Rolex Awards for Enterprise announces five winners

The five winners of the Rolex Awards all share a commitment to a more sustainable future

Man underwater holding a camera
Luiz Rocha
(Image credit: press)

Rolex has announced that Felix Brooks-church, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Rinzin Phunjok Lama, Gina Moseley and Luiz Rocha are this year’s winners of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.

The awards recognise the projects that have the potential to transform the future, as part of the Rolex Perpetual Planet initiative, which supports those aiming to bring about change. The five winners of this year’s awards, hailing from all around the globe, will receive funding for their projects.

Woman underground in cave

Gina Moseley

(Image credit: press)

Man sat on a hill surrounded by rocks

Rinzin Phunjok Lama

(Image credit: press)

Each of the winners has addressed differing needs for projects that propose practical solutions to pressing issues. Felix Brooks-church, from the United States, has assessed the need for critical micronutrients in staple foods to combat serious cases of malnutrition in Tanzania. His machines in rural flour mills efficiently supply them.

Chad-based Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is concerned with the prevention of climate conflicts in the Sahel – by connecting with indigenious people, she is able to use their knowledge to locate much-needed natural resources.

For Rinzin Phunjok Lama, from Nepal, local communities are also key; his work aims to protect the Trans-Himalayan ecosystems and at-risk mammals.

The United Kingdom’s Gina Moseley aims to gather information in a bid to create long-term solutions, and her plan to lead the first expedition to explore the world’s northernmost caves will unlock details of climate change in the Arctic.

For Luiz Rocha, from Brazil, mesophotic coral reefs in the Indian Ocean are the focus, his work aiming to discover and protect them.

The ten judges – technology specialist Meena Ganesh, law professor Toshiyuki Kono, palaeontologist and anthropologist Louise Leakey, astrophysicist Chris Lintott, environmentalist Wanjira Mathai, research scientist Sam Myers, physicist and Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov, ecologist Jon Paul Rodríguez, humanitarian Norbu Tenzing, and professor Zhu Dajian – met virtually in November to decide on the winners.

The award is a continuation of the tradition established in 1976 by the CEO of Rolex at the time, André J Heiniger. Created to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Oyster watch, the awards – originally intended to be a one-off – were so popular they became a regular event.

Woman holding a computer surrounded by people pointing at it

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim 

(Image credit: press)

Man standing in front of a big box at a factory

Felix Brooks-church

(Image credit: press)


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.