The Earthshot Prize was designed to find and grow the solutions that will repair our planet this decade.
THE EARTHSHOT PRIZE 2023 FOCUS AREAS
PROTECT AND RESTORE NATURE
CLEAN OUR AIR
REVIVE OUR OCEANS
BUILD A WASTE-FREE WORLD
FIX OUR CLIMATE
In 2022, The Earthshot prize published their “Roadmap to Regeneration” – a deep and broad piece of research to identify potential tipping points that would guide our selection priorities. This Roadmap continues to guide them. In 2023, they have refined and added some areas, based on the last 12 months of learnings, and insights. These selection priorities are set in consultation with the Prize Council and our Board of Trustees. They are shared with Official Nominators and made public.
Nominations that are a good fit for the Earthshot prize should fit well within at least one of the 15 priority areas or one of the Earthshots OR should represent an outstanding wildcard.
|5 Earthshots||15 Priority Areas|
|Protect and restore nature||1. Efforts to protect and manage natural carbon stores such as peatlands and intact forests|
|2. Efforts to restore forests, wetlands, and other damaged ecosystems|
|3. Efforts to develop and scale regenerative agriculture|
|Clean our air||1. Engaging citizens in data collection and advocacy
|2. Efforts to stop burning in agriculture and forests|
|3. Transitioning to clean personal transportation|
|Revive our oceans||1. Reducing overfishing
|2. Developing ocean ecosystem services that mitigate climate change: “Blue Carbon”|
|3. Climate change solutions with oceans benefits|
|Build a waste free world||1. Waste–free food, including efforts to shift to a plant–based diet
|2. Waste–free fashion|
|3. Circular solutions: extending the life of goods and/or eliminating single use goods|
|Fix our climate||1. Renewable energy for all
|2. Reducing methane emissions|
|3. Constructing buildings fit for the future|
If not, does the solution fit well within one of the Earthshots?
Other solutions which fit well within the remit of at least one Earthshot, even if they do not match a specific priority area.
If not, does the solution represent a Wildcard?
|Wildcard||Wildcards are magical, game–changing, boundary–pushing ideas that you just know are right when you see them. If it doesn’t fit one of the categories above, perhaps the frame is wrong. Don’t hesitate to nominate that disruptive genius one–in– a–million idea even when it doesn’t align neatly with 1 of our 15 priority areas or our Earthshots.|
SIX CROSS-CUTTING FILTERS TO ASSESS AGAINST
POTENTIAL FOR GLOBAL IMPACT
All nominations should have the potential to be relevant on a global level against at least one of the Earthshots by 2030.
|Global environmental impact||Does the potential nominee have the potential to have global impact on a relevant environmental metric by 2030? For example:
• Tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions saved, captured or avoided • Tonnes of waste saved, reduced, recycled or avoided
• Litres of water saved, reduced, recycled or avoided
• Reduction in levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5/10)
• Hectares of land, ocean or water systems restored, protected or rewilded
• Biodiversity increases in land, sea or rivers
|Does the potential nominee have the potential to have global impact on a relevant social impact metric by 2030? For example:
• Number of ’green’ jobs created
• Number of lives improved
All nominations will be assessed for relevance to the cross–cutting enablers. These are not a requirement but are a strong signal that a nominee may be particularly relevant for the Earthshot Prize.
|Solutions that use Web3 and other technologies to enable transformative change.||What if we could build greater trust using democratized data systems? What if emergent technologies such as Blockchain could radically unlock new solutions and financial models? What if we could find ways to accelerate the use of smart data for carbon accounting?|
|Solutions that leverage new financial and legal mechanisms to create scalable incentives for global change||What if people’s money needs could be met by paying them to restore or regenerate nature? What if their intimate knowledge of the resource, combined with relevant technical assistance, served to help protect it? What if they could become a citizen scientist helping track progress?|
|Solutions led and informed by indigenous people and local communities||What happens when indigenous wisdom is brought to the forefront, guiding the world on how to reset our relationship with nature? What if we could use indigenous knowledge on fire and forest management and apply it to high-risk areas? What if we could bring back traditional kelp and seaweed farming practices to combat coastal erosion?|
|Solutions that promote shared economic opportunity||What if we could address environmental issues in a way that reduces inequalities rather than widening them? What if we could transition to a low carbon economy where everyone’s essential needs to housing, transport, energy use and fair work is met? How might financial inclusion tools and access to financing mechanisms support equitable opportunity?|
FINAL GUIDING PRINCIPLE: DIVERSITY
|Diversity of Nominations||Diversity is our strength and will be a key consideration in our selection
process to ensure our Finalists represent a diverse range of nominee types,
sectors, geographies and demographics.
STAGE OF INNOVATION
All nominations should meet the following criteria.
|Beyond idea stage||The potential nominee is well beyond the idea stage but may still have development requirements that must be addressed before they are ready to scale their impact. They will:
• Have working prototypes, programs & initiatives, or executed pilots that demonstrate the effectiveness of their solution
• Have tested their solution with the target users or recipients and have seen early positive impact or successes
• May already be in market with customers, partners or audiences but to a limited scale
|Not yet scaled to global potential||The potential nominee has not already entered a significant growth stage, where they are limited only by capital. Potential nominees who have already achieved this level of maturity will benefit less from The Earthshot Prize and are therefore less of a focus.|
|Have made significant progress in the last year||The potential nominee has not already entered a significant growth stage, where they are limited only by capital. Potential nominees who have already achieved this level of maturity will benefit less from The Earthshot Prize and are therefore less of a focus. What “breakthroughs”, whether it be the solution or the organisation, demonstrate recent progress? Examples of breakthroughs include:
• Creation/iteration of a functional prototype
• Launch of an in–market pilot program
• Close of a first customer/contract
• Successful fundraising
• Completion of major research trial
• Launch in new geography or sector
• Key hires made
All nominations will be assessed for the following foundations. Organisations with stronger foundations will be a better fit for The Earthshot Prize.
|Quality of leadership||Is there a dedicated team or founder in place who is committed to scaling the impact of the organization? This does not require a complete team, but there is a person or small team ready to execute the tasks required to bring their solution to the world. These people will bring deep knowledge of the challenge their solution addresses and how their solution results in positive environmental impact.|
|Inclusive leadership||Is the team diverse and inclusive? We will prioritize teams that demonstrate inclusivity and representation because of the well-documented and outsize impact this has on teams’ efficacy and performance. We will be looking for
teams that represent their wider community, including female-led and female owned solutions.
|Financial maturity||Does the potential nominee have financial processes in place to track sources and uses of funds and conduct basic financial reporting? Ideally these processes would also include financial planning and budgeting to enable a disciplined use of resources. A Board of Directors or Trustees, or an Advisory Board of some form is often a good indicator of an institution or organization that is sufficiently mature to benefit from The Earthshot Prize.|
|Scale model||Does the potential nominee have line of sight to a model by which they could replicate or be scaled? Again, this does not need to be fully fledged or developed. One of the key benefits of The Earthshot Prize is access to our extensive network of NGOs, corporate partners, funders and other supporters who can help nominees develop their scale model and grow. However, it is helpful if the nominee has already started to think about how they could scale their impact, including what partnerships or other external relationships would accelerate them, and what resources or skills they may need.|
TYPE OF INTERVENTION
|ADAPTION 10–20%||We know that much damage is already done. We seek innovations that help minimise the impact on people and on the environment|
|RESTORATION 20–30%||We want to make systems we use today better. In this, we seek innovations that are regenerative or restorative|
We primarily seek innovations that can provide an alternative to approaches that cause harm
WHAT WE DO NOT SELECT FOR
|Type of organization||We are agnostic to sector and nominee type, and we consider solutions from any sector: for-profit, non-profit, hybrid, government, movement, or collaboration. We do not prioritize any one type of nominee over another because it is by championing a diverse range of solutions that we identify new opportunities and connections, and demonstrate the collective action needed from all parts of society.|
|Financial returns||We believe great, scalable solutions to rebalance our planet do not come only from the for-profit world. Therefore, we do not consider the potential financial returns of any particular solution.|
|Philanthropic requirements||Again, we are agnostic to sector and nominee type so do not select for e.g. charitable status.|
|Political implications||We are laser focused on answering the single question: if this is scaled or replicated, would it make a significant or transformative impact? Therefore we do not consider the political implications of nominee’s solutions.|
For more detail on any of these points, see the full Roadmap to Regeneration