November 23, 2020 – Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has been chosen to find a chief executive officer to develop and lead an organization that will deliver the newly established Earthshot Prizes.
Launched globally from the U.K. by Prince William, the £50 million award program will celebrate those who are addressing the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
“The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious environmental prize in history,” said Odgers Berndtson. “It will convene the global community during this most decisive of decades and will inspire action to help repair the planet. Centered around five ‘Earthshots’—clear, ambitious organizing goals for 2030—the prize will generate and celebrate innovative thinking, technology, leadership and solutions to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.”
Every year from 2021 until 2030, Prince William, alongside the Earthshot Prize Council, a global team of influential individuals from a wide range of different sectors, will award five awards of £1 million each. The award, inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” program to land a man on the moon within 10 years, will go to those who find solutions that will help to repair the planet. It will bring together the environmental world with investors, the private sector and individuals to leverage their support and take the winning solutions to scale.
The Earthshots CEO will be charged with leading a team to find the winners of the Earthshot Prize, said the search firm. The individual will be expected to deliver compelling events, sponsorship, fundraising, and campaigning and communications programs. He or she must also seize opportunities to innovate, champion the Earthshot Prize on the global stage, and ensure that it remains respected as a prize underpinned by science with a robust and impartial system for selecting the winners.
Candidates must have the capacity to lead with the vision, passion and conviction that will inspire audiences far and wide, and the experience to build a world-class organization, said Odgers Berndtson. They should also bring experience as a leader in multi-stakeholder organizations, and in delivering sector-leading events, campaigns and programs at scale.
A record of building high-level partnerships and developing networks across the global community is required for the role. Candidates must also be committed to the climate agenda and have the ability to inspire leaders and donors from the worlds of media, politics, business, civil society and beyond.
The Earthshot Prize aims to find new solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems. The launch of the prize comes after two years of work by Prince William and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to develop a project which will support the global effort to protect and restore the environment. Together, the five Earthshots – ‘Protect and restore nature,’ ‘Clean our air,’ ‘Revive our oceans,’ ‘Build a waste-free world’ and ‘Fix our climate’ – form a unique set of challenges rooted in science, which aim to generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions. The Royal Foundation is running the Earthshot Prize until it becomes its own entity by the end of 2021.
Nominations will be screened from February as part of an independent assessment process run by Deloitte, the Earthshot Prize’s implementation partner, ahead of shortlisted solutions being subject to a final evaluation including in-person or virtual site visits and meetings in early summer. A distinguished panel of experts will support the judging process, making recommendations to the Earthshot Prize Council who will select the final winners ahead of the annual award ceremony, the first of which will take place in London in 2021.
Prizes could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – scientists, activists, economists, community projects, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities and countries – whose workable solutions make a substantial contribution to achieving the Earthshots.
The Earthshot Prize Council includes, in addition to Prince William, a dozen famous and influential individuals such as naturalist David Attenborough, Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, former NBA basketball player Yao Ming, Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira.
Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media