Environment / Energy

Living Breakwaters
2014 Winner

“The Living Breakwaters project combines coastal resiliency infrastructure with habitat enhancement techniques and community engagement, deploying a layered strategy that links in-water protective forms to on-shore interventions.

Mahila Housing SEWA Trust
2015 Finalist

Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT) creates a unique socio-technical partnership between communities and stakeholders, integrating traditional knowledge with modern technologies in order to devise multi-layered solutions to climate change impacts for poor urban dwellers.

Making Energy From Dirt
2008 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Microbial power systems: Generating clean energy from dirt

Mangrove Reef Walls
2017 Catalyst Program

SUMMARY: This project is a strategy for transforming urban waterfronts into thriving tidal habitats that simultaneously improve the marine environment and respond to human quality of life factors. We aim to capitalize on a well-placed intervention of flexible formwork within conventional casting process to emulate complex habitat structure of tidal ecosystems.

Martin Pena Community Land Trust
2017 Finalist

Fideicomiso de la Tierra del Caño Martín Peña (in English, Martín Peña Channel Community Land Trust) has designed the ENLACE project to address a variety of pressing needs in this poor, underserved, historically disenfranchised “informal” community near the center of San Juan.

MicroEnergy Credits
2010 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: MicroEnergy Credits leverages the unprecedented growth of the $120 billion carbon markets as a catalytic source of funding to mobilize the 12,000 microfinance banks now reaching over a billion people, to help their microentrepreneurs affordably switch to healthy and clean energy sources as part of their journey out of poverty.

2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: MinVayu will meet the need for power in Indian villages. MinVayu consists of affordable, small, wind turbines designed for low-wind, and training for village mechanics to install and maintain them. This allows wind-powered electricity to be scaled to India’s 98 million rural dwellers with wind, but without reliable electricity.

New York City (Steady) State
2010 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: New York City (Steady) State is an alternative plan for New York City based on a single predicate: it is possible for the city to become almost entirely self-sufficient within its political boundaries. At its conclusion, our project will have proven this and outlined the necessary steps to achieve it.

Omega Global Initiative
2015 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: OMEGA, which began as a NASA biofuels research project to meet the demand for liquid fuel without using land, freshwater, or fertilizer, evolved into a broad-reaching plan for a “system of systems” to integrate algal biofuels production with water recycling, solar energy production, and compatible aquaculture, among many other components.

One People One Reef
2015 Semi-Finalist

One-People-One-Reef is a collaboration between a multidisciplinary science team and Pacific-island communities in the outer islands of Micronesia, working together to integrate traditional knowledge and conservation practices with modern science in order to find comprehensive solutions to declining fisheries and degraded reefs.

2017 Catalyst Program

SUMMARY: Oorja is a for-profit social enterprise based in India, simultaneously addressing the challenges of energy access and reliability, climate change and gender equity. Oorja is a project developer and technology integrator of solar PV and hybrid solar/biogasification smart mini-grids of 10–50 kW in off-grid and underelectrified rural areas.

2017 Finalist

OpenAQ fosters a far-flung series of grassroots networks that fight “air inequality” by building and using the only global, real-time, and historical, open-air quality data platform in the world, aggregating data from, so far, 47 countries and more than 5,400 ground stations.

Operation Paydirt / Fundred Dollar Bill Project
2009 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: This is an art/science project in two parts. New Orleans, one of the most lead polluted cities in the U.S., has 86,000 properties with dangerously high levels of lead in the soil, placing thousands of children at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems, including violent crime.

2015 Catalyst Program

YLTW is spinning an interconnected global web of change-makers, tackling wicked challenges together, through deep-listening, VIBRANT-GOALS, social-innovation and community-driven-change. YLTW empowers-repowers youth and communities to create deep-change-fast. By training local people, YLTW has scaled ten-fold, minimised costs and carbon footprint. Real-time-live-online facilitator training makes YLTW accessible even to remote communities.

Para la Naturaleza
2017 Catalyst Program

ORGANIZATION NAME: Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico

LOCATION: Puerto Rico

Plant Chicago
2011 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Plant Chicago discovers new ways to integrate sustainable urban agriculture and manufacturing in disused industrial structures. We close energy and waste loops in the built environment by directing the waste output of one process into the material or energy input of another through research, development and training of community members.

Plastic Island
2010 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: The goal of the Plastic Island Project is to use the existing Great Pacific Garbage Patch that was discovered twelve years ago by Charles Moore, to develop a self-sustaining island inhabited by around 800 people that will collect and recycle the tons of plastic floating around our oceans.

Preparing Local Communities for Climate Change
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: WWF works with select US cities to prepare for the impacts of climatechange, assess their vulnerability and implement solutions. We will help community leaders effectively communicate with and engage the public throughout the process. What is learned will be used to scale up engagement with communities around the US.

Project Drawdown
2015 Semi-Finalist

LOCATION: Sausalito, California, USA

Receding Arctic Ice Habitats
2008 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: This paper proposes construction of pilot networks of platforms moored to the continental shelf of Alaska to form sea bridges/archipelagos for shelter, hunting and denning. (Fig. 1 and 2). Placed by ship, the platforms would use remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology to submerge during the current complete winter freezes and surface during the iceless summers.