Mark Tercek leads a team committed to tackling the world's biggest environmental challenges — protecting land and water, addressing climate change, providing food and water sustainably, and building healthy cities.

Why you should listen

Mark Tercek is CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world's largest conservation organization, and author of the best-seller Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. After a 24-year career at Goldman Sachs, where he served as a managing director and Partner, Tercek became an "investment banker for nature." He brings deep business experience to his role at TNC, where he leads the organization's efforts to bring together diverse groups to find pragmatic, common-ground solutions to protect nature at scale. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital -- valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate. Growing up as a city kid in Cleveland, Tercek was a late-bloomer to conservation. It was becoming a parent that sparked his passion for nature. "I want to be able to look my kids in the eye and tell them I did all I could to leave the world a better place," he says.

With support from the Audacious Project at TED, Tercek and his colleagues at TNC are launching a bold plan that could protect 4 million square kilometers of ocean over five years. 

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