Worldwatch’s Ochs to Receive Award Recognizing Contributions to Global Sustainability Research

Washington, D.C.—Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy at the Worldwatch Institute, will receive the Sustainable Future Award today at an event in Vienna, Austria. The award recognizes Ochs’s contributions to the research of global sustainability issues and his commitment to using knowledge of the world’s social, environmental, and economic trends as a yardstick for political action at all levels.

“Alexander Ochs has become a tireless connector of people from the most diverse backgrounds, professions, and nationalities,” said Josef Mantl, spokesman for the Sustainable Future Campaign, which administers the award. “In his writings, speeches, and moderations, his goal is always to improve our knowledge of economic, environmental, and political interconnections; our ability to see more clearly what is going wrong; and our capacity to rethink and act smarter—all in the interest of the environment and people’s quality of life around the world.”

The Sustainable Future Campaign is an international initiative founded in 2007 by the Austrian Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs in coordination with the United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria. Ochs is the second recipient of the group’s award after Marc R. Pacheco, a Democratic senator from the U.S. state of Massachusetts who served as the first Chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change of Massachusetts and as a Climate Messenger of former U.S Vice President Al Gore.

In addition to his research work at Worldwatch, Ochs is Founding President of the Forum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks (FACET) and a senior fellow at the American Institute for German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University. Starting in 2012, he will teach in the Sustainable Urban Planning Program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Ochs is the chief editor of Worldwatch’s energy and climate blog ReVolt and a co-editor of Connected, a newsletter supported by the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, a climate partnership between Germany and the United States.

In his work, Ochs emphasizes the need to connect environmental goals to the specific social and economic conditions and aspirations of all actors involved. “Strategies become ‘paper tigers’ if they do not reflect on the opinions and desires of the people,” he said. “Our goal needs to be a better life for all, not just the few—and we need to change our thinking in that direction to create sustainable societies. If we don’t succeed in changing people’s beliefs that a better, happier, more optimistic, just, and sustainable world is possible, and will benefit them and their children, then they will continue to create a world that will be increasingly miserable, pessimistic, divided, and broken.”

Previously, Ochs served as a member of the German delegation to the United Nations climate negotiations, as an Aspen Institute Young Leader, and as an elected member of tt-30, the youth think tank of the Club of Rome. He has been on many international advisory boards and held research and teaching positions at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), where he also founded the International Network To Advance Climate Talks (INTACT); at the City University of New York (CUNY); and at Princeton, Munich, Freie, and Humboldt universities.

Ochs is the co-editor of two books, the director of two documentary films, and the author of numerous scholarly articles, reports, and policy papers. He contributes frequently to public media and is a regular commentator for news outlets in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His current projects include designing a low-carbon energy strategy for governments in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica; creating innovative solutions for the water-food-energy nexus in India; exploring pioneering success stories in small-scale energy entrepreneurship in Africa; and evaluating support mechanisms to accelerate renewable energy deployment around the world. Ochs also is a contributor to Worldwatch’s forthcoming publication State of the World 2012, which aims to provide constructive input to the 2012 sustainability summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The award ceremony will  take place at the Denkstatt think tank in Vienna, Austria. Karin Bauer, a journalist from Austria’s leading newspaper Der Standard, will moderate the discussion following Ochs’s keynote address.


About the Sustainable Future Campaign

The Sustainable Future Campaign aims to create political awareness of the policies needed for communities to support sustainable development; to analyze sustainable development and its impacts; and to sensitize opinion leaders and the general public about the important role of the United Nations in advancing sustainable development, including through the UN Millennium Development Goals.