.
T

he issues, which define the 21st century are unfolding daily and 2020 has been a year of overwhelming heartbreak: from extreme weather to a pandemic and to rising social injustice, a generational catastrophe is playing out in front of our eyes in real-time. The apocalyptic imagery depicts a world that even science fiction could not have designed better. And worst of all, our own sense of what we are looking at and listening to is up for debate. If we were to mourn one big thing in 2020—besides the tragic loss of human life—is the tragic loss of objective truth.

This is the world in 2020. But, as our loyal readers have known for almost a decade now, our team at Diplomatic Courier is passionate about the not-so-far-away-anymore World in 2050. By then, we know the problems of today will be double. Our focus with 2050 today is so that we can prevent the very crises happening this year from becoming the norm.

In January we launched the Innovation Olympics, an annual competition aimed at championing the top ideas, startups, and innovations in seven categories. The programme focuses on solutions in seven clusters—society, humanity, health, energy, travel, off-world civilization, and artistic visions of the future. When the pandemic shut down most of the world earlier this year, our company and industry underwent—familiar now to all—disruptions. Our jury members, our partners, and team continued the work unabated. We knew that moving forward with this competition was now even more important than before. It became central to our "build back better" mantra.

And so, today we are proud to present the first cohort of winners; a group of well-known and others not so well-known organizations and individuals doing well and doing good for the world. From Canada to Kenya to Guatemala, learn more about the 34 winners in seven categories that are changing the world with their ingenuity and resilience.

When I founded the World in 2050, it was right before the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals. This if what I wrote at the time:

“In the 20th century, two books cast their shadows over the future of the human race: one, George Orwell’s novel 1984, which depicted a horrific mind-controlling totalitarian state; the other, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which represented an engineered abundance and conformity, yet still totalitarian. The latter, seems not so distant a future. Mind boggling advances in technology have created abundance and accessibility. Yet, they have also created triviality and over-consuming and spending. On one side, we have a world of consumers that don’t want for anything. On the other, extreme poverty still reigns in parts of the world despite our best efforts to eradicate it. Although Brave New World is set in the future, it deals with contemporary issues. Although it was written in 1931, it is as relevant in its lessons today as it was then.”

I asked then: What world do we want? Do we want a Brave New World of abundance—not exactly a utopia but a world where the advances in technology help everyone, not just those who own or invent them. Or, are we doomed to pass on a 1984-dystopian-like world to our children—one riddled with fear, horror, war, and scarcity?

Reading the news headlines today, it is easy to see which world we are headed for. Geostrategic struggles; cyberwarfare; fast-spreading devastating disease; poverty, and war have reigned large on our news feeds for a long time now—and in 2020, it seems all at once. And commentary after commentary eloquently explains how we’ve failed.

But as we enter UNGA 75 this week and celebrate the world coming together after World War Two to overcome the horrors of that era, we are now tasked to rise to the occasion once more and reimagine the world after the horrors of 2020. It is true, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, we are witnessing a “generational catastrophe.” Let’s seize this opportunity, then, to effect a generational transformation. It’s either that or there won’t be a world in 2050 to speak of.

The winners in this list have already started this transformational work. Time to celebrate them and bring others to the fold. Our competition is no longer a yearly affair. We welcome your applications and nominations year-round and we will announce new winners quarterly.

About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. Rold teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host of The World in 2050–A Forum About Our Future. To engage with her on this article follow her on Twitter @ACRold.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

a global affairs media network

www.diplomaticourier.com

Building the World We Want

September 14, 2020

After 100+ nominations and applications, we are proud to announce the first cohort of winners for 2020—the “Innovation Olympics” winners in seven categories.

T

he issues, which define the 21st century are unfolding daily and 2020 has been a year of overwhelming heartbreak: from extreme weather to a pandemic and to rising social injustice, a generational catastrophe is playing out in front of our eyes in real-time. The apocalyptic imagery depicts a world that even science fiction could not have designed better. And worst of all, our own sense of what we are looking at and listening to is up for debate. If we were to mourn one big thing in 2020—besides the tragic loss of human life—is the tragic loss of objective truth.

This is the world in 2020. But, as our loyal readers have known for almost a decade now, our team at Diplomatic Courier is passionate about the not-so-far-away-anymore World in 2050. By then, we know the problems of today will be double. Our focus with 2050 today is so that we can prevent the very crises happening this year from becoming the norm.

In January we launched the Innovation Olympics, an annual competition aimed at championing the top ideas, startups, and innovations in seven categories. The programme focuses on solutions in seven clusters—society, humanity, health, energy, travel, off-world civilization, and artistic visions of the future. When the pandemic shut down most of the world earlier this year, our company and industry underwent—familiar now to all—disruptions. Our jury members, our partners, and team continued the work unabated. We knew that moving forward with this competition was now even more important than before. It became central to our "build back better" mantra.

And so, today we are proud to present the first cohort of winners; a group of well-known and others not so well-known organizations and individuals doing well and doing good for the world. From Canada to Kenya to Guatemala, learn more about the 34 winners in seven categories that are changing the world with their ingenuity and resilience.

When I founded the World in 2050, it was right before the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals. This if what I wrote at the time:

“In the 20th century, two books cast their shadows over the future of the human race: one, George Orwell’s novel 1984, which depicted a horrific mind-controlling totalitarian state; the other, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which represented an engineered abundance and conformity, yet still totalitarian. The latter, seems not so distant a future. Mind boggling advances in technology have created abundance and accessibility. Yet, they have also created triviality and over-consuming and spending. On one side, we have a world of consumers that don’t want for anything. On the other, extreme poverty still reigns in parts of the world despite our best efforts to eradicate it. Although Brave New World is set in the future, it deals with contemporary issues. Although it was written in 1931, it is as relevant in its lessons today as it was then.”

I asked then: What world do we want? Do we want a Brave New World of abundance—not exactly a utopia but a world where the advances in technology help everyone, not just those who own or invent them. Or, are we doomed to pass on a 1984-dystopian-like world to our children—one riddled with fear, horror, war, and scarcity?

Reading the news headlines today, it is easy to see which world we are headed for. Geostrategic struggles; cyberwarfare; fast-spreading devastating disease; poverty, and war have reigned large on our news feeds for a long time now—and in 2020, it seems all at once. And commentary after commentary eloquently explains how we’ve failed.

But as we enter UNGA 75 this week and celebrate the world coming together after World War Two to overcome the horrors of that era, we are now tasked to rise to the occasion once more and reimagine the world after the horrors of 2020. It is true, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, we are witnessing a “generational catastrophe.” Let’s seize this opportunity, then, to effect a generational transformation. It’s either that or there won’t be a world in 2050 to speak of.

The winners in this list have already started this transformational work. Time to celebrate them and bring others to the fold. Our competition is no longer a yearly affair. We welcome your applications and nominations year-round and we will announce new winners quarterly.

About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. Rold teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host of The World in 2050–A Forum About Our Future. To engage with her on this article follow her on Twitter @ACRold.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.