Someone wiser than I once said that 'knowledge is power' – and so in the 21st century we have no excuse to sit back and let our planet and its people continue to suffer. It would be easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of these global issues, but I am an optimist at heart and I believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. I'm delighted to see that the Postcode Lottery is challenging entrepreneurs to come up with solutions for a better world in 2015 too.
I'm delighted to see that the Postcode Lottery is challenging entrepreneurs to come up with solutions for a better world in 2015 too. In 2007, as chairman of the Jury, I was proud to present the very first 500,000 euro Postcode Lottery Green Challenge prize to Igor Kluin for his brilliant green energy plan. In 2013 Is was honoured to present Ginger Dosier and her company bioMASON the cheque for her bio-bricks.
I've been impressed by all the winners & finalists since the competition started – so far 18 green solutions that can really make a difference have been rewarded with first or runner-up prizes. And another 24 finalists made it to the finale, even though they haven't won the competition many of them are still hugely successful with their businesses.
Someone wiser than I once said that 'knowledge is power' – and so in the 21st century we have no excuse to sit back and let our planet and its people continue to suffer. As "global citizens" of the world we are facing serious environmental and social challenges: climate change, a lack of key resources, widespread poverty, conflicts and enormous population growth are all threatening to destabilise our fragile status quo. Scientists have been telling us for years that we cannot continue to live the way we do. At last some of us have started to listen, started to act and started to turn back the tide, little by little – at last having grasped that in our small global village what affects our neighbours, affects us all.
It would be easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of these global issues, but I am an optimist at heart and I believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. The human race has demonstrated a tremendous capacity to change and adapt in the past and I have faith we can do it again. At Virgin we're working together to make a difference, by implementing small changes in the way we work, by continuously investing in green technologies and by exploring new possibilities in science and beyond. I believe that in the future we will be able to enjoy healthy and fulfilling lifestyles, whilst minimising the negative impact we have on the world. What seems impossible today could be possible tomorrow.
The world has changed a great deal in the 40 odd years since the Virgin Group started, but I'm proud to be able to say that we've moved with the times and we're still listening. We've set up a foundation, Virgin Unite, to help us listen, bring people together and tackle issues with entrepreneurial approaches. We're also listening to the exceptional men and women who form The Elders, to the scientists, partners and entrepreneurs who make up the Carbon War Room - all these people are helping to educate us as to what is needed both globally and at a grass roots level to help make a difference to lives on a daily basis.
I support those people who put their thinking hats on and help us consume differently. Therefore, I support the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge that greatly stimulates the people who make this change. So next year, go and enter your green idea too and maybe your plan can be brought to market.
Make a difference!
Sir Richard Branson