Leehe Skuler

Co-founder, Global Impact Tech Alliance

Leehe Skuler has been in impact and climate investing since 2009, working around the world with investors, philanthropists, and international agencies to develop and implement strategies that combine significant climate impact and financial return. She is the co-founder of the Global Impact Tech Alliance (GITA) which aims to connect and empower the global impact tech ecosystem – and to increase global VC for Impact. She now leads innovative efforts to create nature-based, regenerative financing instruments and blue carbon solutions. Previously, Leehe worked as an investor and consultant to global pioneer climate finance organizations including the UNDP, AfDB, or EIB to support innovative global climate finance solutions.

Is it possible to make a market practice return on investments in FoodTech while also making a real impact?

Absolutely. The idea that there is a dichotomy here, and ventures have to “choose” to either make a profit or advance meaningful impact has been disproven. Today we see many successful innovative FoodTech companies with high returns, while trying to measurably change the world, such as Impossible Foods.

Why do you believe that FoodTech can be a major route to achieving impact?

It’s hard to imagine a sphere of our current industrial economy that has more impact than the food sector. From the agricultural level to food production, distribution and marketing, all the way to consumption and food waste – our food systems hold incredible weight on the global climate, health, and social justice. As a result, any responsible tech innovation directed toward the food markets must acknowledge, model and aim to maximize its positive impact.

You’ve lived in so many places and cultures. How has this affected your professional life and the path you’ve chosen?

I had the fantastic fortune of moving countries during my childhood. This gave me several gifts – feeling comfortable in any location, enjoying the adventure of moving to and learning new cultures, and most importantly – truly feeling that “people are people are people” everywhere and always. In my youth, I also realized the specific moment in history I was born into and the immense existential challenge we will face in our lifetime. And I knew addressing this climate crisis would lead my professional and intellectual life – and it has. This is how I ended up living in Europe, the US, Africa, and of course, led by insatiable curiously, compassion, and optimism.