Rolex Awards for Enterprise
As the 21st century unfolds, Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise — as part of Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative — are continuing to make the world a better place with their inspiring work that advances knowledge, improve lives and protect the environment.
Discover what exciting new directions their projects are taking that will benefit life on the planet for generations to come.
Securing Nigeria's food supply
In 2010, Nigerian social entrepreneur Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu won a Rolex Award for Enterprise for creating a radio station to advise smallholder farmers. Now, his latest project, a network of solar-powered, walk-in cold rooms, is revolutionizing Nigeria’s food supply chain.
The future of paralysis treatment
Neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine is developing groundbreaking bioengineering technologies to treat spinal cord injury.
A quest to save India’s rainforests
Romulus Whitaker’s childhood fascination with snakes has led him to devote his life to protecting the environment, in particular rainforests.
Saving the sacred condor
Two centuries ago, the Andean condor soared across the skies of the Andes, but today its population has been massively reduced mainly by human interventions. For over three decades, Argentine biologist Luis Jácome has been working to save one of the world’s largest flying birds from extinction.
The Biologist Championing Bats
Mexican biologist Rodrigo Medellín has devoted his life to demonstrating how bats, one of the most universally feared and hated mammals, are, in fact, a boon to humanity and agriculture.
Reviving India’s blighted lakes
In the face of rampant urbanization and the severe consequences of climate change, Indian environmentalist Arun Krishnamurthy has mobilized the public, including scores of young volunteers, to help clean, restore and rehabilitate his country’s lakes.
Saving lives on India’s roads
Following a distress call informing him that his cousin had died in a road accident where no bystanders came forward to support the victim, Piyush Tewari was propelled into finding solutions to this problem in India and has since dedicated himself to saving thousands of lives across the country and beyond.
How a bird saved a forest
Anita Studer, a Swiss ornithologist who went to Brazil to study its rich array of bird life, has, through sheer determination and dedication, inspired Brazilians to save their forests and changed thousands of lives for the better in what is now her second home.
Venturer in the underworld
The hidden realm of caves has opened up a new world to scientists and explorers thanks to speleologists such as Francesco Sauro whose many expeditions have provided an archive of time for future generations.
Africa’s ‘Father of Turtles’
Intrigued by turtles and tortoises as a young man, Tomas Diagne has devoted his life to studying and conserving these endangered species in his native Senegal and across Africa.
The call of the cloud forest
Sri Lankan conservationist Rohan Pethiyagoda has devoted more than two decades to a campaign to engage his fellow citizens in the regeneration of his island nation’s unique highland ecosystem, once defined by rich tropical forests shrouded by mist.
Rwanda’s uplifting regal bird
Using education and persuasion, Olivier Nsengimana has liberated the much sought-after grey crowned crane from the gardens of Rwanda’s wealthy citizens and is now using a strategic wildlife management plan to ensure these magnificent birds flourish in their original habitats.
Eye test brings equality
A billion people across the globe suffer from readily treatable eyesight problems. At least a third of them live in places where modern optical treatment never reaches, but that is rapidly changing, thanks to the inspired vision of British ophthalmologist Andrew Bastawrous.
Saving the snow leopard
In Pakistan’s mountains, Shafqat Hussain is helping farmers maintain their livelihoods while learning to coexist with the big cats who prey on their herds.
Listening to the Earth
Since designing an underwater system to prevent ships from colliding with whales, bioacoustics pioneer Michel André has expanded his project to create a network of microphones that monitor the planet's myriad sounds and warn of threats to nature.
A vanishing forest reborn
Working with dedicated farming families, Laury Cullen Jr. is restoring Brazil’s Atlantic Forest while contributing to the local economy and helping to fight climate change.
Taking a volcano’s pulse
Eight hundred million people live in the shadow of fiery death, within striking range of one of Earth’s 500 historically active volcanoes. For Scottish volcanologist Andrew McGonigle, providing timely warning of an impending eruption is a goal that is both humanitarian and scientific.
Exploring submarine forests in Patagonia’s fjords
Discovering new species, never described to science, is just one aspect of the case the intrepid marine biologist Vreni Häussermann puts for the protection of the wild waters of the Patagonian fjords.
Stars of the deep
Little was known about the endangered whale shark, the world’s biggest fish, until Australian marine scientist Brad Norman found a way to identify individual animals using an algorithm developed by NASA.
Medical alerts from a sticker on your hand
From creating a pain-free vaccine patch, Australian scientist Mark Kendall is now developing microwearable devices that send early warnings when patients are experiencing events like heart attacks.
Darkening hues of Greenland
A strange new life is blossoming within the icy carapace of Greenland, daubing thousands of square kilometres of pristine white landscape in an eerie patina of greens, reds, browns, purple and black.