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Q3 - 2019

About the Prize winners


Emerging markets largely responsible for unprecedented 2020 submission numbers

The recent completion of the four-month long submissions phase for the 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize awards, arrives with a host of insights about sustainability trends across various categories around the world.

Of the record-breaking 2,373 entries received this year, the breakdown was: Health (514), Food (570), Energy (522), Water (377), and Global High Schools (390). With a 13% increase in submissions, last year’s decision to expand the Prize’s categories, alongside energy, continues to prove that the global trend for addressing an increasing number of sustainability priorities is growing.

The top five countries driving these submissions were Nigeria, UAE, USA, Colombia, and India. Furthermore, the top three world regions were Africa, Asia, and the Americas. A key trend noted in the data, is that emerging market organisations and high schools are making significant strides across multiple sustainability sectors. This is reflected in the 74 percent of this year’s entries coming from emerging economies that are increasingly investing in the development of both innovative technologies and their communities. In addition to its global reach, equally impressive year-on-year growth was specifically noted across the Prize’s Health, Food, Water and Global High Schools category— the latter which saw the highest growth rates; a 232 percent increase across the MENA region, and a 32 percent rise worldwide.

Read more about this year’s submissions here…


Spotlight Stakeholder

ZOLA Electric recently launched the INFINITY autonomous power grid that will deliver clean, affordable, reliable 24/7 AC power for anyone, anywhere. This includes cases situated in off-grid, weak grid and microgrid locations. Read more

Earlier this year, the 2016 winner also appointed two of Tesla Energy’s own co-founders, for the roles of Chairman and Operational and Technology Advisor, to help accelerate the company’s growth into new markets and product lines. Read more





By Starehe Girls Centre & School, Global High Schools winner 2017

During the 11 years of the Prize existence, its winners have shown innovation and impact through their award-winning solutions. However, how does one come up with an award-winning project, and how does one put it in motion?
Learn what the Starehe Girls Centre & School, think it takes to innovate here.


Spotlight Stakeholder

During pregnancy and birth, the plight of women in last-mile or off-grid communities is critically acute. Often, simple yet practical maternity devices can make the difference between life and death; however, the availability of such solutions needs to improve.

Dr. Stachel of We Care Solar offers her insight into what lessons she has learned from addressing these challenges. To read more, click here.

What is “hidden hunger” and how can we more effectively scale up to address a crisis in global malnutrition?

Felix Brooks-church of Sanku takes a look at how innovators in the development space can best realise there goals by remaining focused on the essential ingredients. To read more, click here.

Spotlight Stakeholder

In 2011, Sunna Design was founded with the aim to fast track the mass deployment of smart solar solutions to help cities, territories and rural environments develop more sustainably.

Over the years, joining forces with key humanitarian organisations and non-profits has helped Founder & President of Sunna Design, Thomas Samuel, deliver robust, recyclable and affordable lighting solutions, often in dangerous locations and extreme climates conditions. To read more, click here.

Across most of the developing world, municipal services are either non-existent or deficient. With over 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater flowing directly back into the environment untreated, water pollution is now a grave concern.

To tackle this global issue, ECOSOFTT, (Zayed Sustainability Prize’s 2019 winner - Water Category), pioneered a new approach for the abatement of water pollution and replenishment of water sources. To discover how this has been successfully applied along the 1,300km-long Narmada River, in Central India, click here.



The submission phase for the 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize closed in the end of May,’ with a record-breaking number of submissions. But what happens next? What happens with the 2,373 submissions?

A Selection Committee, sub-divided per category by the member’s technical expertise and/or knowledge, is currently evaluating and scoring the shortlisted candidates. In a meeting scheduled this October, they will pass on the list of finalists to the Jury for the final evaluation stage.

Discover the profiles of the Prize’s Selection Committee and Jury members here, and learn more about the process from entrant to finalist here…



By Dr. Andreas Jacobs, Chairman of INSEAD, 2020 ZSP Jury Member
As we approach the milestone of the first quarter of the 21st century, we cannot sit idly by as young people continue to face the threat of increasing isolation due to political instability, labour market challenges or limited spaces for civil participation. Therefore, this August 12th, we have both an opportunity and a duty to highlight these challenges via the United Nations’ International Youth Day and this year’s theme: “Transforming education.”

Read more about what this entails and some of the many inspirational youth who are leading the way for a brighter future.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize 2020 finalists are set to be announced in October.


© 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize

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