Trailblazers Building a More Equitable, Sustainable World
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- Excerpts from Bloomberg interviews with trailblazers from around the world who are reshaping business and government to build a more equitable and sustainable future.
● SANDHYA SRIRAM
CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats, a lab-grown seafood meat company based in Singapore
Why make cell-based shrimp?
Crustacean meat is one of the most consumed proteins in the entire world. Making shrimp, crab, and lobster this way means far less greenhouse gas emissions. It’s health-friendly because we don’t use any harmful chemicals or antibiotics or fungicides. And it’s animal-friendly because we don’t slaughter animals at large scale.
Your product has cost as much as $3,500 per kilogram. How much is it now?
Right now it’s in the upper three digits. We’re aiming to be at about $50 per kilogram this year.
Is it good for space travel?
We’re hoping it will be. I can imagine our meat being grown in the International Space Center or on Mars when we go there.
How is what you do different from what happens in nature?
When trees die and they decompose, more than 99% of their carbon returns to the atmosphere. We turn that biomass waste into a pure form of carbon, where it doesn’t decompose and is not eaten by microbes. We can store it safely in the soil, and it will remain stable from 1,000 years to maybe up to a million years.
You do this in a reactor. What does it look like?
Our demo facility in California is the size of a few shipping containers. It looks like a rocket ship.
How much carbon have you removed so far?
We’ve officially removed and sold four tons. That’s more than zero.
● SIMON CHAMORRO
Co-founder and CEO of Valiu, which uses the cryptocurrency to help Venezuelans handle hyperinflation
How does it work?
Venezuelans inside the country can turn bolívars, their local currency, into our Valiu stablecoins, a kind of cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to the U.S. dollar. In a matter of five minutes, they will have Valiu dollars in a digital wallet. Or they can receive remittances in the form of stablecoins from outside the country. Currently we offer remittances from Colombia, and we will open soon in the United States.
What does a typical transaction look like?
Payment processors in Colombia have included it into their services, so a migrant in the country can exchange cash or make a bank transfer and immediately see their Valiu dollars on their mobile phones. The second part is making the stablecoin itself a medium of payment. Our main objective right now is to enable merchants to accept them.
If the government fixes the inflation problem, will there be less need for your tools?
If there’s a way to provide more stability, and economic and financial freedom, to Venezuelans without crypto, I would rather for that to happen than for me to be successful.
● KIERAN LONG
Director of ArkDes, Sweden’s National Center for Architecture and Design
During the pandemic there’s been a lot of talk about the 15-minute city, where everything is within walking distance. Your project is focused on the one-minute city. What’s that?
We’re looking at the street exactly outside your front door or outside the door of a cafe or a business and asking how that can be transformed to a new kind of public space. Sweden’s so good at the big systematic changes coming to cities, but that detailed level often gets missed.
Isn’t there a struggle over who gets to use the streets?
That’s a huge issue. Cars have become a kind of emblem of the polarization of the public conversation. But taking away cars in and of itself is not a public good. Taking them away to provide a place where your children can play, where your business can have outdoor seating, where you can meet your friends and meet your family, that’s a public good.
● Interviews are edited for clarity and length.
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With assistance from Bloomberg