Seeding climate adaptation innovation in vulnerable cities

Co-authored by: Tyler Ferdinand and Keeya-Lee Ayre
January 31, 2024 - 3 mins read

Urban areas continue to face serious climate change impacts, especially increasing extreme heat and flooding. Over 4.4 billion people currently live in urban areas, and over 6 billion people will inhabit cities by 2045. Recently, over 750 million urban poor were deemed highly vulnerable to extreme heat. As climate change accelerates, cities urgently require localized solutions that strengthen resilience, particularly for lower-income communities.

Triggering Exponential Climate Action (TECA) was created to address this need. TECA is a venture-launching program assisting young entrepreneurs to create sustainable climate adaptation companies across the Global South. TECA connects the solutions, talent, and capital essential for building resilient cities.  

Understanding promising climate adaptation spaces

A core TECA activity termed “waveseeding” convenes key local ecosystem players to determine high-potential climate adaptation innovation areas constituting the “Atlas of Opportunity”: areas where new ideas and tech-enabled solutions can make a major impact. Waveseeding also maps actors able to support budding ventures.  

TECA has hosted waveseeding events in Santiago, Chile; Lagos, Nigeria; and Mumbai, India; revealing common innovation themes across these different global contexts:

Cultivating the climate adaptation talent pipeline  

Waveseeding has also identified several gaps within local talent pipelines:

Channeling funding and investment into solutions

Waveseeding further spotlighted needed shifts within investment landscapes:

Next steps for resilient cities

TECA waveseeding supplied critical insights for informing efforts that strengthen urban climate adaptation innovation ecosystems globally. Participants called for three main ecosystem-level actions to help scale climate adaptation innovation:

Ultimately by linking solutions, talent and funding, TECA hopes to seed resilient and regenerative cities worldwide and provide promising livelihoods for vulnerable youth.

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