Speaker Chapter 3
4-5 May 2023, A Coruña, Spain
Chief Operating Officer, Xprize
Zenia Tata is an innovation strategist, a futurist and a humanitarian who is passionate about tapping the vastness of human potential to tackle the planet’s most vexing problems.
As Chief Impact Officer at XPRIZE, Zenia designed more than 25 different innovation challenges to incentivize development of moonshot technologies in areas such as energy, CO2 removal, and water abundance. During this time Zenia trained as a futurist and started XPRIZE’s Future Foresight practice, which produces deeply researched “impact roadmaps” outlining the breakthroughs necessary to achieve preferred future states of various social and environmental areas such as energy, food, forests, housing, human health, and climate change. These impact roadmaps emphasized the confluence of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and highlighted necessary breakthroughs for the next decade.
The ultimate chaos pilot, Zenia excels at navigating teams through turbulence. Her efforts in designing multiple moonshots simultaneously across multiple industries reflected Zenia’s ability to coalesce global communities of scientists, engineers, inventors, policy people, and investors in order to drive scalable actions with measurable impacts. Her last large-scale effort at XPRIZE was the groundbreaking design of the $100 million Carbon Removal XPRIZE funded by Elon Musk that incentivizes solutions for the capture and sequestration of atmospheric CO2.
Zenia’s popularity as a public speaker reflects a talent for clear and inspiring communication around complex ideas. Her keynotes cover her methodology of affecting disruption, a unique approach that combines moonshot thinking principles with design principles, drawing from biomimicry and science fiction.
Prior to XPRIZE, Zenia served as Executive Director of International Development Enterprises (iDE) USA, a nonprofit company that creates market-based approaches to help impoverished farmers in developing countries generate income. Working in post-disaster zones and some of the poorest villages, Zenia honed an approach to that begins with a deep understanding of the local context and market dynamics to implement change. Her proudest achievement, was iDE’s ability to lift 24 million farm families out of the cycle of poverty.
At this time, Zenia is consulting with the Australian Government at Breakthrough Victoria, a novel $2 billion impact investment fund focused on innovations in terrestrial and marine waste, climate tech and food and water technologies.
Zenia is bold, brimming with optimism and determined to change the world.