A new awards cycle has begun, and we are pleased to issue our first newsletter of the season.
In the last awards cycle, we used our 10 awards categories as an anchor point for our newsletters. Now we address, not the science behind climate change, nor the technologies required to create change, but why change is happening so slowly and which cultural shifts are required before we can exist sustainably. When the science is clear and accepted, why do governments, consumers, businesses and others not act as if the world as we know it could come to an end?
Some continue to deny the material in front of them; we may call this wilful blindness. A book by Margaret Heffernan illustrates this topic with a beautiful and shocking story. You can also watch her TED talk (see also below).
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.
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.