This week Mariann talks to Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni about how he became active in the animal rights movement; what he is excited about in the animal rights world, including the activities of Sea Shepard and Mercy For Animals; why he believes that animal rights organizations are at their best when run by women; and how he uses his venture capital companies use investing to increase the well-being of animals all over the world He also of course talks to us about his wine and how he has been growing it organically and free of animal products since 1989. Lastly, he offers his thoughts about battling climate change.
Born in Milan, Italy, in 1966, Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni is an award-winning entrepreneur, investor, activist, and advisor to businesses and governments around the world. He is the Chairman and CEO of NKGB Strategic Advisory (based in Switzerland) with a focus on M&A, international policy, plant-based economy, technology, and impact investing. He is the owner and honorary chairman of one of the most renowned and innovative Italian wine estates, Querciabella, organic since 1988 and biodynamic since 2000. His Tuscan wines have garnered worldwide acclaim, including “Best Italian Wine” in 2004. Querciabella currently holds one of the largest extensions of biodynamic vineyards in Europe, and has pioneered vegan agriculture, viticulture and winemaking for over two decades. He served as Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy from 2014 to 2016. Mr Cossia Castiglioni is an investor in over 40 companies in the food innovation and plantbased sector, and was one of the early investors in Beyond Meat. He recently created and is about to launch a top quality gluten-free pasta brand (Bontasana), and a baby food brand (PeaKidz). He is a partner of Blue Horizon, and the main partner of Matthew Kenney’s global operations. He serves as advisor, among others, to plantbased companies Lighter, Plantable and The Vurger.
In 2017, he joined Impact NRS (New Reality Solutions) – a leading innovation company based in the US and Israel, developing transformative solutions to address persistent global challenges in human health, food production and agriculture – to serve as Senior Strategic Advisor. Among other innovations, NRS recently introduced two new cancer diagnostic and management tools that are poised to revolutionize the sector. He recently launched a new investment fund, with his partner Miray Zaki, called Dismatrix, dedicated to Dynamic Capital Solutions and Vegan Investments.
Although his expertise spans the food, finance, wine, technology, life sciences, design and art sectors, his main focus is animals. An impassioned vegan for the past few years, and an animal rights activist for over 35 years, his aim is saving animals in every possible way: from removing them from the food chain and other human activities through investment and entrepreneurship, to protecting them via direct action and strategy. He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society; on the Board of Compassion Over Killing; on the Advisory Council of Animal Equality; and on the Board of the Culture & Animals Foundation.
In the intro to the show, Jasmin‘s Vegan Lesbian Killjoy comedy act makes another appearance, Mariann and Jasmin talk about that AMAZING Joaquin Phoenix speech everyone is talking about and the reactions to and ramifications of it. Later in the episode, Mariann brings us Rising Anxieties!
As always, the award-winning weekly Our Hen House podcast is hosted by Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer.
This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.
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