Young Climate Prize: Celebrating the Next Generation of Change

By Nicole Loher
Apr 11, 2023 2:15 PM ET

As the two generations that will be most impacted by the effects of climate change, Gen Z and Generation Alpha are bringing fresh passion and creativity to the climate fight.

To support and empower these emerging voices, The World Around, a nonprofit architecture forum, has created the Young Climate Prize, sponsored by Meta Open Arts. For its inaugural program, a cohort of 25 finalists, ages 13 to 25, were chosen to be paired with a The World Around’s Design Champion for one-on-one mentorship to help further their projects.

From this group, three winners (and one honorable mention) will be feted at The World Around Earth Day Summit 2023, to be held on Earth Day (April 22) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The winners are:

Young Climate Voice

Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores, Mexico

Young Climate Designer

David Foday Kamara, Sierra Leone

Young Climate Visionary

Namra Khalid, Pakistan

Honorable Mention

Aziba Ekio, Nigeria

Participant projects were chosen to represent today’s climate landscape across five broad themes:

  • Words Matter: Projects amplifying the voices of those whose stories are key to the climate conversation, yet are often ignored.
  • Creating Connections: Young people seeing into the future of community building.
  • Innovators & Investors: Engineers, architects, designers exploring new ways to approach the changing landscape.
  • All About Waste: Researchers and innovators sharing their solutions to help solve one of the growing climate challenges of today.
  • Radical Reuse: Projects examining how the management of materials from the beginning of their lifespan to their eventual decay are vital to combat climate change.

“Meta Open Arts is pleased to partner with The World Around on the inaugural Young Climate Prize. This program celebrates the power of community-building through creativity and brings critical attention to emerging climate voices of today and their visions for the future.”


Meet The Finalists

Words Matter

  • Alfonse Chiu, 24, Singapore 
    Researcher examining neocolonial flows of tropical fruits
  • Aziba Ekio, 24, Nigeria 
    Poet working on a collection of writings called “The Color Green”
  • Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores, 24, Mexico 
    Photographer and writer creating an ongoing lexicon about climate change
  • Mangaliso Ngcobo and Sam Harding, 22, South Africa 
    Writers and editors from South Africa who founded their own magazine
  • Nastia Volynova, 24, Russia 
    Researcher examining changes in forms of labor due to climate change
  • Aida Namukose, 23, Uganda 
    Photographer documenting women in the food industry affected by climate change

Creating Connections

  • Marilita Quintana Molina, 24, Chilé 
    Artist and climate advocate collecting plastic waste in her region and seeking to use it to improve her community
  • Shariffa Amolo Anguria, 25, Kenya 
    Activist and community leader educating on the negative impacts of traditional gold mining
  • Raihan Rabbannee Hendrawan, 17, Indonesia 
    Facilitator committed to engaging young people in the fight against climate change
  • Sophia Tabibian and Lulu Goulet-Hofsass, 14, USA 
    Community leaders who founded an online climate hub for global activists
  • Sahithi Radha, 15, India 
    Student and activist pioneering an e-waste collection and recycling initiative
  • Hannah Segerkranz, 25, Estonia 
    Product designer championing the use of hemp as an eco-friendly building material through an open source design

Innovators & Inventions 

  • Jin Gao, 25, China 
    Researcher and maker focusing on the survival of bees in volatile climate conditions
  • David Andrés Vega Monsalve, 23, Colombia 
    Digital artist using VR to raise awareness about the effects of recent flooding in Pakistán.
  • Ichor Joshua Keghnen, 22, Nigeria 
    Mechanical engineer who created a device to monitor pollution in boreholes and water wells.
  • Chris Vrettos, 26, Greece 
    Clean energy advocate championing the nation’s first all-solar community.
  • Esther Olalude, 20, Nigeria 
    An inventor creating affordable sanitary towels from recycled waste.

All About Water

  • Namra Khalid, 25, Pakistan 
    Researcher producing the region´s first socio-climatic map to facilitate addressing floods in Karachi.
  • Anushuka Shahdadpuri, 26, India 
    A designer working on a network of ways to accelerate clean water.
  • Joseph Nguthiru, 24, Kenya 
    A chemist who invented a biodegradable plastic made from water hyacinth.

Radical Reuse

  • Gabriela Angelina Bernal Ibáñez, 19, Mexico 
    An architect and engineer whose research into recycled panels is on trial in Mexico
  • Foday David Kamara, 23, Rwanda 
    An entrepreneur whose Ecovironment project is recycling post-consumer plastic waste into everyday construction materials like eco-bricks and paving tiles
  • Moemen Sobh, 22, Egypt 
    An architect pioneering new materials, including Visenleer, a fish-skin leather that makes use of bi-product and allows fishermen to make more money per fish sold
  • Mohammed Dimma Mawejje, 22, Uganda 
    A social entrepreneur using textile waste like fabric offcuts and second-hand clothes to create bags, earrings, dresses, and other fashion merchandise
  • Stanley Anigbogu, 23, Nigeria 
    A designer providing access to clean light and energy alternatives for students and refugees in his region

“The World Around is committed to focusing on what is happening now and how it can change the future. This group of inspiring young activists, inventors, entrepreneurs, writers and poets have shown us where the world’s attention should focus. Their generation has a vested interest in finding solutions to our biggest challenges.” — Beatrice Galilee, director, The World Around

To learn more about The World Around, follow them on Instagram. Follow Meta Open Arts at and @MetaOpenArts on Instagram.