I was in Abu Dhabi last week for the World Future Energy Summit, Zayed Future Energy Prize, and other Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week events (note: Masdar covered my trip, but it put no requirements on me regarding coverage). Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is the most exciting week of the year for me on a professional level, year after year, and the events were clearly bigger than ever this year.
With an estimated 32,000 people from 170 countries, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was the world’s largest week of sessions and events focused on renewable energy and sustainability matters. The 7th Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony was part of the opening ceremony, which was apt, considering that it is the largest such competition for renewable energy and sustainability matters.
This year’s prize brought in a record 1,111 entries from 84 countries — 597 submissions in the Large Corporation, SME, Nonprofit, and Global High Schools categories, as well as 514 nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award. After several phases of review and elimination by experts in the relevant topics, 31 finalists remain before 9 winners are selected and announced at the awards ceremony. Some of the final jury members include the Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Adnan Z. Amin, the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation, Kathy Calvin, just to give you a taste of this prize’s prestige and level of evaluation.
In total, $4 million is split amongst the winners. Half a million goes to the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, $1.5 million goes to the SME winner, $1.5 million goes to the nonprofit winner, and up to $100,000 goes to each of the winning schools. The winner in the Large Corporation category doesn’t win any money.
With that background out of the way, below are videos of this year’s finalists and winners. I think they are a lot of fun to watch, so I encourage you to do that rather than jump straight to a list of the winners.
If videos really aren’t your thing, here are the 2015 winners:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Al Gore
- Large Corporation: Panasonic
- SME: M-KOPA
- Nonprofit: Liter of Light
- Global High Schools Americas: Munro Academy
- Global High Schools Europe: Petru Rares National College
- Global High Schools Africa: Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa
- Global High Schools Asia: Addu High School
- Global High Schools Oceania: Melbourne Girls’ College
If videos are your thing, below are more videos from the press conference that followed the awards, as well as a video of the first part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week opening ceremony. Enjoy!