Supporting a Global Community of Change Accelerators

End of Year Message from Laura Viscovich

As 2023 draws to a close, I am happy to share some of the highlights that have made our work at the Holcim Foundation so rewarding this year. Driven by our mission to support people who are change accelerators for sustainable construction, the team worked tirelessly to accelerate our existing flagship program while testing new formats that gave innovators across the world a platform to share ideas and drive collective action.

Last updated: December 14, 2023

Holcim Awards 2023

The winners of the Holcim Awards for 2023 underscore the breadth of diverse and innovative real-world approaches to transforming the built environment.

Showcasing best-practice: Holcim Awards 2023

This year, we set ourselves the challenge to shorten the Holcim Awards cycle and accelerate opportunities to spotlight innovative real-world approaches to building sustainably.

The competition had 2,380 registrations of interest in 114 countries in less than three months and culminated with a memorable Holcim Awards Weekend in Venice. The diversity of the 20 winning best-practice projects illustrates the wide variety of holistic design and construction responses needed to advance multiple aspects of sustainable development at a global scale.

Holcim Awards 2023 - The Official Aftermovie

Watch a 3-minute aftermovie of the Holcim Awards 2023 ceremony.

Viewed by over 3,000 people, the hybrid Ceremony was the highlight of the weekend, with the words of Diébédo Francis Kéré, 2012 Gold Holcim Awards winner and laureate of the Pritzker Prize in 2022, resonating deeply with all present. To understand the transformative power of the Holcim Awards in shaping careers and fostering different perspectives, I warmly encourage you to watch the winners speak for themselves.

Architecture Hunter introduces the Holcim Awards 2023

This overview video produced by Architecture Hunter provides an insight into their exclusive interviews with the winners.

Bridging experts to accelerate impact

One of the Foundation’s core goals is to bridge innovative thinkers from different disciplines to drive impactful actions that can transform the built environment. We tested two new event formats in 2023 to break existing silos and help accelerate the implementation of existing solutions.

Marvin Henry builds a better understanding of why startups are so relevant and how they drive innovation forward.

Marvin Henry, Senior Manager Avoided Emissions, WBCSD presented an analysis of the systemic role of startups for circular innovation at the Sounding Board Rotterdam.

The Sounding Board sessions held in Zurich, Rotterdam and Berlin gave young innovators the opportunity to discuss their novel ideas with industry-leading peers, while the Impact Summit, held at Columbia University in New York City, brought together key players across the construction and real estate value chains to drive collective action to reduce embodied carbon. This executive workshop resulted in an industry-first alignment effort between leading non-profits who drafted a common framework for embodied carbon reporting that responds to the needs of real estate professionals in the USA.

Developing the Next Generation of Change Accelerators

Our inaugural cohort of Next Generation Ambassadors launched two community building projects in Tanzania and Indonesia. Engaging with local NGO partners and 50+ students from a selection of university partners, both projects are deeply rooted in the preservation of existing structures and local communities. The collaborative nature of these projects is remarkable and pays testament to the energy of the next generation to drive change in the built environment.

Clinic of Care: Tanzania

The first Clinic of Care: Tanzania workshop with architecture students from Ardhi University (Tanzania) and École Paris-Malaquais (France) was held in October 2023.

To step up our efforts to support the next generation and grow our global pool of Next Gen Ambassadors, we have been co-designing a new program with partners in academia and practice that will be launched in 2024: more to come on this shortly!

A Unique Global Community 

Everything we do at the Holcim Foundation is grounded in our goal to support and strengthen our global community of change accelerators for sustainable construction. With over 10,000 people engaging regularly with our newsletter content, our global community is growing. I thank you for your continued interest and support, and I hope that we have provided you with inspiration and insights that help you in your own mission to accelerate change and create tangible impact.

Holcim Foundation Impact Summit

The goal of the Holcim Foundation Impact Summit was to identify innovative ways to accelerate the reduction of embodied carbon for buildings in the US in the short term.

I also warmly thank all those who participated in, or contributed to, our various initiatives over the course of the year. In a world that feels increasingly fragmented, it is a true privilege to support such a diverse community of people who are united in their expertise and passion to transform the design and construction industry. The Foundation team and I sincerely look forward to continuing to turn our shared vision for sustainable construction into reality in 2024.

Wishing you all the best for this holiday season and for the new year to come.

Laura Viscovich