Deadline approaching for Global Stewards Sustainability Prize

March 13, 2012

The March 23 submission deadline for the 2012 Global Stewards Sustainability Prize is fast approaching and University of Wisconsin-Madison students are encouraged to submit a proposal for a cutting edge sustainability solution.

Up to eight finalists will receive $2,000 and be selected to present their proposals at the sixth annual Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference on April 16 at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. At the conference, a panel of judges will review the finalists’ proposals and announce up to three winners of an additional $15,000.

Winners of the 2011 Climate Leadership Challenge
John Noreika (far left) of the Global Stewards
Society, which funds the Global Stewards
Sustainability Prize, with members of the 2011
winning team and professor Tracey Holloway.

The annual innovation competition is hosted by the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. The contest is in its fourth year and open to all UW-Madison undergraduate and graduate students. All forms of innovation, whether technical or social in nature, are invited, as well as ideas from all disciplines.

Previously known as the Climate Leadership Challenge, the competition has been renamed the Global Stewards Sustainability Prize to reflect a broader focus on real-world solutions to sustainability.

“The goal here is to empower students to think of themselves as environmental problem solvers and innovators,” says Carol Barford, interim director of the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment and an organizer of the Global Stewards Sustainability Prize.

“We want every student to think, ‘What would I do; what’s my idea?’, and start discussing it at dinner, in the classroom and with friends.”

Organizers believe the competition, with more than $200,000 in prize money awarded so far and more than $50,000 up for grabs in 2012, is among the most lucrative college or university competition of its kind in the country.

New this year is a $5,000 Healthy Places prize for the strongest proposal at the nexus of environment and health. Sponsored by the UW-Madison Global Health Institute and the Office of Sustainability, this award will be chosen by popular vote among Earth Day conference attendees.

Proposal submission guidelines are detailed on the Global Stewards Sustainability Prize website. For specific questions, contact competition coordinator Chris Meyer.