Brightening Our Corner Newsletter - May 2021

Quarterly Newsletter from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation
May 27, 2021 9:30 AM ET

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has issued its quarterly newsletter, featuring stories from the foundation and key funding initiatives; Biomimicry Institute, Drawdown Georgia, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business and The Ray.


Recognizing The Ray's Vision Nationwide

Last month the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy announced their plan to utilize our nation’s highway right-of-way (ROW) land to integrate fiber and electric power infrastructure, modernize our nation’s electric grid, and support the development of renewables.

The guidance document directly supports The Ray's model for a consistent utilization of the ROW for renewable energy generation, electrical transmission and distribution projects, broadband projects, vegetation management, inductive charging in travel lanes, alternative fueling facilities, and more. Read the full story.

Empowering Women in Transportation

On May 27, join the founders of MobilityXX, Allie Kelly of The Ray, Sarah Stickler of WTS International, and Laura Chace of ITS America, for "Empowering Women in Transportation," a discussion on the vision of the initiative, why it matters, and how your organization can be a part of the solution. Register here.

The Ray is Headed to Texas

After building a model for sustainable highway innovation in Georgia, The Ray is thrilled to take their record of success to Central Texas. This collaboration is the result of several months of discussions focused on ideas for improving regional cooperation aimed at piloting new technologies and pursuing green energy solutions. The strategic partnership was formalized in March through a signed charter with the City of Austin, and letters of understanding (LOU) with TxDOT and the Mobility Authority.

Biomimicry Institute Announces the 10 Finalist Teams for the Ray of Hope Prize

Spurred by the pressing environmental and social challenges of today, a growing number of scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs are learning from nature and reimagining the way business is done. The Biomimicry Institute is proud to announce the top 10 nature-inspired startups selected to participate in the 2021 Ray of Hope Prize®, a transformational program designed to help startups cross a critical threshold in scaling their sustainable solutions. This 10-week virtual accelerator culminates in a live pitch for the chance to receive the $100,000 grand prize, funded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and awarded by industry and conservation leaders from the World Wildlife Fund, Patagonia, and Yale, among others. Read the full story.

Winners Announced for the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge

The Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit organization that empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for pressing design problems, announced the winners of the 2021 Youth Design Challenge. The Youth Design Challenge, now in its fourth year, serves as a bridge from core concepts to advanced project-focused STEM learning for middle and high school students across the world. The Biomimicry Institute has bestowed awards across five categories, all of which speak to the inherent strengths of the different solutions. Meet the Winners.

Creating the Sustainable Business Leaders of Tomorrow: Meet the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business

When Ray C. Anderson (IE ’56, Honorary PhD ’11), had an epiphany, or as he called it, his “spear in the chest moment,” he was an established leader in the carpet industry. Carpet tiles manufactured by Interface, the company he founded, graced hundreds of thousands of floors, particularly in office environments. It was in 1994 that Anderson realized his company was not environmentally sustainable. He sought to create a positive effect on the environment and to be an example of a change maker to other organizations seeking ways to incorporate sustainability into their business operations. Read the full story.

A Career and Life Led with a Servant's Heart: An Interview with John Wells

This interview is one in a series of profiles on sustainability leaders among Georgia Tech alumni. Michael Oxman, managing director of the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, speaks with John Wells (IM ’84), longtime president and CEO of Interface Americas, where he worked alongside Founder and Chairman Ray C. Anderson (IE ’56, Honorary Ph.D. ’11) in building a company that became an exemplar of “doing well by doing good.” John, who serves on the Foundation's Advisory Board, shares his career trajectory, memories of working at Interface at a time of incredible change, and best practices for embedding sustainability in a company. John currently leads the CEO and Leadership Practice as a Partner at The Goodwin Group. Read the full story here.

Updates from Drawdown Georgia

In addition to the overview that John Lanier provided in his TEDxAtlanta Talk, Drawdown Georgia also held its first webinar and launched a weekly blog and a bi-monthly newsletter. You can also explore a new online events calendar to find and share information about public events related to climate solutions in Georgia. There is also a weekly blog and a bi-monthly newsletter. Sign up here.

Drawdown Georgia Hosts its First Webinar

More than 100 people attended Drawdown Georgia's inuagural webinar on Thursday, May 2oth. Featured speakers included Lenwood Coleman of Groundswell, Allie Kelly of The Ray, and Michael O'Reilly of The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. Topics included community solar and social equity, right-of-way solar and EV charging on highways, and responsible solar siting. Watch it here.

Carbon Reduction Visualizer Tool

Drawdown Georgia's newest tool makes it easy to explore how much emissions will decrease as Drawdown Georgia scales up its 20 key climate solutions. Check out the tool and build and share your own customized projections with others. We invite you to spend some time creating different scenarios to gain a clearer understanding how each solution helps put Georgia on a path to decarbonization.
Try the tool.

Ecocentricity Blog: Learning to Live With It

I should have probably titled this blog post “Lesson 4,732 on Things They Don’t Tell You About Parenting,” but that seemed a bit too long. Here’s what’s up. My kids are in the process of learning a rather nuanced lesson that, upon reflection, really is difficult for a young mind to comprehend. For all of the explaining that I try to do, I think this is a lesson that can only be learned from experience. In short, I want them to understand when something can be fixed, and when it can’t.

Let me give you an example. My son enjoys playing with both wooden trains and with oddly shaped sticks that he finds outside. When we are playing trains, every now and then the pieces of the track will separate. When this first happened, he would get quite upset out of fear that the toy was broken. I would calmly explain to him that it was okay, because we could just put the track back together again and it would be good as new. He’s now come to accept that tracks separating is no big deal. Read the full blog.

Save the Date for RayDay

Mark your calendar and join us for RayDay 2021 on Sunday, October 17th, 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Serenbe. Details regarding our plans for event safety are forthcoming. Exhibitor confirmations should begin in June, and individual ticket registrations should begin in August. Watch this page and your email box for important updates. Click here for a video overview of RayDay.

Brightening Our Corner Newsletter - February 2021
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Brightening Our Corner Newsletter - August 2020
Brightening Our Corner Newsletter - May 2020

Valerie Bennett
+1 (770) 317-5858
Ray C. Anderson Foundation