Hundreds of students from around the world signed up to share inspirational ideas for impact, inspired by the SDGs, but only one was selected as this year’s Young Green Leader

Green School Bali has selected the international recipient of its inaugural ‘Young Green Leaders’ award, an opportunity to celebrate young, green changemakers from around the world who are making a local difference for global change. This award recognizes one international and one Indonesian student, aged 12-16, who is creating innovative and sustainable solutions, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. More than 500 students from 25 countries responded to our call for sustainable student projects. Now, our esteemed panel of jurors, including Green School co-founders John and Cynthia Hardy, have chosen this year’s Young Green Leader.

The winner, Mahiro Noda, age 17 (16 at the time of entry) from Thailand, submitted her ongoing Remote Reading Program project, which provides supplemental education for Myanmarese migrants and refugees in Thailand as a way to improve their access to higher education. Mahiro’s project aligns with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 1, Ending Poverty, 4, providing Quality Education for all, and 10, Reducing Inequality.

“I am beyond honored and humbled to have been selected as this year’s finalist amongst all the other projects coming from all parts of the world. Embracing Green School Bali and the Award’s ethos of creativity and proactive action, I very much look forward to progressing my project alongside their community!”

Mahiro’s work truly exemplifies the potential of young changemakers to regenerate our world for a sustainable future. To help further the project, Green School has invited Mahiro to join us at our bamboo, Bali campus for a special mentorship program with experts in our community. At Green School, Mahiro will engage with other inspiring young changemakers at our school and will benefit from our Green Educators and experts who will mentor her to further expand the Remote Reading Program mission and vision.

“When I read through all of this year’s submissions, it filled my heart with hope to see the visions these young people are holding for a better future,” says Green School co-founder, John Hardy, who led a panel of entrepreneurs and innovators that helped to select this year’s winner. “It was definitely hard to choose from so many beautiful ideas, but, after quite a bit of discussion, we felt Mahiro’s project had the strongest potential for scalable impact in line with the UN SDGs.”    The other jurors who joined John Hardy in this year’s selection process included:

    • Ronald Akili, Co-founder of Potato Head Hospitality
    • Robin Gurney, former SVP of Original Programming at Showtime
    • Clover Hogan, Green School alum Founder of Force of Nature
    • Achintya Nilsen, Green School alum, model, activist and former Miss Indonesia 2017
    • Harper Penrose, Green School Bali Student Association

The jurors also selected 14 top submissions that made it to the final round and will feature on the Young Green Leaders website for one year, until the finalists for the 2022 competition are announced. This year’s finalists, in no particular order, are:

    Bushra Karim, PAKISTAN
    SDG #13 & 14 Combat deforestation and desertification of her region through community tree-planting and cleanliness campaigns

    Akezhan Mussagaliyev, KAZAKHSTAN
    SDG #7 PowerBike – Generate alternative, affordable clean energy via a step-motor connected to a peddle bike

    Erazmus Mingle, UK
    SDG #12 & 15 Repurpose plastic and cardboard waste to create briquettes that can burn, like logs, for up to 2 hours while minimizing paper waste in landfills

    Thảo Nhi Trần Lê, VIETNAM
    SDG #16 Use books and mobile games to educate students about sexual harrasment and empower them with knowledge and self-defense

    Camila Casanova, MEXICO
    SDG #8,11,12 Lobby for the fashion industry to start using bamboo-based textiles as an alternative to the synthetic fabrics and processed cotton that are harmful for the environment

    Maya Sohail, PAKISTAN
    SDG #12,13,14,15 Combat deforestation by using alternative paper sourcing from psyllium husk banana peels

    Mariana Santos, BRAZIL
    SDG #11,15,17 Uniting communities through education and action on plastic waste reduction and managing homeless animal populations

    Kalyango Joseph, UGANDA
    SDG #1,4, 5 Tackle poverty and improve access to education for women and girls in Uganda by creating affordable, reusable menstrual pads

    Pedro Souza, BRAZIL
    SDG #11 Promote education and action around waste reduction in Sao Paulo, Brazil, through a youth activist movement

    Aika Angelina Soleil Iwakabe, JAPAN
    SDG #12 & 15 Create “Green Curtains” by planting useful plants like sponge cucumbers and bitter gourds in the window to absorb heat and replace plastic sponges in the home

    H’sia Johnson, SOUTH KOREA
    SDG #12 & 14 Clean plastic from the beaches of Busan, Korea and analyze plastic waste produced at home to eliminate unnecessary waste

    Sylvia Aardema Gagnon, USA
    SDG #13 Educate peers on carbon sequestration through healthy soil and regenerative farming via food forests

    Alma Benamu, SPAIN
    SDG #2,13,15 Develop an app to share the perfect “recipe” for healthy soil with users around the world

    Spandan Chaturvedi, INDIA
    SDG #11 Mimic termite mound construction to create Susta-Bricks: Durable, yet affordable, sustainable bricks made from universally available mud

    Green School is still finalizing its assessment of this year’s local Young Green Leaders Award recipient from Indonesia.  Stay tuned for news about the Indonesian winner, coming in early 2022!