Today, BioRegional’s co-founders are two of five social entrepreneurs being awarded the title of Social Entrepreneur of the Year during the 2011 World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia in Vienna, Austria, taking place on 8-9 June. The Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards are being led by Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, following the opening plenary of the forum.
BioRegional’s co-founders Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai will join a group of leading social entrepreneurs from across Europe and will be active participants providing insights on sustainability and social innovation in the discussions under the meeting’s theme Expanding the Frontiers of Innovation. A dedicated session “Ecosystems for Social Innovation” will bring together civil society and the public and private sectors to share experiences and explore potential opportunities to strengthen and replicate successful models throughout Europe and Central Asia.
“Social entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the innovations that improve the quality of life of individuals around the world,” explained Mirjam Schoening, Head of the Schwab Foundation. “While the primary focus of social entrepreneurs is to make a specific change in one area, such as access to education, affordable housing or unemployment, social entrepreneurs’ approach to delivering a social impact, which uses innovative and effective business models and cross-sector collaborations, has inspired change among governments and in the private sector alike. In effect, social entrepreneurs are not only delivering change to their constituents, they are also transforming the way governments and companies serve their constituents.”
Winners working in France, Germany and the United Kingdom are among 19 Social Entrepreneurs taking part in the meeting, providing an on-the-ground perspective to sustainability and social innovation.
The following five winners have been selected as 2011 Social Entrepreneurs in Europe:
Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai – BioRegional – United Kingdom
BioRegional invents and delivers real-life sustainable communities and businesses. This includes partnering in Peabody’s multi-award-winning BedZED eco-village in London where BioRegional has its main base and seven companies including clean tech for the paper industry and local charcoal supplies to national retailers. BioRegional developed the “one planet living” sustainability design and delivery framework out of their practical experience which is now being used by manufacturers, retailers, local authorities and events such as the London 2012 Olympics and in fifty countries around the world. BioRegional has sister organisations or representative offices in North America, China, Greece, Mexico, Australia and South Africa.
Juergen Griesbeck – Streetfootballworld – Germany
Millions of young people around the world are born into a cycle of social injustice with little opportunity to break out. Through the love of football, streetfootballworld brings individuals and organizations together behind a common goal: empowering young people to rise above their circumstances.
Norbert Kunz – iq consult – Germany
Iq consult seeks to lower unemployment, especially in the eastern parts of Germany, by training, mentoring and funding unemployed and disadvantaged people who are looking to become self-employed.
Laurent Laïk – Groupe La Varappe – France
Groupe La Varappe creates jobs in the south of France for people who have been excluded from society. Groupe La Varappe is composed of two main organizations. One is focused on finding temporary employment for people with minimal qualifications. The other organization focuses on three environmental areas: construction and gardening, waste and renewable energies.
About the Schwab Foundation
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in over 50 countries around the globe. Selected social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation network participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders.
Santa Rosa. The North Bay Business Journal has recognized Codding Enterprises, the real estate developer behind Sonoma Mountain Village, as one of the best places to work in California’s North Bay region. An excerpt: Codding has transformed into an investment holding company with interests spanning construction, green building, clean energy and mixed-use community development…
The company provides the full spectrum of employee benefits, along with telecommuting, flextime and social events. “Wine and Worms” had the employees making composting worm bins, while enjoying local wines. Another event had them volunteering to plant native grasses along Cotati Creek. Read the full article in the North Bay Business Journal.
BedZED ranked at #4 in Architect Magazine’s poll of “the five most-important green buildings” by (mostly) US voters.
Oxford. Labelled “the Davos of social entrepreneurship” by the Observer, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship is the gathering of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. At this year’s Forum, One Planet Communities co-founders Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai were presented with the Skoll Award by Ebay founderJeff Skoll and Dr R K Pachauri, Nobel prize-winning chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). BioRegional was selected as one of seven organizations leading in the areas of tolerance and human rights, health, environmental sustainability, peace and security, and economic and social equity.
Sacramento. Today, Governor Schwarzenegger announced that Sonoma Mountain Village has won the 2008 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)for its plans as the first One Planet Community in the United States. GEELA is California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor. Sonoma Mountain Village won the sole award for Comprehensive Land Use Planning. “I’m proud to honor this year’s award recipients for their sustained commitment, innovative solutions, and strategic investment to protect our environment and boost our economy,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Tonight’s honorees have shown extraordinary leadership in modeling environmental stewardship with long-term goals in mind.”
London. One Brighton has been awarded “Estates Gazette Residential Development of the Year”. The respected Estates Gazette Green Awards highlight and reward excellence in sustainable development and raise environmental awareness.
California. Dwell Magazine, North America’s highly respected industry publication for modern architecture and design, had this to say about Sonoma Mountain Village in the October 2008 edition: “Naturally, sustainability guides the design, from framing made from locally recycled cars to alternative energy for all 1,900 homes. A “five-minute living” layout makes it easy to walk to the daily farmer’s markets in the town center, and a local business incubator encourages residents to cut down on car commutes.”
London. One Gallions announced as winner of the BHA Housing Project of the Year award, sponsored by the Mail on Sunday. The judging panel, Chaired by Michael Manser, CBE, one of the most distinguished architects of the recent decades, commented, “The [One Gallions] project shows excellent use of sustainable technology and innovative solutions towards the low and zero-carbon challenge.” Sarah Hartley, Deputy Property Editor, The Mail on Sunday, praised the project saying, “Communal rooftop gardens where residents can grow their own fruit and vegetables are a unique feature of One Gallions, by Crest Nicholson (Eastern) and BioRegional Quintain.
London. The winners of the “Green Oscars” – The City of London Corporation’s Sustainable City Awards – were announced last week. BioRegional’s One Planet Products initiative won the Sustainable Procurement category, in recognition of exemplary work it has achieved in making it easier and more cost effective to use green construction products for the housing industry. One Planet Products is a London-based not-for-profit social business; managed as a member-led club it enables members to specify and purchase environmental construction products, materials and services more cost effectively and easily, reducing the environmental impact of developments.