Gold Mercury Award winners for Visionary Governance® have made clear and tangible efforts towards addressing challenges in one or more of our eight global governance areas.

Gold Mercury International has identified some of the most pressing global
challenges and the potential responses that could help tackle them in each of the eight global Award categories. Those responses provide the guiding principles for determining the achievements which have contributed towards advancing sustainable global governance. In addition, those achievements serve as the Award criteria followed by the Nomination and Selection Committees. The area challenges mentioned here are not exhaustive and are examples of the global problems Award winners may have contributed to solving.


The Gold Mercury Global Economic & Social Policy Award is bestowed upon individuals, institutions and states to reward their efforts and achievements in promoting sustainable social and economic policies. In order to be eligible for the Gold Mercury Global Economic & Social Policy Award, the candidate may have developed or put into practice an economic model or theory that promotes stability between the state and society, and social well-being.

Award Challenge Areas: Global Corporate, Economic & Financial Governance

Potential Responses:
  • Prevention of economic shocks
  • Promoting ethical frameworks for Corporate Governance

Award Challenge Areas: Global Population Growth & Migration

Potential Responses:
  • Carrying capacity strategies
  • Promoting sustainable migration policies
  • Tackling brain drain in developing countries

Award Challenge Areas: Advancing Economic Development & Protecting Trade Amongst Nations

Potential Responses:
  • Reducing poverty, the wealth gap and social inequalities
  • Developing strategies which counter unemployment
  • Advancing fair trade & economic empowerment
  • Protecting international agreements that foster cooperation
  • Improving labour standards & protecting social welfare

The Gold Mercury Global Peace & Security Award is given to individuals for their contributions towards peaceful co-existence and cooperation. In order to be eligible for an Award, the candidate must have made a clear, demonstrable effort towards improving relations between people and towards decreasing the likelihood of armed conflict or violence, whilst improving long term security.

Award Challenge Areas: Promoting International Cooperation

Potential Responses:
  • Peace building & development assistance
  • Conflict prevention and resolution
  • Disarmament & reducing risk of weapons of mass destruction

Award Challenge Areas: Failed States

Potential Responses:
  • Strengthening governance and the rule of law
  • Rehabilitation of failed states
  • Provision of basic services by non-state actors
  • Self-determination and institution building

Award Challenge Areas: Guaranteeing Security and Rights of People

Potential Responses:
  • Prevention of mass scale conflict and genocide
  • Reduction of international terrorism & fanaticism
  • Responsibility to protect
  • Women and children security & exploitation
  • Children and armed conflict
  • Reduction of organised crime & trafficking
  • Cyber security – tackling security threats in cyberspace

The Gold Mercury Global Resources Award is granted to individuals, companies and organisations that deliver new initiatives towards resource renewal, preservation and equal distribution, as well as efforts towards tackling such challenges as water contamination, resource depletion, deforestation and supply shortages. In order to be eligible for the Gold Mercury Global Resources Award, the candidate must have made major contributions towards promoting these initiatives.

Award Challenge Areas: Scarcity of Natural Energy Resources & Materials

Potential Responses:
  • Creation of resource efficiency initiatives
  • Finding new renewable energy sources & technologies
  • Developing energy efficiency initiatives

Award Challenge Areas: Food & Water Security

Potential Responses:
  • Creating early warning mechanisms & actions
  • Promoting sustainable consumption
  • Monitoring of food supplies to prevent famines
  • Developing water saving mechanisms
  • Protecting sweet water reserves

Award Challenge Areas: Land & Resource Rights Management

Potential Responses:
  • Tackling land degradation
  • Ensuring proper management of land rights allocation
  • Reducing malnutrition and hunger

The Gold Mercury Global Environment Award is given to global corporations, organisations and individuals for their contributions to environmental sustainability. In order to be eligible for this Award, candidates must either strongly support or uphold environmentally friendly practices or have found new ways of further protecting the environment.

Award Challenge Areas: Adapting to Climate Change

Potential Responses:
  • Developing green technologies of the future
  • Reducing carbon emissions
  • Advancing environmental governance & law
  • Researching causes and implications of climate change
  • Promoting proper habitats management

Award Challenge Areas: Food & Water Security

Potential Responses:
  • Ensuring management of hazardous waste
  • Developing biodegradable materials & recycling
  • Tax and regulatory mechanisms

Award Challenge Areas: Loss of Biodiversity & Environmental Education

Potential Responses:
  • Protecting ecosystems & species
  • Researching and classifying species
  • Raising awareness of environmental issues

Award Challenge Areas: Environmental Disasters & Weather Systems

Potential Responses:
  • Prevention policies and systems
  • Response mechanisms and cooperation

The Gold Mercury International Law & Humanitarian Affairs Award is given to individuals and organisations in recognition of their efforts in the fields of international law and humanitarian affairs. In order to be eligible for an Award in this category, the candidate must have contributed to advancing international cooperation, foreign policy and diplomacy or advanced the basic human rights of a certain population.

Award Challenge Areas: Making International Law Enforceable

Potential Responses:
  • Improving law enforcement and international cooperation
  • Strengthening international courts and institutions
  • Prosecuting international crimes
  • Increasing inclusiveness of international treaties

Award Challenge Areas: Human Rights Advancement

Potential Responses:
  • Promoting new legal frameworks for Human Rights
  • Improving international monitoring and enforcement
  • Educating and awareness raising for Human Rights
  • Protecting vulnerable people against human rights violations (i.e. refugees, women and children, domestic workers, LGBT, etc.)
  • Protecting indigenous people

Award Challenge Areas: Poverty and Malnourishment

Potential Responses:
  • Facilitating economic and social mobility
  • Food security
  • Sustainable anti-poverty programmes

The Gold Mercury Global Culture Award recognises and rewards initiatives that promote cultural sustainability. In order to be eligible for an Award in this category, the candidate must have shown a true commitment to advancing society, education, cultural understanding and the honest, impartial and open communication of information to the public.

Award Challenge Areas: Promoting Education for All

Potential Responses:
  • Developing new systems for advancing education and learning
  • Curriculum and teaching innovation
  • Improving literacy and access to education
  • Ensuring youth participation in society

Award Challenge Areas: Cultural Solidarity, Diversity & Freedom

Potential Responses:
  • Use of the arts, sports and media for goodwill
  • Ensuring freedom of information and expression
  • Peaceful interfaith and intercultural dialogue and tolerance
  • Promoting universal values and Global Citizenship

Award Challenge Areas: Ethics, Philosophy and Thought Leadership

Potential Responses:
  • New theories or frameworks for social progress
  • New paradigm shift ideas to advance humanity

Award Challenge Areas: Preserving and Promoting the World’s Cultural Heritage

Potential Responses:
  • Tackling trafficking of cultural goods
  • Promoting access to arts, literature and music
  • Protection of intangible heritage
  • Protecting indigenous cultures

The Gold Mercury Global Science & Technology Award is given to individuals, corporations and institutions for significant achievements within the field. In order to be eligible for the Award, the candidate must represent responsible, forward-thinking and ethical practice in their contribution to scientific and technological process, recognising their obligation to society as a whole.

Award Challenge Areas: Creating Sustainable Infrastructure

Potential Responses:
  • Transportation & logistics
  • Global communications
  • Manufacturing
  • Material sciences
  • Leapfrogging and legacy reduction
  • Discovery
  • Exploration (i.e. space, ocean floors, etc.)

Award Challenge Areas: Promoting Scientific Innovation & Knowledge Sharing

Potential Responses:
  • Investing in research and development
  • Empowering people to innovate
  • Reducing knowledge gap between the developed and the developing world
  • Promoting external accountability of scientific research
  • Addressing the ethical and safety issues of genetic modification and cloning

Award Challenge Areas: Scientific Policy and Governance

Potential Responses:
  • Better integration and understanding of scientific knowledge into political decision making to advance social challenges

The Gold Mercury Global Health Award rewards individuals, organisations and corporations for significant achievements within the health sector. In order to be eligible for an Award in this category, the candidate must have made crucial advances or technological progress in one or more areas that have implications for people’s health and well-being.

Award Challenge Areas: Controlling the Spread of Diseases and Unhealthy Lifestyles

Potential Responses:
  • Addressing ways to counter unhealthy lifestyles
  • Controlling the global spread of diseases
  • Promoting international cooperation on research & findings

Award Challenge Areas: Improving Access to Health Care

Potential Responses:
  • Improving health care systems
  • Training medical staff
  • Infrastructure & technology projects to deliver healthcare

Award Challenge Areas: Developing Disease Prevention Mechanisms

Potential Responses:
  • Prevention technologies, practices and education
  • Scientific cooperation in health sector
  • Discoveries relating to understanding or curing disease
  • Improvements in sanitation and nutrition


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