SAN FRANCISCO, April 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The winners of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to making an impact when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality. Among the winners were National Audubon Society, the nation’s largest bird conservation organization, and Domino Data Lab, provider of the industry-leading open data science platform for large enterprises. They were recognized as finalists in the AI and Data category for their collaboration on Audubon’s Survival By Degrees climate change report, whose data powers the “Birds and Climate Visualizer.”

National Audubon Society studied the impacts of climate change and nine climate-related threats, including fire weather, sea level rise and droughts, on North American birds and the places they need to survive. Audubon data scientists revealed in the organization’s latest climate report, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink, that two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction this century due to climate change. The science also indicated that taking immediate and aggressive action to address climate change can improve the chances for 76% of those species at risk. The ground-breaking study used data science, machine learning, and a database of bird observations and environmental datasets for climate, vegetation, and human land-use. They then partnered with Domino Data Lab to rapidly increase the scalability, efficiency and impact of their data science capacity.

“Audubon’s climate science is clear: Climate change is the greatest threat to birds. Fortunately, the science and birds tell us there is still time to get this right if we act now and demand action on climate change from our elected officials at every level of government,” said Chad Wilsey, interim chief scientist for National Audubon Society. “Using Domino’s data science platform, we performed hundreds of thousands of large-scale analyses faster than ever that enabled Audubon to identify vital ways to protect birds and the places they need – that we all need – today and tomorrow.”

Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 26 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 500 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. The 2020 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Vancouver to Singapore to Tel Aviv.

Illustrating how some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies are addressing grave global challenges, Fast Company’s May/June issue celebrates, among others, an electric engine for airplanes that eliminates emissions from flights—and expensive fuel from the tricky financial calculus of the airline industry; a solar-powered refrigerator that finally frees people in remote villages from daily treks to distant markets, transforming the economics of those households; an online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste; and an initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability.

“It’s a privilege to be helping the National Audubon Society deliver breakthrough research that sheds new light on the impacts of climate change, an issue critical to all of us,” said Nick Elprin, CEO and founder of Domino Data Lab. “Domino helps hundreds of organizations accelerate their research, and we are always proud to see important results and discoveries come from data scientists’ hard work and creativity.”

“There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society’s biggest problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.”

For more information on the National Audubon Society “Birds and Climate Visualizer” and Survival By Degrees study, visit www.audubon.org.

About the World Changing Ideas Awards
World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

About Audubon
National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more about how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

About Domino Data Lab
Domino Data Lab provides an open data science platform to help companies run their business on models. Model-driven companies like Allstate, Instacart, Dell, and Bayer use Domino to accelerate breakthrough research, increase collaboration, and rapidly deliver high-impact models. Founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, Domino is backed by Sequoia Capital, Coatue, Bloomberg Beta, and Zetta Venture Partners. To learn more, visit dominodatalab.com.