"Brightening Our Corner" - February 2023

The Quarterly Newsletter of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation
Feb 23, 2023 1:00 PM ET
Ray C. Anderson Foundation Family Photo

Georgia Tech Launches Sustainable-X Entrepreneurship Program

“Georgia Tech is a beacon of innovation that aims to empower entrepreneurs to create ventures with a positive impact on society and the environment,” said Center-affiliated faculty member Andre Calmon at the launch event for Sustainable-X. An offshoot of the successful CREATE-X entrepreneurship initiative at Georgia Tech, Sustainable-X gives students, faculty, staff, and community members the tools and confidence to create and grow startups that address social and environmental challenges. Read the article.

Apply to participate in the Sustainable-X Showcase by March 1st. 

Join the newly created Sustainable-X program at the first Showcase! The event will provide participants the chance to show off their ideas for environmental and social startups. Top three submissions will win cash prizes and the top one gets the chance to join the CREATE-X Startup Launch program in the summer. One submission per team. Apply Here.

How Can Climate Solutions Promote Inclusivity and Equity?

The Center is pleased to announce the 2022-23 Scheller College Graduate Sustainability Fellows and Undergraduate Sustainability Ambassadors. Twenty-one graduate students and 16 undergraduate students representing seven majors have been selected for the programs. They are deepening their engagement in sustainability by working on team projects related to carbon offset strategy, equitable solar scaling, career resources, Atlanta heat islands, global sanitation, Georgia Tech composting and recycling, and more. Read the article.

The Ray and 1% for the Planet

The Ray is proud to announce that it is officially a 1% for the Planet Environmental Partner. As an Environmental Partner, The Ray is now part of an incredible community of environmentally minded organizations with the singular goal of protecting the environment. Through this partnership, The Ray has also gained a network of businesses that can provide advocacy and support and work collectively towards a better future for the planet.

About 1% for the Planet: 1% for the Planet is a global organization that exists to ensure the planet and future generations thrive. They inspire businesses and individuals to support environmental partners through membership and everyday actions. They make environmental giving easy and effective through partnership advising, impact storytelling, and third-party certification.

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, their business members and individual members have given hundreds of millions of dollars to our approved environmental partners to date. Today, 1% for the Planet’s global network consists of thousands of businesses, individuals, and environmental partners working toward a better future for all.

Applications for the Biomimicry Launchpad Cohort are Due February 28th. 

The Biomimicry Institute is accepting applications for the Biomimicry Launchpad until Tuesday, February 28th. This year, they are re-launching this program to invite some of the most promising scientists, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs to participate in the free 10-week program. The curriculum includes training, connections, and resources for innovators who otherwise may not have considered commercializing their work. The unique combination of business and biomimicry training, along with in-person expeditions in extraordinary natural locations, has proven to inspire, educate, and build a vibrant community amongst the multidisciplinary participants. Learn more here.

Inspiration from a Ray of Hope Prize Finalist 

Biomimicry sets out to learn from nature, a vast resource of natural research and development, seeking inspiration for the design and engineering problems we face today. 

Biome Renewables, a finalist for the 2022 Ray of Hope Prize uses this approach to make energy technology more effective and efficient. Discover how they have learned from the shape of an owl’s wing to reduce the sound from wind turbines. Click here to watch the video on RE:TV.

Janine Benyus Featured in RE:TV Documentary Series 

RE:TV's new documentary series, in partnership with The Sustainable Markets Initiative, recently featured Janine Benyus, founder of the Biomimicry Institute, telling us what's possible if we apply what we learn from nature to inform our human built environment. Click here to watch Janine's feature.

Drawdown Georgia Introduces Series of Climate Stakeholder Reels 

How is your community scaling climate solutions in Georgia? RayDay 2022 proved to be a great backdrop for a series of mini-interviews with Drawdown Georgia stakeholders. We've compiled them into a series of Instagram Reels that we're rolling out weekly. These reels were fun to create, and they're fun to watch. Here's betting you'll recognize some familiar faces in the collection. Watch the reels here.

Georgia's Energy Future in Focus: Climate Solutions that Go Beyond Carbon 

Every three years, the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) process sets the energy plan for Georgia Power, the largest electric utility in our state, playing a key role in charting our state’s energy future.

In this webinar, we took a deep dive into the impacts the recently completed 2022 IRP and subsequent Rate Case will have on consumers, greenhouse gas emissions, and equity in our state. Watch the webinar here.

Ecocentricity Blog: The Cautionary Tale of Banana Farming, Panama Disease, and the Inherent Risks of Monocultures

For decades, banana farmers have tried to stay one step ahead of a fungus that is deadly to their crops. As that task becomes more difficult, farms will face the growing risk of the complete loss of their trees. This risk is one of the reasons that monoculture farming may not be the best way to go. 
Read the latest blog.

We're Hiring a Climate Communications Intern

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is looking for a committed and enthusiastic climate communicator to join our team for Summer 2023. 
The intern will work with various members of the Foundation Team (communications, climate strategies and operations) to support Drawdown Georgia. Deadline to apply is March 20th.

View the full description here and share with interested students.

IGEL is Key Part of the Foundation's Leadership Development

Valerie Bennett, director of communications, recently graduated from the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership's (IGEL's) Class of 2022. 

Blair Beasley, director of climate strategies, has been accepted into the Class of 2023. 

IGEL offers an incredible, immersive leadership experience for Georgians from all walks of life to "get outside their comfort zones" and engage in hands-on experiences that illustrate the environmental issues that exist throughout the state. While environmental issues are the centerpiece for IGEL's sessions, the program is really one of the most unique and valuable leadership development exercises out there. IGEL recruitment begins in August and runs until mid-October. Find out more here.