Powered by Nature: social media student competition for nature-based solutions to energy challenges

12 February 2013 | News story

Today, IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication and Alcoa Foundation announced the launch of the Powered by Nature competition in which European communications students are challenged to co-create a social media campaign. The goal of the final campaign is to raise awareness of “natural solutions” for energy and encourage the young generation to become "powered by nature". Students will work together with experts from environmental organisations and communications agencies on their final submissions.  

Juliane Zeidler, Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, explains: “Energy powers our world, our lives, our creativity, and our future. We have so many different ways to harvest the energy provided by nature, be it with renewables, muscle power or just human efficiency and creativity. It’s time we explored new ways to address energy challenges. 'Powered by Nature' gets to the heart of this online social engagement campaign.”

Communications students from eleven European countries are invited to submit their ideas for innovative communications campaigns that encourage young people to become change agents for new energy models. A jury composed of international leaders in the field of nature conservation, energy, industry and advertising, will pick the best idea from each country. Juliane Zeidler and Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General are part of the jury. All national award winners will be invited to a weeklong collaborative creativity challenge workshop in the Netherlands in August.

“Alcoa strives to address environmental challenges across industries and within our communities. Asking young people to address these in a creative way, by using technology and getting peers involved, has the potential to reach a broad range of people and effect positive change across borders,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Our vision is that the resulting campaign will lead to the adoption of best practices in energy use.”

The ‘Powered by Nature’ award is a joint project of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and Alcoa Foundation. The IUCN European Union Representative Office is supporting the implementation of this project. 

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, 30 April 2013 at 23:59 CET.

For more information and to apply, go to www.powered-by-nature.org. Eligible countries are Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Iceland, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy and Norway.