Green Shift: Initiative by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

From pandemic issues to perspectives for the day after


As societies start to emerge and recover from the COVID-19’s severe effects, in which the link between our environment and our people’s health has proved to become a growing concern — it is time for us to be united, act together in solidarity towards a common goal. The need for a collective response to global challenges is more fundamental than ever, whether it is the coronavirus or environmental preservation.

We’re happy to have been invited by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to contribute to an initiative called “A green shift? “ — a series of short video interviews where personalities and scientists take the floor to reflect on the link between the environment and the pandemic, on the current impact of the crisis in various regions of the world and on the perspectives for the “day after”. The importance of creating this new balance between man and nature at the end of this crisis, is now being put under the spotlight.

Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms

‘I am Didier Toubia, born and raised in Paris, France and the father of three wonderful children for whom I would do anything to offer a bright future.

And I love good food! I’m fortunate to be the co-Founder of cultivated meat pioneer Aleph Farms, where we strive to ensure unconditional access to delicious, safe and healthy nutrition for everyone, anytime and anywhere.

In the last few months, the nature of our relationship with our planet has been put to a test. Each of us have had the unique opportunity to seize the moment and start to reckon.

I’d like to share 3 insights from this difficult period.

The first one is about humility. In the last decades, the Human species became exponentially stronger and smarter. As a result, we felt almighty and became arrogant: we believed our science granted us control over Nature. When the COVID-19 crisis is over, we might choose to come back to our old normal and wait for the next crisis: we had a few in our recent past: avian flu, SARS, wildfires and many more. Alternately, we might and shall, be humble and listen. Listen to Nature saying “stop”. As a Biologist, I learned that the species which thrive over time are not the strongest ones, not even the smartest ones. They are the ones who can adapt, the ones who are listening to their environment and adjust to changes. We are facing one of those unique moments when Humans must evolve in order preserve a bright future. This requires humility.

The next idea I would like to share is about globalization. Following this crisis, we shall rebuild a global ecosystem which relies on local communities and cultures. When we connect to our roots, we gain the necessary confidence to open ourselves to different cultures, what enables us to establish a coherent and strong global economy. International collaboration is better achieved when one reconciles with his neighbor's differences. The new global will be local.

My third point is about building a resilient food system for all. Sustainability is of course a matter of preserving our natural environment and reverting climate change. But it is also about ensuring farmers prosperity, supply chain resilience, food security, and it’s about sustainable diets. To achieve those goals, we need to revert to more local and traditional ways to produce food, which are respectful to the planet, to the animals and to the farmers. Then, we need to implement innovations that are in balance with nature, such as cellular agriculture, in order to bridge the gap between less productive methods and an increasing global demand.

There is an urgency for the long-term.

Planet Earth is our home. There is no Planet B. Let’s preserve our home.

Now is the time.’