The selection process for the Climate Breakthrough Award is a celebration of those most capable of effecting change, an exploration of the remarkable, an invitation to scale new heights. Described as rigorous yet collaborative, the process gives candidates a rare opportunity to ponder a fundamental question: “What is the most daring climate action strategy I could pursue?”
who and what we look for
We seek out individuals or small teams based anywhere in the world with exceptional leadership skills, the ability to employ a “right to left” approach, and a strong track record to create new and groundbreaking initiatives to resolve the climate crisis.
What kind of initiatives? We are interested in high-ambition, high-gain ideas that involve novel, innovative strategies; civil society initiatives that harness the immense power of cultural shifts, policy reforms, and economic transformations beyond technological advancements.
how we select
frequently asked questions
Candidates are considered by invitation only, nominated by our network of partners to undergo a rigorous vetting process that includes a series of interviews, reference checks, and strategy idea exploration. Out of over 100 candidates, on average only two to four are selected for awards each year.
We do not accept unsolicited applications or self-nominations. We use our network of trusted partners and scouts to source candidates around the world. Members of our team or a scout will approach candidates if they are being considered for the Award.
We are looking for candidates who can think outside the box and develop their strategies by envisioning what change they aim to achieve in the world (“the end goal”), then working backward to determine the necessary steps and milestones to achieve it.
We are sector-, tactic-, and geography-agnostic, as long as the proposed strategy is aiming for large-scale, fast-paced climate action and transformational change. Awardees typically work at the national, regional, global, or systems change level.
We do not fund technological innovations or for-profit strategies. While these are essential to fighting climate change, we are focused on civil society efforts.
No. Funding from the Award is designed for supporting individuals and small teams to create new strategies, not for general support for an organization, company, or institution. The Award is a grant—and as such must be housed at an organization—but the awardee has strategic control and the funding will follow them wherever they choose to house their work.
We make an annual call for scouts with expertise in specific sectors or geographies. Stay connected with Climate Breakthrough to watch for those announcements.