It’s up to us to create the world we want to live in, and we all have the power to do so if we set our minds to it.
This is something we wholeheartedly believe in at Virgin, and has led us to seek innovation in various industries; incubate non-profit organisations like the B Team, The Elders and Carbon War Room through Virgin Unite; and operate with the belief that business should be a force for good.
It’s also led us to support a number of game-changing external initiatives. One wonderful initiative that gets my attention each year is the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
An annual US$4 million award, the Prize invites corporations, small and medium sized enterprises, non-profit organisations and high schools, from all over the globe, to find sustainable solutions to pressing climate change, energy security and environmental challenges.
Prizes are a wonderful way of pushing people to break boundaries and find fresh solutions. It was the thinking behind the XPrize, which led to the creation of Virgin Galactic, and it is the theory behind the Virgin Earth Challenge, our $25m prize for scalable and sustainable ways of removing greenhouse gases from the air.
By encouraging people to make a commitment to address such issues, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has the potential to transform the world. And it has – in just seven years it’s improved the lives of more than 150,000,000 million people. Take a look at this infographic to see its impressive reach.
I am proud to be a member of the Zayed Future Energy Prize jury, and I urge anyone who has a long-term vision for renewable energy and sustainability to submit an idea. I am particularly passionate about the Global High Schools category, which aims to inspire future generations by instilling an ethos of sustainability from an early age.
As the saying goes, we didn’t inherit the earth from our parents, it’s ours on loan from our children. As someone who’s recently become a grandfather, three times over, I can’t stress enough that a sustainable future is the biggest prize of all.