From a 3D printed vaccine patch to an electric truck, a seawater-powered lamp, and countless other bold innovations, the sixth annual awards honor the products, concepts, companies, policies, and designs that are driving change, tackling issues from climate change to inequality, and so much more.
Alameda, CA [May 3, 2022] — The winners of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, brave new designs for cities and buildings, and other creative works that are supporting the growth of positive social innovation, tackling social inequality, climate change, and public health crises.
In a revolutionary step forward for the hydropower industry, Natel Energy is honored to be recognized for the creation of a first-of-its kind fish passage test lab, designed and built at the hydropower company’s Alameda, CA headquarters. This in-house, closed-loop hydraulic testing facility allows the company to collect critical data that informs the development of their hydro turbines, ensuring a greater than 99 percent fish survival rate once the turbines are installed in waterways around the world. With this new test facility and the research it regularly conducts with partners including Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Natel sets a new benchmark for how the hydropower industry can, and should, approach fish safety.
Now in its sixth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 39 winners, 350 finalists, and more than 600 honorable mentions—with climate, social justice, and AI and data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 2,997 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, health, social justice, and more. In addition, several new categories have been added this year including climate, nature, water, and workplace. The 2022 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Switzerland to Hong Kong to Australia.
Fast Company’s Summer 2022 issue will showcase some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies tackling global challenges. The issues highlight, among others, probiotics for coral reefs, easy-to-assemble kit homes for refugees or disaster survivors, a 3D printed vaccine patch, an electric truck, a system to heat homes from the waste heat of a name-brand factory, and prosecutor-initiated resentencing for overly long prison sentences.
“It is an honor for Natel Energy and our work to support safe fish passage and responsible hydropower to be recognized by Fast Company as a World Changing Idea. There are so many innovators working across various industries to help change the world. We know it will take all of us working together to make a difference. Climate change is water change and we are proud of the work our team is doing to set a new standard for hydropower design that is finally, truly safe for fish” said Gia Schneider, co-founder and CEO of Natel Energy.
“We are consistently inspired by the novelty and creativity that people are applying to solve some of our society’s most pressing problems, from shelter to the climate crisis. Fast Company relishes its role in amplifying important, innovative work to address big challenges,” says David Lidsky, interim editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists have identified some of the most ingenious initiatives to launch since the start of 2021, which we hope will both have a meaningful impact and lead others to join in being part of the solution.”
About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.
International Water Power & Dam Construction magazine picked up the story about juvenile alewife, a kind of river herring, passing through Natel's Restoration Hydro Turbine.
We need hydropower solutions that prioritize biodiversity alongside renewable energy production.