Global Indian entrepreneur and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is among a host of prominent personalities from around the world to join Britain’s Prince William on his new £50-million Earthshot Prize mission.
The 64-year-old India-born and US-based executive, one of the world’s most influential businesswomen, was named as part of the Earthshot Prize Council, which also includes Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, Queen Rania of Jordan and British broadcaster conservationist Sir David Attenborough.
Nooyi said: “Careful stewardship of the earth is not at odds with progress. In fact, it insures we will progress.
“One day our grandkids will ask us, ‘Why didn’t you stop the destruction of this beautiful planet?’ We have an intergenerational responsibility to step up now, before it is too late.”
“I really do think things are about to start to move, and this sort of idea could be the spark that is really going to give it the lift and the impetus to develop into something huge. It’s a great source of hope, and I hope it spreads around the world,” added Attenborough.
William, the Duke of Cambridge, launched the new prize this week with the aim of funding the most innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The 38-year-old royal said that five prizes worth £1 million each will be awarded each year for the next 10 years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.
Prince William said: “The plan is to really galvanise and bring together the best minds, the best possible solutions, to fixing and tackling some of the world’s greatest environmental challenges.
“We’ve got to harness our ingenuity and our ability to invent. The next 10 years are a critical decade for change. Time is of the essence, which is why we believe that this very ambitious global prize is the only way forward.”
The Earthshot has been pegged as the biggest initiative to date from both Prince William and the Royal Foundation and was first introduced in December last year, with nominations now set to open from November 1.
Taking inspiration from former US President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot. which united millions of people around an organising goal to put man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s, the Earthshot Prize is centred around five “Earthshots” – simple but ambitious goals for our planet, which if achieved by 2030 will improve life for us all, for generations to come.
The five Earthshots unveiled this week include:
protect and restore nature
clean our air
revive our oceans
build a waste-free world
fix our climate
Each Earthshot is underpinned by scientifically agreed targets including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally recognised measures to help repair our planet. Together, they form a unique set of challenges rooted in science, which aim to generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions.
Prizes could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – , activists, economists, community projects, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries – anyone whose workable solutions make a substantial contribution to achieving the Earthshots.
Every year from 2021 until 2030, Prince William, alongside the Earthshot Prize Council which covers six continents, will award the Earthshot Prize to five winners, one per Earthshot. In addition to the Prize Council, the Earthshot Prize will be supported by its Global Alliance, a network of organisations worldwide which share the ambition of the Prize to repair the planet.
The five-stage prize process to select a winner for each Earthshot has been designed in partnership with the Centre for Public Impact and a range of international experts. An awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030, at which the five winners for each of the Earthshots will be selected from 15 finalists. The first awards ceremony will take place in London in autumn 2021.
After the awards, each winner will receive a global platform and prestigious profile, with their stories being showcased over the decade and the ambition that their solutions lead to mass adoption, replication and scaling. The £1 million in prize money will support environmental and conservation projects that are agreed with the winners.
Shortlisted nominees will also be given tailored support and opportunities to help scale their work, including being connected with an ecosystem of like-minded individuals and organisations.