By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A $100,000 prize is up for grabs this week in Philadelphia among three finalists, but in a way they are already winners.
The three finalists are the only ones left standing from an original list of 290 contenders for the inaugural Lipman Family Prize, administered by Penn’s Wharton School. Prize Director Umi Howard says these groups bring market-based, albeit non-profit, approaches to projects for the greater good. For example, one finalist schools farmers in Kenya in microforestry.
“Komaza is working with them to use parts of their land to grow eucalyptus, which within a seven to ten year maturation, they can sell to industries,” says Howard.
The eucalyptus will be used for telephone poles and firewood, thus saving old-growth timber. And one of the other finalists provides sanitation technology overseas, while the third gets surplus medical supplies to places that need them. Only one gets the money, but all three get a partnership with Penn to collect and share best practices.