Connect to the people and companies with the power to deliver a decarbonized future at Cleantech Forum San Francisco on 27-29 January 2020.

Since 2002, we’ve brought together global investors, innovators, corporates and change makers looking for answers to the biggest question: who will lead the transformation we’re all waiting for?

This year, the theme of the Forum echoes the growing pressure to deliver solutions: Welcome to the Chaos of the 2020s: Urgent Actions, Unusual Strategies, Unexpected Allies. Join us for three days of opportunities to discover how to succeed in increasingly turbulent times. In San Francisco, you’ll find the people and ideas that matter and leave with the contacts and network to help you take the next steps.

Who Attends

The Forum connects the latest generation of start-ups with investors and corporates looking for new partners.

Meet the people who are joining us for the Forum!


What People Have to Say About the Forum

“One of the best conferences I have ever been to”
Gregorio Oberti, Managing Director, PwC

“Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporates – all the most influential leaders and innovators of the global cleantech industry gather at Cleantech Forum San Francisco to attend meaningful discussions and identify new trends, emerging innovations and their deployment. It really is a MUST in the cleantech industry.”
Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder & Managing Director, Cycle Capital Management

“It was an absolute blast! Loved my first Cleantech Forum. What amazing people you gather. Feeling inspired and motivated.”
Claire O’Connor, Senior Advisor, International Affairs, US Department of Energy

“Thank you for a great forum! I was humbled by the smart and experienced people I met, it was great rubbing shoulders with such intelligent people. And I’m following up with several of them!”
Kathy Giori, Vice President, Arduino


Welcome to the Chaos of the 2020s: Urgent Actions, Unusual Strategies, Unexpected Allies

Our 2020 Forum theme Welcome to the Chaos of the 2020s: Urgent Actions, Unusual Strategies, Unexpected Allies will highlight what is occurring in response to the somewhat abnormal and chaotic next decade ahead (compared to the 2010s).

By 2030, we have the inconvenient challenge of needing to have halved carbon emissions globally, and we are clearly not on track. Meanwhile, societal forces are gathering in strength year on year to push brands, employers, elected governments, etc. into doing a whole lot more at pace.

Read more

All of this has us thinking that orderliness and the normal pace of things might go out the window, and corporations will have to struggle with the need to do more faster and adopt different strategies (where survival over growth might become the predominant imperative for a while). Part of adopting different strategies and transforming industries will also require different thinking and new business relationships.

Join us for Cleantech Forum San Francisco, and come ready to discuss new and innovative solutions to our pressing climate crisis.

The agenda below is subject to change – note that sessions and timings are likely to move, as we finalize our programming. 

Featured speakers

January 27, 2020

denotes Moderator
  • Pre-Registration

    Registration opens for invite-only and pre-Forum activities.

  • Entrepreneur Coaching

    All entrepreneurs are invited to participate in a coaching session to discuss a range of topics around the building of a company. Relevant topics include fundraising, commercialization challenges and solutions, branding strategy, and executive presence. This informal session is designed to be interactive with dialogues and case studies, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to come prepared with specific questions in mind.

  • Entrepreneur & Investor Speed Networking (Invite-Only)

    The Entrepreneur & Investor Speed Networking session will connect investors, corporates, and entrepreneurs via a facilitated ‘speed dating’ format. Entrepreneurs will have the chance to meet with multiple investors throughout the session. To be equitable for all participants, this session is designed as ‘blind’ for both the entrepreneur and investor/corporate; participants will only know who they will be meeting at the start of the session.

    Limited seating and by invitation only.

  • Executive Summit: Resiliency, Risk & Response - Adapting to the Chaos of Climate Change

    This Executive Summit will be a cross-sector discussion of opportunities around climate adaptation: who is taking resilient action, how we can better understand risk and where the innovations are in response?

    Recent reports highlight increasing demand for climate-related opportunities totaling $2 trillion, with $236 billion through new solutions to adaptation needs. Cities, infrastructure owners, designers, builders and financial services are taking steps to prepare and take advantage of opportunities through planning, reporting, technology, new approaches and new markets. Engage in conversations with key participants across the value chain during this afternoon Summit.

    This Summit is invite-only and limited in size for participants to easily engage in conversation, and to allocate places evenly across the value chain and across stakeholders (e.g. corporates, investors, start-ups, etc.). Please email forums@cleantech.com if you are interested in participating, with a brief description of your relevance to the topic.

  • Registration & Official Opening
  • The 2020 Global Cleantech 100 is Unveiled: Welcome to the 18th Annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco!

    We will open the Forum by releasing the latest edition of the Global Cleantech 100, the 11th such list since its inaugural edition in 2009.

    We’re also excited to have with us Bertrand Piccard, explorer, pioneer and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. His Round-The-World Solar Flight was only the first phase in his vision. The second phase explains why he is here. The Solar Impulse Foundation is currently selecting #1000 SOLUTIONS that can protect the environment in a profitable way. Bertrand will then go around the world again to deliver these solutions to governments, corporations and institutions to demonstrate to them that more ambitious policies and more rapid action programs are possible. The solutions exist. The demand-side is the problem.

  • Welcome Reception

January 28, 2020

denotes Moderator
  • Registration & Continental Breakfast

    Welcome coffee and light breakfast will be served in the general networking area.

  • Welcome to the Chaos of the 2020s: Urgent Actions, Unusual Strategies, Unexpected Allies

    Our main-stage time will begin with Cleantech Group’s annual “lay of the land,” incorporating the trends and organizations to keep an eye on, in the months and years ahead.

    We will also introduce our overall Forum theme and provide some examples of the urgent actions, unusual strategies and unexpected allies we are seeing in response to what we foresee as a somewhat abnormal and chaotic decade of the 2020s (compared to the 2010s).

    Read more

    By 2030, we have the inconvenient challenge of needing to have halved carbon emissions globally, and we are clearly not on track. Meanwhile, societal forces are gathering in strength year on year to push brands, employers, elected governments, etc. into doing a whole lot more at pace.

    All of this has us thinking that orderliness and the normal pace of things might go out the window, and corporations will have to struggle with the need to do more faster and adopt different strategies (where survival over growth might become the predominant imperative for a while). Part of adopting different strategies and transforming industries will also require different thinking and new business relationships.

  • Networking Break

    From this point on, the majority of the Forum’s programming will take place in parallel tracks, offering you a wider variety of subjects to choose from and continuing our more casual and conversational Interaction Track. Sessions in the Interaction Track are deliberately informal and sized to be interactive. To encourage easy flow of conversations between the named speakers and participants, there are no stages, microphones or slide presentations. You are here to listen and talk to each other!

    Read more

    The two formats in this year’s Interaction Track are Campfires, where the seating arrangement for max 60 will be circular and close to the speakers leading the session, or Briefings, where about 20 people will get the chance to sit around a boardroom table to hear from a combination of a Cleantech Group analyst providing an overview/landscape of the innovation theme in question and 1-3 CEOs pertinent to that theme.

  • Edge Computing in Energy

    Energy assets are now generating more useful data than infrastructure can move efficiently. For oil & gas, power utilities and other energy players across the value chain, edge computing can enhance production capabilities, improve process, extend asset life and create opportunities for the deployment of additional capabilities. This session will explore the new computing framework and why stakeholders in the energy market should be paying close attention.

  • The Rising Stars

    Five leaders from debut companies on the 2020 Global Cleantech 100 list inspire us with their innovations and the impact they can make in the next five to ten years.

    We’ll announce the Rising Stars on the first evening of the Forum after the Global Cleantech 100 list is revealed.

  • Interaction Track
    Carbon to Value: Catalyzing Today’s Opportunities in CCUS

    Plausible expansions of renewable technologies are expected to be insufficient to meet the enormous levels of global greenhouse gas reductions required under the Paris Accords. Carbon removal, reduction and utilization through myriad pathways is now recognized as a vital piece of the GHG mitigation puzzle. Examples include hydrocarbon pyrolysis, chemical conversion, mineralization, bio-reduction and geological injection. But can these solutions scale and integrate into highly optimized incumbent market verticals?

    Read more

    This workshop will discuss near-term opportunities for carbon capture, utilization and storage, and will help establish a clear picture of how market participants can capitalize on the technology today.

    Co-hosted by: SoCalGas

  • Networking Lunch
  • Session Under Development - Data Privacy Meets Cleantech

    This sponsored session will focus on the intersection of where data privacy meets cleantech. New technologies are providing increasing amounts of data that allow companies to better serve their customers – whether through more efficient operations or new, innovative products and services – but these devices are also increasing concerns over consumer data privacy.

    Check back soon for more details. 

  • 50 to Watch

    New this year, the 50 to Watch list is a new research endeavor by Cleantech Group to highlight 50 companies that could “change it all.” This session will feature some of these companies from the list and/or identify key themes from the inaugural crop of companies.

  • Interaction Track
    Low Carbon Fuels: Connecting The Dots From Production to Propulsion

    The targets are ambitious and the engineering is audacious, but without a high price on carbon, how can low carbon fuels compete? This session will discuss solutions to the current industry barriers, from production limitations and the role that CCUS is playing, to blending limits and integration into the existing infrastructure.

    Co-hosted by: Evok Innovations

  • Transition Break
  • Time to be Inclusive and Pragmatic Before It’s Too Late: Advanced nuclear technologies must be a significant part of the solution set

    At this Forum in 2010, we recognized the good work and leadership of the Ecopragmatist, Stewart Brand, with an award. Ahead of his time, he was then explaining why, to solve the challenges we have of rising energy demand with a need for radical decarbonization at scale, nuclear had to be part of the solution set – including the newer, innovative versions that promise a revolution in economics and industrial utility for nuclear energy.

    Read more

    A decade later, this is still not accepted wisdom, and the runway to climate success is now ten years shorter. This session will explain the 2020 context, why and how innovations in nuclear energy have to be part of the solution set, and when, by using three examples of applications: electricity, industry and transport use cases.

    Co-hosted by: ClearPath and the Nuclear Energy Institute, in partnership with NuScale Power, Oklo and Terrestrial Energy

  • From Chemical to Biological: Building Microbiomes for Healthy Soil and High Yield

    The planet needs a clean alternative to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Innovators have turned to biological tools to fix nitrogen in the soil and control pests. In this session, we explore why this movement is receiving such strong support, and discuss the challenges with adopting biological alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

  • Networking Break
  • Urban Mobility: Lessons Learned and Future Innovative Solutions

    Mobility services are creating more congestion, more emissions and more frustrations in cities. With almost 70% of the world’s population expected to be in urban areas by 2050, ride services and micro-mobility (bikes, scooters, etc.) may become part of the solution, but have overwhelmed cities whose already overloaded infrastructure was designed for personal cars, trucks and varying degrees of public transit. In addition, new technologies (autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, etc.) are ushering in new mobility models.

    Read more

    What can be learned from these experiments? What is the role of mobility services and autonomous, connected vehicles? And how do they complement public transit?

  • Bioplastics in the 2020s: Innovations & Economic Viability

    Plastics are overflowing in our environment, threatening our ecosystems and resources. While we will continue to create waste, even with the growing efforts to reduce the amount, the challenge remains how we can minimize the impact of what we throw away. Public pressure and dwindling options for sending trash elsewhere are creating opportunities for innovation, with bioplastics and biopolymers as a viable alternative to traditional plastic. This session will focus on innovative solutions in the bioplastics sector, with a focus on assessing the market and the sustainable and economic viability of bioplastics in the 2020s.

  • Transition Break
  • OK, Boomers: Let’s get serious on where we really are and what together we need to get done!

    We thought it would be fun to end the day with a non-confrontational and non-digital cross-generation interaction between two pioneer investors in our field (the “Boomers”), fielding questions from and putting questions to, two upcoming future leaders, with a particular focus on how they all see the decade ahead in terms of trends and business scenarios. 2030 (and the goal of halving emissions) is less than 10 years away.

    Areas of discussion will likely range from what might happen (as ugly as that could be) to what they hope will happen to address the critical problem set.

    Co-hosted by: CELI (Clean Energy Leadership Institute)

  • Evening Reception

January 29, 2020

denotes Moderator
  • Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • WCS Talks @ Cleantech Forum San Francisco

    Our partner, Women in Cleantech & Sustainability (WCS), hosts an annual TEDtalk-style event in November, featuring both a female-focused start-up pitch competition and a series of WCS Talks, with some of the brightest minds and most inspiring stories from the clean economy revolution.

    How better to kick-off our final day than to invite WCS and some of its members to come and inspire us for the day ahead with a range of WCS Talks. The confirmed titles to date are:

    • Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry
    • If the internet was a country, it would rank 6th in terms of CO2 emissions

    Co-hosted by: Women in Cleantech & Sustainability (WCS)

  • Transition Break
  • Long Duration Energy Storage: Solutions for Variable Renewables and Grid Stability

    Over the next decade, the need to store and discharge energy over weeks, months and seasons will become vital. Urgent action is needed to bridge the gap between variable renewables and grid demand, reducing the risks incurred by diminishing fossil-fuel baseload power. Solutions providing multiple hours of charging and discharging are beyond the economics or capacity of conventional batteries, and technological innovation is needed to enable a new energy era, which we can be dependent of renewables through the year.

    Co-hosted by: Cycle Capital Management

  • Food Loss: How Can Innovation Solve This $300 Billion Problem?

    About 30% of all food grown is lost to waste along the supply chain. To solve for this problem, sensors and data are helping identify where waste occurs, while innovators are designing faster quality shipping, safety inspections, processing, storage, and packaging solutions. This session will explore which technologies will have the biggest impact on efficiency and profitability to reduce food loss in the supply chain.

  • Networking Break
  • Smart Buildings 2030: An Accelerated Decade for Innovation

    Given the urgency of climate change, a different kind of thinking will be required over the next 10 years to make buildings more adaptive to the realities of the future. This session will bring together leading entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders to discuss smart buildings of the future. Based on current trends, early-stage technology development and start-up creation, this panel will make predictions and answer audience questions about the exciting future for sensor-enabled, data-driven, occupant-focused buildings. While even today, smart technologies are being adopted in many buildings, there are many solutions that likely will see much wider adoption over the coming decade.

  • Session Under Development

    This session is under development. Check back in the near future for more details. 

  • Networking Lunch
  • Automating Construction: Are Building Sites On the Verge of Massive Technological Disruption?

    Construction is a $12 trillion industry, accounting for almost 13% of the global GDP and responsible for 38% of global emissions. While construction incumbents have historically invested very little in new technologies, with a recent spike in VC investment, it appears the sector is on the verge of major disruptive changes. In this session, we will introduce some of the leading players in this space to discuss the market dynamics and how innovation in automation will make building sites safer and more resource efficient.

  • Hydrogen: Converting Waste into Economic Opportunity

    It is widely believed that cost-competitive green hydrogen production could be developed over the coming decade. However, opportunities exist today that allow clean hydrogen to be obtained from a range of unfamiliar sources as a by-product. From industrial reclamation, food waste recovery to carbon to hydrogen, cost competitive solutions are being commercialized today. This session will explore some of these opportunities as well as exploring the large scale potential for these technology in today’s market.

  • Networking Break
  • Closing Plenary

    We will close the Forum with keynote(s) or panel – check back in the near future for more details. 

  • Closing Reception

    Thank you for joining us for our 18th annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco!

My Visit


The 2020 Forum will be headquartered at Park Central Hotel, a modern and spacious hotel ideally situated in the cultural heart of downtown, walking distance from Union Square, AT&T ballpark, the Financial District, Embarcadero, Chinatown, and more. Park Central blends location, service and comfort, to create an exceptional property in one of the world’s favorite cities.

Reserve your room at the official venue of Cleantech Forum San Francisco. Our special hotel block rate of $315/night will be available for the nights of January 25 – January 30, with limited availability January 25-26 and January 29-30. Deadline to book is January 11, 2020.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous companies who are claiming to provide hotel rooms for our Forum. This is NOT the case. To ensure you are not scammed by one of these companies, please only use the reservation link provided above to book your accommodations. Or reach out directly to us at forums@cleantech.com for the latest information our hotel block.

Park Central San Francisco
50 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103





Sponsorship Increases Your Visibility

We’re grateful to our sponsors for making Cleantech Forum San Francisco possible.

Our sponsors and partners benefit from increased visibility and global networking opportunities. Every sponsorship package is bespoke to make the most of your organization’s goals.

Interested in sponsoring this event? Please contact us at forums@cleantech.com to discuss opportunities. 

Best Rate:
July 3 - July 31
Summer Rate:
August 1 - Sept 6
Autumn Rate:
Sept 7 - Oct 31
November Rate:
Nov 1 - Nov 30
December Rate:
Dec 1 - Dec 31
Full Rate:
Jan 1 - Jan 26
On-Site Rate:
Jan 27 - Jan 29

The Forum Registration Fee Includes:

  • Access to all keynotes, general sessions, and (non-invite-only) breakout sessions and workshops
  • Access to all general (non-invite-only) breakfasts, lunches, networking breaks, and receptions
  • Access to the networking area and exhibitor space

100% Satisfaction Guarantee to Cleantech Forum “First-Timers”

Cleantech Group has run Forums since 2002 with many annual returnees. As a statement of confidence – and as a commitment to newcomers’ satisfaction, who are least familiar with the event – we will gladly refund your registration fee if you are dissatisfied with the value you received from participating in your first Forum.

Available Discounts

All discounts are offered via online registration and payment only, unless otherwise agreed by Cleantech Group.

Discounts are available to the following individuals. Please note that only one discount type/code can be applied against the standard rates published above. Cleantech Group reserves the right to reject any registrations where a double-discount is deemed to have been applied.

  • CTG Subscribers: The CTG subscriber rate – $300 off the registration fee – is available to paying subscribers of CTG. You must register with the email address you use to log into i3. If you have any issues with your subscriber discount, please email us at forums@cleantech.com
    • You can find more information about our services and subscription offerings here.
  • i3 Start-up Users: If you have an active start-up profile on i3, you will have access to an exclusive startup rate of $1295. Please email forums@cleantech.com for profile verification and how to register.
    • If you do not have an active i3 startup profile, go to i3connect.com and select “For Start-ups” to create one.
  • Government/Non-Profit Representatives: We offer a tiered discount rate for government employees and non-profit representatives. For more information, or to receive this rate, please email us at forums@cleantech.com with the name of your organization and verification of your government or non-profit status.
  • Groups of 3+: If your organization or company would like to bring 3 or more attendees, we offer special group rates. For groups of 3, we offer a 15% discount; for groups of 4, we offer a 20% discount; and for groups of 5+, we offer a 25% discount. Please contact us for more information.
  • Students: We do not offer a student rate to the Forum. Instead, we encourage students to apply to be a Forum volunteer to get access to unique networking and learning opportunities.


Media registration is by invitation only. For a media pass, please contact us.


Are you in business school or a graduate program? Apply to volunteer at Cleantech Forum San Francisco, and get access to unique networking and learning opportunities.

Please note that this opportunity is open to those still in school, with occasional exceptions made for recent graduates.

Terms & Conditions

For the full list of terms and conditions, please click here.

  • Invoice Policy:
    • If an invoice is requested, payment will be required by no later than the Event Date. If payment is not received before then, Cleantech Group reserves the right to cancel the registration without notice. Payment may be made by check, credit card or bank transfer.
  • Substitutions:
    • A request to transfer a registration to a colleague should be made by giving written notice via email. Cleantech Group reserves the right to deny a request for such a substitution, but will not unreasonably do so.
  • Cancellation Policy:
    • Up to 12 weeks before the event date, a 20% cancellation fee will be applicable
    • Up to 8 weeks before the event date, a 30% cancellation fee will be applicable
    • Up to 4 weeks before the event date, a 50% cancellation fee will be applicable
    • Less than 4 weeks before the event date, the full fee will be applicable
    • No Show, the full fee will be applicable

If you have any questions about registration, please feel free to contact us at forums@cleantech.com.