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Building AI Climate Unicorns
Building AI Climate Unicorns

Mon, May 20


SEC LL2.221

Building AI Climate Unicorns

Harvard Grid and Harvard Business School Association of Boston (HBSAB) invite you to join a fireside chat to explore the characteristics of unicorns (>$1B valuation) built at the dynamic intersection of Climate & AI. Five complimentary Harvard Grid tickets offered. RSVP only if you will attend.

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Time & Location

May 20, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

SEC LL2.221 , Science and Engineering Complex, 150 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134, USA

About the event

Climate Tech leaders Dr. Amit Narayan, who founded and led AI startup AutoGrid through a successful acquisition by Schneider Electric, Israel Ruiz, founding Chair of the MIT Engine, a tough tech accelerator and fund, and Amy Jaffe, director of sustainability lab as well as research professor at NYU and former head of sustainability at UCOP, will dissect groundbreaking innovations and investments leveraging AI to tackle climate change and impact at planet-scale. AI and IoT accelerate the deployment of existing solutions by improving the efficiency and productivity of organizations and also advance the search for entirely novel solutions by provoking scientific discoveries across chemistry, biology, and material sciences. AI completely reshapes traditional carbon credit markets that are failing climate goals due to a lack of scientific insight into underlying real impacts. The trio will explore:

         o New breakthroughs in generative AI with large language models (LLMs) and large vision models (LVMs)          o Application of Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) to climate          o New, hands-on investment models and the importance of redesigning measurement and incentive structures to maximize planetary and financial impact.

The discussion will offer tangible insights into how to redraw investment blueprints for a sustainable and resilient future using innovation “builder” mindsets pivoting away from traditional risk and IRR frameworks.


Amy Jaffe

Co-chair | Center on Global Energy Policy’s (CGEP) Women in Energy Steering Committee

Amy Myers Jaffe is Co-chair of Center on Global Energy Policy’s (CGEP) Women in Energy Steering Committee. In her full-time capacity, she serves as Director of the Energy, Climate Justice and Sustainability Lab at New York University’s School of Professional Studies and is a research professor who teaches graduate level courses examining global climate finance, energy and climate justice, and energy and climate policy. Jaffe is author of “Energy’s Digital Future: Harnessing Innovation for American Resilience and National Security”, published as part of CGEP’s energy book series. Jaffe has a long and distinguished career in academia, most recently as the director for energy and the environment at the Council On Foreign Relations. Prior to this position she served as executive director for energy and sustainability at the University of California, Davis, and senior advisor on energy and sustainability at the Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the University of California Regents and as a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She was formerly the Wallace S. Wilson fellow for energy studies and founding director of the Energy Forum at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. She has taught energy and sustainability classes at Rice University, the University of California, Davis, Yale University, and Tufts University Fletcher School. Jaffe has previously served on steering committees for a variety of policy task forces, including the U.S. National Petroleum Council study on emergency preparedness and state of California’s Petroleum Market Advisory Committee and the state’s advisory panel on advanced drilling technologies. Jaffe is a member of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Global Future Council on Net Zero Transition. She was awarded the Senior Fellow award from the United States Association for Energy Economics in 2015 for career contributions to the organization and to the field of energy economics and was president-elect of the organization in 2020. She holds a Bachelors of Arts from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies and Arabic.

Amit Narayan

Founder and CEO | Climate-AI Ventures

Amit is the Founder and CEO of Climate-AI Ventures, a venture studio dedicated to catalyzing and accelerating new companies to make planetary scale impact in combating climate change utilizing the latest advances in AI. Previously, Amit was the Founder and CEO of AutoGrid where he led the company from its inception in 2012 to successful acquisition by Schneider Electric in 2022. AutoGrid Flex has been ranked #1 for Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) by independent industry analysts for several years and has been adopted in over 20 countries managing more than 8-GW of VPPs. Prior to AutoGrid, Amit was the Director of Smart Grid Research in Modeling & Simulation at Stanford University, and a serial entrepreneur who successfully built and sold several tech enterprises. Amit and his work have been recognized with several awards, including Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer, and the EDN’s Innovation for the Year. Amit earned a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur.

Israel Ruiz

Founding Chairman | MIT Engine

Israel Ruiz is the founding Chairman at MIT Engine, a tough-tech accelerator and fund bridging the gap between discovery and commercialization for breakthrough inventions. He is also the former Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at MIT, Ruiz was the Institute’s chief financial officer, a former trustee of the MIT Corporation, and a member of its executive committee. He was the chief steward of over $17 billion in financial assets and $3.4 billion in operating revenues, making him responsible for administering the Institute’s $5 billion capital plan through 2030. Ruiz helped grow the university’s innovation ecosystem and was instrumental in the orchestration conception and launch of The Engine. At MIT, Ruiz oversaw the capital renewal and construction program, including building decarbonization of thousands of residential units and over two million sq. ft. of labs and offices which were instrumental to the real estate development of Kendall Square. Mr. Ruiz also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Moderna Therapeutics, where he helped the company grow from Clinical stage ideation under Flagship Ventures through its IPO and its subsequent rise to a MRNA giant.   He was also chair on the Board of Directors of Fortive (NYSE: FTV), a diversified industrial growth company with 24,000 global employees and more than $6 billion in annual revenue. He previously served on the board of FMGlobal, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers. Ruiz previously held management and engineering roles at Hewlett-Packard and Nissan Automotive. Ruiz holds a master’s degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a six-year degree in industrial and mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, in his native Barcelona.

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