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William McDonough

William McDonough

William McDonough is a designer, a globally recognized leader in sustainable development, and Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on the Circular Economy. For more than 40 years, McDonough—through McDonough Innovation, William McDonough + Partners, Architects, and MBDC—has defined the principles of the sustainability movement. The revolutionary Cradle to Cradle® philosophy he co-created with Michael Braungart and codified in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is a framework for understanding what we make as biological or technical nutrients that can be returned to the soil or upcycled endlessly. McDonough has received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003), and the National Design Award. In 2007, following Hurricane Katrina, McDonough and Brad Pitt co-founded the Make It Right Foundation to bring Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes to people in need. In 2009, he and Braungart co-founded the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, to scale up the rigorous product certification program. McDonough became the subject of Stanford University Libraries’ first Living Archive in 2012. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”

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