The Katerva Awards are given annually to excellent sustainability ideas and initiatives in 10 categories. Finalists are announced in September each year. A single winner in each category will be selected by a panel of experts in that category and announced in October each year. A grand prize winner will be selected among category winners and announced as the best new sustainability effort of the year.
Even when new technologies come out weekly, people can often be a mass of unchanging habits. This category covers those initiatives that educate people, raise awareness, and work towards better morals and habits at a global level. The best technologies can do little to save the planet if individuals do not decide to use them.
350.org, 2011 Katerva Awards Behavioral Change Winner
350.org is creating a global movement to stop the climate crisis through online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions that are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries. The organization was founded by the renowned author Bill McKibben whose passion for words permeates the mission of 350.org: “We’re not just a movement that opposes things, we’re a movement that dreams of what’s coming.” Scientists have determined that 350 parts per million is the safe limit for CO2 in the atmosphere for humanity.
Avaaz, runner up
Avaaz is an online community that aims to find and communicate a way to build a better world. Their work on the Global Climate Wake-up Call showed what can be done through the commitment of concerned citizens working together. Avaaz, meaning “voice”, is a global movement aiming to bring people-powered politics to decision-making around the globe. Avaaz was launched in 2007 by Res Publica, a global advocacy group, and Moveon.org. Avaaz’s 6 million members work through an online forum to ensure that people’s views and values find voice in decision-making processes. The projects taken on by members of the Avaaz community includes circulating petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, calling and lobbying governments and organizing “offline” protests and events.
EVOKE, runner up
Alternative reality computer games aim to provide better and more immersive alternatives to reality. The EVOKE game aims to make the world a better reality. Can participation in gaming make people better citizens? EVOKE designer Jane McGonigal believes it can. EVOKE harnesses the collective intelligence being developed in the ever-growing online gaming community and finds ways to apply it to real world problems. When someone plays EVOKE, they become part of a network of people around the world that band together and collaborate in order to solve world problems presented through a series of videos, comic strip narratives, and quests that require action in the real world.
Scientists Without Borders, runner up
Addressing poverty, environmental degradation, food security and disease epidemics demands scientific and technological expertise shared across geographic borders. Scientists Without Borders provides a web-based platform as a means for sharing expertise and collaborating to address the world’s major problems. Unlike the well-known Doctors Without Borders, Scientists Without Borders does not manage and facilitate the placement of volunteers. Like Doctors Without Borders, they focus on solving problems regardless of their geographic location. On the Scientists without Borders website, people can register, post information about a challenge they are facing and then receive feedback and advice about how to go about addressing that challenge.
Verdeate, runner up
VERDEate.com is an online movement that uses social media to promote greener habits by allowing participants to accept or create Green Challenges—specific acts to reduce their CO2 emissions as part of a collective effort to combat climate change. Established by Sebastián Bustamante González and Frank Gutierrez Olaya in Colombia, VERDEate.com encourages individuals and organizations to “be part of the solution” by showing them how small changes in their daily routines can help reduce their carbon footprint. Each Green Challenge includes a description of the act, the duration of its impact and, once completed, how much CO2 will be saved.