Global

Book

The Fix

Author: Jonathan Tepperman

A provocative look at the world's most difficult, seemingly ineradicable problems—and the surprising stories of the countries that solved them.

See more in Global; Economics

Article

Venture Capital and Cleantech: The Wrong Model for Clean Energy Innovation

Author: Varun Sivaram
MIT Energy Initiative

Venture capital (VC) firms spent over $25 billion funding clean energy technology (cleantech) start-ups from 2006 to 2011 and lost over half their money; as a result, funding has dried up in the cleantech sector. In this report, we present the most comprehensive account to date of the cleantech VC boom and bust, aggregating hundreds of investments to calculate the risk/return profile of cleantech, compared with those of medical and software technology investments. The results are stark—cleantech offered VCs a dismal risk/return profile, dragged down by companies developing new materials, chemistries, or processes that never achieved manufacturing scale. We conclude that the VC model is broken for the cleantech sector, which suffers especially from a dearth of large corporations willing to invest in innovation. Fortunately, new public and private capital may be on the way after announcements made at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit. If a new and more diverse set of actors avoids the mistakes of the cleantech VC boom and bust, then they may be able to support a new generation of cleantech companies."

The publisher of the third featured publication should be "Stanford University Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Other Report

Venture Capital and Cleantech: The Wrong Model for Clean Energy Innovation

Author: Varun Sivaram

Venture capital (VC) firms spent over $25 billion funding clean energy technology (cleantech) start-ups from 2006 to 2011 and lost over half their money; as a result, funding has dried up in the cleantech sector. In this report, we present the most comprehensive account to date of the cleantech VC boom and bust, aggregating hundreds of investments to calculate the risk/return profile of cleantech, compared with those of medical and software technology investments. The results are stark—cleantech offered VCs a dismal risk/return profile, dragged down by companies developing new materials, chemistries, or processes that never achieved manufacturing scale. We conclude that the VC model is broken for the cleantech sector, which suffers especially from a dearth of large corporations willing to invest in innovation. Fortunately, new public and private capital may be on the way after announcements made at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit. If a new and more diverse set of actors avoids the mistakes of the cleantech VC boom and bust, then they may be able to support a new generation of cleantech companies."

The publisher of the third featured publication should be "Stanford University Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Article

The Refugee Problem in New York

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate

Every September, many of the world’s presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers descend on New York City to mark the start of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. This year, they will once again highlight the international community's inability to address a pressing global challenge.

See more in Global; International Organizations and Alliances; Refugees and the Displaced

Article

Review: ‘Zika’ Tracks the Trajectory of an Epidemic

Author: Laurie Garrett
The New York Times

If a publisher had come to me four months ago and asked me to write a book about the Zika crisis in just 30 days, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to say yes, as Donald G. McNeil Jr. did. So many assumptions written in March or April could prove wrong by June or August that the challenge of quickly producing a book on Zika would seem too risky — given that there will also be sleep deprivation, speed writing, high-velocity editing and rewrite ahead.

See more in Global; Public Health Threats and Pandemics