Class of 2023
Juwon Samuel Afolayan, Nigeria, is a doctoral researcher at the Erasmus Darwin Sustainability Complex of Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom, where he researches into the development of next-generation functional biomaterials for diverse applications. The environmental enthusiast holds a bachelor's and master’s degree from Kwara State University Nigeria, with First Class honors. His notable contributions to the water subject span journal publications, public speaking, and contribution to youth strategies and declarations. His publications cover important water subjects such as water economics, alternative water treatment technologies, hybridization of water response and metal toxicity in water. On the social front, he has remarkable national and international contributions towards water development. He has recently served as a UNICEF delegate and panelist at the Youth and Children forum during the Dushanbe Water Process (Tajikistan, 2022). He was a guest speaker on the 3rd Philippines Sustainability Conference (2022), guest speaker at the Asian Water Week (sponsored by Asian Development Bank), a contributor to the water generation workshop hosted by the International Secretariat for Water (France, 2022), and a panelist on the UNESCO-organized European-African Union Mega Pre Conference on Water, Megacities and Global Change, where he represented the African youths. He is the current coordinator of the chapters working group at the World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW), and a winner of the prestigious Kofi Annan Foundation Changemaker Award, 2022. He is the Initiator of the Intergenerational Dialogue and Capacity Development Initiative, aimed at capacity building and enterprise creation amongst Young Water Professionals (YWPs) and Entrepreneurs of African Descent. His signature approach to water is to promote the hybridization of water response, ensuring equitable access to quality and usable water.
Rhoda Agyeiwaa Oduro, Ghana, oversees operations for Developers in Vogue, a non-profit organization in Ghana that is committed to investing in the future of young women from age 18-35 by providing them with digital skills and knowledge, mentorship and placing them in jobs where they can apply their digital skills and earn a decent living. She is passionate about women's empowerment and creating spaces for inclusion in the future of work.
Oluwadamilola Akintewe, Nigeria, experienced gendered financial violence growing up on a farm settlement. This inspired her to found "Project Rebirth" in 2018 to enhance economic empowerment for women in rural communities of Nigeria via free access to climate friendly skills and impact investing in women led businesses post training. Since then, Project Rebirth has gone to foster economic prosperity for women and girls across 10 communities in 3 major Nigeria states, thereby indirectly empowering over 3800 persons. In 2020, she was awarded the Ford Community Impact Fellowship. Oluwadamilola is passionate about grassroot community development, building local solutions to global problems. Hence, she is a gender equality ambassador for One Young World. Some of her other recognitions include recipient of the 2022 Princess Diana Award, top 10 finalist of the 2021 Global Student Prize (Students' Nobel), 2019 Ashoka Young Changemaker, World Connect Next Gen CEO, Her Network Woman of the Future Award nominee, 30 under 30 Global changemakers by Opportunity Desk and the youngest in the 2020 "100 women creating a better Africa" list.
Heba Almustafa, Jordan
Noel Ifeanyi Alumona, Nigeria/USA, founded Boys Champions - a primary preventive youth-led nonprofit organization that is committed to providing safe place for boys and men by engaging young men, teaching them healthy masculinity and how to relate to females respectfully, with the mission to ending violence against women and girls in Nigeria, after meeting and having a conversation with Barack Obama in Johannesburg in 2018. He is an Obama Foundation Fellow, United States Institute of Peace Fellow, Generation Change Fellow, United Nations Youth Assembly Delegate and the first African and Nigerian to win the AFS Award for Young Global Citizens in New York City. Noel is a graduate student studying Special Education at Vanderbilt University, USA.
Stanley Anigbogu, Nigeria, is the C.E.O. and co-founder of LightEd, a company that recycles electrical and electronic waste to provide energy solutions to rural families. He is deeply committed to using technology to help mitigate climate change and create a world where everyone has equal access to clean, affordable energy. Stanley Anigbogu is an award-winning, internationally recognized innovator and filmmaker. He received the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in 2022, Winner World Bank Group Pitch Competition in 2022, J & J Champions of Science 2020, a Diana Award Recipient, a Falling Walls Engaged Winner in 2021, The Opportunity Desk Impact Challenge Winner in 2021, a Google Creative Campus Fellow for 2020, a Fishbowl Grand Prize Winner, and a Top 50 Finalist for the Global Students Prize and YGC Recoupling Awards 2022.
May Asagba, Nigeria, is a social impact leader with over nine years of experience securing global partnerships, developing transformative programs, and leading young change-makers in powering solutions to drive development in underserved African communities. Through her international professional experiences, she has spearheaded the design and delivery of 10 transformative programs, impacting over 100,000 people across 10 African communities. At age 21, she founded a nonprofit organization, Catering to Africans In Need (CAIN). As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CAIN, May is focused on empowering disadvantaged children and marginalized youth with quality education and skills to break from poverty and become globally competitive. One of the highlights of her work at CAIN is establishing a FREE multi-purpose educational center in the largest local government in Lagos, Nigeria. This center, located amidst many underserved Nigerian communities, uses a unique multi-faceted approach to give over 10,000 underprivileged children access to quality education. May’s phenomenal work in Nigeria has been recognized locally and internationally by TEDx, BBC News, Clinton Global Initiative, Channels TV, Business Day, and other renowned organizations. Her vision for Africa is a continent that provides easy access to quality education for all. Hence, she is committed to leveraging shared resources, technology, and strategic collaboration to make quality education accessible to underprivileged African students.
Marjorie Angella Atuhurra, Uganda, is deeply committed to improving the rights and well-being of girls and women, particularly in rural areas of Uganda. She has extensive experience as a team leader, having spent eight years mentoring and supporting groups of rural girls, teen mothers, and marginalized women. She aims to empower women and girls to improve their lives through her work. As the founder of the Gejja Women Foundation, and with her Team, she is reducing the cost of menstruation for women and girls by producing safe and reusable pads and providing training on breaking myths and taboos associated with periods. Additionally, Gejja Women Foundation supports women to start businesses that align with their passions and promote regenerative agriculture through the Gejja Model Farm.
Ryme Assaad, Lebanon, is the co-founder and executive director of RISE2030, which won the UN global climate action award at COP26 with UNFCCC. She is also a board member at Sustain The World, Sustainable Empowerment for Youth International, and Sustainabiliti SARL. Ryme is passionate about economic development, social innovation, and sustainable energy access for all to ensure that no one is left behind. She has an MSc in Sustainable Development from UCD, focusing on sustainable energy solutions. She was also a fellow and award winner at Thomson Reuters, Mozilla Firefox, Techwomen, Vital Voice, Swedish Institute, UN Net Med Youth, and many others.
Osei Boateng, Ghana/USA, is a passionate healthcare leader who has devoted his life’s work to making sure quality and affordable healthcare is accessible to everyone irrespective of their socio-economic background. Osei is the founder of OKB Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that is committed to bringing transformative healthcare and life-saving medications to rural and underserved communities in Ghana. Since its inception, OKB Hope Foundation has provided direct medical care to over 3200 individuals across 32 rural and underserved communities and trained 20 community health volunteers across four rural communities to serve as health advocates for their local communities. Osei has over five years of experience in hospital administration, operation, and strategy. He received his bachelor’s degree in human biology, Health, and Society and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Cornell University. He was awarded the Excellence Award in Community Engagement and Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Honorarium by Cornell University and was selected as the 2022 Echoing Green Finalist. Osei’s vision is to ensure equitable and quality healthcare is accessible to everyone.
Valeria Belén Cerpa Salas, Peru, is an architect and urbanist based in Peru, working at the intersection between project management, web development, and data. She founded in 2021 "Data for Resilient Spaces" project as part of the Resilience Fund Fellowship. This allowed her to work on the generation of interactive maps, research, close data gaps, and the development of participatory workshops and digital tools to support the resilience of communities and urban design processes in her country. Also, Valeria is currently supporting the building of Planning 2050, a project that promotes sustainable commitments for cities from public institutions. She has been an intern at US Green Building Council in Washington DC and her experience has allowed her to collaborate with organizations from the United States, Switzerland, France, and Peru.
Dina Chaerani, Indonesia, is a Co-Founder of Sexdugram, an online platform that provides comprehensive pre-marital sexuality education in a youth-friendly and accessible way for all Indonesian children and youth, which is an extension of her previous ideas with Lapor Yuk!, an online reporting mechanism for sexual violence against children and youths in Bogor Regency, Indonesia that can be downloaded on Google PlayStore. She has a solid blend of experience working directly with youths in need along with a highly accomplished academic record achieved from the International Institute of Social Studies - Erasmus University Rotterdam upon receipt of her Master's Degree in Development Studies with double specializations in Children and Youth Studies (CYS) and Public Policy and Management (PPM). Her traumatic experience as a sexual violence survivor when she was 13 has given such a big impact on her life and made her become a passionate and committed person to advancing and mainstreaming the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of children and young people."
Manyasiri 'Pear' Chotbunwong, Thailand, is an 18-year-old menstrual justice activist based in Bangkok, Thailand. She is a proud advocate for youth voices and menstrual hygiene who is driven to destroy taboos and break the silence. Pear is the Founder of H.E.R. (Health. Equity. Respect.), a nonprofit organization increasing menstrual hygiene accessibility for women across 5 countries. For her work, Pear has been recognized as the youngest winner of the Women of the Future Awards Southeast Asia in Public Service and a recipient of the Diana Award.
Rob Cobbold, United Kingdom, is COO and Co-Founder of the Beach Collective, a blue circular economy platform powered by a smart currency which internalises the health of the planet into every transaction. Rob is a big picture thinker working at the intersection between science and spirituality, inner and outer transformation. As a speaker he has spoken to more than 40,000 young people about the climate crisis. As a project manager he has managed a network and thinktank for senior sustainability professionals as well as a nationwide environmental education programme. And as a philosopher and writer he is founding editor of Conscious Evolution, an online publication and podcast aiming to disseminate the evolutionary worldview and kindle an evolutionary transition.
Jennifer Colpas, Colombia, is a Colombian, passionate about rural development, with a Master's in Social Development as a Chevenning Scholar at Sussex University, she has more than 7 years of experience in leading social development programs in Brazil and Colombia. Currently, she is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tierra Grata, a social enterprise that provides access to basic energy, water, and sanitation services to rural communities in Colombia, as well as being part of youth networks that are changing the world as Global Shaper and One Young World, Jenifer was also recognized as a CNN Heroe in 2021.
Charles Falajiki, Nigeria, is a development practitioner and social innovator leveraging technology, innovation and collaboration to address social issues, particularly in education and digital inclusion. With half a decade of transnational work experience, he currently leads the overarching developmental strategy at Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) as the organization’s Chief Development Officer. In his role at AREAi, he designs and scales innovative educational and digital skills development solutions for marginalized children and at-risk youth in underserved communities. His professional background includes active engagement with UNESCO, UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, The Education Commission, TheirWorld, and Education Above All, among others. In the last 5 years, he has managed multi-year donor-funded projects, reaching over 50,000 direct beneficiaries across 36 communities in 12 states in Nigeria. His work has been recognized locally and internationally, with special recognition including being named a Global Changemaker, a Queen’s Commonwealth Young Leader, a British Council Future Leader, and a TheirWorld Global Youth Ambassador, among other achievements. His professional aspirations are centered on transforming educational access and 21st-century digital skill development for last-mile users and children who are at risk of falling through the cracks.
Rogers Githinji, Uganda/Kenya, is the CEO of Nairobi Legal-Insights (NLI). The Philosophy of NLI is to empower the poor and non-lawyers to avoid potential legal liability through access to simplified and digestible Kenyan legal content. Githinji is passionate about simplifying the law for lay people by leveraging digital technology to bring about equity in access to legal education and empowerment between the poor and rich giving them an equitable platform for Access to Justice. Githinji is a Global Award-winning youth entrepreneur. In 2022 he emerged as one of the top 3 Youth4South Entrepreneurship Competition winners during the United Nations Global South-South Development Expo in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2021, he was among the 75 Global Emerging Talents of the prestigious Falling Walls in Berlin, Germany “Breaking the Wall of Access to Justice”. He is also a Young Leader at The Queens Commonwealth Trust Network Hub, a community of 850+ mission aligned changemakers who are leading positive social change in the Commonwealth. Furthermore, this year, Githinji is one of the 14 experts selected by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies-ICTs. As an expert mentor at ITU, he is currently providing mentorship to the winners of “ Innovations to Empower Women and Girls.” He holds a Master of Laws in International Financial Law and Regulation from Strathmore University, and he has previously worked at the Administrative Tribunal of the African Development Bank (AFDB).
Leonie Glaser, Netherlands, is the proud Co-President of the Student Think Tank for Europe-Asia Relations (STEAR). She was born and raised in the Netherlands and is currently enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree Euroculture, moving between the universities in Uppsala (Sweden), Udine (Italy) and Osaka (Japan). Having also lived in Cambodia for a few months, she has a deep interest in building cultural bridges between Asia and Europe. With STEAR, she aspires to contribute to mutual cultural understanding within Eurasia, and build a diverse and inclusive community for students and young professionals in the region. Nothing makes her more proud than hearing from STEAR members how much they have grown while being a part of the organisation, as she has a strong belief that future peace, environmental stability and fair chances for everyone are in the hands of this generation. Besides STEAR, she has experience as an editor for an online magazine, gained managerial experience on the board of Amsterdam’s fifth-largest student association, and worked with social entrepreneurs at Impact Hub Amsterdam. With this experience, she hopes to help STEAR grow, and so enhance the ties between the two continents.
Emily Glazebrook, United Kingdom/Timor-Leste, is a social entrepreneur who is running a project based in Timor-Leste focused on distributing water filters through a local vendor distribution network. Emily is passionate about utilising and harnessing the benefits of social enterprise in developing countries. She has an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Exeter, UK and a master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratisation from the Global Campus of Human Rights, based in Venice, Italy.
Anurag Gupta, India, has over 10 years of experience in e-waste dismantling and is the 3rd generation in his family involved in this work in India. Coming from the background of e-waste’s informal dismantlers, he understands the problems and challenges faced by e-waste dismantlers in their daily life while trying to continue their work. His project E[co]work is empowering these dismantlers with access to a safe and efficient co-working space to continue their work with pride, without harming the environment. The project not only helps reduce adverse impacts of emissions to air, water and soil, but also facilitates a circular economy by better integration of material into the product value chain.
Lilian Haddad, Jordan, is the co-founder of EcoYouth Jordan, where she is dedicated to promoting gender and climate justice in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through her work with NGOs and INGOs, she has managed numerous projects related to green building projects as she holds a civil engineering degree, education, social entrepreneurship, and management, enabling her to collaborate effectively with diverse and cross-functional teams at all levels. Lilian also possesses significant experience in engaging with organizations in the green field to expand the market reach for women and establish women-led networks in the agriculture, climate, and environment sectors. Beyond her professional achievements, Lilian enjoys hiking, folklore dancing, and travelling in her personal time.
Joshua Ichor, Nigeria, is a 22-year-old geologist from Nigeria. He grew up in a village that suffered from water scarcity, and his own experience with a life-threatening illness led him to vow to become a geologist and develop technologies to address this issue. He is currently developing a smart IoT-enabled system called Geotek monitor to monitor water wells and report their downtime for quick repairs as well as water quality. He is passionate on using Innovation to promote water sustainability and democratize access to clean water for all.
Nancy Iraba, Tanzania, Iraba is an Award Winning Marine Scientist (Msc), the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Healthy Seaweed Co. Limited (™️Seaweed Cafe), a social enterprise that uses inclusive value chain to provide consistent market to women seaweed farmers in Tanzania and ensure benefits of seaweed goes all the way to the farmer. Tanzania is the first producer of high-quality edible seaweed in Africa through seaweed farming dominated by women farmers, Nancy has partnered with 130 women seaweed farmers in Zanzibar and Kilwa who provide her industry with 17 tonnes of seaweed as raw material each year and provides them with technical skills in restorative farming to increase carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation, and she uses low-tech innovation to convert seaweed into healthy and nutritious seaweed based foods. Her venture's vision is to empower women seaweed farmers in Tanzania with an inclusive value chain model while promoting healthy living to her community through innovating and diversifying seaweed based foods. Through Her company, Nancy has recently been appointed by the University of Dar es Salaam to be a member for the industry advisory committee for the marine science cluster where she will be key in shaping the university curricula to meet labor market needs in the sector of life below water.
Abhilash John, India, locked in a cage of constraints and expectations, was not able to dream and follow his path. A street child helped him challenge his fears and set him free to explore his strengths and passions. Abhilash's journey through India made him see new possibilities. Therefore, he wants to clear the way for Indian youth from different sectors to build a healthy society for tomorrow. Abhilash is a Kanthari Alumnus which is a leadership institute based in Trivandrum, India which offers an intensive training program, to participants to acquire all the techniques, tools, methods, and skills they need to start up and effectively run an NGO. It was there he refined his idea and found his organization, Khoj, which means ‘to Search’ in Hindi. Abhilash and his team have designed an adventurous experiential learning journey. “The Great Indian Treasure Hunt” is a three-month program for Indian youth aged 18 to 28, intending to allow youngsters to explore the world of social change, environmental solutions, and team experiences. They want to create opportunities for young people to gain knowledge beyond their reality, live resourcefully, take risks, work in diverse teams, improve self-confidence, tolerance, and social skills, and be part of the change.
Haneesh Katnawer, India, Co-founder and CEO, Himalayan Hemp is a writer, engineer and hemp entrepreneur working on creating a positive socio-economic and environmental impact by using the art of writing and method of community building to bring positive change in the marginalised communities by using the cannabis and hemp plants in the Himalayan region.
Tryphine Kemigisha, Uganda, is a social entrepreneur, wastepreneur, and environmentalist who is passionate about creating solutions around environmental sustainability and women's empowerment. This is what gives her purpose. She is the founder of Gewuza Foundation, which unlocks the potential of marginalized groups of people from the bondage of unemployment and underemployment while changing the narrative of plastic waste in Africa. She innovated the MUNAKU SCHOOL BAG, which extends studies at night for students and pupils off the grid. Made from recycled plastic waste, these bags are waterproof and provide an opportunity for empowerment, especially for those involved in the process of making them. Tryphine believes that skilling those at the bottom of the pyramid is the first step to alleviate poverty in the most marginalized communities. She is a skills specialist and has trained hundreds if not thousands of marginalized youth and women to turn plastic waste into different products with inherent value. Tryphine is looking forward to changing the narrative of Africa towards waste so that communities should move away from collecting and dumping to more sustainable ways of seeing it as a resource.
Contimi Kenfack Mouafo, Cameroon/Germany, is a Pan-African and sustainability enthusiast on a mission to enable Africa to achieve its potential and at the same time, have a global impact in the fight against climate change. Passionate about renewable energy systems, he is currently studying Electrical Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. As a student, Contimi has presented and published research papers which focus on enhancing access to energy in Africa. He earned the “Best Student Paper” award after presenting one of his research papers at the CIGRE Southern Africa conference in 2021. Besides his studies in Germany, Contimi has been actively creating impact on his home continent through his volunteering work. After five years of working at Engineers Without Borders Germany to provide access to clean drinking water in rural Cameroon, he founded the non-profit “3 E’s 4 Africa”. As the chair of 3 E’s 4 Africa since 2020, Contimi has been working with his team to empower African students on the continent, enabling them to implement sustainable research projects which provide adequate solutions to local challenges with a focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation. As a young leader tackling climate change, Contimi has received the Volunteer for Future 2022 award from GoVolunteer and has been selected as a top 40 African German Young Leader 2022 by “Germany - Land of Ideas” and the German Agency of Business and Economic Development. He is also currently nominated by for the “2023 German Engagement Award”.
Swapnil Kokate, India, is from rural areas of central India. He is a co-founder of S4S Technologies-India. His father taught at a rural agriculture university, and when he was young, he lived on the agri university campus. At university, he paid close attention to farming and started to love it. Swapnil studied chemical engineering as part of his engineering degree. He then started working on making solar food processing units for farmers. He got his PhD in the same field and started S4S Technologies with some other university students. At the moment, he is in charge of the whole solar manufacturing division at S4S and a team that comes up with new solar machines for farmers in rural areas. He won the Forbes 30 under 30 award and the Leadership award from the United Nations. He has spent his whole life building sustainable technologies for people at the bottom of the pyramid and making social businesses that make money at the same time.
Venuste Kubwimana, Rwanda/USA, is a Rwandan youth activist and social entrepreneur. In 2018, he was named among Africa’s top 50 Innovators and AIDF Global innovator of the year. He has been Secretary General of the International Transformation Foundation since 2009, a youth led non-profit organization he established to provide educational and self-development programs encompassing leadership and entrepreneurship to contribute to their communities’ development. He is the 2020 Oak Human Rights Fellow at Colby College. In 2019 he was awarded World Water Challenge and NextGen Social enterprise Franchise awards. In 2018 he received the Takeda Young Entrepreneur award. In 2017, his work was recognized for “Youth 4 South” solutions organized by the UN office for South-to-South Cooperation. In 2016, he was named Global Citizen Youth Advocate and the American Express Emerging Innovator – East Africa cohort and was nominated for the Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards. Prior to that, during 2015, he was nominated for the Future Awards Africa – Enterprise Support and was a Guest Speaker at Africa Prosperity Summit in Dar es Salaam and achieved a World Merit title as an “Agent of Change.
Aditya Kulkarni, India, is an innovator and tech entrepreneur from India. He is widely recognized as The Queen's Young Leader and TEDx Speaker for his innovations in the healthcare sector. He has studied Executive Leadership at University of Cambridge UK. Presently, he is a Co-founder & CEO of CareNX Innovations Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, which is a technology startup which is developing digital health solutions to help reduce maternal and child mortality in areas with limited health resources. CareNX has developed a mobile app which enables expecting women to monitor their pregnancy, health workers to identify any potential or emerging high-risk complications and gynaecologists to schedule timely interventions or follow ups. Within the last two years, the CareNX team has worked with more than 500+ organisations from 10 different states and provided affordable care to more than 150,000 pregnant women in over 1000 villages in India. CareMother has also created more than 300 jobs for health workers and has led to significant improvements in how antenatal care is delivered at a grassroots level. For this impactful work, CareNX team has been recognized and supported by global organisations like United Nations, Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), Foundation Botnar, UNICEF, Google, Cisco, World Health Summit (WHS), Innovation Forum, USAID and DST India etc.
Yusuff Liadi, Nigeria, is a global activist, a grassroot campaigner and an advocate for social and political change. He's founder and executive director of iLEAD AFRICA a nonprofit organization harnessing the power of digital technology to empower marginalized communities and raise active citizens. Yusuff is leading a social change movement called Be The Change Initiative, a largest social innovation platform to mobilize young people across Africa to influence change in their immediate environment and to galvanize actions towards achieving sustainable development goals in Africa by 2030. Over the past five years in civic space, Yusuff has trained more than 10,000 young people, empowered over 50 remote communities and impacting in more than 250,000 lives across 15 Africa countries through his platforms. Yusuff has numerous track record in project management and implementation, policy innovations and civic engagement.
Abobakar Sediq Miakhel, Afghanistan/USA, was born in Afghanistan and is currently studying physics and mechanical engineering in the US. He is the co-founder of AILEM, a language learning and integration app tailored for refugees and asylum seekers, winner of the World Summit Awards Young Innovators Award and European Young Innovators Award in 2022. As a passionate advocate for refugees and Afghanistan, Abobakar was also one of the 20 finalists and only Afghan chosen in the “Digital Games for Peace" challenge, organized by UNESCO MGIEP. Moreover, he is a member of the King Baudouin program’s BOOST, Projects for Peace recipient and UWC Davis Scholar.
Sabina Mihailescu, Romania, is the co-founder and General Manager of IntreVecini, the first Romanian-born initiative aiming to transform urban micro-communities into sustainable hubs. Even though she is now active in the sustainability field, she started her career in education (first as co-founder of a entrepreneurship education programme for underprivileged youth - Eduprenoria, Social Impact Romania 2019 finalist - and then as a learning experience designer, consultant for the Romanian Ministry of Education and project manager for the first Romanian literacy platform). Sabina has an experience of over 10 years in the nonprofit sector, having co-founded or chaired numerous initiatives at the crossroads of education, sustainability and youth empowerment such as Trainer’s Forum and Global Shapers Bucharest Hub. To deepen her knowledge in the fields she is interested in, she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Implementation, Transformative Learning and Sustainability at Uppsala University.
Arjun Mishra, India, is the Co-Founder and Director of Nabet India - unique innovative organization which has utilized technology for training and employing people with visual impairment. His pioneering work in empowering the disabled population of India has captured the imagination of various industry leaders. Arjun has developed a sustainable business model that is scalable and has a huge social impact. He is driving a mission to bring in social change across the world wherin evey differently abled will get an opportunity to lead an economically empowered life and not need to depend on donations or charities for his survival. His effort has been lauded globally. Arjun was arwarded Queen's young leader 2017 and is associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He is also the winner of the prestigious One Young World Fellowhip in the year 2021.
Zaharah Nabirye, Uganda
Chiyanika Nakasamu, Zambia, a finance professional and entrepreneur with a degree in Banking & Finance from the Copperbelt University. He is the co-founder and managing director of Fourth Line Limited. Chiyanika has 4 years of experience in business consulting, tax management and business strategy advisory. He is passionate about financial inclusion, agriculture, climate change, ecological restoration, and digital innovation. His experience ranges from accounting to project management. Chiyanika is currently managing a beekeeping initiative that empower women and youth with income generating activities such as honey production, beehive making and conservation farming in North-western and Copperbelt provinces of Zambia.
Juliet Namujju, Uganda, is the founder and CEO of Kimuli Collections. She grew up in poverty as an orphan with a single grandmother in a remote village in Uganda due to the victimization of disability. Her Grandmother was a tailor and inspired her as a child to use cut-offs and plastic waste to produce her own dolls because she could not afford buying her toys. What others threw away; Julie started to see it as a resource. After attaining a certificate in fashion and design at the age of 20, in 2016, she joined Social Innovation Academy (SINA) which empowers marginalized youth to become social entrepreneurs, where she underwent training in leadership, social entrepreneurship and, business start-up and mentoring. With the help of this foundation, Julie founded Kimuli Collections as a sustainable fashion label transforming the waste crisis in Africa into employment opportunities for disabled tailors and to fight for the conservation of the environment. Julie has been able to present her up-cycled fashion in Germany at the at Bildkorrekturren fair fashion conference 2017, she won the Ugandan Ye-Community Award 2018, became a TEEP Fellow, being awarded by Ban-Ki-Moon as the "Global Greenpreneur award winners in Seoul Korea and Award winner “Best Young Employer of the year in Uganda.
Chinwendu Nweke, Nigeria, is Founder and CEO of Bridge Merchant Enterprises and community advocate for women in agriculture and technology in Africa. She is a 26 years old graduate of Geology with the University of Port-Harcourt and have been in agribusiness for more than 5 years now. Chinwednu is a United States Tech women alumni (2022 cohort) fate-foundation agribusiness accelerator alumni and awardee with Startup Africa and TEEF foundation. Her vision is to see world hunger and poverty eradicated using technology and people-empowered solutions.
Vandalark Patricks, Liberia, is an accomplished and award-winning Liberian Human Rights Defender and public policy strategist. He was born to parents who were plantation workers with monthly salaries of less than One United States Hundred dollars a month. Consequently, he became a domestically enslaved child due to the poor economic status of his parents. Vandalark became inspired by his poor upbringing and vicious experience of the Liberian crisis to be an activist. He has been physically tortured and imprisoned for defending the rights of marginalized and vulnerable people in society and speaking against the ills in Liberia. In 2021, Vandalark graduated from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government with a master's in Public Administration. Before Harvard, he received a Master of Public Administration in Public Sector Management from Cuttington University in Liberia. He also earned a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy when he completed a five-month intensive leadership program as a Policy Leader Fellow at the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Vandalark has volunteered for several organizations transforming lives, eradicating poverty, and Think Tank institutions. He worked for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation for two years in Washington, D.C. as a volunteer and served as a panelist on several global media platforms and policy institutions, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading Think Tank institution in the U.S. Vandalark is the Founder and Executive Director of Campaigners for Change International, a nonprofit he founded in Liberia in 2004 as a first-year college student. Campaigners for Change International supports at-risk youths involved in drugs, organized crimes, and extortion to recover and become productive citizens. It also provides them with economic support through micro-financing to do business. It has helped to narrow the iniquity gaps caused by corruption, which is heavily practiced by public officials expected to take their citizens out of poverty.
Ester Rodrigues Pinheiro, Brazil, is a Latina journalist and content producer with an MA in Gender Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid. She is the founder of Feminismos del Sur podcast, which deepens and echoes decolonial voices in the global south. Ester speaks four languages, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese and has worked for the UN and NGOs as a communications officer. She also has worked as an independent journalist covering gender, climate change, social justice, and migration for national and international media outlets. She has been acknowledged for her work such as by the Gender Equality grant with Pulitzer Center, Young Peacebuilders Programme from Latin America (UNAOC), Creadoras Camp, Global Youth Mobilization, Climate Tracker in COP Escazu coverage, The Global Feminist Pitch with Heinrich Boll Stiftung and Google News Initiative.
María Alejandra Rodríguez, Colombia, is the mobilization manager at El Avispero, from where she seeks citizen advocacy on various issues, including environment, youth, gender, peace and reconciliation. She is a political scientist with a minor in journalism and a specialization in care policy analysis. With the help of technology and building a network with grassroots movements, she aims for political advocacy on various issues that respond to the challenges that the country faces. In this path, she promotes pedagogy around causes with the help of experts. After traveling part of the Colombian territory, she is convinced that the future of the world lies in the local communities and activists, but this will not be possible without the collective work to achieve long-term changes.
Tara Roos, South Africa, a youth policymaker. She is a part of the We Are Tomorrow Global Youth Partnership, an international nonprofit based in Amsterdam focused on youth-led climate change initiatives. Tara is also a member of the Youth Policy Committee for Global Change at the South African Institute of International Affairs. Her role as a youth policymaker has led her to work on the development of documents such as the South African Youth Climate Plan and the Global Youth Climate Agenda. She has a deep passion for climate justice and gender equality, and this is shown throughout her work. Tara was a finalist in the South African Young Leaders Research Symposium for my research paper on how consumer behavior can combat the climate crisis. As a government youth delegate, she has had the opportunity to represent South Africa on a national and international stage. Tara's goal is to help develop and influence policy globally in order to help create a better world.
Freshta Sadat, Afghanistan/USA, is the Founder of Afghan online school (Afghan Maktab). She has over 5 years of industry experience including data analysis/data engineering/management, systems integration management, database admin/management, software development/testing, program and project management. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Kabul University, Freshta started her professional career as an application developer with a private company in Kabul, Afghanistan, then took a job with an international organization and used to work for USAID funded projects in Afghanistan for over 5 years. She is passionate about technology, peace, human rights, developing and empowering young girls to pursue careers in ICT. Currently Freshta is working as quality improvement and data manager for one of the non-profit organizations in the United States.
Maickson Serrão, Brazil, is indigenous, a river dweller, and comes from a community in the Amazon 10 hours by boat from the city of Santarem, PA. He currently lives in Manaus-AM where he is a teacher, journalist and podcaster. Maickson is vice-curator of Global Shapers Manaus, a volunteer community linked to the World Economic Forum. He was a winner of Spotify's Sound Up Brasil Program for black and indigenous content creators in 2021. Maickson is the creator, researcher, and host of the Pavulagem Podcast that talks about the enchanted beings of the Amazon. Pavulagem was among the top ten new podcasts in Brazil in 2022. In 2023, Maickson is an ambassador for the Brazil Conference and participated as a speaker at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He does activism in defense of the Amazon with a special look at the nearly 30 million people who live there. Maickson has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a Master's degree in Human Sciences.
Binamrata Sharma, Nepal, is the co-founder of Khetipati Organics, an agro-processing facility that works directly with smallholder farmers in Nepal and adds value to rural agricultural produce. She graduated with honors in Mathematics & Computer Science and initially began her career as a software engineer in New York. However, her deep-rooted desire to make a visible impact on communities and her passion for entrepreneurship led her to return to Nepal. Here, she co-founded Khetipati Organics, a social enterprise that aims at providing financial stability to smallholder farmers by minimizing their post-harvest losses and creating a stable market for their produce. In addition to the commitment to sustainable agriculture practices, she is also creating Nepal's first expedition and trekking meals with her team that provides expedition climbers and mountaineering Sherpas on the Himalayas with nutrition that is sourced locally from the smallholder farmers of Nepal.
Ahmed Shayan, Pakistan, brings 10+ years of global experience in design and implementation of sustainability programs and communication strategy for corporations and nonprofits. Currently, he is leading nationwide sustainability initiatives at the Engro Foundation in carbon offsets, circular economy of plastics, and biodiversity conservation. These initiatives comprise: The Engro Forest Restoration and Carbon Offset Program which aims to plant and protect 50,000 acres of forests across Pakistan; The Engro Circular Plastic Program which has established Pakistan’s first data-driven research institute on plastic waste, partnered with NGOs to set up waste management pilots, and deployed impact investments for plastic recycling social enterprises; The Indus River Dolphin Conservation Program, which is striving to protect the endangered river dolphin endemic to Pakistan, by adopting cutting-edge technology, creating awareness about sustainable fishing practices, raising profile of the species at global platforms, and lobbying the Government of Pakistan for better conservation policies. He is currently enrolled in the SDG Ambition Accelerator conducted by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) for sustainability leaders. The Accelerator provides a toolkit and framework for participants to incorporate relevant SDGs in core business operations. Ahmed has previously organized the PeaceTech Summit 2018 at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in the U.S., assisted with field research on illegal jade trade at the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) in Myanmar, and led communications for the Muslim Jewish Conference (MJC) in Austria and Germany. Ahmed is a Fulbright Scholar with a master’s degree from The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.
Sanju Soman, India, is a dynamic and passionate environmentalist dedicated to addressing India's climate urgency. He is the co-founder and CEO of SUSTERA Foundation, an organization that drives collective action through capacity-building training, campaigns, and policy dialogues to equip communities to adapt better to climate change and build resilience. His expertise extends to climate communication, governance, social entrepreneurship, wetland conservation, and campaigns. As a United Nations India Youth Climate Leader, Sanju has trained over 600 educators in schools on sustainable development and wetland conservation. He has also led a successful startup that upcycled pre-owned sarees into cloth bags, reducing cloth waste and providing an additional income source for women from fishing communities in Alappuzha. In 2018, Sanju and his team at ATREE envisioned and led the project to develop the first model wetland village in Muhamma, Kerala. He has also been recognized as a changemaker by the University of Monterrey as part of MECATE and also served as a Global School Ambassador for the UNSDSN. Sanju's primary goal is to create a large cohort of young climate experts by identifying potential youth and providing them with the training and network they need to build climate resilience in their communities. He firmly believes that with the proper exposure, training, and network, each one of us has the potential to become a changemaker and drive positive change in the face of the urgent climate crisis. He is committed to harnessing his expertise and experience to empower others to become agents of transformation and help build a more resilient, sustainable future for all communities.
Eden Tadesse, Ethiopia, is a 26-year-old award-winning entrepreneur, digital innovator, journalist and global citizen. She draws on more than 10 years of experience in the nonprofit and private sector across three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe). She is the Founder of Invicta, an award-winning career development platform that connects refugees and internally displaced people with remote work, online courses, mental health support and business development. Invicta currently supports 31,000+ refugees from 87 countries. Eden is passionate about leveraging innovation, sustainability and diversity to create bold and resilient solutions. In her spare time, she enjoys debating politics, learning German, travelling extensively and interviewing guests for her climate podcast. Her professional experience spans across policy, gender equality, social innovation, education, economic development, human rights and program management. She is a recipient of the prestigious Diana Award, a Young Champion for UNHCR, and an African Union Youth Innovator. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology (Cybersecurity) from India.
Purvi Tanwani, India, is the co-founder and Director of Anahat For Change (www.anahatngo.org)- A non-profit hybrid model working to create an enabling environment for young people, women & girls in India. Her organization provides livelihood options to women associated with a homegrown brand Anahat Unnat (www.anahatunnati.com). This innovative brand employs women from the most marginalized backgrounds to make sustainable menstrual & baby care products in India. Purvi is passionate about creating rights realization among young people, girls and women belonging to the grassroots of India so that they are able to make informed choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health rights. Through her organization, she runs several social impact projects directed towards gender justice and adolescent health rights promotion in India. Purvi has been a part of several global fellowship programs. She is an alumnus of The Swedish Institute and holds a dual diploma in gender 2020 & advocacy 2022. She has also been awarded as a Young Social Entrepreneur by The Singapore International Foundation in 2022 and received a winning grant for digital media promotion of her brand.
Alexander von Janowski, Germany, is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Responsible Technology Hub – the first technology Hub empowering young voices to shape a responsible technological future. Previously, he worked for the German Development Corporation, the GIZ, in Eschborn, Tunisia and Bonn on the topic of digital society and Public Sector Innovation. He also worked at the Volkswagen Machine Learning Research Lab where he researched and developed methods for ethical and trustworthy AI. He holds a Master of Science degree in Politics & Technology from the Technical University of Munich and a BA in Political Science and Economics from the Goethe University of Frankfurt.
Thary Vorn, Cambodia, graduated master's degree in Agro-Industry and Environment at Institute of Technology of Cambodia and master's exchange program in Environmental Engineering of faculty Civil Engineering and Geoscience Department Sanitary Engineering at TU Delft, the Netherlands in 2018. Within 4 years of progressive professional experiences, she assisted, supported, and led many projects. Having proved herself as an efficient specialist, she got the opportunities to work as a researcher, sustainability manager, and national project coordinator in a few working places which are international and local organizations. Since she graduated and worked experiences, she constantly thinking about the technologies and resources we expend on wastewater treatment. She is passionate about social innovation and using it to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. That is why she started her woman's entrepreneurial journey called SUDrain with the goal of recycling coconut waste to treat wastewater. It began from her research findings and has joined numerous pitch businesses since the prototyping stage until recently got Khmer Enterprise Start up award 2022 and Top3 of Impact Challenge At SEA in Cambodia. Recently Project, SUDrain is providing Wastewater treatment system for floating communities which have over 200 HHs. That amazing project allow her to put dream into the test and help communities through social enterprise. Those knowledge and experiences have allowed her to become a woman Entrepreneur and some people called her “A Queens of wastewater” As she always has mentioned that “To mitigate water crisis, we need to stop looking wastewater as a waste anymore, as it is a resource recovery”.
Ally Zlatar, United Kingdom, Zlatar is an artist and activist. She is the founder of The Starving Artist; an artist initiative that utilizes creative voices as a way to create advocacy and systemic reform. She also founded The Starving Artist Scholarship Fund which helps people access inpatient treatment for eating disorders. Her "This Body of Mine" campaign explores migrant experiences through creative voices and has helped support individuals and artists from refugee-seeking backgrounds globally. Ally Zlatar has received the highest accolade a young person can achieve for their humanitarian work; winner of The Princess Diana Legacy Award 2021, King Hamad Award for Youth Empowerment 2022, Y20 Award Finalist for Diversity and Inclusion (Youth 20 by G20 Summit) and also special recognition from The British Citizen Award 2022.