Entrepreneur, Author (Belgium)
“In recognition of his pioneering work in developing sustainable design and innovative business models which promote the well-being of all in harmony with the environment.”
Through his various initiatives and writings, he has inspired people around the world, including children, to become entrepreneurs for the common good.
Gunter Pauli is an entrepreneur and author born in Belgium in 1956. He founded more than ten companies, and in 1992 as CEO of Ecover, he built the world’s first ‘ecological factory.’ He founded the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI) at the United Nations University in Tokyo in 1994, and subsequently established The Global ZERI Network as a network of not-for-profit organizations and foundations seeking innovative solutions to world challenges. Inspired by natural systems, which know no waste nor unemployment, ZERI aims to develop a system of production and consumption that builds resilient communities.
In 2009, he summarized three decades of designs of novel business models in a report to the Club of Rome. This report under the title ‘The Blue Economy,’ promotes a new better-than-green business paradigm based on hundreds of proven innovations, which responds to the basic needs of all by generating value with what is locally available, while putting environment back on its evolutionary path and creating jobs.
His latest initiatives include the design of a solution for the plastic soup floating in the oceans, generating hydrogen from seawater, and fishing with air bubbles inspired by dolphins and whales, which rarely catch a female. He has published 25 books, including the bestseller The Blue Economy available in more than 50 languages. He translated innovative insights in science and technology into a series of 365 fables to inspire children to become innovators for a better world. He has been visiting lecturer and professor at universities, and has advised governments, entrepreneurs and industry leaders on their economic, social and environmental development strategies. He is a father of six children.