Press releases | Development Cooperation 04.08.2015

International expert jury of “empowering people. Award 2015” appointed

Evaluating this year’s entries are representatives from leading organizations working in the context of development cooperation.

Notable organizations from around the globe lend their support to the global competition

Siemens Stiftung has appointed the jury for the “empowering people. Award 2015”. A total of 18 interdisciplinary specialists representing renowned organizations from around the world have signed up to assess innovative low-tech products and solutions and their business models that can be used in sustainable development work.

Seeking to identify and promote such appropriate solutions that carry potential to tackle basic supply deficits in developing regions, innovators and inventor teams are called upon to enter their technological projects to the competition by November 30, 2015. Evaluating this year’s entries are representatives from leading organizations working in the context of development cooperation.

Members of the “empowering people. Award 2015” jury:

•    Andy Bastable, Oxfam GB
•    César Buenadicha, Inter-American Development Bank
•    Noha El-Ghobashy, Engineering for Change
•    Daniel Gonzales Rivera, Fundación Avina
•    Prof. Anil Kumar Gupta, Indian Institute of Management, National Innovation Foundation-India
•    Hinnerk Hansen, Impact Hub
•    Claudia Juech, The Rockefeller Foundation
•    Christiane Laibach, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft  
•    Saurabh Lall, The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
•    Oliver Nachevski, Engineers Without Borders International
•    Duncan Onyango, Acumen Fund East Africa
•    Laura Paddison, Guardian Sustainable Business
•    Thomas Silberhorn, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
•    Amy Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – D-Lab
•    Paul Smith Lomas, Practical Action
•    Richenda Van Leeuwen, United Nations Foundation
•    Michael Vollmann, Ashoka
•    Karen von Bismarck, Technology Exchange Lab

Dealing with challenges in basic services sustainably and with the aid of technology in developing regions lies at the heart of the Siemens Stiftung philosophy. That is why the “empowering people. Award” includes the eight most essential basic supply categories: Water & Waste Water, Energy, Sheltering, Information & Communication, Food & Agriculture, Waste Management, Healthcare and Education. Following an in-depth technical and business pre-evaluation by an expert team, the jurors will be reviewing the entries individually according to the innovative technical and entrepreneurial approach and the potential to help people meet the challenges encountered in accessing basic supply. In addition criteria will also include whether the solution uses local resources, is environmentally-friendly, and self-sustainable within a social business model.

Jury member Daniel Gonzales, Program Director at the Latin American Fundación Avina, a foundation based in Panama that contributes to concrete and relevant changes leading to more sustainable development in Latin America, values the approach of the Award: “Without a doubt integrating social and technological innovations is a very powerful way to address humanity’s most pressing challenges. Yet there are still too few organizations out there that can deliver on that promise. The “empowering people. Award” combines the selection of high potentials in this field with a set of personalized activities following the Award that really do help the start-ups to grow and increase this impact.”

“The success of this competition greatly depends on an experienced and dedicated international jury with an interdisciplinary approach. This distinguished panel of experts from the world of development cooperation will ensure the identification of technical solutions and business approaches with a great potential of social impact on the ground. Evaluating according to a set of criteria in the challenging context of basic needs is a demanding task. We would like to thank them for their willingness to devote their time and expertise not only in selecting the best entries but also for their commitment to accompany and support the winners following the close of the Award,” stated Rolf Huber, Managing Director of the Board at the Siemens Stiftung.

Entries to the competition should be made online by November 30th, 2015, 12pm EST.