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Impact entrepreneurs from The Hague to Paris for ChangeNOW

June 7, 2023

From 25 to 27 May 2023, ImpactCity attended the sixth edition of ChangeNOW in Paris with a large delegation of impact organisations from The Hague. ChangeNOW is the largest event for solutions for the planet. An inspiring event where delegation members went looking for potential partners, investors, customers and other contacts.

ChangeNOW brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders, and policymakers to join forces and take concrete actions for sustainable solutions.  ChangeNOW had 35,000 visitors from 120 countries this year. The EXPO showcased 1,000 solutions, featured 400 speakers and 1,200 investors, and more than 130 companies pitched their idea.

ChangeNOW and ImpactCity

ChangeNOW has a direct link to ImpactCity and to the work of many NGOs, startups, impact investors and impact hubs based in The Hague. The event thus provides an excellent opportunity to profile the city of The Hague to a large international community, generate leads to attract international impact organisations and do business with foreign companies and investors.

For this reason, a delegation of 19 The Hague based impact entrepreneurs, NGOs, investors and representatives of innovation hubs accompanied ImpactCity to Paris.

Sustainable Cities Programme

On Friday 26 May 2023, ChangeNOW organised a ‘Sustainable Cities’ programme especially for an international delegation of (deputy) mayors. The aim was to share knowledge on the theme of ”Sustainable Cities”, to learn from each other and to network. Deputy mayor for Economy and Finance Saskia Bruines represented the city of The Hague. Among other things, she participated in a panel discussion on ‘sustainable and resilient cities’, where she explained how The Hague deals with climate change, flood control and freshwater supply. She spoke with mayors of other cities about similar challenges. There was also a workshop by Kate Raworth on the ‘dougnut economy’. This is a broad vision of the economy, in which the ecological limits of our earth are respected and we ensure that every person can live a decent life.

World Expo of Innovations

At the World Expo of Innovations, entrepreneurs exhibited innovations on themes such as circular economy, sustainable cities, energy, food and care, inclusion and oceans and water. Several entrepreneurs from The Hague had exhibition stands, including Alkemio, Space4Good and BarefootLaw.

Delegation from The Hague

The city of The Hague was the only Dutch city represented with a large delegation. This enabled The Hague to position itself well as the impact city of Europe. At ChangeNOW, the various members of the delegation regularly called on each other to prepare a pitch or make contacts. Nice to see the added value of The Hague’s impact network in practice!

The following impact organisations participated:

  • Transform4c: a consulting company that offers hands-on programs for leaders and experts to accelerate transition challenges
  • accelerates the Netherlands’ tech ecosystem by enhancing access to capital, market, and talent programs, fostering growth in the industry
  • Beesage: Modular beehive monitoring system that boosts productivity and honey yield to benefit the Earth through data-driven pollination
  • ByeWaste:  collects used books, electronics, toys, textiles, and other items from homes for free and gives each item a second life through its network of sustainable partners
  • Social Finance NL: partners with governments, non-profits, philanthropy, impact investors, and financial institutions to create innovative financing solutions to improve social outcomes
  • WorldStartup: a global entrepreneurship platform that aims to accelerate the global transition to more sustainable and equitable societies by supporting purpose-driven innovators to create long-standing impactful ventures
  • Wholy Greens: creates vegetable-based pastas and aims to make plant-based foods more accessible, delicious, and sustainable
  • Candy Converters: produces and sells completely biodegradable confetti made from candy paper
  • 4Impact: a venture capital fund investing in digital ventures across Europe that solve problems relating to our environment, health & wellbeing and/or inclusion
  • DRK Foundation: a global philanthropic organization which supports and funds social enterprises
  • The Hague Humanity Hub: a non-profit organisation that supports and strengthens the ecosystem for a more peaceful and just world
  • Barefoot Law: a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to using information technology to improve access to justice and the law
  • Space4Good: innovative social enterprise that uses remote sensing, GIS, and AI to map, analyse and model complex ecosystems and support leading organisations and institutions on monitoring social and environmental impact
  • The Hague & Partners: Marketing organization of The Hague that shows what the city has to offer in the fields of conferences, tourism, trade and management
  • Alkemio: An open-source platform that makes it easy to manage societal challenges and have contributors from anywhere working together on solutions
  • Unknown Group: provides founders with early-stage investments, industry leaders to bring their solutions to scale, and the right environment to thrive
  • World’s Youth for Climate Justice: global campaign to take climate change and human rights to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to seek an advisory opinion
  • Mercy Corps: infuses millions of dollars into local economies through small business loans and grants to provide livelihoods for the world’s most vulnerable people
  • ClimatePartner: provides solution combining software and consulting to support clients in making a contribution to climate action and anchoring it in their strategy
Podcast ‘Money Matters’

In this episode of Money Matters, Björn Vennema tells Ruben Koekoek about the ChangeNOW conference in Paris, which he attended with the ImpactCity team. There, he spoke with Kevin Tayebaly, CEO of ChangeNOW, and Saskia Bruines, alderman of The Hague, about the power of collaboration between cities, companies and investors to create positive impact.