Curated Archive 2012

Arctic Food Network
2012 Catalyst Program

Arctic Food Network is a series of strategically distributed shelters in Baffin Island, Nunavut (Canada). The network addresses food security, biological and wildlife species management, and provides a safe navigation system across the region. AFN is developed in partnership with the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth in Nunavut.

BioLite HomeStove
2012 Semi-Finalist

Half the planet cooks on smoky open fires causing nearly 2 million premature deaths annually. BioLite has created a biomass cookstove that, by converting waste heat into electricity, reduces smoke emissions by 95% for improved health while providing a mobile phone and LED light charging capability to drive widespread adoption.

2012 Semi-Finalist

Chalo is a design initiative that encourages systematic change in textile waste recycling by building an innovative business model with economic, social, and environmental implications in both large and small-scale garment production. The approach is holistic with a three-pronged strategy; business collaboration, design mentorship, and storytelling.

Co-Op Power
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Co-op Power’s innovative cooperative business structure builds sustainable energy solutions for its members and communities.

2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: India’s health workforce improves millions of lives but is limited by persistent challenges of training, supervising, and monitoring. We seek to overcome these challenges and unlock the tremendous potential of India’s health program with CommCare, an innovative, cost-effective, scalable mobile health platform for use by community health workers (CHWs).

Eco-Fuel Africa
2012 Honorable Mention

Imagine a world where Africans no longer have to cut down trees for fuel, where farmers have access to free organic fertilizers and where young girls no longer have to drop out of school! We’re making that world possible by making clean cooking energy and organic fertilizers from agricultural waste.

Future of Fish
2012 Runner-Up

“If we do not reduce worldwide overfishing, scientists predict the end of commercial fishing by 2050, a catastrophic event for the 200 million employed by the industry and the 1 billion who rely on fish as their primary protein. We help innovate to avoid this fate.”

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.

Museo Aero Solar
2012 Catalyst Program

This is a flying museum and a solar sculpture made by the “Museo Aero Solar” group – an open-source international community, initiated more 8 years ago by Tomás Saraceno in conversation with Alberto Pesavento, inviting everybody to take part and to turn used plastic bags to lighter-than-air sculptures – .

2012 Semi-Finalist

Nexii builds the bridges to connect impact investors to high impact investment opportunities in world changing initiatives. We aim to make impact investing a reality at scale by improving the infrastructure, expanding effective intermediation networks and establishing the meeting places for investors and impact investments.

Nuru Energy: Rural Energy Entrepreneurship
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Nuru aims to replace kerosene lamps in rural households without electricity by offering the world’s most affordable off-grid light ($6) charged by a pedal-powered generator, the POWERCycle. We establish a network of POWERCycle-equipped entrepreneurs who sell lights and recharge them for a small fee, saving customers 85% over kerosene.

2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Polydome is a greenhouse design paradigm that uses a symbiotic ecosystem of plants, animals, and fungi to maximize food output and eliminate environmental impact. A realistic and investible answer to the world's need for sustainable food production, Polydome generates high yields, links biophysical and social flows, and creates meaningful jobs.

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.

SPARK Microgrants
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY:Spark MicroGrants catalyzes community-led initiative through proactive small granting. We support under-resourced communities to design, implement and manage their own development. By reassigning responsibility for international aid to the communities themselves we are driving a new paradigm for development where the community is in control of their own future.

The Living Building Challenge
2012 Winner

The Living Building Challenge defines the highest possible level of environmental performance, envisioning a built environment that is fully integrated with its ecosystem.

The Low Line
2012 Catalyst Program

The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. Our vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments.

The Portable Light Project
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Portable Light provides adaptable solar textile kits that enable the world’s poorest people to sew and weave bags, clothing and blankets that harvest energy. Portable Light strengthens local craft cultures to create diverse energy-producing communities with access to mobile networks that are transforming global health care, education and businesses.

The Welikia Project
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Cities want to be sustainable but by and large don’t know how. We seek to map the original, historic ecological landscape of New York City, the place where 8 million people live, and provide the best model of sustainability we can think of: ecosystems in nature.

Transition to a Low-Carbon Future
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale. In just five years, 870 Transition initiatives in 34 countries have started to develop community-scale resilience to the energy and climate challenges ahead. We want, now, to catalyze and deepen take-up of the Transition innovation approach.

Water Retention Landscape of Tamera
2012 Honorable Mention

The Water Retention Landscape is a model for natural decentralized water management, restoration of damaged ecosystems and disaster prevention. It is a basis for reforestation, agriculture and aquaculture, especially in regions threatened by desertification.