Finding ways to best utilize our planetary resources has been a theme of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – a specialized agency of the United Nations) for many years. This initiative has garnered less attention in the media than perhaps might be expected – but, as ordinary citizens, we’re becoming more personally aware as our world continues to undergo startling changes relative to climate, water availability, sustainable construction, etc., etc.
One of UNESCO’s objectives in which I find myself particularly interested is the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), which “develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment.”
There is a yearly competition in which you might wish to participate (and of which you may be unaware…as I was), that encourages new avenues to tackle the issues mentioned above affecting everyone around the world -
Although the 2015 application has not yet been posted, you can find out details about the competition by clicking the link above. There is a $5,000 USD award to the winner(s). To be eligible, award applications must be made on the MAB Young Scientists Award application form (in English or French) and be endorsed by the applicant’s MAB National Committee, which may endorse only two applications per year from applicants who are not older than 40 years of age (at the closing date of the application).
There are other incentives UNESCO offers as well; take a look here: Awards and Prizes
Even if you find that you don’t qualify for the competitions, I do hope that you’ll spend some time exploring the wealth of information on UNESCO’s website… There’s much food for thought and many pathways to explore – what will YOU contribute?
There are many funding opportunities available to those who are interested in exploring the pathways of the entrepreneur. Here’s one to take a look at…
Here’s their newest challenge: StartEdu 3 Application Opens on July 1, 2015. The StartEdu Competition is a nationwide program looking to identify, mentor, incubate, and invest in the most promising early-stage education startups that are serving India’s masses.
From the B. V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering & Technology website
“LabInApp, a CTIE start-up, participated in a competition called StartEdu by Unitus Seed Fund. LabInApp got short-listed in top 11 educational start-ups across India. Many of these startups are from IITs and IIMs !! In the end, LabInApp (previously Intuitive Labs) has won the StartEdu competition. And now eligible for one crore investment.”
What educational tech are you working on that might be marketable (and profitable) for you while bringing exciting education to the children of India?
Although most of us are, at all times, peripherally aware of the food shortages around the world, there are those who are constantly addressing the needs of the hungry. Charities, governments, and individuals make concerted efforts to alleviate the challenge of feeding the globe’s inhabitants. Here are a few links to stimulate your thoughts on what you may be able to contribute through your own work…
Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system. —Bill Mollison
From The African Moringa and Permaculture project: Food Forests, an idea pioneered by permaculture, draw upon the examples provided by natural native forests and carefully incorporate non-aggressive exotic varieties.