The Winner of Drawdown INNOVATE: Encouraging regenerative farming

By: NI team | May 18, 2018

The 2018 Drawdown INNOVATE program supported members in developing original ventures that impacted climate change, and incubated the best ones, moving us all to a better climate future. Program participants developed ideas that sought to maximize the impact of Project Drawdown's 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, which range from the impact of educating women and girls to energy, among others.

From Korea to Costa Rica to Copenhagen, students and young professionals gathered locally, using toolkits and videos from Net Impact to explore Project Drawdown's solutions. Then, using design thinking and business planning they imagined, tested, and refined product, service, and other venture ideas to bring solutions to reverse global warming to market.

After the events, teams with the most promising ideas were invited to attend a weekend accelerator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Innovation consultancy IXL took finalist ideas from concept to first steps by teaching them about customer testing, team formation, startup strategies, and more. These transferable skills not only improved the quality of submissions, but can be applied to future projects and impact leadership. The post-accelerator winner receives seed funding.

Meet our winner and finalists:

Winner

Soil Sink, Columbia University: Jenna Lewein, Matthew Akins, Merlyn Mathew.

Soil Sink encourages farmers to practice regenerative agriculture by helping them monetize the carbon they have sequestered.

Finalists

Eat Fresh, Washington University in St Louis: Sophia Dossin, Kailun Yin, Sean Fallon.

EatFresh is a food box delivery service designed for college students which reduces food waste from college students and from local grocery stores.

Left Owners, Savannah College of Art and Design: Eliska SKarolkova, Paula Chamorro, Felipe Cuellar.

LeftOwners is a service aiming to reduce food waste in restaurants. LeftOwners provides restaurant customers with compost, biogas and Eat Later programs, which allows them to bring and eat the food later in any of the partnering restaurants.

We are so excited to see where these incredible ideas go!

Thank you to our program partner, Interface. Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, began its sustainability journey almost 25 years ago, in 1994, with Mission Zero. With this goal, Interface resolved to completely eliminate its environmental footprint by the year 2020. As of 2016, Interface runs on 87% renewable energy globally, has brought greenhouse gas emissions intensity down by 95% and has decreased its carbon footprint by about 60% since 1996. 

In 2016, with the company close to hitting its initial Mission Zero goals, Interface launched a new sustainability mission, which examines how the company can not only mitigate harm, but actually reverse global warming through new manufacturing processes and leadership. Interface’s latest sustainability mission, Climate Take Back, aims to lead business and society to reverse global warming through four key areas. One of the strategies for Climate Take Back, called “Love Carbon,” is directly aligned with Project Drawdown. “Love Carbon,” asks that we stop seeing carbon as the enemy and instead use it as a resource. What are some practical areas where we can use the excess carbon in the atmosphere in productive ways?

For more information on Climate Take Back, visit their site here

NI team

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