World Sustainability Awards

World Sustainability Award—Emerging Sustainability Leader Award
The World Sustainability Award and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award are funded to encourage new initiatives and developments in sustainability with the ultimate aim to foster the transfer from sustainability research to sustainable practices and societies. In this context, sustainability is understood as the interdependence between economic, social, and environmental concerns for mutually beneficial regional and global development. Sustainability is associated with a multitude of academic disciplines, and it is circumscribed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Sustainability Award, funded by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation, will be conferred upon individual researchers or research teams, who have made an outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability in general, or to a sustainability-relevant issue in particular. A joint award, shared by up to three recipients, is possible. The award includes a monetary prize of USD 100,000.
The Emerging Sustainability Leader Award, funded by the MDPI journal Sustainability, will be conferred upon an individual researcher aged 40 or under at the time of the submission deadline, who has made an outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability in general, or to a sustainability-relevant issue in particular. The award includes a monetary prize of USD 10,000. A joint award, shared by up to two recipients, is possible.

General Information

The recipient of the World Sustainability Award and Emerging Sustainability Leader Award will be chosen from nominees by a Selection Committee consisting of seven members:
Permanent Members:
  • Prof. Manfred Max Bergman, University of Basel and Chair of the Selection Committee
  • Dr. Shu-Kun Lin, founder of MDPI and of the MDPI Sustainability Foundation
Non-Permanent Members:
  • A university professor from the Scientific Board of the journal Sustainability
  • A university professor from the university hosting the upcoming World Sustainability Forum
  • A representative of an intergovernmental organization
  • A representative of civil society
  • A representative of the business sector
The five non-permanent members of the selection committee will be appointed for each World Sustainability Award. Reappointments are possible three years after having served on the Selection Committee.
Nominees for the World Sustainability Award may be individual researchers or groups of researchers. The nominees must have made, and continue to make, a unique and outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability in general or to a sustainability-relevant issue in particular.
Nominees for the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award may be individual researcher aged 40 or under at the time of the submission deadline, who has made an outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability in general, or to a sustainability-relevant issue in particular.
Nominations for the World Sustainability Award and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award are sought from the entire international research community. The Selection Committee may decide to select up to three recipients for a specific award, if their achievements are considered to be of equal merit and impact.
The World Sustainability Award and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award are granted according to merit and impact, without discrimination based on gender, race, religion, nationality, or political affiliation. The recipient will be informed no later than two months before the upcoming World Sustainability Forum. Prof. Bergman and Dr. Shu-Kun Lin will coordinate the selection procedure.
The right to the World Sustainability Award and/or the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award is not transferable. A recipient can receive the World Sustainability Award and/or Emerging Sustainability Leader Award only once for the same achievement or contribution. The recipient/s of the World Sustainability Award is/are required to participate in the award ceremony at the upcoming World Sustainability Forum. The associated costs will be covered by the organizers to an extent that will be communicated to the recipient.
The USD 100,000 award money associated with the World Sustainability Award is entirely funded by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation. The USD 10,000 award money associated with the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award is entirely funded by the MDPI journal Sustainability. Both awards will be presented at each of the next three World Sustainability Forum events, in 2017, 2018, and 2020. The recipient/s of the first awards has been announced at the 6th World Sustainability Forum (WSF6) in Cape Town, South Africa, in January 2017.

Awardees

The first World Sustainability Award and the first Emerging Sustainability Leader Awards were presented by Prof. Thandi Mgwebi, Director of Research at UWC, and Dr. Franck Vazquez, CEO of MDPI, during a ceremony on 27 January 2017 as part of the gala dinner of the 6th World Sustainability Forum in South Africa.

World Sustainability Award 2017

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Dr. Sonia Ehrlich Sachs are the joint recipients of the 1st World Sustainability Award.
Prof Jeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. Professor Sachs served as the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. During that time, he led a university-wide organization of more than 850 research scientists and policy experts in support of sustainable development, championed the Masters of Development Practice (MDP) program, which is now offered at 30 universities around the world, and helped to introduce the PhD in Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He was appointed University Professor at Columbia University in 2016 and also serves as Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management. He was Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Prior to his arrival at Columbia University in July 2002, Professor Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he served as the Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1976, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978 and 1980 respectively.
Dr Sonia Sachs is a paediatrician and public health specialist with a specialty in paediatric endocrinology. Prof Sachs practiced medicine for over 20 years, 14 of which at the Harvard University Health Services. In 2004 she joined the Earth Institute and became the health coordinator for the Millennium Villages Project, overseeing all health related interventions and research. The goal is to show that an integrated development approach is scalable and sustainable. She tirelessly contributes to the coordination and work that has made the Earth Institute a beacon of international sustainable development. She received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.D. from the University of Maryland Medical School, and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health.

Emerging Sustainability Leader Award 2017

The joint recipients of the first Emerging Sustainability Leader Award are Dr. Esther Ngumbi and Dr. Xiaosong Hu.
Dr Esther Ngumbi is a 2007 recipient of American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship. She has been featured in the AAUW celebrating 125 years of fellowships and grants views and on the cover of AAUW’s acclaimed national research report, “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics”. Dr. Ngumbi is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University in Alabama. She is a Food Security Fellow with New Voices, The Aspen Institute, and has also served as a Clinton Global University Initiative Mentor for Agriculture. Esther was named by One World Action as one of the 100 powerful women who change the world. She continues to be a global leader, motivational speaker and is passionate about issues related to hunger, gender, education, youth activism and sustainability.
Dr Xiaosong Hu received a PhD degree in Automotive Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology, China in 2012. He conducted scientific research and completed his dissertation at the Automotive Research Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, between 2010 and 2012. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish Hybrid Vehicle Center and the Department of Signals and Systems at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. His research interests include optimal control and dimensioning of electrified powertrains, modelling and management of energy storage systems. He is a recipient of the Beijing Best PhD Dissertation Award in 2013, and is a Member of IEEE.

Instructions for Nomination

The deadline for nominations for the second World Sustainability Award and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award is 15 March 2018.
All documents must be submitted in English, and no self-nominations are accepted. Nominations must be submitted in accordance with the following instructions:
Two documents must be provided as word files:
1. Nomination Summary
2. Full Nomination

1. Nomination Summary

1.1. Nominee's Details

  • Title, first name, middle name, last name
  • Position and institutional affiliation of nominee
  • Postal address of institution of affiliation
  • Work phone number, home or mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • Postal address of nominee
  • Photo of the nominee (300 dpi, copyright free)

Nominee’s Summary

Summary of nominee’s achievements and merit for the World Sustainability Award and/or the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award (max. 500 words)

2. Full Nomination

2.1. Nominee’s Work

A detailed description of the nominee’s work (max. 5000 words), highlighting the contributions toward sustainability that would merit receipt of the World Sustainability Award and/or the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award. The description must refer to the importance of the work, its impact, and its projected influence.

2.2. Nominee’s Detailed CV

2.3. Nominee’s List of Publications

2.4. Nominee’s List of Funded Projects

2.5. Other Relevant Information

The nomination must be sent by email to worldsustainabilityaward@mdpi.com. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Franck Vazquez ( vazquez@mdpi.com ).