In 2015 we handed out our first ECO Coin award to Yoyo Yogasamana for his digitalization of sustainable knowledge to preserve more than 130 existing rice varieties without any use of insecticides. In 2016 the award was given to Dave Hakkens for his ambitious open source precious plastics recycling machine. This year we have had entries from around the world and have interviewed our top three candidates: Shubendhu Sharma for his Tiny Forrests initiative, Ritsert Mans and Peter Mooij for their algae powered bike and Sandra Rey for her work in the field of bioluminescence. It has been difficult to choose but we are delighted to announce that Sandra Rey is our 2017 ECO Coin Award winner.
The NNN jury found that her work was interesting on a number of levels. From a practical perspective Rey is striving to create an entirely new lighting system that could become more sustainable than anything we have ever known. From a more philosophical perspective she is trying to create a living product. Sustainably minded businesses and organisations often talk about their products from cradle to grave, or now from cradle to cradle. This is a truly fitting description of bioluminescent lights that really are born, live and die.
As founder and CEO of Glowee, Rey’s mission is to reduce the 19% share of electricity used in the world for lighting, which accounts for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. She is also looking at the social side of this technology which has the potential to provide light to people or places without access to electricity. Of course it’s more than just a light. In her words: “It is about creating new biological resources; until now, we have been wasting the biomass which could be helping us with light creation. It’s about changing the paradigm of light to really enter the bioeconomy era”. An era that ties biology and economy together is one that we at NNN certainly want to be a part of.
Thank you to all the submissions for the ECO Coin Award, a special thanks to our finalists and once again congratulations to Sandra Rey! We look forward to Sandra visiting the Next Nature Network HQ in Amsterdam later this year.
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