McGill now accepting nomination submissions for 2023 Earthshot Prize

A graphic logo that says, "The Earthshot Prize, Official Nominator 2023."
Published: 5 December 2022

The final deadline to submit proposals to McGill is Tuesday, January 24, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

An initiative of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Earthshot Prize seeks new and innovative ways to address the environmental challenges that we face today. The prize aims to accelerate the innovative work of the recipients to scale their impact to a global level within the next five years, thereby having a profound effect on our ability to repair the planet. McGill University is an official nominator for the prize.

The prize focuses on five “Earthshots” or themes that will address areas in which the planet is experiencing environmental devastation on a catastrophe scale:

  • Protect and Restore Nature
  • Clean Our Air
  • Revive Our Oceans
  • Build a Waste-free World
  • Fix Our Climate


“Wildcard” nominations outside the scope of the five Earthshots, yet still potentially transformative on a global scale, will also be considered.

One prize of £1 million will be awarded in each of the five Earthshots. The funding is to be used to scale the impact of the work with the ambition that solutions will lead to mass adoption, replication, and scaling. Winners and finalists will receive personalized support from the Earthshot Prize network of NGOs, businesses, governments, and expert mentors.


Competitive solutions will have the following characteristics:

  1. Have the potential to have a global impact on a relevant environmental metric by 2030. For example:

• Tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions saved, captured, or avoided

• Tonnes of waste saved, reduced, recycled, or avoided

• Litres of water saved, reduced, recycled, or avoided

• Reduction in levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5/ 10)

• Hectares of land, ocean, or water systems restored, protected, or rewilded

• Biodiversity increases in land, sea, or rivers


  1. Have the potential to have a global impact on a relevant social impact metric by 2030. For example:
    • Number of 'green' jobs created
    • Number of lives improved


  1. Use Web3 and other technologies to enable transformative change. For example:

What if we could build greater trust using democratized data systems? What if emergent technologies such as Blockchain could radically unlock new solutions and financial models? What if we could find ways to accelerate the use of smart data for carbon accounting?


  1. Leverage new financial and legal mechanisms to create scalable incentives for global change. For example:

What if people's money needs could be met by paying them to restore or regenerate nature? What if their intimate knowledge of the resource, combined with relevant technical assistance, served to help protect it? What if they could become a citizen scientist helping track progress?


  1. Are led and informed by Indigenous People and local communities. For example:

What happens when indigenous wisdom is brought to the forefront, guiding the world on how to reset our relationship with nature? What if we could use indigenous knowledge on fire and forest management and apply it to high-risk areas? What if we could bring back traditional kelp and seaweed farming practices to combat coastal erosion?


  1. Promote shared economic opportunity. For example:

What if we could address environmental issues in a way that reduces inequalities rather than widening them? What if we could transition to a low carbon economy where everyone's essential needs to housing, transport, energy use and fair work is met? How might financial inclusion tools and access to financing mechanisms support equitable opportunity?


  1. Be diverse in nominee types, sectors, geographies, and demographics.


  1. Be beyond the idea stage. For example:
    • Have working prototypes, programs & initiatives, or executed pilots that demonstrate the effectiveness of their solution
    • Have tested their solution with the target users or recipients and have seen early positive impact or successes
    • May already be in market with customers, partners, or audiences but to a limited scale


  1. Not yet scaled to global potential. For example:

Has not already entered a significant growth stage, where they are limited only by capital.


  1. Have made significant progress in the last year. For example.
  • Creation/ iteration of a functional prototype
  • Launch of an in-market pilot program
  • Close of a first customer/ contract
  • Successful fundraising
  • Completion of major research trial
  • Launch in new geography or sector
  • Key hires made


The final deadline to submit proposals to McGill is Tuesday, January 24, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

An internal committee will review the expressions of interest and follow up with the strongest applicants. If you have questions or require more information, please contact meredith.chatman [at] (Meredith Chatman), Prizes and Awards Officer.

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