In 2026 the global human population is expected to reach 8 billion. Now more than ever before, issues related to population density, poverty, peace, and security are on the minds of some of the planet’s top thinkers. This category covers all initiatives related to maintaining and improving the quality of life for all people despite the growing population. A truly sustainable world is one that produces not a single grain of waste. This requires efforts at both ends of the waste cycle. Resources must be used hyper-efficiently and materials must be made entirely recyclable. This category covers advancements in man-made materials, resource efficiency, waste reduction and water management. All of which are critical to making a sustainable positive impact in the other award categories.
Even if you are living in a part of the world where population growth is not immediately observable, have a look at the ‘Worldometer’ which tracks population growth in real time - it is rather scary. In a 2011 presentation at the UK-based Royal Society of Arts broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough declared that we humans in our ever increasing numbers act as multiplier of all other environmental problems. In an interview from 2013, he went further, likening humanity to "a plague on the Earth" that needs to be controlled.
Regardless of the advancement of communication systems and automated processes, we will always need ways to get things (including ourselves) from point A to point B. This is how we set out the stall for our 'Transportation' category which covers innovations and efforts leading to safe and accessible, low- or zero-carbon transportation forms and efforts to improve current methods of mass transportation of materials.
As we understand human development to be about the capability for us humans to have a long and healthy life, this category touches on many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is not one alone but successfully addressing all of them, simultaneously that we will be able to create a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for all people, and our planet: from 'no poverty' and 'zero hunger', to 'good health and wellbeing' and 'quality education', to 'reduced inequalities' and peace, justice and strong institutions'. And not to forget 'climate action', life below water' and 'life on land'. Without a healthy planet’s healthful the above is for naught.
We are delighted to announce the beginning of a new partnership with Reboot the Future, starting with the introduction of the Imaginals Award into our catalogue. As first step an 'Imaginal' will be selected from our 10 Category Winners. An announcement will be made by 15th July.
San Diego, Calif. (April 15, 2019) – For the 8th year Katerva has been scouring the globe to identify the most promising sustainable disruptive innovations, the kind of innovation that makes our world a better place, and leads us towards sustainability. Reuters Environment Forum had this to say about us: "If the Nobel Society had an award for sustainable innovations, it would resemble the Katerva Awards, an international prize for the most promising ideas and innovations to advance the planet towards sustainability."