The first Pentti Malaska Futures Award is awarded to the Finnish startup Envirate which is developing a mobile application for assessing the state of the environment. The goal is to develop an application that enables people to evaluate their surrounding environment in the same way as, for example, hotels are evaluated by customers. The data that is collected this way creates almost real-time map of the state of our planet, as perceived by people.
Envirate was chosen as the winner solution for the Pentti Malaska Futures Award on the grounds that it brings together environmental responsibility, global futures awareness, and the latest information and communications technology.
The solution has a strong scientific foundation in Pekka Harju-Autti’s doctoral thesis on the elements of environmental awareness, while it also utilises the latest information and communications technology and has global market opportunity potential. Moreover, the solution empowers grassroots change by giving citizens the power and responsibility to rate the state of their surrounding environment. All in all, the solution promotes the cross-disciplinary futures philosophy of Pentti Malaska by combining visionary thinking, futures consciousness, latest technology and the collective awareness of humankind in building a sustainable planetary future.
University of Turku Pentti Malaska Futures Award of 30 000 € is awarded for the first time in 2017 in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Finland Future Research Centre at the University of Turku. Pentti Malaska was a professor at the Turku School of Economics and the founder of the Finland Futures Research Centre. He played a significant role in the establishment and development of the academic field of Futures Studies, particularly in Finland but also throughout the world. Pentti Malaska Futures Award is intended to encourage Nordic academic researchers to develop visionary, cross-sectoral innovations that aim at building sustainable global futures.