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Our current food systems account for around 25% to 30% of global emissions, and about one-third when we include all agricultural products. Transforming these entrenched models is a must as we collectively aim towards a net-zero, nature-positive, inclusive and equitable bio-economy. Agri-food innovators are a key pathway to system change.

In collaboration with the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship, the Centre for Building Sustainable Value, with the leadership of Oana Branzei, will launch the “Regenerator”, a stream within the Western Accelerator dedicated to agri-food start-ups that exemplify the World Economic Forum’s call to “regenerate the future”.

Program design

The Regenerator is an impact-driven program aimed at accelerating the growth of ventures who give back more than they take. Through a 16-week intensive program, selected ventures receive hands-on mentorship and educational training from in-house experts and industrial partners as they act on the twin critical issues of decarbonization and biodiversity conservation.

The program is designed to distill worlds’ best practices into recipes for action, enabling entrepreneurs to speed and scale up their ventures' life cycles. These agri-tech innovators will contribute to the 2030 agenda and 2050 plans by learning and by doing bio-circularity, regeneration, sustainable impact, and system change.

Commencing in the Fall of 2024, the Regenerator will:

  • embed live in-person delivery of modules on four key sustainability topics to help all future cohorts of ventures think and act in ways that “regenerate the future”;
  • fund a total of 8 agri-food ventures for 4-month full-time programming each.

Embracing the BSV Centre’s mission of shaping pathways of systems change towards an ecologically sound and fair future in agri-tech, the Regenerator will empower the next generation of leaders to reimagine and reshape the economy in ways that recognize and respect nature.

This initiative impacts advances Ivey’s key pillars of programming and outreach. On the programming side, the Regenerator develops and deploys action-ready modules that rapidly and effectively translate the world-leading expertise from Ivey faculty, staff and alumni to Western students and community members determined to make a difference. On the outreach side, the initiative furthers Ivey’s mandate to conduct and disseminate impactful research to a growing range of stakeholders. By twinning industry innovation with academic research, this university-wide endeavour leverages Professor Oana Branzei’s thought and practice leadership on regeneration to advance Ivey Business School’s strategic priorities and Western’s global standing on the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

This initiative gives substance and momentum to Ivey's new strategy, Ivey Next, by emphasizing and synergizing two of the three critical issues (Sustainability and Canada's Place in the World) central to Ivey's Mission statement. The Regenerator directly, immediately, and concretely addresses five of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by contributing to goals 2,13,14,15, and 17.

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