Brightening Our Corner - Fall 2015

Ray C. Anderson Foundation
Dec 7, 2015 10:00 AM ET

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge 2015 Names Finalists. New Challenge Opens
Hundreds of innovators from around the world engaged in the 2015 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (BGDC) to improve our global food system by looking to nature for design solutions. Eight finalist team were announced September 30 before traveling to Austin, TX for a special Biomimicry Conference at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on October 4.  The Top three finalists received cash prizes at the conference, and all eight teams have been invited to advance to the next level and prototype their solutions in an accelerator program that will award the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize in 2016.  The 2016 Challenge has now kicked off with a goal for increasing awareness and participation in the program, and expanding upon the various sub-categories that have "organically" emerged surrounding biomimetic solutions for food systems. The 2016 BGDC finalists will be announced in the Fall of 2016 when the first Ray of Hope Prize will also be awarded. Read more.

The Ray is Revealed
In 2014, Foundation trustees and staff were honored to have a 16-mile stretch of Interstate 85 in Troup County, Georgia dedicated as the Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway.  Shortly thereafter, the Foundation and Interface jointly funded a Blueprints for Sustainable Communities feasibility study that was conducted by The Georgia Conservancy and Georgia Tech's School of Architecture, with assistance from Perkins+Will in Atlanta.  The Blueprints study identified several key areas of focus that could help ensure that the highway project (then called the Mission Zero Corridor) could transform the highway and its surrounding acres into a global model for future transportation.  On October 11th at the 3rd Annual RayDay, the Mission Zero Corridor was re-branded and relaunched as The Ray.  Read More.

Ray Anderson's Collection Donated to Georgia Historical Society Research Center
The Georgia Historical Society is pleased to announce that the collection of the late Ray C. Anderson, visionary industrialist, environmentalist, founder and Chairman of Interface® has been donated to the permanent collection of the Georgia Historical Society Research Center.  This important collection was donated by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation jointly with Interface, Inc. “This is a collection of significance to future researchers not only because Ray Anderson was a pioneer in his industry, but also because he possessed the conscience and character to step out from the crowd and take the risk to prove that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. Read more.
RayDay 2015 a Huge Success
Sunday, October 11th marked the 3rd Annual RayDay celebration with perfect fall weather in a gorgeous meadow at Serenbe.  More than 1,400 people attended; a nearly 50% increase over last year's event. The event featured 60 learning booths and displays focused on all elements of sustainability from electric vehicles to composting demonstrations,
 recycling resources, university research projects and wildlife displays.  All of our guests enjoyed scrumptious locally sourced 
gourmet entrees and appetizers from The Food Movement, Sweetwater Brewery 
and Sherlock's.  There were hot air balloon rides for the whole family, and all of "tomorrow's children" enjoyed pony rides, face painting, wildlife exhibits and environmentally focused games. If you have never attended RayDay, and you are local to Atlanta, you don't know what you are missing. Be sure to subscribe to our email list to be the first to know about the details for RayDay 2016.

Georgia Tech's Scheller College MBA is #1 in U.S., #6 Globally
Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business is 1st in the U.S. and 6th globally in Corporate Knights’ Better World MBA rankings. Corporate Knights is the definitive annual guide to which MBA programs are best preparing students to tackle the social and environmental challenges of our time. This year's ranking focused on 121 programs including the 100 listed in the Financial Times 2015 Global MBA Ranking.  The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business is housed within the Scheller College.  Read more.

John Lanier's Blog
In the past decade, bold claims have been characteristic of the environmental movement. As more and more corporations have come to realize their responsibilities in restoring our ecosystems and conserving our resources, many have made claims about lofty environmental goals they will achieve in the coming years. Some are bolder than others, but each claim has an incredibly important effect: it holds the business that made it accountable to a higher standard. I believe this accountability is incredibly valuable.  Read more.

Advisory Board Spotlight - Janine Benyus
The Foundation is proud to have Janine Benyus serving on our Advisory Board and we are also pleased that we had the chance to spend time with Janine in Austin, TX at the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Finalist Awards as well as the Biomimicry Track at SXSWEco. Janine gave a great talk at SXSWEco that we are pleased to share with you here, as well as one of her most recent articles.  Green Money E-Journal.

Trustees Serving in Sustainability Community
As a Foundation, we continue to be energized by the community we share and the company we keep with like-minded organizations at the local, national and global levels. One way that we continue to engage with stakeholders is through trustee and staff service on numerous boards. Harriet Langford was recently appointed to two new boards:  Troup County Center for Strategic Planning and the Biophilic Institute.  Mary Anne Lanier has just been appointed to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Board.

Driving on Sunshine - PV4EV Dedicated in West Point
The first piece of infrastructure on The Ray was dedicated October 14th at the Georgia Visitor Information Center (VIC) on I-85 in West Point, Georgia, connecting the route from Atlanta to Montgomery for EV drivers with a Level 3 Quick Charge station, funded by Kia Motors America .  The project was a partnership between Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, the City of West Point, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, that runs the VIC. "We are actually driving on sunshine here and it is very exciting," said Tim Echols, Georgia Public Service Commissioner.  "Usually you're driving with power off the grid and you're not actually sure where it's from. Today we are going right from this sunshine into the level three charger." Echols also made note of the fact that, unlike a gasoline driven vehicle, this is not something that you drive until it's empty, you are always just topping it off.

Upcoming Events
Racing Extinction - December 2nd - 9PM ET/PT - Discovery Channel