The problems facing our planet are enormous, spanning industries, borders, currencies, and regulatory environments. Meaningful solutions will require leaders who can work across those lines.
Founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2020, The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental prize to discover, accelerate, and scale ground-breaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon, The Earthshot Prize aims to catalyze an Earthshot challenge to urgently encourage and scale innovative solutions that can help put the world firmly on a trajectory towards a stable climate, where communities, oceans, and biodiversity thrive in harmony by 2030. The five challenges are: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean Our Air; Revive Our Oceans; Build a Waste-Free World; and Fix Our Climate. The Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism and will discover 15 Finalists annually and award five of these with £1 million to scale their cutting-edge solutions. In 2022, The Earthshot Prize team partnered with IDEO to bolster the cohort-building and leadership development critical to the Finalists’ success.
30 climate solutions
accelerated in first two years
3 Years Running
Plans for a third Fellowship are in motion
IDEO and The Earthshot Prize built a nine-month Fellowship program and a five-day, in-person retreat to give Finalists the best shot at reaching the Prize’s ultimate goal: to scale the solutions that will repair our planet this decade.
To build out the new Fellowship, IDEO took a deep dive with the previous year’s Finalists to uncover where they needed critical support. This research revealed that the Finalists needed more ways to leverage the Earthshot platform, connect with potential partners to help scale their ideas, and build community with each other. The IDEO team then used those insights to create a set of recommendations The Earthshot Prize team could implement to create a more supportive and structured experience. Ideas they took forward included assigning a designated “Leap Advisor” who could provide guidance and assistance for each Finalist, as well as an advisor from the Prize’s Global Alliance Network who could partner on specific growth initiatives, like scaling product design, or policy change.
Next up: the design of the retreat itself. Together, IDEO and the Earthshot team had three goals for the cohort’s week together in Windsor: focus on new forms of leadership and movement building, spur action through storytelling, and foster community.
The team developed the curriculum with leaders from Google X and Speed & Scale, alongside startups like UPSIDE Foods. They designed moments to build community, like paired walks and a chocolate-making workshop where Finalists could get to know each other away from the noise of meetings.
Photographers captured the event to create assets for Finalists to use when pitching their ideas, and Finalists honed their storytelling skills. But what most remember is the magical moments of coming together as a cohort of next generation climate leaders who will help each other make an impact on the problems facing our planet, long after The Earthshot Prize has concluded.