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We hope your new year is off to a good start. As our team has been catching up on all the year-end recaps and 2024 outlooks that have come out in recent weeks, we’ve found many reasons to be optimistic about the year ahead — and we hope this newsletter gives you plenty of reasons to feel hope, too.

For those concerned about the environment, Fast Company’s list of climate tech innovations spotlights the immense potential of the breakneck pace of innovation in this growing industry. Likewise, the Quartz Innovators of 2023 show what’s possible when leaders imagine better ways of doing business.  

The world of investing is gradually changing for the better, too. For example, as millennial women embrace angel investing, many are allocating their capital to fund more diverse founders and companies.

Below, we feature several more reasons to feel hopeful for 2024.

Keeping AI Open and Safe for All
As artificial intelligence (AI) transforms how people work and create content, the contributions of women are often overlooked — yet their voices are essential to developing technology that benefits all people. Margaret Mitchell is one of several women who refuses to be a “hidden figure” in AI development.

Named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023, Mitchell founded Google’s Ethical AI research team in 2017. Four years later, she was fired after co-authoring a controversial paper warning that large language models used in AI systems like ChatGPT can reinforce stereotypes and cause other problems.

Now, Mitchell is the chief AI ethics scientist at Hugging Face, an open-source AI platform where independent researchers can build and launch AI tools. She is pioneering new guardrails for AI and advocating for marginalized people to have a seat at the table. At the same time, Mitchell is using her voice to advocate for transparency and ethical development of AI.
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Investors Seeking Alpha in Impact
“Impact is the new game in fund and asset management,” according to ImpactAlpha. The publication argues that long-term trends point to continued momentum for impact funds as more investors seek returns while generating positive, measurable social or environmental impact. For example, one survey shows seven in ten institutional investors plan to increase allocations to impact investing in public markets. Meanwhile, private equity firms increasingly see impact as a growth market and are beginning to track and report on their results.
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20 Businesses Built for Impact

For proof that businesses can do well while doing good, look no further than the Fortune Impact 20. The ranking spotlights venture- and private-equity-backed startups that are deploying the creative tools of capitalism to solve social and environmental problems. From providing pediatric dentistry and school-based teletherapy to restoring forests, each company on the list is pursuing a vision that melds profit and purpose.
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Supporting Women- and Minority-Owned Clean Energy Companies

The clean energy workforce has a diversity problem. For example, Black people hold just 8% of clean energy jobs but represent 13% of the overall US labor force. Recognizing the value of a diverse workforce in today’s economy, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) launched an effort to provide more women- and minority-owned firms with access to its powerful network and resources. Since enrolling 31 small companies in its Accelerate Membership Program, ACORE has observed that smaller clean energy companies are collaborating with each other to redefine economic and restorative justice.
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The Face of Gen Z Entrepreneurship
Politically aware, social justice-driven Gen Zers are rewriting the rules of entrepreneurship, according to Fortune. With interest in entrepreneurship soaring (about 50% of Gen Zers are interested in starting a business), new university programs are providing a path for students who want to stay in school while building businesses. For example, at Blackstone’s LaunchPad at the University of Texas at Austin, students can find mentorship, speakers and events, community, grants, and other funding.
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Inspiring Hope for 2024

Is anything more likely to inspire hope than a good TED Talk? This video collection spotlights innovators, leaders, and artists tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues and striving to make the planet a better place for all.
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