Rolex has named the five 2019 Rolex Award Laureates who will receive funding and other benefits for their inspiring projects that will improve life on the planet.
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were established in 1976 to commemorate the 50thanniversary of the Rolex Oyster chronometer, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch.
The awards were designed to foster a spirit of enterprise and advance human knowledge and well-being and protect our cultural heritage and the environment.
Rolex has a long-standing commitment to preserve the world around us and recently launched a campaign for a Perpetual Planet – providing support to key individuals and organisations finding solutions to the world’s environmental challenges.
National Geographic, a partner in the Perpetual Planet campaign and an organisation that has been linked to Rolex since the early 1950s, hosted the National Geographic Explorers Festival, where the 10 finalists of the 2019 Rolex Awards presented their projects.
The Rolex Awards jury – a group of independent experts – first met in February to select the 10 finalists from a shortlist created from a field of 957 candidates from 111 countries.
For the first time in the 43-year history of the Awards, the public was then invited to vote on its favourite projects through a social media campaign.
The results of the public vote were factored in the jury’s final decision made at a second meeting during the Festival.
“Now, more than ever we need people to show us how to tackle the problems that face mankind with enterprise and determination,” said Arnaud Boetsch, Rolex Director of Communication and Image.
“We congratulate the Laureates on their winning projects that promise to have significant impact on the world.”
The five laureates have been identified as Ecologist Joao Campos-Silva, Swiss Scientist Gregoire Courtine, Inventor Brian Gitta, Conservationist Kritha Karanth and Entrepreneur Miranda Wang.