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The Young Climate Prize is a biannual hybrid award and mentorship program for under-25s founded and organized by The World Around. The prize aims to amplify and accelerate the impact of global climate-change focused projects by pairing 25 young climate leaders under 25 years old with their own mentor from the global design and architecture community. Three winners are flown to New York City to share their work and ideas at the Guggenheim Museum in New York at The World Around’s annual Summit. Nominations and applications for the 2025 cycle will begin on Earth Day 2024. For inquiries related to opportunities for mentoring or sponsoring Young Climate Prize please contact us: 

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The inaugural edition of the Young Climate Prize took place in 2023! Between January and March 2023 an extraordinary talented cohort of young climate designers, thinkers, makers, builders and creators were paired with their own mentor, and attended a bespoke Design Academy program of talks and skills workshops. The talented young people then re-submitted their projects to an independent international and world reknown jury. Three winners were selected who were flown to the Guggenheim Museum in New York to receive their awards, and present their work and ideas at The World Around’s annual Summit. Learn more about our inaugural winners and the work of the entire cohort by watching the two-minute videos they each created about their work below.



Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores

Our Young Climate Voice is Pamela Elizarrarás Acitorés, 24, from Mexico (@pamela__EA). Under the mentorship of Mariana Pestana, a Portuguese architect and independent curator, Acitores developed her project Climate Words. a growing online database that promotes climate literacy by curating an extensive lexicon of keywords submitted by experts climate activists. Through Climate Words, Acitores focuses on bridging the gap in climate knowledge as well as improving global education. The Young Climate Prize jury described the project as: “Super compelling, interesting, dynamic, and powerful. Finding the right words and common definitions for talking about climate change, and, importantly, educating around these terms, is an invaluable tool, since creating accessible language can and will lead to definitive action. Pamela’s project has the potential to achieve great things beyond the world of art, and to become highly impactful in reality.”

Pamela said about her experience "The World Around mentorship has been an exciting experience for improving our project and I am grateful for the insightful guidance and feedback I received during these three months. I am excited to present my work alongside the talented young environmentalists in the cohort and honored for Climate Words to have been awarded the Young Climate Voice Award. We are ready to further expand the project with Earth Day as healthy and motivating momentum."  


Foday David Kamara

Our Young Climate Designer is Foday David Kamara, 22, from Sierra Leone. Kamara is a sustainability advocate who uses plastic extrusion technology to transform waste into bricks and paving tiles – reducing the reliance on imported cement bricks. Working with his mentor, architect Dominic Leong, on the project titled Ecovironment, Kamara has addressed the need for sustainability within communities, and the environmental issues caused by post-consumer plastic waste and unsustainable building materials. Kamara’s project stands out for the manner in which he is bringing this training into local communities. Ecovironment is also highly scalable, having so far created 60 jobs, recycled 460 tonnes of plastics, and used its profits to feed 1,500 schools. 
The Young Climate Prize jury said: “This project stands out not only for the idea of recycling plastic waste in a realistic and scalable way, but also for the emphasis on systems, training, and education, and the plan to embed these broader ideas into local communities. The project can also be applied to other countries and has the potential for truly global impact.”

Kamara said: "I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to connect with 24 other climate champions. Seeing so many people are so young, motivated, and accomplished is remarkable!  Every single project has inspired me to improve my work. It's indeed unique. The best part is that everyone is so abject and is always teaching, learning from, and supporting one another to thrive.
I look forward to working together as a team and mitigating the climate crises over the years!"


Namra Khalid

The architectural designer turned urban research worked with Henk Ovink, Dutch Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, to scale her project Karachi Cartography that addresses a continuous cycle of record-breaking rains, urban flooding, and drought that Pakistan has faced. The jury explain their decision: “Mapping and cartography are extremely necessary and essential in solving climate issues, particularly in Pakistan, where catastrophic flooding occurred just months ago. The immediacy of this issue is ever-prevalent, and makes Namra’s work all the more urgent. Her project is clear in its intentions and is very promising on all levels.”

Khalid commented on the experience: "Beatrice, Ana, the World Around team and the 25 under 25 cohort has been the most humbling support system that one could ever ask for; seeing such brilliant people believe in Karachi Cartography's work has given our team the strength and encouragement to persevere through the many obstacles we face. The task we have undertaken is overwhelming - to reduce vulnerabilities for a population of over 30 million in a city projected to be underwater in just 37 years. Thanks to my mentor, Henk, we now have direction, a network, and a lot of inspiration to continue to push forward!" 


Aziba Ekio

Our Special Jury Prize recipient is Aziba Ekio, 24, from Nigeria. The poet was awarded a special prize for her work bringing light to the climate crisis through writing and spoken word. Working with Sumayya Vally, founder and director of Counterspace, Ekio archives this notion through her poetry. Her first anthology, entitled The Color, Green is her contribution to the fight for climate action. The Young Climate Prize jury said: “As one of the oldest tools of communication, poetry still manages to remain so powerful today, and helps to grow a collective weight around  issues. Aziba’s poetry is extremely stirring, uplifting, passionate, and moving, and her strong voice in the fight to tackle the climate crisis will undoubtedly be heard.”

Ekio wrote: "The Color, Green is a heavily personal project - after a major flooding in Ogbia, my home town, I began writing more poems that would later become part of the collection. This project is a platform to channel pain into passion, passion into action; and inspire others to do the same.  I’ve learned so much from TWA, my fellow impressive YCP cohort and my lovely mentor, Sumayya Vally; being around like-minded individuals with the same vision has been liberating." 

2023 JURY

adrián villar rojas

Born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1980, artist Adrián Villar Rojas lives and works nomadically.. Evolving over years towards the design of topography-based, mutant, organic-inorganic systems, Villar Rojas invites viewers to become explorers of an unpredictable microcosmos of his design, where the future, the past, and alternate versions of our own present interact as a constantly changing totality. Leaving scarce traces of its passage through the world due to its perishing materiality and parasitical integration with its context of intervention, Villar Rojas’ project seems to operate against the notion of commodity, undermining the tacit rules which ensure an effective circulation in the art field: endurance, reproduction, trading, and transport. His work demonstrates its own temporality, offering—at the risk of its own oblivion—what is doomed to disappearance, what cannot—and perhaps should not—be preserved.

asad syrkett

Before joining Elle Decor as Editor in chief, Asad Syrkett ran business operations in New York for Hem, an independent Swedish furniture brand and design studio. Previously, he was deputy editor at Curbed, where he oversaw the senior staff and all special projects. A former editor at Architectural Digest and Architectural Record magazines, Syrkett has also guest-lectured at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and appeared on panels for Design Miami and South by Southwest, among others

hans ulrich obrist

Vsionary curator, and artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries, Hans Ulrich Obrist is also Senior Advisor at LUMA Arles alongside his role at London’s Serpentine. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show World Soup (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 350 shows. In 2022, Obrist launched the Serpentine’s Back to Earth program addressing the ongoing climate emergency. The multi-year project invites leading artists, architects, poets, filmmakers, scientists, thinkers, and designers to respond to the environmental crisis, and devise artistic campaigns, protocols and initiatives that act as catalysts for change.

kunle adeyemi

Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, professor and development strategist whose works are internationally recognised for originality and innovation. He is the founder and principal of NLÉ—an architecture, design and urbanism practice founded in 2010, for innovating cities and communities. Adeyemi’s notable works include ‘Makoko Floating System (MFSTM)’: a groundbreaking, prefabricated, building solution for developments on water—deployed in five countries across three continents, with the latest iteration Mansa Floating Hub in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde. This acclaimed project is part of NLÉ’s extensive body of work and new venture, Water Cities Group and the African Water Cities Centre—focused on the intersections of rapid urbanisation and climate change.

priya khanchandani

Priya Khanchandani began her career as a lawyer at magic circle law firm Clifford Chance. Her interests then led her to undertake a two-year MA in the History of Design at the Royal College of Art, in which she gained a Distinction and the Dissertation Prize. She began her arts career at the Victoria and Albert Museum and then at the British Council, then became the first female editor of design and architecture magazine Icon. She has since curated at international forums and published widely on design for numerous books and publications such as The Guardian, Wallpaper*, the Sunday Times, the Evening Standard, Frieze and the White Review, as well as appearing as a commentator on BBC Newsnight, BBC Woman's Hour and in the national press. An advocate for diversity in the arts, she is a co-founder of the collective Museum Detox.

marlo tablante

Tablante joined the Sustainability Team at Meta in November of 2020 to lead positioning and transparency. In this role, she focuses on strengthening Meta’s sustainability reporting, narrative and external engagement. Prior to joining Meta, Tablante was Global Head of Sustainability at Ascena Retail Group and led sustainability strategy and communications at H&M in the US. She also spent time as Vice President of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs, focusing on community grantmaking and employee engagement.

holly jean buck

Holly Jean Buck is a geographer and environmental scientist at the forefront of climate futures research. Buck studies rural futures, the politics of platforms, and how emerging technologies can address environmental challenges. She works as an Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, and has a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University. She is the author of After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration and Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero Is Not Enough.



Mentored by Isabelle Quevilly

Tackling issues of fast fashion, sustainable consumption, and empowering young people, Muhammed Dimma Mawejje’s project combines banana fibers and organic cotton with textile waste like fabric offcuts and second-hand clothes to create bags, earrings, dresses, and other fashion merchandise. The company, Mawejje Creations is based in Uganda and its profits are then used to promote his company’s social enterprises, which include teaching vulnerable young people the “hands-on skills” required for garment production.

By buying the banana-plant fibers, farmers receive extra income from what would otherwise be a waste product, and since they are processed using locally designed machines into an entirely biodegradable material, the project benefits both the community and the environment.


Mentored by Henk Ovink

The city of Karachi, Pakistan is forecast to be entirely underwater in just 37 years. Namra Khalid understands that redesigning the city without fully understanding its current state and potential precarity “will only exacerbate dysfunctionality,” so she is producing the first socio-climatic map of the urban area in its entirety. This monumental task will uncover the evolution of the city through maps, and facilitate the creation of projections for its future.

Khalid's mentor is Henk Ovink is Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Netherlands and Sherpa for the UN 2023 Water Conference. As former advisor for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Ovink is much familiar with the impacts of extreme weather that Khalid hopes to plan for.


Mentored by Susan Sellers

Mangaliso Ngcobo is an architecture student whose “eye and pen have largely been informed by Johannesburg” where he grew up. He shares a passion for art and writing with his friend and fellow student Sam Harding. Together they founded TWI ST Magazine, a biannual publication that focuses on the environment and uses art “as an operating system for engaging with a world in crisis” through articles, photo essays and more.

Anushka Shahdadpuri

Mentored by Noura Al Sayeh

Anushka Shahdadpuri grew up in a refugee colony in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, where the government failed to provide basic infrastructure, and developed ambitions to help others in similar situations access WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) services. Her project, Tanki, is a novel water distribution system, harnessing rainwater to bring one million liters of water a year to public toilets in the city, which has the potential to scale and provide access to clean running water for millions of people.

This is particularly important for girls and women in India. Decentralizing the water system could also prevent residents being unjustly charged to use services that are not properly maintained.

Alfonse Chiu

Mentored by Paola Antonelli

Drawing parallels between hot money and financial liquidity, and the warm, wet climate of the tropics, Alfonse Chiu’s Thermotropicana is a long-term art and research project that plots the pathways of capital in and out of the tropical regions. The writer, artist, and curator – who is also the founder of the Centre for Urban Mythologies – has so far produced several “chapters” of their project, including Glossaries for Unwritten Knowledges, an exhibition exploring the survival of indigenous culture in Malaysia, in collaboration with local non-profit GERMIS and indigenous practitioners.

Another chapter, Fruit Atlas, is a knowledge-sharing and production platform that imagines and tests how alliances within the tropics could occur, taking inspiration from the circulation of tropical fruits. As part of the Young Climate Prize, Alfonse is being mentored by MoMA’s senior curator Paola Antonelli.

Hannah Segerkrantz

Mentored by Wael Al Awar

Hannah Segerkrantz, a product designer from Estonia, is exploring how to use the CO2-absorbing material hempcrete as a design tool.

Segerkrantz has so far been examining the unique properties of hempcrete at furniture scale, using fabric to create formwork for pouring and setting the hempcrete, and combining volumes into a variety of different forms. She then shares her own instruction manual “Hemp-it-Yourself”, so that others can create her designs, creating an open-source library accessible to anyone that empowers a network of global makers.

As part of the Young Climate Prize, Hannah is receiving mentorship from Wael Al Awar. Wael is a co-founder and principal architect at waiwai. Waiwai presented their innovative material research project WETLAND that shows radical alternatives to concrete at The World Around Summit 2021.

Joseph Nguthiru

Mentored by Jan Boelen

After 24-year-old Joseph Nguthiru’s boat became caught in water hyacinths in the middle of Lake Naivasha, Kenya, he began to devise and experiment with solutions to combat the wider issues caused by this aquatic plant – which blocks waterways used for trade and transport, and damages ecosystems.

Through his project HyaPak, Joseph decided to tackle two pressing issues at the same time by creating a biodegradable alternative to plastic using hyacinths. Joseph is being mentored by Jan Boelen, a curator of design, architecture, and contemporary art, and artistic director of Atelier LUMA.

Pamela Elizarraras Acitores

Mentored by Mariana Pestana

Pamela EA is a documentary photographer and explorer from México who focuses on gender equality and climate justice, and aims to increase accessibility to literacy in the evolving field of climate education through her work. She is a co-founder of Climate Words, a growing database of climate lexicon and images, which was created to demystify the conversation around climate justice. With a focus on design and storytelling, the project bridges the gap in climate knowledge, facilitating learning and inspiring new climate advocates to take action.

David Andrés Vega Monsalve

Mentored by Camila Marambio

David Andrés Vega Monsalve, from Bogotá, Colombia, has created an immersive digital environment in which a user can experience first-hand the potential devastation caused by extreme weather. Wearing a headset, they are placed in areas of Pakistan shown as they exist today; then shown imagery that depicts how these same locations might look in the future after being ravaged by catastrophic climate events.

As one of our 25 under 25s, David is being mentored by Camila Marambio, a self described “curator, private investigator, permaculture enthusiast, amateur dancer, and collaborative writer”. In 2010, she founded the research programme, Ensayos, based on the archipelago of Karokynka/ Tierra del Fuego

Moemen Sobh

Mentored by Nelly Ben Hayoun

The acidification of the Mediterranean Sea has led to a decrease of fish in the area. For cities like Port Said in Egypt, that depends on the fishing industry, this is not only a climatic disaster but also an economic one.

When architecture student Moemen Sobh, whose family have been fishing in Port Said for generations, discovered that tonnes of fish “waste” was thrown to the Mediterranean Sea every year, he considered turning the unwanted fish skins into something useful. This led to the creation of “Visenleer”, a fish-skin leather that makes use of this byproduct and allows fishermen to make more money per fish sold. Sobh’s vision for this biomaterial ranges from producing clothing items to tents. He also uses the project to teach school and university students about sustainability goals and best practices. Nelly Ben Hayoun is Sobh’s mentor, an artist and experience designer based in London. Among her diverse achievements are the foundation of NASA’s International Space Orchestra, and collaborations with the likes of Noam Chomsky and Kid Cudi. In 2022, Nelly launched the Tour De Moon – a lunar-inspired programme of live events and immersive experiences all across the UK.

Stanley Anigbogu

Mentored by Harry Pearce

oung Climate Prize finalist from Nigeria, Stanley Anigbogu, created a system that recycles e-waste into solar-powered lighting solutions when combined with locally sourced materials and called it LightEd. LightEd’s program “The Light for Peace” has already provided over 22,000 internally displaced refugees and 500 students with clean energy sources to replace kerosene lamps and candles.

This access to consistent light has huge social and economic benefits: enabling students to extend their working hours, small business owners to lengthen their trading hours, and making rural areas more safe and accessible.

Supporting Anigbogu as a mentor is Harry Pearce. Pearce is a graphic designer, artist, and Pentagram partner. Pentagram is an independently owned design studio, where the 22 partners are the owners and the creators of the work. Pearce has worked on design identities for clients as diverse as Liberty, Thames & Hudson, Abu Dhabi cultural quarter, and Pink Floyd.

Nastia Volynova

Mentored by Carson Chan

Nastia Volynova interrogates the modes through which work can be made more equitable beyond nation-state systems through her Terra-Collar Work project, which spans the fields of economics, design, environmentalism, and infrastructure. The project has grown to acknowledge all of the different actors that contribute to the maintenance of current systems of work, and has come to a necessary intersection with the climate emergency.

Based in Russia, Volynova’s work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Cambridge, Glasgow, Lisbon, London, and Venice among others. Her project manifests itself as workshops, lectures, seminars, and other collaborative modes of sharing knowledge.

As part of the Young Climate Prize, Nastia will receive mentorship from Carson Chan, the inaugural director of MoMA’s Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment.

Jin Gao

Mentored by Alder Keleman Saxena

in Gao, originally from China, gathered research on bees in high-altitude Bogotá, and used his findings to design a low-cost monitor that can be installed into a standard beehive. This allows beekeepers to perform remote inspections, rather than causing disruption to the hives prematurely, and maintain the health of the species. Alongside the monitoring system, Gao suggests environmental improvements to the hives, including how some can be insulated to help raise survival rates of their inhabitants in a changing ecosystem.

Alder Keleman Saxena is Gao’s mentor during the three month period of the Young Climate Prize. Alder is an environmental anthropologist who carries out similar work that Gao has spearheaded with SmartHive, drawing connections between locally specific ethnobotanical and biocultural practices and larger political-economic contexts. Alder is a co- editor of Feral Atlas: the More-Than-Human Anthropocene @feralatlas who participated in The World Around Summit 2021.

Sahithi Radha

Mentored by Cyra Levenson

Originally in local schools and campuses around India, Sahithi Radha and her team hold “awareness sessions” to educate students about the dangers of electronic waste. In collaboration with recycling partners, they also safely recycle and refurbish items collected from these sessions, as part of her project E-Cycl.

Sahithi is being mentored by Cyra Levenson, the Guggenheim’s deputy director and head of Education and Public Engagement Department. Through this role, Cyra aims to reach out to a broad audience through programming, content development, academic partnerships and community.

Joshua Keghnen Ichor

Mentored by Max Fraser

At age 12, Joshua Keghnen Ichor, now an innovator and Geoscientist, became seriously ill with Typhoid Fever, a disease caused by water scarcity and pollution that almost took his life. He now dedicates his practice in Nigeria to developing technologies that could help prevent these issues, which are ever-more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa’s rural communities as a result of climate change.

Ichor will receive mentorship from Max Fraser, an independent design commentator who works across books, magazines, exhibitions, video, and events to broaden the conversation around contemporary design. Fraser is the author of multiple design books and contributes articles to a wide variety of publications around the world.

Esther Olalude

Mentored by Etta Madete

Esther Oluwabunmi Olalude is the CEO of Venille @venille_ ,a company that is tackling both period poverty and sustainable product development in Nigeria. She has created an affordable and biodegradable alternative to traditional sanitary pads which feature an absorbent core derived from a wool-like material made from broken-down banana stems.

As part of the Young Climate Prize, Esther is receiving mentorship from Etta Madete. Etta is a Nigerian architect and the founder of BuildX Studio and BuildHer Collective; through them Madete advocates for the sustainable use of cross-laminated timber and encourages women into the world of construction, design and questions of land ownership.

Raihan Rabbannee Hendrawan

Mentored by Emma Osore

In Indonesia, where the government is failing to seriously discuss plans for a future in danger of disappearing because of climate change, Raihan Rabbannee Hendrawan is utilizing creative storytelling and a passion for climate justice to educate his peers through his project Ketika Kita Muda (When We Were Young).

Raihan is mentored by Emma Osore, founding member of BlackSpace, an urbanist collective formed of Black planners, architects, artists and designers. Raihan is also participating in The World Around´s Design Academy, an ongoing series of exclusive workshops for our Young Climate Prize finalists.

Aida Namukose

Mentored by José Esparza

Aida Namukose “fell into climate storytelling by mistake,” yet beautifully documents the lives of women in Uganda most affected by the impacts of climate change through photography. Pairing words and imagery, she illustrates the stories of women in the food industry, aiming to combat the “lack of empowerment” among these communities of women by sharing their experiences through her art. This photo-journalistic approach uncovered stories of community resilience that would otherwise go untold.

As part of the Young Climate Prize program, Aida is mentored by José Esparza Chong Cuy, a curator, writer, and architect from Mexico, currently serving as the Executive Director and Chief Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Gabriela Angelina Bernal Ibáñez

Mentored by Ensamble

Gabriela Angelina Bernal Ibáñez has an innate passion for change within the building industry, and full confidence that her self-started project, Gama has the potential to revolutionize the way we build and develop. Through one-on-one mentorship sessions Gabriela is receiving guidance from architects Antón Garcia Abril and Débora Mesa, founders of Ensamble, who participated in The World Around’s 2021 summit. Their work innovates typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house; this innovative spirit is shared with their mentee. We are proud to connect Gabriela and Ensamble for the Young Climate Prize.

Aziba Ekio

Mentored by Sumayya Vally

Countering the statistical numbness of conversations surrounding the climate crisis, Aziba Ekio provides a vivid portrait of the “subtle, emotional, and social effects” of climate change on the Nigerian population through her writing. Her locality, Abuja, is already facing the effects of global warming that the majority of the global North is yet to see, and her poem anthology, the color, Green, is her “contribution to the fight for climate action.” As part of the 25 under 25, Aziba is receiving mentorship from architect Sumayya Vally, founder and director of Counterspace.

Sophia Tabibian and Lulu Goulet-Hofsass

Mentored by Bruce Mau

Covalence (now Covalence Global @covalenceglobal ), is the brainchild of Sophia Tabibian and Lulu Goulet-Hofsass, who began with a group of 10 picking up 500 pounds of trash. Learning more about the scale of the climate crisis, Tabibian then considered how to connect those leading important work in their local areas to foster a global community. Covalence Global has since built “covalent bonds” with youth leaders on five continents.

The group recently held a three-day virtual conference, where 10 youth speakers and three climate-focused organizations discussed myriad climate-related issues. Next, the network is developing a Young Climate Change Curriculum, with the view to increase climate literacy around the globe. A chapter program also honors the work of Covalence San Francisco, and allows local youths to continue organizing events.

Sophia and Lulu are being mentored by the iconic designer Bruce Mau, a former speaker at The World Around who has worked as a designer, innovator, educator and author on a broad spectrum of projects.

Foday David Kamara

Mentored by Dominic Leong

Foday David Kamara, one of our 25 under 25s, uses plastic extrusion technology to transform waste into bricks and paving tiles, reducing reliance on imported cement bricks. This aspect alone boosts inbuilt resilience in a community that can rely on itself for building materials, as well as addressing the environmental issues caused by post-consumer plastic waste and unsustainable building materials. Ecovironment, Foday´s project, has so far created 60 jobs, recycled 460 tonnes of plastics, and used its profits to feed 1,500 school children.

Shariffa Amolo Anguria

Mentored by Daphne Lundi

Faced with dire unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic, young people from Shariffa Amolo Anguria’s village in Kenya turned to gold- mining jobs, which led to mercury and cyanide exposure and mass deforestation in the area. So she founded Gold 4 Climate Action, in partnership with Rising to Greatness, a female-led community organization where she acts as an outreach officer. As part of the Young Climate Prize, Shariffa is attending The World Around´s Design Academy, a series of workshops designed to support the process of the cohort.

Marilita Quintana Molina

Mentored by Abraham Cruz Villegas

In Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America, there's only one garbage processing plant, no recycling facilities, and voracious winds that regularly exceed 62mph. This means that plastic waste, much of which is carried there by ocean currents from other countries and deposited on the shore, ends up being blown all over the picturesque island. Marilita Quintana Molina, from the indigenous Selk'nam community, collects this waste and uses it in her art to shed light on the magnitude of this issue.

“To clean up nature is to clean up our home,” she says. As part of the Young Climate Prize, Marilita is being mentored by Abraham Cruzvillegas, a visual artist from Mexico. Since 2007, he has produced a body of work he calls “autoconstrucción”. Taking inspiration from his hometown, a village built through collaborative construction with recycled and found materials, Cruzvillage’s sculptural installations are often playfully composed from inexpensive materials.



To find out more information about The World Around Young Climate Prize, for images or nterview requests with our team or any of the cohort or Design Champions, please contact us at 






The World Around has selected 25 individuals under 25 years of age to each be mentored by one of our ‘Design Champions,’ a group of world renown architects, urbanists and designers. Mentors will offer winners an opportunity to bring their ideas into action through their own self-started projects that address, draw attention to or mitigate climate change in their community. Mentor workshops will support on everything from marketing and fundraising to graphic design, communication and film-making.

Vishaan Chakrabarti

PAU, New York City

With over twenty-five years of proven experience authoring and implementing visionary urban
architecture, Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Founder and Creative Director of Practice for
Architecture and Urbanism | PAU, where he leads the firm’s growing global portfolio of cultural,
institutional, and public projects.

"While it is not fair, the brunt of climate change will fall on younger generations, as will the impetus to help address it. Rather than bemoan this condition, the Young Climate Prize celebrates the optimism, creative intelligence, and potential of our youth around the planet."

Elizabeth Diller

DS+R, New York City

Elizabeth Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. Diller and co-founding partner, Ric Scofidio have been distinguished with Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list and the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture.


Counterspace, Johannesburg

Principal of Counterspace, an award-winning architecture and research studio, based between Johannesburg and London, Sumayya Vally’s design, research and pedagogical practice is searching for expression for hybrid identities and territory, particularly for African and Islamic conditions. Her design process is often forensic, and draws on the aural, performance, the supernatural, and the overlooked as generative places of history and work.

"Our responses to climate change need to involve entirely different approaches - not only bound by our present systems but also imagining outside of them. The ethos and spirit of the Young Climate Prize - that of collaboration, learning and experimentation - are needed more than ever."

Bruce Mau

Massive Change Network

Bruce Mau has worked as a designer, innovator, educator and author on a broad spectrum of projects in collaboration with the world’s leading brands, organizations, universities, governments, entrepreneurs, renowned artists, and fellow optimists. He is co-founder and CEO of Massive Change Network, a design consultancy based in the Chicago area.

"Our youth have the power, creativity and desire to make changes to create a better place for themselves and their offspring to live. So many people do not think they are creative but nearly everyone is creative and a designer. If you have ever wanted something, and worked to make it happen you are a designer. We must instill this way of thinking amongst the next generation(s) to create a future world that will be an improvement on what we have now.'


Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

Aric Chen is General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut, The Netherlands' national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, in Rotterdam.

"Architecture and design are how we link complex ideas, needs and issues, and then articulate and manifest them into how we live and interact. They are one of the main ways in which we shape our relationship to the planet, and in that sense, they are indispensable to addressing the climate crisis."


DnA, Beijing

Xu Tiantian is the founding principal of DnA _Design and Architecture. She has received numerous awards such as the WA China Architecture Award in 2006 and 2008, the Architectural League New York’s Young Architects Award in 2008, the Design Vanguard Award in 2009 by Architecture Record and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architect in 2019. In 2020, she was appointed an Honorary Fellow of American Institute of Architects.

"The climate crisis is becoming the defining challenge of our world, which will have greater impact on our younger generations. It will take efforts of many generations to fight the change. The Young Climate Prize provides an opportunity to build up the climate and environmental awareness as the fundamental principle to our profession."


Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York City

José Esparza Chong Cuy is a curator, writer, and architect from Mexico. He currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Prior to Storefront, he worked as Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City.

"It is important to support future generations and this prize will serve as an example for others to invest in youth programs."

Jing Liu

SO–IL, New York City

Jing Liu was born in Nanjing, China in 1980. After studying in China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, concluding with a Master of Architecture from Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans, Liu founded Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO - IL) with Dutch architect Florian Idenburg in 2008.


2x4, New York City

Susan Sellers is a founding partner and executive creative director of 2x4 and Senior Design Critic at Yale School of Art. At 2x4, she leads projects across cultural and commercial sectors, from brand strategy and identity to brand experience programs and exhibitions. Her clients include Samsung, Hyundai, Google, Lincoln Center, the Fondazione Prada, Guggenheim, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and many others. From 2013 to 2016, Sellers was Head of Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she led design initiatives from brand identity and visitor experience to exhibition and permanent gallery installation.


Mariana Pestana

Curator, Lisbon

Mariana Pestana is an architect and independent curator interested in critical social practice and the role of fiction in design for an age marked by technological progress and ecological crisis. Pestana gained a PhD in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture. Previously, she worked as a curator at the Department of Architecture, Design and Digital at the V&A Museum and lectured at Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, Royal College of Arts, Universidade do Minho and Sandberg Institute.

"Moving from an approach that values individual clients and places to a more than human approach to design that serves ecosystems instead. This requires a return to the senses, practices of attuning and reconnecting, with notions of care and wellbeing becoming important design tools."


Multidisciplinary artist, Los Angeles

David OReilly is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Starting as an animator, he created numerous short films and inspired a wave of digital aesthetics. In collaboration with Spike Jonze, he created the holographic video games in the film Her, and went on to develop interactive nature simulations such as Mountain and the universe scale Everything. His pioneering AR works have received over 3 billion views across the web.

"I would like to help motivate the next generation to think radically about how to move forward on the subject of the environment."

Etta Matede

BuildX Studio, Nairobi

Etta Madete is an architectural designer at BuildX Studio (formerly Orkidstudio), a lecturer and researcher at the University of Nairobi and an Aspen 2020 New Voices fellow. She focuses of affordable sustainable housing. Madete is currently creating sustainable, low-income housing developments in Nairobi that supplement existing structures. Using innovative and a creative design approaches, Etta aims to build communities and neighborhoods that foster health and well-being.

"It is important to motivate and inspire the next generation of thought leader pushing for a climate positive world through design and creativity."


MoMA, New York City

Carson Chan is the inaugural Director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment, and a Curator in the Museum’s Department of Architecture and Design. He develops, leads, and implements the Ambasz Institute’s manifold research initiatives through a range of programs, including exhibitions, public lectures, conferences, seminars, and publications. Before joining MoMA in 2021, he worked as an architecture writer, curator, and educator.

"Our role is to lead with the changes necessary to make the planet livable in the future. The building sector is the most polluting industry, contributing to 40% of the world’s yearly greenhouse gases. Everyone involved, especially architects, needs to acknowledge our debt."


Design Emergency, New York City

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her goal is to promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. Her work investigates design’s impact on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology.

"Design helps people change, evolve, and repair. It is fundamental and necessary."

Antón GARCIA ABRIL and Débora mesA

Ensamble, Madrid

Ensamble Studio is a cross-functional team founded in 2000 and led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa. Balancing imagination and reality, art and science, their work innovates typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house.

"Climate is an inherent part of architecture and one of the biggest challenges of our time."


Rebuild by Design, Rotterdam

Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Sherpa for the UN 2023 Water Conference. Former sr advisor for president Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and Principal of Rebuild by Design. Initiator and lead for Water as Leverage. Former Director General for Planning and Water and Director National Spatial Planning for the Netherlands. Teaches at LSE, Harvard GSD and University of Groningen.

"Given that the majority of global carbon emissions come from buildings and cars, and that the form and experience of human habitation will determine the destiny of every species on the planet, the relevance of architecture and design that actually addresses these issues will be paramount to our collective survival."


Design Emergency, London

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and author, whose books include Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and Design as an Attitude. Her weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. She is co-founder with Paola Antonelli of Design Emergency, a research platform that explores design’s role in building a better future. All Alice’s work champions design’s potential as a social, political and ecological tool.

"The climate emergency is one of the most important challenges of our time and the Young Climate Prize promises to inspire and empower the next generation of designers, architects and engineers - professional and otherwise - to address it."


WaiWai, Dubai

Wael Al Awar is a co-founder and principal architect at waiwai. With interests in natural phenomena, landscape and formless diagrams of relations, Wael has a multi-disciplinary approach to design. By aligning with natural phenomena, Wael seeks to create an architecture that is more than man-made fabrication, but instead remains open to adaptation and appropriation. The spaces that emerge from his approach are site-specific provocations that encourage unexpected experiences, activities and behaviors. Wael Al Awar was Curator of the National Pavillion of the UAE at the 17th Architecture Bienalle di Venezia 2020 & 2021, recipient of the Golden Lion Award.

"We are custodians of the planet and posses the skills to lead multidisciplinary teams and conversations in finding solutions to our climate crisis. We need to support and nurture young talent as they are our future."

Tatiana Bilbao

Tatiana Bilbao Studio, Mexico City

Tatiana Bilbao, architect, began her eponymous studio in 2004. Prior to founding her firm, Bilbao was an Advisor in the Ministry of Development and Housing of the Government of the Federal District of Mexico City. Bilbao has been recognized with the Kunstpreis Berlin in 2012, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture Prize by the LO-CUS Foundation in 2014, the Marcus Prize Award 2019, Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal of the ACSA 2020, and the Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) en 2021.

"To create awareness of the urgent necessity of rethinking architecture."

Alder Keleman Saxena

Feral Atlas, Arizona

Alder Keleman Saxena is an Assistant Research Professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and holds a concurrent position as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway. As an environmental anthropologist, her research has examined the relationships linking agricultural biodiversity to human food cultures in Mexico and Bolivia, drawing connections between locally specific ethnobotanical and biocultural practices and larger political-economic contexts. Her more recent research and writing explores the social and material implications of digital connectivity for geographically remote spaces. Alder is a co-editor of Feral Atlas: the More-Than-Human Anthropocene.

"I strongly support the prize's focus on incubating the novel ideas of young leaders, bringing the "now, near, and next" to design for sustainable futures."

Julian Oliver

Technologist, Berlin

Julian Oliver is a Critical Engineer, educator, artist, archer, and activist. His work and lectures have been presented at many conferences, museums, festivals and international electronic-art events including Transmediale, the Chaos Computer Congress, Ars Electronica, Tate Modern, FILE, The Vienna Biennale, and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Oliver has received several awards, most notably the distinguished Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project Newstweek (with Daniil Vasiliev). He is the co-author of the Critical Engineering Manifesto, member of the Critical Engineering Working Group, and co-founder of Crypto Party in Berlin, who’s shared studio Weise7 hosted the first three crypto-parties (unrelated to cryptocurrency) worldwide.

Nelly Ben Hayoun

Director, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios

Nourah Al Sayeh Holtrop

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Bahrain

Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop is an architect and curator working at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) as Head of Architectural Affairs, where she is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of cultural institutions, museums and exhibitions. Since 2015, she heads the Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy, which received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the 2019 cycle as part of the Muharraq Revitalization Project.

Emma Osore

Blackspace Urbanist Collective, New York City

BlackSpace is a urbanist collective. Their mission is to bring together planners, architects, artist and designers to create a national network of Black urbanists. They have been working since 2015 and published their BlackSpace Manifesto in 2019.

"This Prize is a system that aims to center and invest in the ideas of a marginalized group in our fields - young people!"

Dominic Leong

Leong Leong, New York City

Dominic Leong is a founding partner at Leong Leong, where he focuses on architecture as an aesthetic, social, and ecological practice to address pressing issues of our time. Dominic is also a co-founder of Hawai’i Nonlinear, a Honolulu-based non-profit empowering Indigenous futures in the built environment through art and architecture.

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan

Community Design Agency, Mumbai

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan is an architect with 12 years of experience in community-led design and sustainable architecture. She is currently the managing director of Community Design Agency where she works with a diverse group of disadvantaged communities, civic agencies and designers to address inequities in the built environment. A graduate of Columbia University’s GSAPP in New York City, Sandhya’s prior experiences span multiple countries include working at an interdisciplinary design firm based in Singapore, and prior to that at the San Francisco based non-profit, Architecture for Humanity.

"The Young Climate Prize is an excellent opportunity to include young people from marginalized communities in this very pressing and important conversation around the climate crisis. In developing countries where the youth make up for a large percentage of the population, they are uniquely positioned to hold governments and decision makers accountable. It may seem like it is too late in the game to be able to reverse the damage done, however, an opportunity to equip young people with the right tools and thinking brings much hope that they will make better decisions for our planet as future carers and stewards of their communities."

Tosin Oshinowo

CM Design Atelier, Lagos

Tosin Oshinowo is a Lagos-based Nigerian architect and designer renowned for her expansive residential and commercial spaces, and insights into socially-responsive approaches to urbanism. Grounded in a deep respect for Yoruba culture and history and coming from a markedly African context, Oshinowo’s designs embody a contemporary perspective on the next generation of African design and afro-minimalism. She is also the curator of the 2023 Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

"It is important to lend my voice to support this initiative as I believe that innovation from both the past and the present holds the keys to our collective equitable and shared future."

Max Fraser

Max Fraser works as an independent design commentator across the media of books, magazines, exhibitions, video, and events to broaden the conversation around contemporary design. He is the author of multiple design books whilst contributing articles to a wide variety of publications around the world. More recently, he has extended his subject area to include food and farming systems.

"We all have a role to play in slowing down the extinction of our species. Perhaps some of my past experiences can help steer positive change, together with new energetic talents. Hopefully that will inspire others to prioritise the urgency of our collective situation."

"We all have a role to play in slowing down the extinction of our species. Perhaps some of my past experiences can help steer positive change, together with new energetic talents. Hopefully that will inspire others to prioritise the urgency of our collective situation."

Cyra Levenson

Head of Education and Public Engagement, Guggenheim Museum

As head of the Guggenheim’s Education and Public Engagement Department Cyra Levenson leads the museum’s efforts to reach a broad audience through programming, content development, academic partnerships and community engagement. Levenson has a significant role in partnering across the foundation’s international network.

"To be part of a community that is supporting the visionary thinkers of this time is the most important work that can be done."

Isabelle Quevilly

Head of Creative Shop UK, Meta

Isabelle Quevilly is Director of Creative Shop UK at Meta. She works with the curious, the optimistic and the brave to deliver a new generation of marketing and climate solutions. As an entrapreneur herself she believes creativity and technology can drive business growth together with social change. The highlights of her 20 years international career have been on projects supporting sustainability with bold ideas, empathy and technology.

"We are in a crisis and we need new ideas that are not limited by established systems."

Daphne Lundi

BlackSpace Collective

Daphne Lundi is Brooklyn-based urban planner, policymaker, and artist with 10 years of experience in environmental planning, resilient land use and zoning policy, and climate adaptation policy. She is currently the Deputy Director for Social Resiliency at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice and the co-creator of Laudi CoLab, an arts-based design practice.

harry pearce


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The World Around was founded in New York in 2020 by Diego Marroquin and Beatrice Galilee. Our global platform seeks to connect and create a diverse and international network of the most exciting and creative designers and thinkers with wider industry professionals through high-impact educational initiatives and events championing the most progressive ideas and compelling projects. The World Around is a public charity recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Visit our website to see our archive of films.

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Board of Directors

Vishaan Chakrabarti
Elizabeth Diller
Beatrice Galilee, Executive Director
Adam Flatto, Board Chair
Peter Dillon

Diego Marroquin, Chairman Emeritus