on each other. 

But then History gave contradictory examples. In the 1930s Germany-Soviet and also Germany-France were economically exceedingly dependent on each other. One such event was the 1937 accord, signed between Germany and France increased their trade dramatically. Even to such a level that within three years Germany’s commercial debt to France was erased and yet France was invaded. Same between Nazi Germany and Soviets, who had very similar economic systems and their industries were entwined yet the Soviets were attacked. 

I don’t mean that these theories or the models are wrong. It is more about the fact that despite our high esteem of ourselves, we humans are one such species that does not seem to follow logic. 

How many more of such theories coming from the academic world is destined to fail? Is this the reason, why the models and theories to protect our environment, save the amazon from deforestation are failing because nothing can be more logical than living sustainably and in harmony with nature?

Ben 10.09.2021

 

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Often have I mentioned that Natural changes do not happen in linear order as we humans tend to think, but more with tipping points. From the Climate Change perspective, we are aware of nine tipping points as shown in the figure above. Crossing these tipping points, Scientists warn will lead to irreversible and catastrophic climate change. 

Last week at one of our CLC meetings, Owen Gaffney from the Stockholm Resilience Centre said, “Just a decade ago, Earth’s sleeping giants appeared largely still slumbering. Now, they are stirring. We are measuring very large changes which should concern everyone.”
 “The proximity of tipping points provides an extremely strong case that the world faces a planetary emergency.”

More than half of these Sleeping Giants are stirring and this all despite more than Thirty years of Political debates and Summits. Not only is the severity and frequency of severe events going up, but even worse, it is estimated that the global CO2 emission will rise again this year and exceed previous levels.

We still can save our beautiful and unique Planet and ourselves. A recent survey carried out on G20 countries by IPSOS Mori and Global Commons Alliance shows that 95% of people in Indonesia and 70% in Germany show a willingness to do more to protect nature and climate.  Let’s all talk to our friends and neighbours to listen to scientists and not only to economists and convince our leaders to act. Remind them that without Life there is no use for Money.

 

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Dear All,

What are the solutions for Food Security? What can we do about it? All these questions will be answered by one of the Global experts on this topic, H.E. Prof. Dr. Ameenah GuribFakim, the 6th President of Mauritius. She is also a Professor, Biodiversity scientist, Entrepreneur, and Author. She has been the Managing Director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed chair at the University of Mauritius.

Today aftimage_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=348&dpx=1&t=1633032846ernoon, at Episode 6 of Season 3 of Swiss Impact with Banerjis, our discussion will be 'Why Food Sovereignty Matters' and how does Traditional Knowledge, Agriculture, and Seed Banks help, does this sector have opportunities for investors and how can businesses help.

At our Show, we have enlightening and in-depth conversations with celebrities, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, politicians, business leaders and encourage them to act.

For all those who are interested and missed any of the previous shows, you can watch all the recordings here.

Looking forward to having you all at our program today afternoon for the Live Telecast.

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We all are looking at the soon-approaching German election. It has attracted the attention of many of us, especially from the western world. Some of us are watching with excitement and few with apprehension. The effects are visible in many sectors.

Take Cars for example. Auto lovers from everywhere have been flocking to Munich this week to admire the new cars at the IAA 2021 Car Exhibition. This event was inaugurated by Chancellor Merkel. She of course, as expected came with a bold statement that Cars are not only part of the Climate Problem but can even become a part of the solution. My question is, should one believe her?image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=345&dpx=1&t=1631353270

Of course, everyone can see that the German Auto industry is in rapid transition. Since the end of 2015, they all are converting to electric cars, which in my opinion has been mainly due to the infamous diesel gate scandal. 

A short historical reminder for many of us. Diesel gate is the name given to the scandal, when in September 2015 US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued a violation of the ‘Clean Air Act’ to the German Car Producer Volkswagen. EPA had discovered that VW had intentionally programmed their TDI Diesel engines to reduce their NOx emission artificially during laboratory testing such that it met the US standards, while in fact, they emitted 40 times more while driving in the real world. Also not forgetting that oddly EU authorities who have stricter testing regulations had failed to notice or register this issue.

Anyway, another issue was that under the protection of the same Merkel (under whose regime the Diesel gate happened), the CEOs of the German Auto Industry kept blocking the electrification of Automobiles. I remember that some years ago even a much smaller country like the Netherlands had nearly as many car charging stations as the whole of Germany, which is a much larger country. And the mockery Toyota faced by other Car Brands when it came out with its Hybrid Cars. It was repeatedly told that hybrid technology is expensive, complicated, etc. while the diesel motor is efficienter, cheaper, and getting better with the passing years. Fortunately for the environment, this illusion or rather fairytale was broken by the diesel gate.

In conclusion, it is true as many Climate Activists are correct in thinking that these actions of the German Car industry have been too slow. But on other hand, the predictions for the upcoming elections are that the influence of Merkel’s Party will be significantly reduced and that of the Green Parties increased. In my opinion, this will speed up the transformation of the German Car Industry, to a non-fossil fuel-based, like electric or hydrogen technologies. Mainly for two reasons, the impending implementation of tougher regulations and the decrease of Government support. 

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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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