AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS and Halcyon announce climate resilience fellowship cohort

AWS and Halcyon announce climate resilience fellowship cohort

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is announcing the 2023 cohort of the Halcyon Climate Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean Fellowship. AWS is sponsoring this fellowship with Halcyon, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit supporting impact-driven startups, to accelerate solutions that address the compounding effects of climate change on poverty, food insecurity, health disparities, and displacement – issues predominantly faced by vulnerable populations. The focus of this fellowship is to help 10 innovative startups address the intersection of climate change and social determinants of health to provide more equitable health and life outcomes.

According to the World Health Organization, social determinants of health are the (non-medical) conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. As global understanding of the widespread impacts of climate change continues to improve, one thing is clear: climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable populations. Solutions developed by and for these communities have the potential to create meaningful change in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Meet the fellows of the Halcyon Climate Resilience in Latin America and Caribbean Fellowship

This class of fellows spans an impressive array of solutions, from climate change insurance, to natural refrigeration, sustainable finance, Lithium-Ion battery re-use, and new developments in composting.

Here are three of the fellowship recipients:

Pictured: Sian Cuffy Young, founder of Siel Environmental, speaks to a class of young children.

Siel Environmental is a social enterprise based in Trinidad and Tobago that is working to transform the way that we think and act towards waste. The company’s goal is to change mindsets about waste, encourage positive attitudes, and promote concrete actions that will support improved waste disposal for individuals and commercial enterprises through culturally-relevant and innovative education and training solutions.

Pictured: Daniela Correa and Melissa Chavana, co-founders of SinCarbono.

Pictured: Daniela Correa and Melissa Chavana, co-founders of SinCarbono.

SinCarbono, based in Mexico, provides a user-friendly software that simplifies carbon footprint calculation for small-to-medium enterprises. This end-to-end decarbonization solution allows companies to measure, report, verify, offset, and connect with environmentally friendly suppliers to help them reduce their carbon footprint.

Pictured: NanoFreeze co-founders Isabel Pulido and Diana Paola Camacho.

Pictured: NanoFreeze co-founders Isabel Pulido and Diana Paola Camacho.

Colombian startup NanoFreeze created a new, natural form of refrigeration by using a novel bio-nanotechnology that is capable of freezing at higher temperatures and preserving cold temperatures two times longer than regular ice can do. The reduction in energy used to provide cooling dramatically cuts the environmental impact of preserving foods and other items.

Each company participating in this fellowship is combating climate change in diverse ways—from reducing emissions and increasing efficiency, to helping ease the impact of major disasters on communities. Every effort matters when it comes to reducing the impacts of climate change, particularly for vulnerable populations.

What’s next for the fellows

This program will kick off with an in-person intensive at Halcyon’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. at the end of July. Fellows will receive $25,000 in AWS Promotional Credit, technical support, a travel stipend, no-cost workshops on topics such as investment readiness training and preparing ventures for scale, pro bono legal assistance, monthly virtual meetings, and a final in-person residency in Mexico City where they will pitch their projects to investors, advisors, and various stakeholders.

AWS’s ongoing commitment to health equity

The Halcyon Climate Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean Fellowship is one of many ways that AWS has been working to help mitigate social determinants of health (SDoH), like those exacerbated by climate change, to bring about more equitable health outcomes for populations around the world.

“Climate change is increasingly having an impact on health equity and outcomes around the world,” said Danielle Morris, global health equity lead for AWS social responsibility and impact. “AWS is committed to working with organizations like Halcyon to help to accelerate solutions that bring more equity health outcomes to underserved populations.”

In 2021, AWS launched the AWS Health Equity Initiative, a $40 million, three-year global commitment designed to support innovations in this space. As of November 2022, the AWS Health Equity Initiative distributed $14M to nearly 90 organizations. The 2022 cohort of the AWS Healthcare Accelerator also had an emphasis on health equity, focusing on helping startups harness the power of the cloud to make access to healthcare more equitable. By helping organizations adopt and scale cloud-based technologies, AWS is helping startups and organizations expand the reach of valuable health services to wider audiences and address health inequities around the world.

Learn more about AWS’s commitment to health equity.

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