It was an inspirational evening at the Ashden Awards 2017 ceremony, where Futurepump received the International Ashden Award for Energy and Water, supported by the Waterloo Foundation; a huge honour in which we shared the stage with former Vice President of the United States and climate change activist, Al Gore.
It can sometimes feel like an isolating experience for SMEs and not-for-profits who are trying to do things differently. But what became clear throughout the evening is that sustainability is no lonely business, with so many organisations and entrepreneurs having taken it upon themselves to be the pioneers of the green economy. The breadth and ingenuity of the solutions represented by these fantastic award winners, was truly staggering. And we are proud to have been named alongside these innovators but above all, we are humbled to witness our place in the global sustainability movement.
Each award announcement gave us a glimpse into the future: cities dominated by cyclists instead of pollution, women empowered to become the leaders of clean energy, off-grid homes powered self-sufficiently through renewables. Futurepump’s own vision found a welcoming home here, where we see the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers using solar irrigation to become resilient in the face of the changing climate.
The hopeful atmosphere was embodied in Al Gore’s impassioned keynote speech, which received a standing ovation. Speaking straight from the heart of environmentalism, he reminded us that the next wave of technological advancement—our wave—is underpinned by a moral cause and that our collective will is what is going to make it an unstoppable force.