R/GA and National Geographic team up to launch Make Good initiative

  • National Geographic
  • By National Geographic
  • April 30, 2019

Plastic is choking our oceans. A new design and innovation challenge is calling upon the next generation of changemakers to reverse our planet’s pollution problem.

We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it. It pools in the farthest reaches of the ocean and collects on the slopes of the highest mountains; researchers have found it in whales’ bellies and in the groundwater reserves we tap for drinking. Every day, about one megaton more is produced and more than 90 percent of that will never see the inside of a recycling plant.

The question is, what can we do about it? How can we stop this ‘miracle material’ from drowning the planet?

National Geographic and global innovation agency R/GA believe that the next generation of changemakers may have the answer. Built on a firm belief that transformational ideas can come from anywhere, from anyone, the two organisations have joined forces to launch Make Good – a unique platform on a mission to accelerate design, technology, and innovation for a better world.

Tapping into Australia’s latent creativity and expertise, the Make Good project is inviting Australians to put their best idea forward to defy plastic and reverse the harm it is inflicting on our oceans. Applicants will be applying for a place at a Defy Plastic Innovation Lab, held during the first ever plastic-free Semi-Permanent Festival in Sydney, 23rd - 25th May.

“Much of Australia is made up of coastal communities where we find over 75% of marine debris is made of plastic,” says Drew Klonsky, Executive Director of Business Transformation at R/GA Australia, “so it’s fitting that the first Make Good project should tackle an issue that is literally on our doorstep.”

“Together, our goal is to stimulate new ways of thinking and to support young changemakers whose ideas could help address the challenges they’ve been unlucky enough to inherit,” says Drew Klonsky, “We hope they’ll come up with something amazing, something transformational.”

“Big, complicated environmental issues like plastic pollution rarely have an obvious fix”, adds Sam Boynton, “but we strongly believe that projects like Make Good can serve as a powerful means to identify, develop, and scale solutions that may otherwise have gone un-invented.”

Individuals or teams can submit their ideas until 15th May. A panel of experts from National Geographic and R/GA Australia will select the strongest entries which will go on to take part in the Defy Plastic Innovation Lab which will feature inspirational talks, panel discussions, and one-on-one time with experienced mentors.

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