Alumni Stories

Edward Mazria

Awarded Purpose Prize

by Mary Conrad

UNM Alum, Ed Mazria is one of five recipients of the $100,000 Purpose Prizes awarded to Americans making an extraordinary impact in their encore careers. Civic Ventures announced the 2011 winners of its Purpose Prize. Five social entrepreneurs over 60 will receive $100,000 each for using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on some of society’s biggest challenges. Now in its sixth year, the $17 million program is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life. The winners were chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees by 28 judges.

Edward Mazria, 70, Architecture 2030, Santa Fe, N.M. is an award-winning architect in Santa Fe. He had a 40-year record of innovation and advocacy in sustainable building. But even he was surprised when in 2002 his analysis of U.S. government data revealed that the building sector consumes approximately half of all energy production and causes about half of all greenhouse gas emissions each year. In 2003, Mazria founded Architecture 2030 to change those practices. The group issued the 2030 Challenge – a set of benchmarks for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment (buildings, homes and other man-made structures) to “carbon neutral” by 2030. The American Institute of Architects, U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Green Building Council and National Governors Association immediately adopted the challenge. Legislation followed. Mazria will soon release the 2030 Palette, a global set of comprehensive guiding principles, which will be translated into multiple languages for application internationally.

Additional recipients are:

  • Jenny Bowen, 66, Half the Sky Foundation, Berkeley, Calif. Winner of The Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation, sponsored by AARP
  • Randal Charlton, 71, TechTown, Detroit
  • Nancy Sanford Hughes, 68, StoveTeam International, Eugene, Ore.
  • Wanjiru Kamau, 69, African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation, Washington, D.C.

“While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Civic Ventures and author of The Big Shift. “They – and millions of others in encore careers – are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship.”

Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, The Purpose Prize is a program of Civic Ventures’ Encore Careers campaign, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.


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