João Maria Botelho

João Maria Botelho

João Maria Botelho is an LL.B. student and Researcher at NOVA School of Law's Knowledge Center focused on ESG affairs - NOVA GREEN Lab. He is a dynamic force in the fields of Sustainable Finance, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), Business and Human Rights Law. 

His journey is defined by an unwavering passion for catalyzing positive change and bridging the gap between legal expertise and sustainability initiatives. 

In 2023, he earned acclaim from FORBES as a standout figure in the realms of innovation and sustainability due to his unwavering commitment to the field of social innovation and being invited as a speaker (later that year) to give his inputs into the sustainability field at the FORBES Annual Summit 2023.

In 2022, he successfully led a project that garnered recognition from the Financial Times, ranking it as one of Portugal's top student-led initiatives for creating positive social impact! 

Education: João's academic influence radiates through his roles as a researcher at esteemed NOVA centers, such as the Business Human Rights and the Environment Knowledge Center, NOVA OCEAN, and NOVA Green Lab. His contributions as a revered Advisory Board member are instrumental in advancing these centers' missions. João's educational journey is enriched by his completion of an ESG Specialization Course at Wharton Business School, bolstered by advanced coursework in Regenerative Economics under the tutelage of Professor John Fullerton*, under a full scholarship (*the creator of the regenerative thinking concept applied to economics). 

Legal Experiences: João's professional journey is marked by diverse and impactful internships. From his role as a Legal Trainee at SLBA, where he delved into Alternative Investment Vehicles and Capital Markets Regulations, to his Summer Legal Trainee position at VdA, specializing in Energy and Natural Resources, João's experiences span the legal landscape. 

Notably, he has contributed to Clean Energy and Fossil Fuel Transition initiatives at the Alliance for Affordable Energy as a policy and strategy intern and shaped policy and strategy at the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet (NY).

Advocacy Initiatives: João actively participates in advocacy initiatives, serving as a climate advocate at LACLIMA and a Global Shaper at the Lisbon Hub within the World Economic Forum. As President of NOVA Assembleia, a NOVA School of Law student union, he demonstrates his leadership and commitment to broader advocacy endeavors. 

Research and Publications: His work on decoding sustainable finance and deep understanding of ESG principles underscore his dedication to innovative sustainability research. As a writer, he has contributed to publications like Observevador, Ambient Magazine, and LÍDER Magazine, exploring topics from legislative developments in sustainability to climate action and ESG policies. 

Awards and Recognition: João's impactful contributions have earned him honourable mentions from the Expert Group on Competencies for Democratic Culture of the Council of Europe, the President of the Portuguese Republic, FORBES Portugal and the Financial Times. 

Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet: João's journey includes his role as a Strategy and Policy Intern at The Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet (NY). Here, he contributed his talents to various projects, including his involvement in GAPS's COP27 Task Force and preparation for New York Climate Week 2022. He actively contributed to addressing global environmental and social issues and played a pivotal role in policy development and impactful events.

Legal Expertise: João's legal expertise shines through his participation in the Matheson Irish law firm's ESG Experience Programme and his experiences at Clifford Chance during the Climate Change and Sustainable Finance Global Internship Programme, deepening his understanding of the human rights implications of corporate actions.

START LISBON and Leadership Summit: Recently, João has taken on the role of leading the legal and finance team at START, a renowned platform empowering young entrepreneurs and investors. His vision and commitment to sustainability align seamlessly with START's mission to shape the future of entrepreneurship and address society's challenges through innovation.

"How can We Rethink Sustainability?"

At the FORBES Annual Summit


Leadership Summit Speaker and Advisor: In the role of Advisor and Speaker at the Leadership Summit, João Maria Botelho played a pivotal role in guiding discussions and offering insights into the future of technology, innovation, and leadership. The summit provided a platform for him to critically examine the role of technology and data security in the digital future and to ponder the shifting dynamics of authority and influence in the age of AI and quantum computing.

João Maria Botelho believes in the transformative power of sustainability, innovation, and legal expertise to create a better future for our world. 

His journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to environmental advocacy and sustainable finance, inspiring positive change in the realms he passionately explores.