World Environment Center Awarded U.S. Department Of State Innovation “Challenge” Program

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World Environment Center Awarded U.S. Department Of State Innovation “Challenge” Program

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Press Release
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 1:30pm

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 25, 2013 /3BL Media/ - The World Environment Center (WEC), through a grant by the U.S. Department of State, is launching a new program to select and bring to scale innovative, locally produced concepts in support of the multilateral Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative (Pathways). Pathways has brought together 15 partner countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the U.S., that share a common vision on the need to identify and accelerate the adoption of effective policies and practices for promoting inclusive economic growth. WEC and Context Partners (CP) will initiate the program this month with an international competition, the “Pathways to Prosperity Challenge,” to search for the four most innovative and scalable ideas for generating inclusive economic growth under one of each of the following four Pathways areas of cooperation: 1) Empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; 2) Facilitating Trade; 3) Developing a Modern Workforce; and 4) Promoting Sustainable Business Practices.

The overall purpose of the program is to engage a cross section of stakeholders to identify labor and environmental-related challenges or barriers to inclusive economic growth, solicit innovative solutions from the region, field test concepts or approaches, and provide tools to help achieve scale and meaningful impact. For more information about the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative, please visit www.pathways-caminos.org.

The program is funded by the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. Department of State at $US 2.45 million for three years and will encompass an in-depth review and selection of four proposals from hundreds across the hemisphere; oversight and guidance to the implementing innovators; monitoring and evaluating their activities; and optimizing local networks and funders to design a plan that would bring each of the four concepts to scale.

“Sustainable economic development has reached an important transition point from investment in individual pilot projects to the attainment of national, regional and global scale successes that make a larger difference in people’s lives,” stated Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President & CEO.  “Through its investment in this Pathways initiative, the U.S. Department of State has challenged civil society participants to raise the bar of their performance on behalf of creating more impactful solutions for society.”

WEC’s team includes CP, Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée (Baastel) and Earthshift, who have combined to provide world-class expertise and management to develop the finalists’ projects into best case examples of locally grown, scalable solutions.

About World Environment Center

WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems.  It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in applying sustainable development across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program.  WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany.

 

About Context Partners

We're all about the people. We’re a Social Innovation Design firm helping organizations deepen relationships with their communities to succeed in today’s connected world. An activated community is the surest path to increase innovation, stakeholder buy-in, brand engagement and business intelligence.  From our offices in Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and Brussels, Belgium, we work across the public and private sectors for clients such as Nike, The Knight Foundation,The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank Institute, and Ecotrust.

 

About Earthshift

Founded in 2000, EarthShift is a leading international provider of sustainability solutions. EarthShift provides software, training and consulting services that allow organizations to engage in informed decision-making about the social, economic and environmental consequences that flow from their activities. EarthShift leverages innovative approaches to sustainability challenges to effect significant change by shifting the way organizations think and interact with the planet’s ecosystems and the life it supports. We help our clients evaluate their sustainability performance from a systems-level perspective, and then implement innovative, sustainability-driven practices and improvements.

 

About Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée

Founded in 1989, Baastel is recognised for its quality services in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Results-based Management (RBM), strategic planning, project and program management, and building individual and institutional capacity in these areas. Baastel has successfully worked for many bilateral development agencies, international institutions and development banks around the world such as ADB, AFD, CIDA, CDB, DFID, DANIDA, the EU, EIB, FAO, GEF, IDB, IFC, OAS, PAHO, SIDA, many bodies of the United Nations (e.g. UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO) WFP, and World Bank; NGOs such as OXFAM and  the Red cross;  and many national governments including the US State Department; On all continents, working with through its vast network of expert consultants in a variety of fields and sectors, Baastel has developed M&E and reporting frameworks, tools and systems for communities, projects, programs, agencies, governments and regional and international organizations around the world. Baastel’s solid team of expertise delivers services that are customized to fulfill the most demanding and complex client needs and expectations, regardless of scale, scope, context or sector. Baastel’s outstanding reputation in the field is built on a record of international and national successes, and expertise that is backed by attention to detail, quality, transparency and neutrality. Baastel is headquartered in Quebec, Canada and Brussels, Belgium.