The Newsweek Momentum Awards 2019
Drones, driverless cars, pilotless planes and trains. An automation revolution is about to sweep transportation—one that will transform societies around the world, the global economy and the environment. This disruption has already begun. And while there's no debate the change will be dramatic, it is not clear how this revolution will reshape the world.
Will there be better jobs for people or simply fewer jobs? Will cities be hollowed out or become more livable than the suburbs? Will automated transportation increase congestion and pollution? Or will new fuels, regulations and energy storage technologies reduce the carbon footprint of transportation? Will social, racial and economic disparities created by existing transportation systems widen or narrow? And will the countries that dominated transportation in the 19th and 20th centuries lead this revolution, or will the center of gravity shift to developing nations?
Across the world, academics, activists, environmentalists, engineers, scientists and urban planners are wrestling with these questions and coming up with new ways to shape the answers. And the conversation about these issues needs to reach—and include—a wide audience: for example, the almost 40 million unique readers who come to Newsweek each month.
Newsweek has spent the better part of nine decades on a mission to give its readers carefully curated, nuanced views of important and complicated stories just like these. This endeavor—essentially, understanding the future of our civilization requires strong reporting and deep expertise on each story about the future of cities, transportation, and technological disruptions.
We also need a sophisticated view of the whole picture to help our readers and others make sense of the world that is emerging. That's why we are announcing the Newsweek Momentum Awards, an annual celebration of the people and cities propelling the world toward an environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, economically viable future of autonomous mobility and smart urban environments.
Newsweek, in collaboration with experts at Georgia Tech, has convened an awards council to choose the honorees. The Newsweek Momentum Awards will recognize five individuals around the globe, as well as one city, which will be chosen as the "smartest city in the world."
The winners will be announced in a special issue of Newsweek magazine in September. They will be honored at an event in Atlanta in the fall.
I hope you'll join us on the road ahead.
Nancy Cooper, Global Editor-in-Chief