2011 Innovation Award Winners
The 2011 SVN Innovation Award Winners were honored at a ceremony at SVN's Fall Invitational in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from October 27 - 30th. The awards were hosted by SVN member Laura Flanders, journalist and host of The Laura Flanders Show.
Liberty & Justice is committed to a future in which farmers, manufacturers, transporters, distributors, retailers, and consumers are completely aligned in making choices that result in the eradication of poverty, the responsible stewardship of the environment, and the empowerment of workers. By developing local African factories and connecting them with international retailers, and ultimately, individual consumers, Liberty & Justice is able to create jobs for Liberian women that otherwise would not have existed. Every time a Liberty & Justice shirt is purchased another woman in Liberia gets closer to pulling herself out of poverty.
Founder & CEO
Driptech's mission is to alleviate poverty by creating affordable, water efficient irrigation solutions for the 500 million small-plot farmers (less than 5 acres) in developing nations. Global water usage is unsustainable from a food security perspective. Available water per person in developing countries is 20% of what it was fifty years ago. In these same places, agriculture accounts for 81% of total freshwater usage, primarily for flood irrigation. In addition to wasting water, flood irrigation leads to lower yields for many crops and is very labor intensive. Use of Driptech's innovative irrigation system allows farmers to grow year round while conserving water, labor and time and increasing crop yields by 20 to 90%.
Karlene Hunter & Mark Tilsen
Native American Natural Foods
Native American Natural Foods’ mission is to heal the people and Mother Earth by innovating new food products based on traditional values of Native American respect for all living things and living in balance with Mind, Body and Spirit. The company is based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which, with a 72% unemployment rate, is the third-poorest county in the U.S. Native American Natural Foods is also committed to providing employment for the young people on the reservation (95% of their staff are tribal members who live there) and to the return of the buffalo to Native people.
Founder & CEO
Re:char empowers subsistence farmers in the developing world to enhance their crop yields and supplement their income, while trapping carbon and enriching depleted soil. Re:char has found that by pyrolyzing plant waste before it decomposes, they are able to re-route solid carbon into a carbon-rich soil amendment, ensuring that plant carbon (and greenhouse gas) does not return to the atmosphere. They are currently serving 750 farmers in Kenya. Re:char also recently launched its first consumer biochar product for gardeners in the US and Europe called Black Revolution.
Founder & CEO
Solar Sister is a social enterprise that eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. Using an Avon-style business model, Solar Sister Entrepreneurs create vital access to clean energy technology by solving the problem of the 'last mile'. The women use their natural networks of family, friends and neighbors to provide the most effective distribution channel to rural and hard to reach customers. Solar Sister combines the breakthrough potential of solar technology with a deliberately women-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in Africa.
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization working to build a nation where every veteran can serve again as a citizen leader. The organization challenges post-9/11 veterans to continue their lifelong missions of service by being leaders in our communities, enabling them to combat a loss of purpose in their lives that often occurs when they leave the military. The Mission Continues aims to reshape the way we welcome home our veterans by showing that these men and women are tremendous assets, not charity cases, whose strengths and leadership can be used to improve communities here at home.