About Shockwave

woman threshing grains

The Shockwave Foundation supports projects, initiatives and organizations that help create a future where people and ecosystems are resilient in the face of climate crisis. Through a mixture of strategic impact investments and grants, we support activities that focus on climate adaptation and resiliency infrastructure. We provide seed funding at an early, pivotal stage and prioritize projects that create economic uplift in developing countries.

We utilize an integrated capital model–both program related investments and philanthropic grants that range from $25,000 to $1,000,000 USD to organizations that have a scalable solution and a demonstrable ability to deliver.

In order to maximize our impact, we are a drawdown foundation, with a limited lifetime of 20 years. During our operational period, we intend to seed an initial round of approximately $50m USD across investments and grants, with with additional investments based upon the returns from the first round.

While we support scaling organizations, our portfolio is largely focused on start-ups. We believe that optimism and creativity are fundamental to this work.

We’re agnostic as to whether those organizations are for- or non- profit. We want a structure that offers the best route to impact at scale. We continue to fund organizations as long as they show real progress.

Our work is built on the belief that global climate resilience should start with communities most impacted by the climate crisis and that it’s imperative to help communities reduce risks, manage shocks, and chart a path to sustainable development.


We are actively engaged in spreading good ideas and building connections among those pursuing practical solutions in our areas of focus.

Wherever possible, we use a transparent model for our funding operations. This helps others leverage our due-diligence and also serves to keep us accountable to our partners and the community. We encourage partners and co-funders to do the same.

We tap a deep network to find the organizations that are a good fit. We have a big mandate and a small staff, so we do not accept unsolicited proposals. Given our very specific funding criteria, that has proven the most efficient process for all concerned.


Shockwave became its own entity in 2020, and is based off of earlier funding efforts by Paul Traina, who sought to advance solutions to some of our most intractable global challenges.

The name Shockwave derives from the book Future Shock, the work of futurist Alvin Toffler who imagined a world where change happens so quickly we cannot absorb it. Shockwave, in its most humble efforts, aims to address and buffer the massive changes we are seeing as a result of the climate crisis.

We respect complexity.

We look at systems as a whole when promoting change.

We take risks.

We support new and innovative ideas.

We have a long view.

We value patience. Small changes now pave the way to critical long-term progress.


Paul Traina portrait

Paul Traina

CEO, Founder

Paul’s investments and non-profit work focus on projects that improve food and water security for the communities most vulnerable to the climate crisis. In addition to Shockwave, he serves on the board of The Pacific Institute, is a partner at Silicon Valley Social Ventures (SV2), a member of The Philanthropy Workshop, a mentor at both Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and a consultant for Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, better known as Stanford SEED.

Paul is one of the second generation of Internet pioneers. He developed software and systems to allow the Internet to scale and operate today, and has a thirty-year background creating technology to bring people together and make access to information freely available.

He helped start and build Juniper Networks, where he held pivotol roles in Engineering and Corporate Development. Prior to his work at Juniper, Paul was an early employee, leading engineer and software architect at Cisco Systems.

Jennifer Wegbreit, ScD MPH portrait

Jennifer Wegbreit, ScD MPH

Director of Strategy

For over twenty years, Jennifer has helped visionaries build stronger organizations. Previously, Jennifer worked in leadership positions at both academic and nonprofit institutions, providing high-level strategy, research, and evaluation services for the University of California Global Health Group, the University of California Women’s Global Health Imperative, the Asante Africa Foundation, and numerous family philanthropies and social impact organizations.

Jennifer has a background in global health and development and holds a Doctorate of Science in Human Ecology and Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.