The next generation of world changing entrepreneurs is already having an effect on the way you live every day, and Social Venture Network is recognizing their hard work with the annual Innovation Awards.

Judged by a panel of experts on innovation, ability to scale, and impact in solving social, environmental, and economic problems, several companies have risen to the top of the impressive array of progressive businesses of 2014. Social Venture Network, a gathering of values-driven entrepreneurs who are shifting the way the world does business has awarded kudos to these game-changers (actual kudo-like awards will be presented in an October conference in Greenwich, Connecticut).

The winners are:

  • Craig Wichner, FARMLAND LP: the demand for organic farmland lags behind the demand for organic products, and Farmland, LP demonstrates that sustainable agriculture at scale is economically superior to conventional agriculture. The company provides investors the opportunity to own high quality farmland that is ethically and wisely managed for best progressive ranch practices.
  • Shannon Dosmegan, PUBLIC LAB: making inexpensive, recycled/repurposed, and accessible do-it-yourself techniques available for underserved communities, applying open-source creation and learning to tools for environmental exploration and investigation. They generate and share knowledge and data about environmental health of communities while focused on locally relevant outcomes.
  • Alfa Demmellash, RISING TIDE CAPITAL: revitalizes local economies by growing and supporting the energy and talent that is in every unique neighborhood. They equip emerging entrepreneurs with tools, skills, and access to grow successful local businesses, thus contributing to the economic development of entire communities.
  • Svati Bhogle, SUSTAINTECH INDIA: a social enterprise that manufactures and sells sustainable energy products—like fuel-efficient, clean cookstoves that improve health, reduce firewood consumption, slow deforestation, and mitigate climate change. Each smoke-free stove conserves acres of open forest and saves ten tons of annual firewood usage while providing an easier path out of poverty for street food vendors and others.

Brand Category: 

About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation ( and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project ( Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
2 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.