Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, today announced the winner of its international blogging contest. Masdar initiated the competition to drive international discussion about the interconnected water and energy challenges facing communities around the world. The contest received more than 70 entries and engaged thousands of readers as it sparked worldwide discussion of sustainability issues in advance of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East.
The winning post, entitled “Demystifying the Water-Energy Nexus,” was submitted by Dallas Blaney a professor of public and environmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin in the United States. Blaney’s submission argued that a comprehensive approach is necessary to address the interrelated issues of water and energy, with a special emphasis on establishing a research agenda and advancing public awareness of water and energy challenges.
As the winner, Blaney will receive an invitation to attend ADSW as a guest journalist, where he will have the opportunity to cover the World Future Energy Summit and the International Water Summit.
“The sheer number and wide variety of posts submitted to Masdar’s blogging contest is a testament to the global relevance of the challenges of water and energy security,” said Omar Zaafrani, manager of communications strategy and planning at Masdar. “At Masdar, we believe dialogue and discussion are equally important as action, and we are proud that the contest amplified the global conversation about the relationship between energy production and water. This discussion will continue at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, where global leaders will identify ways to directly address these challenges.”
The competition leveraged the power of the internet to engage readers around the world, generating thousands of votes over 17 days. The author whose entry received the most votes and generated the most social media activity was Lolita Galura Ranit, a science and environment teacher at Al Adhwa Private School in Al Ain, UAE.
“The UAE is driving the conversation about sustainability worldwide, so it is fitting that the author who generated the most social media activity in the contest is an educator in the UAE, especially as the next generation will play such a critical role in solving our future water and energy challenges,” added Zaafrani.
Intended to generate global online discussion about sustainability issues, the contest asked bloggers around the world to submit a post addressing the steps that individuals, businesses or world leaders can take to address the often interrelated challenges of water and energy. The winner was determined based on the overall quality of the post and the ideas it presented, voting by readers and the number of Facebook likes, tweets, and social media interactions each submission generated.
Readers are encouraged to join and continue the discussions about sustainability and the global energy challenge taking place online. Along with the winning post by Blaney, the five finalist posts are available online at www.masdar.ae/engage.
The inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will convene more than 30,000 participants from 150 countries, and will gather leaders from academia, industry and government to tackle the business, technology and financial challenges required for sustainable development and renewable energy adoption.
Topics that will be addressed at ADSW include the challenges and opportunities facing renewable energy, the role of water and energy in economic growth, and the interplay between energy efficiency and energy generation.
ADSW will include the third general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency; the sixth World Future Energy Summit; the International Renewable Energy Conference; the International Water Summit; the fifth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.
A number of other events will also be taking place on the sidelines of ADSW, including the first energy ministerial of South American and Arab countries.