Cleantech21 Foundation - CEO

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Nick Beglinger is a Swiss economist (LSE). In 2008 he co-founded and currently runs the Cleantech21 foundation (C21). His focus area is sustainable development at the crossroads of finance, innovation, and regulation. From 2009 to 2016, Nick acted as president of Switzerland’s first green business association, swisscleantech. He thereby shaped the country’s climate, energy, and mobility policy. As of mid 2016, Nick initiated a number of high-impact, international climate initiatives. Building on his swisscleantech experience, Nick conceived and mobilised leading partners for the Climate Policy Exchange (financed, but in stealth mode), which links leading global businesses with local advocacy actors working on specific framework opportunities. Following COP22 in Marrakesh (late 2016), Nick co-founded the government-financed Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI), bringing distributed ledger technologies (DLT, ‘blockchain’) to UNFCCC. In 2017, Nick initiated the first DLT/energy lighthouse project by the Swiss Ministry of Energy, and the first five DLT/climate use cases financed by the EU’s Climate-KIC. At COP23, C21 organised #Hack4Climate, the first hackathon linked to a climate conference (5 days, 100 developers from 33 countries, with 40 experts). Based on #Hack4Climate’s success, and its growing community of IoT, DLT and AI developers, C21 started the Hack4Climate innovation program in 2018 with the mission to accelerate exponential climate innovation for the exponential decarbonisation needed to attain to Paris Agreement targets.

Nick is a board member of the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation, and member of WWF’s Leaders for Nature. He started his career with McKinsey in Hamburg, and then founded the first software JV in Saigon/Vietnam. He worked in China, Korea, Singapore, Iran, Iraq, and United Arab Emirates for the real estate and infrastructure developer Maxmakers – where he headed a 3-year engagement with the Government of Abu Dhabi in the first development period of the Masdar Project.

Nick bikes and urban-farms, plays the piano and soccer with friends, jogs, swims, and occasionally gets to kitesurf.