The Swarovski Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, marks its 10thanniversary at the United Nations Headquarters by recognizing six young innovators who are leading the way in sustainable development through the Creatives For Our Future program.
These six global creatives from around the world have been recognized for their innovative work designing sustainable solutions in the fields of fashion, beauty, design, architecture, engineering, and cartography. Their projects include ice-cream made from plastic waste, cosmetics from bacteria, textiles from fungi and building blocks from landfill waste.
The program aims to support and accelerate the next generation of creative leaders in sustainability by awarding them each a €20,000 grant, plus access to an education program in collaboration with top institutions, tailored one-on-one mentorship, and industry networking opportunities to advance their innovation and help scale up each project.
Out of 900 applicants from 122 countries, six projects were selected based on their acceleration of awareness, technology, or solutions for sustainable development, driving progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations.
Meet the Winning Innovators:
- Stanley Anigbogu (Nigeria): Stanley has launched a program to teach young people and communities how to create clean light sources by recycling e-waste and plastic bottles. His innovative solution brings light to marginalized communities.
- Julieta Gaitan (Colombia): Julieta, a fashion designer, is combating pollution in the textile industry by developing sustainable textiles and natural dyes using fungi, resulting in unique designs for her sustainable fashion brand.
- Sebastian Garcia-Medina (United States): Sebastian is using bacterial-cellulose to create sustainable cosmetic products, such as facemasks, with the potential to replace millions of metric tons of plastic waste annually.
- Namra Khalid (Pakistan): Namra launched a data collection program to protect her hometown from flooding following the devastating Karachi floods in 2022. Her detailed mapping aims to improve infrastructure and socio-climatic planning.
- Elenora Ortolani (United Kingdom): Elenora is pushing creative boundaries by developing vanilla ice cream made from PET plastic, aiming to change public perceptions of future food possibilities in the face of climate change.
- Gunraagh Singh Talwar (India): Gunraagh is enhancing the equity and resilience of urban environments by creating upcycled construction blocks known as Dumpcrete, addressing the issue of sustainable legacy waste management.
The Swarovski Foundation brought its global community together for the last time this year in New York to mark its decade of philanthropy and honour the six newest Creatives For Our Future cohort members. The evening included special remarks from Greg Lynn, Founder of Greg Lynn Form and longstanding program advocate and Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, shared:
“It is my pleasure to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Swarovski Foundation. Congratulations on your efforts to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular on education and equality including the Waterschool and Creatives for our Future.
Creatives for our Future is an innovative program that works with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to drive innovation and today we welcome the third group of Creatives.
My message to these talented young people who are designing a sustainable future for us all is to be bold, be informed, stand unwaveringly by your values, and embrace your innate potential as changemakers.
We are counting on your creativity and expertise to instill transformative change. Together, as partners, as creatives, and as stewards of this planet, we must all work to build a brighter and more sustainable future.”