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 themes around impact of educating women and girls, or energy, among others.
From Korea to Costa Rica to Copenhagen, students and young professionals gathered locally, using toolkits and videos from Net Impact central 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.
Distinguished members of Net Impact's board and program partners selected the finalists based on impact, feasibility, innovation, and story potential.
- Dave Stangis, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer, Campbell Soup Company
- Stuart Hart, Program Director, The Sustainable INNOVATION MBA Program, University of Vermont
- Carol Cone, CEO at Carol Cone ON PURPOSE
- Laura Asiala, Vice President of Public Affairs, PYXERA GLobal
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.
After the Accelerator, finalists refined their ideas and resubmitted for the change to win the grand prize. Team Soil Sink won the Drawdown INNOVATE Challenge based on the potential of their idea. Soil Sink wants to encourage farmers to practice regenerative agriculture. The practice helps revitalize the soil and provides a valuable ecological service. Regenerative agriculture can sink up to 60 tons of carbon an acre in the soil. A 400 hundred acre from can sink up 88,000 tons of CO2 equivalent, that is like planting 2.25 million trees. On the California Carbon market that 88,000 tons of CO2 is worth up to 1.3 million dollars. Soil Sink can help farmers measure their impact and make sure they are compensated for their effort by guiding them through the certification process and finding the best buyer for their carbon. Soil Sink will focus on helping farmers who already practice regenerative agriculture, with the hope that if a farmer earns over a million dollars by practicing regenerative agriculture that their neighbors will take note and be encouraged to switch.
Meet the 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 restaurants’ customers with compost, biogas and Eat Later program, 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 all who participated in the program and competition. To join one of our amazing other programs, please visit https://www.netimpact.org/leadchange.