Finalists of the 2021 Sustainability Scholarship

We at are pleased to announce and recognize the finalists for our Sustainability Scholarship. Among thousands of applicants, these ten candidates shined particularly bright and are outstanding examples of what could be the next generation’s sustainability-minded leaders. Read their inspiring stories and find out how they plan on combating climate change.

finalists of's sustainability scholarship 2021

We at are pleased to announce and recognize the finalists for our Sustainability Scholarship. Among thousands of applicants, these ten candidates shined particularly bright and are outstanding examples of what could be the next generation’s sustainability-minded leaders, on the very forefront of combating climate change.

To find our winner and our top candidates, we asked all candidates 3 questions: 

  1. What motivated you to choose this particular study program? 
  2. How is your program going to help you fight/alleviate the impact of climate change? 
  3. Overall, how do you think education and the fight against climate change are connected?

Read our top-10 candidate’s answers - They are listed alphabetically below.

Arielle Kanzen Finalist

Arielle Kanzen, Italy

Studying a Master in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at University of Oxford in England.


It is clear that Arielle has a purpose at heart. Her motivation to make the future greener and better is obviously apparent in her application. Her dedication to foster sustainable solutions and her volunteer work at places like WWF and Youth 4 Nature makes it clear to us that she is, without a doubt, a serious candidate to become a future leader at the forefront of combating climate change. Especially when considering that her motivation stems from deeply rooted first hand experiences with climate changes.

Read about Arielle, how she plans on combating climate change and her motivation to study the program below.

Arielle’s motivation to study the program:

Growing up in Ethiopia for the past 20 years, Arielle has “[...] witnessed a rapid and devastating change in the environment, with rampant habitat destruction and massively reduced biodiversity coinciding with a national push toward development and agricultural reform.” These experiences have had a profound impact on Arielle, energising her to join the fight against climate change and the destruction of the natural world.

She pursues a MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at University of Oxford, with the hopes of “[...] creating behavioural change campaigns that inform and engage local communities in emerging economies, enabling them to take action, lobby government and become more resilient in the face of extreme environmental events.”

How Arielle plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Arielle plans to combine her academic knowledge in the field of laws with her innate passion towards sustainable solutions. As she puts it: “In the future, I aspire to work in the conservation of biodiversity in the global south, helping to introduce laws that account for the true value of ecosystem services.”

This means that Arielle hopes to alleviate climate changes by advocating for environmentally conscious legislation at a national and governmental level: “As the impact of the natural crisis on humans is becoming more evident, the disproportionate effect on the world’s poorest communities means it is more important than ever for national governments to legislate against unsustainable practices and advocate for environmentally conscious development.”

How Arielle thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

The written above highlights how Arielle thinks education and the fight against climate change are connected. She adds that the importance of empowered consumers, educated about the devastating impact of climate change and equipped with the tools and knowledge to address this, cannot be underestimated.

She believes that social action is a powerful tool that can be used to influence markets and policy, and by encouraging consumers to vote with their wallets and ballots, systemic change can be achieved.

An organisation, Arielle wants to highlight and support

“I am very fascinated by the ocean and it’s creatures and for that reason I would have to choose The Manta Trust as an organisation I believe in. I think this is also relevant in light of the BBNJ conference this year.” You can support them here.

Betty Tsang Finalist

Betty Wan Yi Tsang, Hong Kong

Studying a Master in Global Sustainability Solutions at University of Exeter in England.


Betty stands out as a significant candidate for the 2021 Sustainability Scholarship. Her multifaceted perspective touches upon some of the perhaps most important issues in contemporary society. Betty hopes to increase multicultural collaboration at global-scale, to empower underrepresented groups, increase knowledge upon climate changes and to act as a role model for women of colour. With a proven background in successfully facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration concerning sustainability, we have no doubt that Betty would contribute positively to the world.

Read about Betty, her motivation and perspective on how her Master’s degree will help her alleviate climate changes below. 

Betty’s motivation to study the program:

Fighting climate changes has always been Betty’s vision. Founding the ‘Zero Waste Society’-initiative only further boosted her vision. As she puts it: “I became fascinated by how my team from such different backgrounds interacted, filling gaps in each other’s specialisms to not only bring this unique concept to life but have it thrive. The value of interdisciplinary sustainability solutions became clear, motivating me to apply and receive an unconditional offer for MSc Global Sustainability Solutions so I could continue celebrating collaboration and diversity in this unique, multi-discipline programme.”

How Betty plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Being a Hong Konger in the UK, Betty has obtained a unique perspective on global awareness that could prove itself key in the future. Not only for her own professional career, but also to forward this knowledge in the name of the larger mission that is combating climate change as an inclusive and all-encompassing force.  

Betty therefore plans to fight the impact of climate change by taking on a holistic and inclusive perspective: “MSc Global Sustainability Solutions will help me fight climate change by allowing me to gain a multi-perspective understanding of socio-environmental issues and problem-solving strategy through its global, solution-based approach.”

She adds that the master’s degree will combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience through an internship, thus giving her the skills to both understand and solve real world problems. 

How Betty thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

Betty sees education and the fight against climate change as intrinsically intertwined. In her opinion, problems cannot be solved if they are not understood; especially when it comes to such a complex and multifaceted problem. 

Betty elaborates: “With so many young people growing up disconnected from nature, education reignites a sense of stewardship and urgency for change. I saw the value of fighting climate change through education during my experience supporting the Nature Works youth environmental leadership programme at The Nature Conservancy Hong Kong. With the right guidance, young people were able to achieve astounding results [...]”.

An organisation, Betty wants to highlight and support

"An organisation that has really allowed me to find my identity as an environmental activist is the Zoological Society of London. They are an international conservation charity with 2 British zoos and research projects all over the world. Due to the pandemic they have really struggled and could do with all the support they can get" - You can support them here. 

Cameron Smith, United Kingdom

Studying a Master in Global Migrations & Social Justice at University of Glasgow in Scotland.


Cameron brings a perspective centered around empathy, sustainable migration and social justice to the table. Specifically, his thoughts concern climate refugees and how we deal with mass migrations. As we previously have witnessed flawed migration management, Cameron has become dedicated to mitigating circumstances for these climate refugees. To Cameron, we must turn our attention to building a healthy relationship between people and the earth, so that sustainable solutions go hand in hand with human rights, and that no human being is viewed as superfluous.

Read about Cameron, his motivation and his perspective on how his Master’s degree will help him alleviate climate changes below.

Cameron's motivation to study the program:

Cameron’s motivation to study the program stems from his passion towards tackling the issue of an increasingly urgent topic of climate refugees. A topic which he finds to be often overlooked and neglected; “With the salient threat of environmental disaster, it is easy to overlook the potential humanitarian disaster looming if global temperatures continue to rise. In fact, it is common to conceptually pin people and the societies they constitute against the environment. Justifiable discourses include over-population, consumerism, over-consumption and irresponsibility. But the fact is, we are here on Earth and we must live in harmony with our environment because everything we hold dear is not opposed to this environment but completely dependent upon it. This is the flip-side of the environmentalist’s coin, a side that I have noticed is often neglected but holds great urgency, and perhaps even persuasive power for action.”

How Cameron plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Cameron plans to fight climate change by forwarding a human rights perspective, and by gaining deeper insight in the relationship between humanism and environmentalism. Cameron aims to get further understanding of how to convince people that: “[...]  a) we are not superfluous to our Earth and its environment but may live in harmony with it, b) Earth is not superfluous to us for we rely on it, and c) no group of people is superfluous to either us or to the Earth. Mitigating the potential humanitarian crisis of mass global climate migration in the 21th century requires the same internationalist perspective that the fight against climate change requires, and rather than pitting humanism against environmentalism, understanding the relationship between these may provide additional motivation for climate action.”

How Cameron thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

Cameron believes that a renaissance in human rights education is required as a prerequisite for the climate action we require, because climate action is required for us to recognize human rights as more than a set of guidelines. This also means that we can start recognizing climate refugees’ rights to life and safety, and could potentially benefit from their aiding labor. As he puts it: “Perhaps refugees will constitute a skilled labor force necessary in building the sustainable infrastructure we need to ensure their homelands might be hospitable once more. What haunts me is the idea that the Europe of the future squabbles and founders while climate refugees drown with their families in the Mediterranean. I think education on human rights and global migrations is key to preventing this."

Daivie Ghosh, India

Studying a Master of Environmental Science at Yale School Of The Environment in The United States of America.


Daivie clearly lives and breathes for the environment. Ever since she as a child first encountered the devastating effects of climate changes first-hand, she began her journey to combat climate change. With a rich record of participating in sustainability-related efforts like her position at Terracon Ecotech, her tree planting in Oakwood Cemetery etc., Daivie has already proven herself as fully dedicated to alleviating climate changes. Now, she seeks to further refine her skills so that she can develop mitigation solutions that integrate sustainability to urban growth and create smart, sustainable cities.

Read about Daivie, how she plans on combating climate change and her motivation to study the program below.

Daivie's motivation to study the program:

Daivie’s quest to find progressive solutions for the development versus sustainability dilemma, has guided her interests towards reducing the environmental impact of urban areas. Her personal experience with a natural disaster has consequently shaped her academic and professional pursuit since she was nine.

Experiencing the forces of nature during the Maharashtra floods of 2005, Daivie’s spark ignited to develop a future, where sustainability and urban growth go hand in hand: “[...] even today, fifteen years later, I can close my eyes and picture it: Students (including myself) and teachers stranded overnight in school, no electricity, city-wide telecom outages, and short-term food insecurity. [...] We walked through chest-high floodwater polluted by overflowing sewers, dead rodents, and contaminated trash. That day I witnessed, first-hand, where unchecked urbanization at the cost of our planet had led us.”

Through the research-based master's program at Yale, Daivie aims to study climate-related issues surrounding urban development and mitigation strategies for smart cities. Integrating sustainable solutions with urban growth is, according to Daivie, a viable path to address these issues and is her research focus at the Yale School of the Environment.

How Daivie plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Through higher education, Daivie wants to place herself in a better position to help those around her. She sees the selected program as a gateway to study the integration of technical and developmental aspects to address the effects of climate change.  For, according to her, climate change mitigation and effective socio-economic development often clash. Her chosen program then is meant to build a bridge between technical knowledge and a people-focused approach for adapting actions for the environmental changes. This way, Daivie can participate in the quest of arming people with knowledge to fight global issues, which she believes is a one-stop solution to many of society’s modern problems.

A solution that perhaps is even more important to her, considering her upbringing and first-hand experiences: “Developing countries face the negative impact of rising sea levels, natural disaster risks, and increasing emissions more so than others. Unfortunately, there are often issues with literacy and the continuation of secondary education in these same developing countries. As a result, there is a disconnect in understanding the negative impact of certain developmental practices and their damage at the immediate local and national levels. That is because there are other pressing concerns such as hunger, malnutrition, and access to water.” 

The latter pinpoints her argument about the crucial connection between tackling climate change and education, because it also is critical to address these other issues such as food scarcity, loss of forest/ocean livelihoods, and clean drinking water, when dealing with climate change.

How Daivie thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

With the latter in mind, Daivie believes that education is a catalyst for solving many of the problems connected to climate change. While it benefits professionals and analysts (like herself) in gaining refined insights, its role in the global context also needs to be acknowledged. 

Education then is not only beneficial for her, but also for the greater good: “On an international scale, an educational setting can bring together people from diverse backgrounds, allowing us to learn from each other's experiences and understand different perspectives. This type of collaboration in a research lab or even in a simple school project can be beneficial since it can provide us with several unique ideas to solve climate and sustainability-related problems while expanding our horizons. There is no doubt that education is an integral part of this paradigm shift of innovative disruption that our 21st-century society needs."

Daniel Blanco Finalist

Daniel Fernando Blanco Gómez, Colombia

Studying a Master in Urban Water and Sanitation at UNESCO-IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in The Netherlands.


Daniel is a top-finalist because of his dedication to making the world a better place! He has experienced what natural disasters can do to a society when the hurricane Lota hit his home country in 2020. Therefore he is determined to educate and help vulnerable communities to construct a sustainable future. He does that as a volunteer in Rotaract where he promotes social projects in communities affected by violence and in the NGO BeWe Community that brings water and development to the indigenous people of La Guajira, a region in the north of Colombia, where there is a humanitarian crisis due to lack of water.

Read about Daniel, how he plans on combating climate change and his motivation to study the program below.

Daniel's motivation to study the program:

Daniel has found the perfect master for him to pursue his goals. He states: “In order to help increase access to safe water and sanitation and to protect the environment from continuing to be polluted, I want to pursue a master's degree in Urban Water and Sanitation with a specialization in sanitary engineering at THE Delft Institute for Water Education, which is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world, located in the Netherlands. This program will provide me with the necessary knowledge to promote sustainable development and the prevention of critical scenarios in the face of the climate emergency.”

How Daniel plans to fight the impact of climate change:

What is most important to Daniel is to create access to safe water and sanitation in the future, and is sure his education will help him in the right direction: “To this extent, becoming a professional capable of bringing transformation and development to vulnerable communities in my country is my motivation to study a master's degree in water and sanitation, as important issues in the building of a sustainable world for all.”

How Daniel thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

It is safe to say that Daniel believes in the power of education as a tool to fight climate change. He writes: “In this scenario, education is the most powerful tool that exists to act against climate change through the promotion of adaptation and mitigation strategies, and thus provide a more promising future to the next generations. To begin with, education creates awareness and extends the knowledge needed to reduce future risks. Two of the most critical issues today, and which will continue to be so in the future, are water and sanitation.”

An organisation, Daniel wants to highlight and support

"I am glad to know that there are more than 3,600 people, from different parts of the world, in search of a sustainable future for the planet, because I firmly believe that we can only win the fight against climate change if we join our efforts. I want to show my support to Rotary International. I do my volunteering with this organization and I believe in their ability to help others and connect the world."

Jacob Dalder, The United States of America

Studying a Master in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London in England.


Jacob has both a great amount of experience and ambition, which qualifies him to be in the top 10 finalists! He has studied at Stanford University, worked as a management consultant focused on sustainability and social impact and has volunteer experience as a screener and judge for the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. Jacob is eager to shape and accelerate progress toward the sustainable technologies of the future, and we are excited to follow along his exceptional path.

Read about Jacob, his motivation and perspective on how his Master’s degree will help him alleviate climate changes below.

Jacob's motivation to study the program:

Jacob chose the Environmental Technology program at Imperial College London because he was drawn by the learning-by-doing approach: “From the case-based problem solving integrated into the Core Course, to the fieldwork-oriented research project in the third term, all aspects of the program are grounded in practical application. I intend to pursue the Energy Policy option of the course because it will allow me to collaborate on my thesis with an organization making disruptive changes in the energy field.”

How Jacob plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Jacob is already doing a lot for the climate in his work with several projects including providing sustainable packaging and sustainability strategy expertise to global multibillion-dollar businesses. He thinks: “My recent work has shown me that successfully navigating climate change and the energy transition will be the defining challenges of my lifetime both for companies and for society at large”. Also Jacob intends to stay in the UK after his MSc program and work for a social enterprise, NGO, or public sector organization: “I aim to join an organization ensuring energy technologies are available and accessible for populations disproportionately impacted by climate change.”

How Jacob thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

Jacob is pursuing his master’s study because he believes that education is one of the strongest tools for combating climate change, he says: “Over many years, the evidence base on climate change and sustainability science has become more and more robust. The challenge remains how to translate scientific findings from academic contexts into the many factors we require to mitigate climate change: a more climate- and energy-informed and discerning society, ubiquitous policy support for the climate transition, a transition-ready workforce, and social pressure and incentives to change individual and organizational behaviors and practices."

Jose Ramos Finalist

Jose Luis Diaz Ramos, Colombia

Studying an International Master in Environmental Policy at Duke Kunshan University in China.


Jose has plans to devote his career to environmental issues by educating himself in academia! He strongly believes in the importance of facing socio-environmental problems and has already created the first volunteer program to work with young peasants on leadership and project development skills at his faculty. 

Read about Jose, how he plans on combating climate change and his motivation to study the program below.

Jose's motivation to study the program:

Jose has chosen the program in Environmental Policy because the education allows him to have a global mindset as the program is both in China, at Duke Kunshan University, and in the United States, at Duke University. He believes that this program will give him a special perspective: “The program is a great opportunity to acquire holistic knowledge, with which I will be capable of communicating and working with a great variety of disciplines by taking courses on natural resources, environmental science, policy, economics, among others.”

How Jose plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Jose has already worked on several topics such as protection of environmental leaders, climate change, agri-food systems and deforestation. In the future he describes his plans as more academic: “ I also want to do research as an academic. I am convinced that Universities, working together with communities, and in coordination with civil society, can generate knowledge to promote evidence-based actions in the private and public sectors.”

How Jose thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

Jose believes that education is a field where students of the future can help each other shape a sustainable future: “Informed decision-making does not just require great quality information, but also citizens with good judgment. For this, academia is a great place to promote a critical view and analysis towards environmental and climate problems, not only in civil society, but also by working with students, encouraging them to take action so we can build together a better place to live. This is the importance of education to fight against climate change, its capacity to promote critical thinking and inspire change based on accurate information.”

An organisation, Jose wants to highlight and support

“A great organization is Transforma, which has supported my professional development. It is a Colombian organization that works on sustainability and climate change affairs.” You can read more about them here.

Meghan Wood Finalist

Meghan Wood, Canada

Studying a joint MBA and MS in Environment and Resources at Stanford University in The United States of America.


Meghan is a special and sustainability driven woman who experienced the harmful repercussions of the human footprint first-hand and has ever since become determined to make a positive difference in the name of sustainability. Read about Meghan, her motivation and perspective on how her Master’s degree will help her alleviate climate changes below. 

Meghan's motivation to study the program:

"As I worked with TNC it became clear to me that although I could support strategically, I  lacked a deep understanding of the science and engineering behind the problems they are  working to solve. To reach my goals of being a climate leader I knew I needed to not only build a credible business background but also a strong technical foundation to enable me to envision  and critically evaluate green solutions. This led me to the joint MBA and Master of Science in  Environment and Resources at Stanford."

How Meghan plans to fight the impact of climate change:

"In my post-MBA dream, I am a strategist at Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory, collaborating with scientists to commercialize radical environmental innovations, while gaining  entrepreneurial skills by working in a creative start-up setting. I dream of then following in the  footsteps of Nick Halla, an alumnus of the Stanford MBA and MS in Environment and Resources, to build a company like Impossible Foods that revolutionizes the sustainability of an  industry. This founder experience will prepare me for my long-term goal of starting an impact focused Venture Capital firm, supporting future inventors in building a cleaner planet."

How Meghan thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

"Education is an integral piece of my journey and I truly believe that it goes hand in hand  with the fight against climate change. I believe that humans are innately good and that our collective desire is to survive, but that we have not appropriately equipped our leaders with  actionably climate education and solutions. Education is paramount in changing our behaviors  as many of these environmental problems are exacerbated by the fact that their consequences  are not always immediately visible."

An organisation, Meghan wants to highlight and support

I would like to choose Nature United as the organization I believe in, and the one I have worked with most to date.” Their vision is for a sustainable Canada where nature is the foundation of human well-being, prosperity and opportunity for future generations. You can support them here.

Patricia Miranda Finalist

Patricia Miranda, Philippines

Studying a Master of Health, Law and Society (LLM) at University of Bristol in England.


The story of Patricia portrays a woman committed to changing the world for the better; empowering women and fighting for equality whilst also fostering sustainable solutions and bringing climate crisis intervention initiatives through laws and regulation. Patricia draws upon her personal experiences with the harsh outcomes of climate change and combines it with her academic knowledge to advocate for sustainable solutions and to outline the uneven distribution of climate changes. Having experienced a devastating typhoon first-hand, Patricia grew up in a severely affected area of climate change, which has ignited a spark in her. Her determination to create positive change is unquestionable.

Read about Patricia, how she plans on combating climate change and her motivation to study the program below.

Patricia's motivation to study the program:

Patricia’s motivation towards the program originally stems from living, working and growing up in the Philippines - a country that is facing considerable negative effects of climate changes. These negative firsthand experiences with climate changes has led to a professional and academic interest in an ecofeminist approach to planetary health law. As she puts it: “Having survived, with my family, the massive flooding brought by Typhoon Vamco, a deadly Category 4-equivalent typhoon that submerged my family home and resulted in 67 deaths in my region, I am compelled, more than ever, to work with others on developing innovative, inclusive, and sustainable global actions to address the climate crisis and achieve health equity.”

How Patricia plans to fight the impact of climate change:

Patricia plans to strengthen her first-hand and practical knowledge with climate justice networks, social movements and women’s rights organizations, to hopefully become an even stronger future planetary health leader: “The University’s focus on diversity and racial justice, decolonizing law, and feminist leadership will support my growth as a feminist planetary health leader who will harness the power of law and policy to break down unjust structures and systems, promote the inclusion of marginalized peoples and communities, and nurture sustainable and widespread change in my country and the world.“

How Patricia thinks education and the fight against climate change is connected:

Patricia believes that education is a powerful catalyst in preparing for, and responding to the climate emergency we face. As she puts it: “It opens our eyes to the painful reality that not all of us will feel the negative impacts of this crisis equally. For some communities, like mine in the Philippines, the adverse effects will be sooner, harsher, and experienced more frequently. [...]  We from the Philippines already feel the urgency from our scorched, wind-battered, and flooded homes and streets – and this sense of urgency must be brought straight to the climate policy negotiating table.”

It is clear that her upbringing in a country increasingly affected by climate changes has awakened a determination to better the quality of life for everyone; especially inhabitants of areas significantly exposed to climate changes. She believes that sharing knowledge is key in this mission, because it paves the way to model new behaviors and norms in the fight against climate change.

An organisation, Patricia wants to highlight and support:

I am thankful for the opportunity to shine the spotlight on a grassroots organization doing important work on sustainability and climate change in my country.” Patricia is working with Solidarity of Oppressed Filipino People, Inc. (SOFP), which works to empower urban and rural poor communities to claim their rights to basic services and information. To support SOFP, contact them directly.

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