This is the press release which Shell is putting out, to announce the
winners of the essay competition. There was an announcement based on this
press release on page 19 of the Oct 21-27 issue of The Economist.
Winners announced for 'The World in 2050' writing
competition run by Shell and The Economist.
The Economist and Shell are pleased to announce the
winner of this international writing competition,
which was launched in April 2000.
The aim of the competition was to encourage debate and
thought about the social, political, environmental,
technological and economic issues that countries,
companies and individuals will face in the middle of
the 21st century.
William Douglass, age 28, from Houston, Texas beat
more than 3000 entrants from 75 countries with his
essay 'Dear Nestor'. The essay takes the form of a
letter written by a young Bangladeshi boy to a friend
in the USA in a world governed by 'The Network' where
oil rigs are obsolete, and special genes and limited
duration marriages are the norm.
The judges chose Mr Douglass's entry because of the
connection made between advances in technology and the
unchanging importance of human relationships.
Bill Emmott said: "We liked this essay not only
because it was compellingly written in an accessible
form, but also because it artfully included ideas both
about how life and people might change, and about
things which might endure."
The competition was judged by a panel of experts
chaired by Richard O'Brien, Partner of Outsights (the
international consultancy in external change and
strategy). The panel included Esther Dyson, an e-guru
and investor; Peter Warshall, a biologist and
environmentalist; Matt Ridley, a science writer, most
recently of "Genome", a much-acclaimed book; Wolfgang
Michalski, a futurist at the OECD; Jusuf Wanandi, an
Indonesian academic specialising in strategic studies;
Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist; and Sir Mark
Moody-Stuart, chairman of the Committee of Managing
Directors of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.
William Douglass will receive a prize of US$20,000 and
his essay will appear in The Economist's annual
publication, "The World in 2001", published in
November 2000. Two second prizes of $10,000 are
awarded to Paul Gordon and Robert Carlson, and five
third prizes of $5,000 go to Peter Baker, Alain
Boxhammer, Paul Copeland, Peter John and Martin Smith
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart said: "What has been impressive
about this competition is the range and scope of
entries. From space exploration through to
environmental sustainability, it is clear that there
are common themes of concern and debate that are
shared across the world. As well as offering
congratulations to the prizewinners, I'd like to say a
big thank-you to everyone who made the effort to share
with us their vision of what the world will be like in
For further information contact:
Shell International Press Office
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