Debating Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet with John Fullerton & Manuel Gonzalez artwork
New Food Order

Debating Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet with John Fullerton & Manuel Gonzalez

  • S1E12
  • 57:46
  • January 31st 2023

Is exponential growth possible on a finite planet? How might we balance growth and profit with maximum social and ecological benefit?

This is a huge topic that we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of. In today’s bonus finance episode, we share two differing viewpoints on growth from regenerative economics pioneer John Fullerton and venture capitalist Manuel Gonzalez. 

We also include a discussion with Sara Eckhouse, executive director of Foodshot Global, about using Integrated Capital investment models that combine funding from multiple types of financial instruments to fund solutions that address social and environmental issues.

Topics covered in this episode include:

  • The failures of the current financial system and the business models within it
  • The potential benefits of restructuring the ownership of large multinational food companies
  • Whether we need to build a new system from the ground up with alternative principles and priorities to cope with our current crises
  • What those principles might be
  • The potential negative impacts of a model that doesn’t center growth
  • How Integrated Capital works and is able to develop novel ideas that could be missed by other financing structures

John Fullerton is the founder and president of Capital Institute. He is also an active impact investor and co-founder and director of holistic ranch management company Grasslands, LLC; a director of New Day Farms, Savory Institute, and the New Economy Coalition.

Manuel Gonzalez is General Partner at AgFunder, one of the world’s most active foodtech and agtech VC investors. Manuel was formerly the global head of innovation for Rabobank, the world’s leading food and agriculture bank, and founder of its two startup engagement platforms: FoodBytes! and Terra.

Sara Eckhouse is Executive Director at FoodShot Global, whose mission is to empower bold ideas and innovative companies to accelerate the transformation to a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system.

Show notes:

Herman Daly Interview

Paul Polman

Capital Institute


FoodShot Global - Precision Protein Challenge

Donella Meadows: Limits to Growth


Karl Popper

Albert Michelson

S2G Ventures and ocean data

David Deutsch: The beginning of Infinity.

Timothy Snyder

*Giveaway Details*

We’ve teamed up with our partners at New Hope Network to offer ALL of our listeners an exclusive 25% off discount for an Expo West 2023 badge and ONE lucky listener will have the opportunity to win a free booth at Expo West 2024 ($8k value).

To enter, do the following by February 17th:

  • Head to New Food Order’s show page on Apple Podcasts
  • Make sure you are subscribed
  • Leave us a review - good or bad - but hopefully good! Scroll to the bottom of the page to do so.
  • Screenshot the review and email it to Meg at [email protected] - if you’re interested in the 25% discount to this year’s Expo, please call it out in the email.  
  • Lastly, head to - select newsletter - and register to receive our newsletters. In addition to New Food Order content, AgFunder and Food+Tech Connect publish the leading newsletters for the food and agtech community.
  • Those who follow New Hope Network, Food + Tech Connect and AgFunder on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will receive double entry.

Follow us on Linkedin: @agfunder & @foodtechconnect

This series is sponsored by:

New Hope Network

New Hope Network is a media, events and business intelligence company, covering natural products trends, industry insights and marketplace data that educate the industry about key issues, like regenerative agriculture, sustainability, responsible sourcing and more. Visit

FoodShot Global

FoodShot leverages resources from investors around the world to provide non-dilutive, equity, and post-investment capacities to innovators. Find out more at

New Food Order

New Food Order is a podcast exploring the business of tackling our climate and social crises through food and agriculture from AgFunder and Food+Tech Connect.

Through nuanced conversation and debate, its hosts Danielle Gould and Louisa Burwood-Taylor are embarking on a learning and unlearning journey to unearth how we might design business and finance to have maximum positive impact for people and our planet.

Join us as we speak with leading farmers, entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and other stewards on key topics like:

  • Will plant-based, lab-grown meat, and regenerative agriculture save the world?
  • Is carbon neutral enough?
  • What are the most people and planet friendly business and finance models?
  • How might we best honor and learn from indigenous communities?
  • What are the unintended consequences of new innovation, and how might we avoid them?

Danielle Gould avatar
Danielle Gould

Danielle Gould is an entrepreneur and activist. She is the Founder and CEO of Food Tech Connect, the first community for food innovation as well as the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Alpha Food Labs, a consultancy where she works with some of the world’s largest companies to create products and innovation strategies that are better for people and our planet. She hopes that ultimately, her work helps unite and catalyze a movement of earth guardians.

Louisa Burwood-Taylor avatar
Louisa Burwood-Taylor

A journalist and editor, Louisa is the head of media & research for AgFunder and chief editor of its news site AFN, focused on the foodtech and agtech industry. With 10 years of agriculture reporting behind her, Louisa started her career in other financial markets working for publications like the Financial Times, Euromoney and Private Equity International, where she launched the first-ever publication dedicated to agriculture investment.