World Environment Center Expands U.S. Department of State “Challenge” Program to Include More Innovators in Latin America

World Environment Center Expands U.S. Department of State “Challenge” Program to Include More Innovators in Latin America

tweet me:
.@WorldEnvCenter wins @StateDept #Path2Prosper expansion

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 4:15pm

CAMPAIGN: Capacity Building

CONTENT: Press Release

September 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ - The U.S. Department of State has awarded the World Environment Center (WEC) and its partners, Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée (Baastel) and Context Partners, additional funding to select and bring to scale innovative, local solutions in support of the multilateral Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative (Pathways).  Pathways has brought together 15 partner countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the U.S., that share a common vision on the need to identify and accelerate the adoption of effective policies and practices for promoting inclusive economic growth. Culminating in the recent pitch and award ceremony, the unique regional Innovation Challenge sought out new, scalable ideas for generating inclusive economic growth under one of each of the following four Pathways areas of cooperation: 1) Empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); 2) Facilitating Trade; 3) Developing a Modern Workforce; and 4) Promoting Sustainable Business Practices. WEC and its partners will now be supporting the State Department over the next three years to deepen the efforts of the Pathways program under each pillar.

The expansion of this program will engage 26 other semi-finalists from the Challenge to create a network throughout the region in addition to providing the four awardees of the Innovation Challenge with up to $500,000 to scale their solutions. This network will strengthen and augment the reach and effect of these solutions by leveraging connections and the support of stakeholders that will help to grow and fund them.  Eight semi-finalists from this group of 26 will also be awarded up to $80,000 during the course of the project.  These innovations range from technology platforms to sustainable biological products, addressing a range of sectors in agriculture, trade and manufacturing from the southern cone to Mexico.  Project partner EarthShift will also look to include some of the 26 semi-finalists in public Sustainability Return on Investment training workshops it plans to hold in conjunction with the project

This program has been created to engage a broader cross section of stakeholders to identify labor and environmental-related challenges or barriers to inclusive economic growth, solicit innovative solutions from the region, field test concepts or approaches, and provide tools to help achieve scale and meaningful impact through partnership and cooperation. “This project is designed to challenge participants to provide and grow impactful solutions for society through scalable, sustainable economic development” stated Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President & CEO.  “By expanding our reach to an even greater number of innovations throughout the hemisphere, we will create a network that can empower local innovation and, in doing so, strengthen our region’s economies.”

For more information about the Challenge, visit; for more information on the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative, please visit


About World Environment Center
WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems.  It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in applying sustainable development across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program.  WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany.


About Context Partners
We're all about the people. We’re a Social Innovation Design firm helping organizations deepen relationships with their communities to succeed in today’s connected world. An activated community is the surest path to increase innovation, stakeholder buy-in, brand engagement and business intelligence.  From our offices in Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and Brussels, Belgium, we work across the public and private sectors for clients such as Nike, The Knight Foundation,The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank Institute, and Ecotrust.


About Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée
Founded in 1989, Baastel is recognized for its quality services in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Results-based Management (RBM), strategic planning, project and program management, and building individual and institutional capacity in these areas. Baastel has successfully worked for many bilateral development agencies, international institutions and development banks around the world such as ADB, AFD, CIDA, CDB, DFID, DANIDA, the EU, EIB, FAO, GEF, IDB, IFC, OAS, PAHO, SIDA, many bodies of the United Nations (e.g. UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO) WFP, and World Bank; NGOs such as OXFAM and  the Red cross;  and many national governments including the US State Department; On all continents, working with through its vast network of expert consultants in a variety of fields and sectors, baastel has developed M&E and reporting frameworks, tools and systems for communities, projects, programs, agencies, governments and regional and international organizations around the world. Baastel’s solid team of expertise delivers services that are customized to fulfill the most demanding and complex client needs and expectations, regardless of scale, scope, context or sector. Baastel’s outstanding reputation in the field is built on a record of international and national successes, and expertise that is backed by attention to detail, quality, transparency and neutrality. Baastel is headquartered in Quebec, Canada and Brussels, Belgium.


About Earthshift
Founded in 2000, EarthShift is a leading international provider of sustainability solutions. EarthShift provides software, training and consulting services that allow organizations to engage in informed decision-making about the social, economic and environmental consequences that flow from their activities. EarthShift leverages innovative approaches to sustainability challenges to effect significant change by shifting the way organizations think and interact with the planet’s ecosystems and the life it supports. We help our clients evaluate their sustainability performance from a systems-level perspective, and then implement innovative, sustainability-driven practices and improvements.