Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility has announced the winners of its 20th annual Lewis Mumford Awards for outstanding contributions in areas that embrace ADPSR’s mission of world peace, protection of the environment, and socially responsible development: The awards this year will go to:

Peace: Ethan Zuckerman and the MIT Center for Civic Media

Environment: Bonnie Rukin and Slow Money

Development: Ken Smith and Youth Build

Peace through creating global communications

In recognizing the work of Ethan Zuckerman and the MIT Center for Civic Media for The Peace Award, the ADPSR board recognized Zuckerman’s innovative efforts to design and facilitate new information technologies that empower civic media and political action. The board felt MIT CfCM investigations into “providing people with the necessary skills to process, evaluate, and act upon the knowledge in circulation”…to “ensure the diversity of inputs and mutual respect necessary for democratic deliberation”, fit very well with the mission and values of the ADPSR.

“Ethan’s vision and inspiration seems to be generating an array of new investigations into the rapidly changing field of global media. It is our hope that by recognizing his work and the work of the MIT Center for Civic Media more attention will be given to the potential to improve world communication and information flow, and peaceful coexistence.”

Environment award goes to innovative approach to changing how money and investing work in a sustainable world

The ADPSR board stated that Bonnie Rukin, of Camden, and Slow Money Maine have had impressive success in helping investments get made in farms, fisheries and ecosystems that sustain local food systems and communities. Bringing awareness of the environmental, social, economic, and political issues that impact the food system is something ADPSR strongly believes in and supports.

“The Slow Money Alliance is bringing people together around a new conversation about money that is too fast, about finance that is disconnected from people and place, about how we can begin fixing our economy from the ground up… starting with food.”

Saving farmland, supporting a new generation of small and mid-size organic farmers, rebuilding local and regional food processing and distribution, improving nutrition and otherwise remedying the imbalances of a food system that is too consolidated, too global and too industrial — where will the money come from? From Wall Street? From philanthropy? From government programs? From consumers?”

“One thing is certain: a new generation of entrepreneurs is starting to rebuild local food systems and the capital available to them is insufficient. If we want this capital to start flowing today, this year, this decade, if we share the belief that we don’t have another generation to wait for “them” to figure it out or be pushed in this direction by disruption or collapse, then we have to roll up our sleeves, sink our hands into the soil of the economy and start planting.”

Ken Smith and Youth Build Boston give tools for rebuilding community and self-respect

Youth Build, a national organization represented by the Boston group, helps young people to get work skills giving them an opportunity to be independent financially and valuable members of the community. By improving their local built environment including affordable housing the Youth Build organization brings awareness of the social, environmental and political issues that impact our society.

Lewis Mumford was a sociologist, historian, philosopher of technology, a literary critic, and writer with a keen interest in urban architecture.

According to his article in the CoEvolution Quarterly (1974), Enough Energy for Life & The Next Transformation of Man [MIT lecture transcript), Mumford believed that what defined humanity, what set human beings apart from other animals, was not primarily our use of tools (technology) but our use of language (symbols). He was convinced that the sharing of information and ideas amongst participants of primitive societies was completely natural to early humanity, and had obviously been the foundation of society as it became more sophisticated and complex. He had hopes for a continuation of this process of information "pooling" in the world as humanity moved into the future.

The awards ceremony will be Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Boston Greenfest, organized by the Foundation for a Green Future. Boston Greenfest celebrates many ways to create a better world by greening our lives and our communities and takes place Aug. 15-17 at Boston City Hall Plaza and is free to the public.