Introducing the Lush Spring Prize

Lush Spring Prize 2017The new Lush Spring Prize is giving away £200,000 for social and environmental regeneration. Prize-winners will be decided by a panel of judges reflecting a range of networks including Permaculture, Transition, Biomimicry and Food Sovereignty. Projects from around the world are invited to apply (closing date February 28 2017). Is your project eligible?

 

What is regeneration?

If you ask Wikipedia, “Regeneration is renewal through the internal processes of a body or system.” As we know, many eco-systems of the earth are currently damaged by human activity.

Lush Spring PrizeThe Planetary Boundaries concept defines nine processes and systems that regulate the stability and resilience of the earth as a whole. Four of these boundaries are said to have been crossed; climate change, biodiversity, land-system change (e.g. deforestation), and the phosphorus and nitrogen cycles.

For many years now, attempts have been made to make society more sustainable. Environmental regeneration calls us to go beyond sustainability, to help ecosystems to repair.

Of course, different societies have contributed very differently to the state of the earth. Part of social regeneration is about addressing inequality. We also need to find ways to live that can maintain nature's vitality over time. Ultimately, the task is to reconcile humanity as a whole with nature, to strengthen the planetary life-support systems we all depend on.

 

What is the Lush Spring Prize?

The prize aims to support the regenerative movement by funding projects, but also by raising awareness of the potential of regenerative cultures in general.

The application form is designed to offer a useful reflection process. All shortlisted projects will be featured on the website, and networking will be encouraged. After the prize-giving event in May 2017, an additional £50,000 Incubator Project will be developed, to provide other support to a wider range of initiatives.

The Lush Spring Prize has 10 awards, for projects at three stages, Intentional, Young and Established. So the prize will showcase a variety of projects, from new ideas, to well-established beacons like the Rehabilitation of the Loess Plateau. There is also one award for campaigning.

Category Name

Description

Awards

Intentional Projects

Backing for great ideas in the early stages

5 x £10,000

Young Projects

Projects 1-5 years old seeking to grow

3 x £25,000

Established Projects

Beacons demonstrating success

2 x £25,000

Influence Award

Lobbying or campaigning in support of regeneration

1 x £25,000

 

Who is working on regeneration?

There are a number of organisations that self-identify as working towards regeneration, in agriculture, landscape restoration, design and development, and business. There are many more organisations working for similar goals, but not using the same buzzwords.

In the USA, the Organic Consumer's Association is promoting 'regenerative agriculture' as a crucial part of the answer to climate change.

They are also one of the founding organisations of Regeneration International, a global network launched in June 2015. RI is creating a Regeneration Hub to connect people through an online platform. It is also giving away $1000 grants (deadline 31st December 2016) to projects working on various concepts involving regeneration, from regenerating soil fertility and water-retention capacity, to revitalizing local economies, or restoring biodiversity.

 

Examples of regenerative projects

As the prize develops, a bank of shortlisted projects will be showcased on the website. Here are two examples of projects Lush has previously supported through its SLush Fund:

 

The Minamisoma Rapeseed Project, Japan

After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, rice farmers lives in the region were changed forever.

“We started the Rapeseed Project simply with a hope to regenerate farming land and restart agriculture. Rapeseed flower has the capacity to remove some radioactive materials from soil and we extract the oil from the seeds.

Another thing I gained from the rapeseed oil initiative is the connection with people. After the disaster, people did not leave their houses much. Under such situation, I felt my point of view began to narrow and you start to feel shut in. However, meeting organic farmers there and talking to each other about our situations helped me start feeling open again.

I want to engage young people, have them understand the initiative and encourage connection beyond generations. I want to continue into the future aiming to produce biofuel with our oil, so the energy required to extract oil can be supported, and circulatory system that does not burden nature can be built. I think such a system will lead us to restoration and regeneration of our community.”

Extracts from: https://uk.lush.com/article/soapbox-minamisoma-rapeseed-project

 

SOIL, Haiti

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) aims to restore life-giving potential.

“Since 2006, SOIL has been transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. Through the use of ecological sanitation, SOIL is working to create a revolutionary social business model for providing access to safe, dignified sanitation that produces rich, organic compost as a natural resource for Haiti’s badly-depleted soils, while also creating economic opportunities in some of the world’s most under-resourced communities.

SOIL operates in a country where too many organizations have struggled to deliver on their goals, and too many billions of dollars have been spent on failed projects. We believe SOIL’s unusual success is the result of our commitments to cultural fluency, local sourcing and inclusivity”.

Extracts from: www.oursoil.org

 

Ethical Consumer is working with Lush to promote and manage the prize. In the coming weeks we will be releasing details of the judging panel. To keep updated, please sign up to our email list at www.springprize.org, or find us on social media and help spread the word.

Facebook @lushspringprize, Twitter @LushSpring