Our world is facing an existential crisis due to decades of human exploitation using unsustainable methods. This has led to unimaginable levels of carbon being released into the atmosphere, global warming, deforestation, the unavailability of clean water, food waste, a rise in unemployment, and much more, with some nations suffering earlier than others. In recent years, we have started to recognize our wrongs, and there has been a global call for sustainable practices to save our planet before it is too late.

Many countries with knowledge-based economies have been quick to adapt, rebound, and secure a more resilient and sustainable future for their citizens. There has been a very high focus on recognizing, supporting, and enabling sustainable solutions and practices brought forth by young advocates and entrepreneurs working tirelessly to tackle these issues. However, the Middle East and Africa have seemed to lag behind in such initiatives due to the absence of strong ecosystems nurturing sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2020, the total inflow to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Funds reached a record high of $1Tr AUM in July. In comparison, one out of every three dollars in the United States was invested under one of the ESG mandates, whereas the MEA region is represented by:

  • Only 2–5% of the total impact-investment market
  • With only 1.7% of the total investments going toward combating the climate crisis


In 2018, Ara Fernezian started the Innovate4Good initiative, in Abu Dhabi, to help entrepreneurs and young professionals become climate actors and change makers by connecting  them with the right experts and decision-makers for their innovative ideas.

Ara is also the founder and CEO of Stratecis, a purpose-driven organization specializing in designing platforms and initiatives for people and corporations passionate about sustainability, climate tech, and youth empowerment. Its goal is to help communities connect, innovate, collaborate, and accelerate solutions to our most pressing societal and environmental challenges facing the Middle East and Africa.

The Innovate4Good platform is an ecosystem powered by AI to help match, connect, and foster collaboration between startups, investors, incubators, accelerators, businesses, and mentors alike. Innovate4Good aims to become the go-to marketplace and community for innovative solutions in climate tech, sustainability, and tech for good, fostering growth in the ecosystem primarily in the MEA region.