May 4, 2021 (NEW YORK)— The winners of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality.
At Via, we believe in a connected world where everyone has access to efficient, affordable mobility through technology-enabled, data-driven transit. We established a new category, TransitTech, to capture this $450B market -- and the need by cities to use technology to evaluate and advance public transit. As a result, Via was named a Finalist of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards in the Transportation category.
We’ve used our technology platform to replace under-utilized fixed-route buses with on-demand options, added first/last mile service to support transit ridership, and helped communities be flexible and resilient by transforming existing services to support essential workers and meal delivery for vulnerable groups. With these digitally-powered solutions, residents have transit options that support economic mobility and access to critical services.
TransitTech encompasses all forms of tech-enabled solutions to address today’s public transportation challenges and better serve communities around the globe. Whether it’s improving the environment and reducing GhGs, or helping agencies efficiently spend limited budgets to serve the most people, or increasing affordable, accessible options for those left behind by traditional forms of transportation, TransitTech is improving lives and helping people move efficiently.
Now in its fifth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 33 winners, more than 400 finalists, and more than 800 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, AI & Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. Plus, several new categories were added, including Pandemic Response, Urban Design, and Architecture. The 2021 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Brazil to Denmark to Vietnam.
Showcasing some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies tackling exigent global challenges, Fast Company’s Summer 2021 issue (on newsstands May 10) highlights, among others, a lifesaving bassinet; the world’s largest carbon sink, thanks to carbon-eating concrete; 3D-printed schools; an at-home COVID-19 testing kit; a mobile voting app; and the world’s cleanest milk.
“There is no question our society and planet are facing deeply troubling times. So, it’s important to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, impact, design, scalability, and passion to solve these problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have discovered some of the most groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2020.”
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 the goals 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.