Press Release: International Living Future Institute CEO Named an Ashoka Fellow

Date: April 19, 2012

For immediate release
International Living Future Institute CEO Named an Ashoka Fellow
Ashoka recognizes ideas and leadership of Jason F. McLennan
(Seattle, WA) – Jason F. McLennan, founder and creator of the Living Building Challenge and CEO of the International Living Future Institute, has been named a Fellow by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. This prestigious recognition is awarded to individuals whose innovative solutions to social problems have the potential to change patterns across society. Past Fellows include environmental justice leader, Van Jones, Teach for America founder, Wendy Kopp, and Rocky Mountain Institute Co-Founder, Amory Lovins.
“I’m incredibly honored to be recognized in this way,” says McLennan. “Ashoka has built an essential global network of social entrepreneurs; I’m thrilled, not just personally but also professionally, to be able to connect with this inspiring leadership community.”
McLennan was recognized for his work on the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most rigorous building performance standard. The Challenge, which McLennan developed while a principal at BNIM Architects, calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature's architecture, meeting a series of rigorous performance requirements (including net zero energy, waste and water) over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy.
As CEO of the International Living Future Institute, McLennan has built the Challenge into an internationally recognized force for advanced green building.  Over 140 projects have registered with the Living Building Challenge since it was first launched as a formal certification program in November 2006. Certified Living Building Challenge projects can now be found in Missouri, New York and Hawaii. Three additional projects have received partial certification, including two projects recently certified under the Institute’s Net Zero Energy Building program.
McLennan was one of eight Fellows selected from the United States for 2012. A global organization, Ashoka supports those who share qualities traditionally associated with leading business entrepreneurs – vision, innovation, determination and long-term commitment – but are committed to systemic social change in their fields. Ashoka Fellows are recognized for their innovative solutions to some of society’s most pressing social problems.
Ashoka Fellows work in every area of human need, including learning/youth development, the environment, health, human rights, economic development and civic participation. Selection criteria include the social impact of the idea, demonstrated creativity in problem solving, the newness of the idea, and the entrepreneurial quality of the founder.
Ralph DiNola, Principal at Green Building Services and Chair of the International Living Future Institute Board of Directors noted that Ashoka’s definition of social entrepreneurship fits well with McLennan’s leadership style. “Clearly, Jason’s work embodies all of the qualities identified with a Fellow. His development of the Living Building Challenge has sparked a revolution in the building industry and is beginning to break down the barriers to a restorative future for our planet.  Through his leadership, Jason transformed a nascent environmental NGO into a thriving enterprise, growing the organization through the worst recession in many decades and reaching a global audience that is now carrying the message to their communities.”
About International Living Future Institute:
The Institute is dedicated to leading a transformation to a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.  It acts as a hub for visionary programs like the Living Building Challenge and Cascadia Green Building Council and Ecotone Publishing. The Institute moves across scales, offering global strategies for lasting sustainability, partnering with local communities to create grounded and relevant solutions and reaching out to individuals to unleash their imagination and innovation.
About Ashoka: Innovators for the Public:
Ashoka is a global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—individuals with innovative, large scale ideas for addressing social problems. They address every area of human need – from human rights to the environment, from full economic citizenship to empowering young people.  Since its founding in 1980, Ashoka has enabled more than 2,500 leading social entrepreneurs in over 60 countries. Ashoka's modest investments in early-stage entrepreneurs consistently yield extraordinary returns. Its inclusion and recognition of later-stage social entrepreneurs are catalytic to the community. Working in partnership with Ashoka Fellows, Ashoka builds communities of innovators who work collectively to transform society and design new ways for citizen-led solutions to become more productive, entrepreneurial and globally integrated. Ashoka does not accept government funding; business entrepreneurs, corporations, individuals, foundations and volunteer chapters finance Ashoka’s work.
 Contact: Gina Binole
GBM Communications