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The global food supply chain is broken. Low-cost food is subsidized through a process of externalizing costs that serves only the largest multinational organizations and creates negative environmental and social impacts. Small producers around the world are seeing their way of living jeopardized. Consumers find it harder and harder to know about the source and nutrition of the foods they buy.
Germán co-founded the Environmental South Association in 2007 to actively and respectfully reconnect people with nature in the rapidly urbanized cities in Patagonia. Through urbanization, younger generations of Argentinians are separated from a variety of natural environments. With an absence of lakes, parks, and forests there is a disconnect that has formed between the youth and the natural environment, which include plants and animals within them.
As scientist from the isolated coastal rainforest region of Colombia, Mabel stimulates sustainable economic development in biodiverse areas by connecting ancestral knowledge, science, and entrepreneurship to create a “bioeconomy.”
Molly Burhans is transforming the way the Catholic Church and other holders of large, non-contiguous lands are able to respond to climate change and its attendant crises, using new technology tools for informed environmental planning beyond the border of the nation-state.
Cynthia Ong is creating an equitable, diversified, and circular economy in Sabah on the island of Borneo—one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. She does this by using a new leadership style, where all voices have equal power to co-create solutions to regional problems, as competing interests of profit and conservation contend for the same pool of resources.
Patricia Bustamante's environmental education program for rural Brazil brings the elderly and children together to catalogue plants, rediscover their traditional uses and create community-based nurseries and seed banks.
Working in Nazaré Paulista, a relatively impoverished conservation area that borders on the Atlantic Forest and is a major source of water for the city of São Paulo, Suzana Padua has developed a new model for community engagement in environmental protection.
Silvia is working to balance social development and community-building with environmental conservation, focusing on sustainability over the long term. Working from this vision, she is the first Brazilian to address biological imbalances caused by foreign plant species. Unlike the United States and Australia, which carefully control nonnative vegetation, Brazil has neither public policies nor legal limitations on the growth of species that degrade the quality of soil and crops.
Indigenous people living in remote areas can be marginalized by their lack of access to communication and information. At the same time, the government claims an inability to reach them. Harry Surjadi breaks through the barrier with his Information Broker program. Having developed a groundbreaking news channel using mobile and Frontline SMS texting, Harry has trained more than 500 indigenous people as journalists through this new platform of citizen journalism.
By creating the first viable, sustainable and scalable alternative to the existing nuclear power production system, Julien Noé is helping transform the existing electricity market in France. Julien’s grassroots cooperative model incentivizes citizens to rethink their consumption practices and offers a real boost to the country’s renewable energy production capacity.