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IISD wins big in global Think Tank Awards

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Winnipeg, July 17, 2019 – The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) brought home three top honours at the 2019 Think Tank Awards, presented by Prospect Magazine. The accolades include 2019’s Think Tank to Watch, given to an innovative think tank “on the move.”

The ceremony took place in the Churchill Room at the Houses of Parliament in London, England, on July 17. The prestigious annual awards recognize the “most original, influential and rigorous work” of think tanks around the world. This is only the second time a Canadian institution has won in the competition.

Focused on the most pressing challenges facing people, governments and businesses, the awards feature work in four categories: Economic and Financial Affairs; Foreign Affairs; Science, Health, Environment and Energy; and Social Policy. Awards are given separately to organizations in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States and the rest of the world.

IISD was shortlisted in three of the four categories, up against highly distinguished organizations in the United States and rest of the world, including Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Peterson Institute for International Economics and RAND Corporation.

A Winnipeg-based independent think tank, IISD won the Foreign Affairs category, for a report that showed judges from the United Nation’s high court were taking paid work to settle investment treaty disputes between corporations and governments. This had the potential of threatening the independence and impartiality of the world’s top court, and the research ultimately led the court to rethink its practice.

IISD also took the award in the Science, Health, Environment and Energy category, for research into how increasing demand for minerals and metals for green technologies such as wind and solar could affect fragile but resource-rich countries.

An independent panel of judges, chaired by Prospect Magazine’s editor, Tom Clark, looked for evidence of influence on policy and public discourse. The organizers noted that special care was taken to consider both the quality of research and the potential of younger and smaller organizations.

“We have a long history of producing high-quality, impactful work, and these awards are a recognition of the difference an organization like IISD can make,” said acting President and CEO Jane McDonald. “We’re very proud to see our work acknowledged this way, especially by the very high-profile judges on this year’s panel.”


About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

For more information, please contact: media@iisd.org or +1 (613) 238-2296 ext. 902