With around 60 days before the upcoming 9th edition of Climate Change Investment Forum in Dubai during the UN’s COP28, Chic Icon, as the official Media Partner, had a chance to interview Max Studennikoff, the event’s Chairman and Founder.
What is the reasoning behind doing the CC Forum’s 9th edition during the UN’s COP28 in the very first place?
We took this decision since we are really keen to assist the policymakers at the big COP by trying to fill in the gap when it comes to showcasing concrete and practical investment solutions. Most relevant people, including C-level executives, founders, partners, thought leaders, etc., will flock to Dubai anyway. There is no shortage of private wealth, but there is a huge lack of groundbreaking projects capable of making a difference, and this is where we may come in useful.
Is the upcoming CC Forum Dubai in any way different from its previous editions?
All of our editions are different from each other (smiles). The ninth edition is a more concise version of its senior “brothers” in that it boasts an extremely intense program spread across two days only, not four or five the way we usually do. Which should not take away from its being meaningful. The reason being that we see our event, which is a global platform laser-focused on investment in sustainability, as a supplement to the big COP28. We are very niched and are in some ways complementing the COP’s agenda, notably by showcasing the investment-based solutions to some of the most existential issues we are all facing today, including air pollution, deforestation, ocean emergencies, and so on. Otherwise stated, we all do need badly the political frameworks to look to and abide by, but someone has to do the work on the ground connecting the investors’ community with potential problem-solvers. And that is exactly where the CC Forum comes into play.
Who will be attending the CC Forum Dubai?
The bulk of our delegates are family offices, investment funds, VC capitalists and private investors. Traditionally, there will also be a reasonable proportion of startups and projects, either presenting or just being part of the mix. However, since our event is taking place during COP28, we have been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of interest on the part of heads of state and their offices. I am pleased to say that as we speak, a month and a half before the event, we already have as many as four presidents and prime ministers provisionally confirmed to attend. This is a bit of a novelty for us, since our event has always been entirely apolitical and totally focused on the economy and investment.
Does the current geopolitical situation affect CC Forum Dubai?
I would have thought it affected everyone this way or another. Indeed, the concept of the forum has been such that we are largely “exempt” from making political choices, taking sides or manifesting our views on the subject in any way since, as mentioned, we are a 100% investment conference and simply do not deal with geopolitics in any shape or form. However, the recent developments in the Middle East as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine do affect our agendas indirectly in many ways. It certainly does not help to seek solutions for the future of mankind with this sort of backdrop in view. Besides, simply put, one cannot predict how the situation in Palestine will unfold, and the whole of the MENA region has been a tinderbox for years.
What are CC Forum’s next destinations?
We only do two major global editions max annually, even though we tend to intersperse them with investors’ meetings, dinners and teasers in between. So, in 2024 we are set to organize our spring and autumn editions. As far as the spring one is concerned, it is likely to be America. Most importantly, however, as we speak, we are conducting negotiations with as many as three of the biggest African countries who are keen to host our autumn edition in their home countries. 2025 will probably see our first Asian edition, most likely in Hong Kong or Singapore.
What should the delegates expect from the CC Forum Dubai?
All being well, they should expect heated debates on stage, inspiring keynotes, global announcements by governments and companies alike, new global sustainability initiatives being launched, investment contracts being signed, and a whole plethora of high-level interaction and networking.
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