CSAA Insurance Group, IDEO and Aon Award $1M in Prizes
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer, today announced the winners for its global Climate Resiliency Challenge, led in partnership with global design firm IDEO and global professional services firm Aon. The Challenge, which launched May 23 and accepted submissions through July 10, invited innovators around the globe to share their world-changing climate solutions for the chance to win a share of $1M in prize money.
The Challenge sought solutions to help frontline communities prevent, prepare for and recover from climate-related disasters, such as wildfires, floods, and extreme weather. Frontline communities are those neighborhoods or populations of people that feel the most immediate and worst impacts from climate change, with fewer resources, capacity or political power to respond to those risks.
Through the open call for submissions, inventors, entrepreneurs, and scholars were able to propose bold, innovative solutions to build climate resiliency. More than 400 projects were submitted for consideration, and 13 projects across three categories – Emerging Innovator, Mid-stage Innovator, and Advanced Solutions – were selected and awarded prize money:
Emerging Solutions: Early Stage Innovators (up to $50K USD)
- Reef Rocket: Community Resilience Against Coastal Natural Hazards – Introducing Reef Rocket: bio-inspired reef modules that tackle the challenges of coastal flooding and aim to safeguard frontline communities and build resilience against flooding, coastline erosion, and storm surges.
- Resilient Communities: Built by the North – Sustainable, climate-resilient tiny homes for remote Indigenous communities, starting in Northern Canada.
- CREED (Climate Resilient Energy Employment for the Disadvantaged) – CREED is a 40-hour accelerated, compressed NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) Solar certification course for those who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.
- Bridging the Climate Gap: Equitable Solutions for Climate-Driven Relocation in Coastal Cities – Urban Ocean Lab is developing a Knowledge-to-Action Network – a multiyear initiative that convenes coastal city governments, community-based organizations, and practitioners – to develop justice-centered solutions for climate-driven relocation in U.S. coastal cities and communities.
- Synthetic Bio-Shields: Breathing Buildings for Climate and Wildfire Resilience – Synthetic Bio-Shields will transform building structures, from skyscrapers to single-family homes, into living entities that play an active role in combating climate change and increasing resilience to wildfires.
Mid-Stage Solutions: Growth Stage Innovators (up to $100K USD)
- Latino Resilience Hub Network – Alianza Center seeks to create a Resilience Hub Network across Central Florida’s Latinx and other frontline communities.
- Project Camp: A Unique Service for Children and Families Who Experience Natural Disasters – Project Camp creates free, trauma-informed pop-up day camps that provide a unique safe space for kids during and after a natural disaster, stopping toxic stress from building into long-term trauma.
- Next Step Cohort: Transform Responses to Climate Displacement and Relocation Through the Traditional Knowledge, Wisdom and Experience of Frontline Indigenous and Community Leaders – A cohort of frontline leaders from Tribal Nations and community-based organizations will collaborate with two national nonprofits operating across the United States and Canada to design, implement and share models to reduce climate risk and displacement.
- Hohonu: Actionable Data and Insights to Protect Frontline Communities from Future Flooding – Hohonu provides actionable data and insights to protect communities from future flooding.
- Data and Equality: Using AI to Decrease Risk and Increase Insurability in High-risk, High-need Communities – SBP’s proposed solution seeks to leverage ZestyAI’s advanced AI technology and data to help the most vulnerable wildfire-prone communities implement targeted household mitigation programs, thereby reducing wildfire risks and increasing their ability to get needed financial protection through insurance.
Advanced Solutions: Scaling Stage Innovators (up to $200K USD)
- BurnBot: Scaling Good Fire to Prevent Destructive Wildfires – BurnBot's mission is to prevent destructive wildfires by scaling precision fuel treatment.
- Delphire Sentinel FD3: Protecting Communities from Ignitions – Delphire offers a cost-effective solution for rapid detection of woodland ignitions below the forest canopy that could lead to wildfires.
- Defying the Storm: Reinventing Climate Insurance for Communities and Individuals in the Wake of Natural Disasters – Raincoat is building the necessary software and data infrastructure to develop the future of parametric insurance.
The winners will be highlighted in a Winners Celebration webinar – open to the public – on Friday, Aug. 11, noon-1:30 p.m. Pacific.
“Our team has a passion for helping those who are at risk of climate-related losses, and we're incredibly inspired to be driving innovation in this space,” said Debbie Brackeen, executive vice president and chief strategy & innovation officer at CSAA Insurance Group. “The response to this initiative was fantastic, and we are grateful and impressed with the strong levels of interest, expertise and enthusiasm that we have seen from those who submitted projects and, of course, from our winners.”
Submissions were judged against criteria looking for relevant, novel, impactful, equitable, and community-informed projects. The winning projects were those found with the greatest potential to have the highest impact and help the most people.
“IDEO’s platform allows for streamlined collaboration between multiple stakeholders and communities to find these innovative solutions for complex problems,” said Bryan Walker, partner at IDEO. “We’re looking forward to seeing our project winners bring their ideas to scale.”
As the Challenge was focused on empowering frontline communities to prevent, prepare for, and recover from climate-related disasters, the judges considered all compelling solutions, particularly those that focused on wildfires, floods, and extreme weather events.
“We believe innovation is at the heart of resiliency,” said Liz Henderson, leader of Climate Risk Advisory at Aon. “When we’re designing thoughtfully and purposefully to solve challenges stemming from climate-related disasters, we can better enable communities to protect themselves in the long term.”
About CSAA Insurance Group
CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer, offers automobile, homeowners and other personal lines of insurance to AAA Members through AAA clubs in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1914, the company has been rated “A” or better by AM Best for more than 90 years, and is one of the top personal lines property casualty insurance groups in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The company has been repeatedly named one of the 50 most community-minded companies in America by Points of Light. More information is available at http://csaa-insurance.aaa.com and on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube).
IDEO is a global design firm known for its human-centered, interdisciplinary approach. As early leaders in the practice of design thinking, the company creates positive impact through design by applying creative mindsets and skills, and by teaching others to do the same. IDEO helps clients and customers around the world build the capacity and outcomes required to navigate today’s complexity and lead their markets. Learn more about IDEO here.
In a world of widely distributed knowledge, making progress on our most pressing problems requires a collective effort. IDEO's open innovation platform allows people from around the world to submit ideas, receive support, and accelerate innovation. IDEO’s open challenges have engaged hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries and territories, generating nearly 19,000 ideas for good.
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) exists to shape decisions for the better – to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. Our colleagues provide our clients in over 120 countries and sovereignties with advice and solutions that give them the clarity and confidence to make better decisions to protect and grow their business.