We are in the final phase of that screening process for GCA 2023 and now the GCA 2023 Expert Panel, consisting of independent subject experts within fashion, business, investments, entrepreneurship, and innovation, conduct their own independent analysis and scoring. We had a chat with some of them about the Global Change Award and what kind of ideas they hope to see in the screening process.
Linda Greer, the fashion industry’s go-to sustainability scientist, is one expert panellist. She’s most keen to help identify solutions best suited to help the industry succeed in its mission to reduce GHG emissions.
“The apparel industry is at a pivotal moment in its sustainability work, with ambitious quantitative goals to reduce its GHG emissions by 45% by 2030, but without a large portfolio of solutions to help achieve those goals. The Global Change Award can play an important role in identifying and promoting exciting, innovative solutions to assist in the reduction efforts that brands will be undertaking with increased urgency in the coming 5+ years, and I’m keen to help identify those solutions best suited to help the industry succeed in this mission,” Greer says.
But we can’t only rely on innovations, can we? If we want change to happen, we need the industry to believe that change is possible. One of our expert panellists is Miles Kubheka, a trailblazing entrepreneur who is part of the GCA because he believes that change does not happen organically, it needs some nudging.
“Change often requires a catalyst that spurs it on and creates the vision and foresight for people to join a movement. It often requires leadership to steward the first responders who then create it into a movement. I am excited to be part of the GCA because I see this award as that catalyst which propels those working towards solutions to solve systemic problems,” Kubheka says.
Caroline Brown, experienced executive in the fashion industry and another expert panellist, knows that the road from lab to pivot and scale is a complex one and there is a need for unexpected collaborations and partnerships in order for the GCA winners to succeed.
“GCA brings together the valuable partnership between early-stage innovation, large corporate involvement, and capital – which are all critical to the future of fashion. The program is an accelerant to great ideas and has the ability to turn a ground breaking innovation into a reality for companies, consumers and the environment alike,” Brown says.
Many of the entrants into GCA do not come from the fashion industry and therefore look at solutions from a completely new lens – which can ignite real innovation. She’s excited to see creativity and an ever-growing level of approaching of concepts from a completely new angle.
“The beauty of the fashion industry at the moment for smart innovators is that there is room across the entire value chain – beginning in the design room of a company all the way through to the end of life of a garment. The need for solutions is great everywhere – and interdependent upon each other as the solutions live within a complete product life cycle. For example, a biodegradable material will only degrade if it lands in the right place after use, a transparency technology that can aid material identification for sorting is only as affective as the processor’s ability to read it and so on. The need is huge and this is why we see incredible thinkers, scientists or technologists coming into the sector right now,” Brown continues.
The GCA Expert Panel consists of seven independent panellists that have extensive knowledge within fashion, business, investments, entrepreneurship, and innovation. They are part of selecting our winners and play an active role in the GCA Impact Accelerator. They all participate pro bono.
Learn more about the GCA Expert Panel.