Karim Giscombe is one of those quiet revolutionaries. Meeting him in the exclusive Spring Place members club in Tribeca in NYC, he cuts an unassuming figure, stylish and low key. He speaks with a measured intensity, his eyes watching you to see if you’ve understood the full gravitas of what he is attempting to do.
This former Bank of America Merrill Lynch director (his LinkedIn Profile calls himself a ‘reformed capitalist’) has embarked via his new venture Plant which nothing less than a crusade to feed the world (using the power of schools, technology and branding) and creating a new category which he dubs ‘Agriculture as a Service.’ When asked why he’s doing it, his response is simply, “Everybody’s gotta eat.”
irst some context: The global demand for food is rising exponentially and will reach all-time highs by 2050 as the population approaches 10 billion people – and agriculture is not prepared for that.
There are many efforts underway aimed at potential solutions and Controlled Environment Agriculture (indoor farming as it most commonly labeled) is taking center stage because of the many benefits of this growing process. If the goal is to find the balance between resources and production, right now it seems clear that the future of food must be indoor, local, energy efficient and infinitely scalable.