Rolex has revealed the five winners of the 2021 Rolex Awards for Enterprise. The five pioneers were chosen for their bold, visionary projects that have the potential to help reinvent the future.
Set up 45 years ago, the Rolex Awards to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster. Through the programme, the company supports exceptional individuals with innovative projects that expand our knowledge of the world, protect the environment – helping to preserve habitats and species – and improve human well-being.
The winners were selected by the Rolex Awards jury, a group of independent experts from around the world. The jury met virtually in November 2020 to choose the Laureates from a shortlist of 15 finalists, created from a field of 1,659 candidates from 139 countries.
“Rolex has long recognized its responsibility to play a part in creating a sustainable planet, a Perpetual Planet,” elaborates Arnaud Boetsch, Rolex Director of Communication & Image. “Rather than venturing into the unknown and discovering uncharted lands, the new breed of explorers is committed to protecting the planet. The five Laureates are prime examples of these guardians of the future.”
The winners were chosen from across the globe and from a diverse range of backgrounds. They boast expertise in marine biodiversity, conservation, polar exploration, social enterprise, and climate change. Each winner has earned the title of Laureate of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.
The 2021 Rolex Laureates
The five Laureates will receive funding for their projects and other benefits such as worldwide publicity, which often engenders further support. They are…
Felix Brooks-church, United States
Felix tackles malnutrition in Tanzania through equipping rural flour mills with a ‘dosifier’ machine, which adds critical micronutrients to fortify staple foods.
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Chad
Hindou uses indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge to map natural resources and prevent climate conflicts in the Sahel.
Rinzin Phunjok Lama, Nepal
Rinzin protects the richly diverse ecosystems of the Trans-Himalayan region, home of iconic and globally threatened mammals, by involving local communities.
Gina Moseley, United Kingdom
Gina aims to lead the first expedition to explore the planet’s northernmost caves to improve our knowledge of climate change in the Arctic.
Luiz Rocha, Brazil
Luiz explores and protects mesophotic coral reefs and their biodiversity in the Indian Ocean, and to strengthen conservation of these largely unknown ecosystems
The five Laureates will receive funding for their projects and other benefits such as worldwide publicity, which often engenders further support.
A Win For The Planet
For Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, the world served as a living laboratory. From the 1930s, he began to use it as a testing ground for his watches. He often sent them to the most extreme locations, supporting explorers who ventured into the unknown.
But the world has undoubtedly changed. As the 21st century unfolds, the company has moved from championing exploration for the sake of discovery to protecting the planet and reinforced its commitment by launching the Perpetual Planet initiative in 2019.
The Rolex Awards is proof of this ongoing and important initiative as it supports individuals and organizations using science to understand the world’s environmental challenges and devise solutions that will restore balance to our ecosystems.
“The 155 winning projects over nearly a half century have had a real impact on the world, with millions of people around the globe benefiting,” adds Boetsch. “Marked by individual achievement, excellence and performance, the Laureates and their projects reflect the values that have underpinned Rolex from its earliest days.”
A virtual event celebrating the new Laureates will be held at the end of year.