Winners & Finalists of 2019


First Prize

The Wildfire Crisis in British Columbia, Canada
by Inferno, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Research Team
Michael Simoes, Bachelor of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University
Joanne Nellas, Bachelor of Global Environmental Systems, Simon Fraser University
Vanessa Sun, Bachelor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Devan Parmar, Bachelor of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University

Project Summary
This team examined the wildfires of British Columbia and the effects of them on the environment and people’s quality of life. To conduct their research, they read news articles, government documents, interviewed forest and fire experts, reviewed academic literature, surveyed residents, and more. Two of their key findings were: 1) There is a discrepancy of money and resources spent on responding to wildfires and money invested into prevention, preparedness, and recovery, and 2) Government funding and resource allocation is based on out-dated knowledge of forests and fires.

 

Submission documents
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Second Prize

The Epidemic of Sexual Violence Against Women in New Delhi
by No Means No, University of Oxford, UK

Research Team
Prerna Choudhury, Master of Business Administration, University of Oxford
Tanmayata Bansal, Consultant, 3ie
Mridula Vasudevamurthy, Master of Business Administration, University of Oxford
Abdus Sahl, Master of Business Administration, University of Oxford
Neha Sethi, Master of Business Administration, University of Oxford

Project Summary
This team looked at the growth of sexual violence in New Delhi, both reported and under reported, and the perception of the city as the “rape capital” of the world. Their research was a combination of 31 semi-structured interviews with a range of diverse stakeholders including the BBC producer of the documentary, India’s Daughter, national activists and the men and women in the city who are at the centre of the issue. They also conducted in-depth secondary research using academic journals, news articles, and blogs. Their key findings were that the issue is truly systemic–widespread and deep-rooted change cannot occur without a concerted effort from a spectrum of actors, ranging from the government to teachers and administrators.

 

Submission documents
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Third Prize

Deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado
by The Forgotten Biome, Amani Institute, Brazil

Research Team
Debora Souza Batista, Social Innovation Management, Amani Institute
Julia Norat, Legal Advisor, Federal District Environment Secretariat

Project Summary
The Brazilian Cerrado is considered one of the richest savannahs in the world and a biodiversity hot spot. It also plays a very important role in water conservation, partly due to its geographical position, located in plateau regions, which contributes to water distribution throughout the country. However, land use in the Cerrado has provoked a massive conversion of native vegetation to agricultural and urban areas, severely compromising ecosystem functioning, ecological processes and biodiversity integrity. In their research, this team has analysed the existing public policies that are part of both the solution and the aggravation of the problem, as well as initiatives from civil society that tackle the issue of deforestation at the Cerrado.

 

Submission documents
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Runners up

A Lack of Transparency in the Global Fashion System
by Honest Fashion, De Montfort University, UK

Research Team
Zijun Lin, BA Business and Marketing, De Montfort University
Dr. Nicola Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, De Montfort University

Project Summary
This team set out to better understand the sustainability challenges in the global fashion system, and soon discovered through their research that transparency was in very short supply. Therefore, they investigated the perils and potential of transparency to better leverage positive changes – social, environmental and economic – in the fashion system.

 

Submission documents
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Decolonizing Agriculture: A Case Study of Chakras in the Ecuadorian Amazon
by Team Chakra, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

Research Team
Katherine Riebe, Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Linda Xiong, Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Alexandria Sedar, Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Project Summary

This team has examined chakra use, a traditional agroforestry method, among the Indigenous Kichwa of Ecuador, by conducting an extensive literature review, oral interviews and a structural, attitudinal and transactional assessment. They learned that while some progress has been made, power imbalances do not centre the Indigenous voice or recognise the value of the environment for its whole rather than its parts. In addition, the current model of globalisation is founded on colonisation and inequity.

 

Submission documents
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Industrial Animal Agriculture in the USA
by The Missed Steaks, Yale University, USA

Research Team
Maki Tazawa, Master of Environmental Management, Yale University

Project Summary
Industrial animal agriculture in the US is the cause of major environmental, health and social issues. How does the US move away from industrial scale animal agriculture towards a food system that better supports food security, sustainability, animal welfare and social issues? This systems analysis focuses on the actors and solutions involved in this space, especially the plant based food innovation space. It posits that the plant based food innovation space can be changed from an innovation to a transformation space.

 

Submission documents
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