Watch lovers are well aware of the word Perpetual inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. For Rolex its more than just a reference, it’s a philosophy. A philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values.
Since the 1930s, Rolex has always supported those who’ve gone the extra mile in making the world a better place. The brand has equipped pioneering explorers on expeditions to the world’s most remote places, the oceans and the highest peaks. Under the banner of a Perpetual Planet, a legacy of the vision and values of Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf, the brand is joining forces with key individuals and organizations to help find solutions to environmental challenges. For now, the campaign also embraces increased support for oceanographer Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue, which is creating a worldwide network of marine-protected “Hope Spots”, and the National Geographic Society, which is collecting data on climate change.
Earlier this week, Rolex announced 10 finalists for the 2019 Rolex Awards for Enterprise. The finalists were selected by an international jury of 10 experts in February, with each candidate wholeheartedly committed to improving human well-being and protecting our natural heritage. The Awards were established in 1976 on the 50th anniversary of the legendary Rolex Oyster.
For the very first time, Rolex is giving you, that’s right… YOU… the opportunity to vote for the person who inspires you the most and learn more about the project they are involved in.
On 12 June 2019, the finalists will present their projects to participants of the National Geographic Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C., who will also be given an opportunity to vote. The jury, which will reconvene in Washington, will take account of the public vote and choose the final five Laureates, who will be announced on 14 June.
The finalists, who are from nine countries and who range in age from 25 to 49, were selected from 957 applicants from 111 countries; almost 40 per cent of all applicants were women. Each Laureate receives 200,000 Swiss francs (approximately US$200,000) to advance their project; all receive a Rolex chronometer and worldwide publicity.
Visit rolex.org/rolexawards to vote for the project or projects that you think will most contribute to making our Planet Perpetual.
THE 10 ROLEX AWARDS FINALISTS ARE:
Emma Camp, 32, United Kingdom – British marine scientist Emma Camp is bringing hope for the world’s dying reefs through natural selection. She is identifying hot spots of naturally resilient corals that can withstand stresses such as acidic and warming waters. Camp wants to transplant these “super survivors” to areas of the Great Barrier Reef that have been devastated by coral bleaching and enlist volunteers to monitor their survival.
João Campos-Silva, 36, Brazil – In the Amazon, the giant arapaima, the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish, which weighs up to 200 kg, is headed for extinction. But in a close partnership with local associations and fishing leaders, the Brazilian fisheries ecologist has a plan to save not only the arapaima but with it, the livelihoods, food supply and culture of the indigenous communities who depend on the region’s rivers for survival.
Grégoire Courtine, 44, France – A scientist based in Switzerland, Courtine is developing a revolutionary approach to help people with paralysis walk again. His method relies on re-establishing communication between the brain and spinal cord using an implantable electronic “bridge”, potentially encouraging nerve regrowth and restoring control of the legs.
Pablo GarcÍa Borboroglu, 49, Argentina – The Argentinian biologist is proposing a worldwide campaign to address the plight of penguins, who are among the most critically endangered seabirds. The so-called “lawyer of the penguins” is addressing the threats they face with a mixture of science, management and education, by fostering a conservation culture in communities and government. His innovative approach has so far helped to secure 32 million acres of penguin habitat.
Brian Gitta, 26, Uganda – Delaying treatment for malaria for weeks while waiting for test results is common in rural Africa. Gitta is conducting trials on a novel, low-cost, portable device, the Matiscope, which provides results in minutes using light and magnets – without the need for a blood sample. In 2017, Africa had 200 million cases of malaria.
Krithi Karanth, 40, India – Conservation scientist Krithi Karanth is determined to reduce the friction between wildlife and people living near Indian national parks by reducing threats to people, property and livestock, raising conservation awareness in communities and schools and, importantly, assisting with compensation claims through a toll-free helpline service.
Yves Moussallam, 31, France – A French volcanologist, Moussallam is planning two expeditions aboard a traditional Polynesian sailing vessel to measure and analyse gases and aerosols emitted from 17 of the most active volcanoes along an arc of the world’s most volcanically-active region – the Pacific Ring of Fire. His objective is to understand the effect volcanic gases have on global climate, while sharing the adventure and his discoveries via the Internet.
Sara Saeed, 32, Pakistan – Through a healthcare system that digitally connects a network of 1,500 home-based women doctors with people in rural and impoverished communities, Pakistani public health specialist and entrepreneur Sara Saeed is providing low-cost, high-quality, primary healthcare to tens of thousands of people, and helping to stem infant and maternal deaths.
Miranda Wang, 25, Canada – Long involved in investigating how to solve the problem of plastic pollution, California-based, Canadian entrepreneur and molecular biologist Miranda Wang is spearheading an innovative process of turning unrecyclable plastic waste from items such as plastic bags and packing materials into valuable chemicals for use in industrial and consumer products, including making cars and electronics.
Topher White, 37, United States – On a mission to help save the world’s rainforests, American technologist Topher White has created a real- time warning system that can report illegal logging, using repurposed smartphones as “intelligent ears”. The phones also enable scientists to monitor the sounds of rare or important species of birds and animals, creating a vast digital library of raw acoustic data to aid conservation.
MEMBERS OF THE 2019 ROLEX AWARDS JURY:
Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu (Nigeria), a media entrepreneur and philanthropist, is the CEO of EbonyLife Media. She hosts the pan-African talk show Moments with Mo and is the founder of the Inspire Africa Foundation.
Jonathan Baillie (United Kingdom), a global authority on the world’s most threatened species, is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist of the National Geographic Society.
Laurence de la Ferrière (France), alpinist, explorer and writer, opened new routes in challenging terrain over three decades. She has twice broken the women’s world record for altitude without oxygen.
Juan Dumas (Argentina), a respected expert in conflict resolution and public policy in Latin America, has worked with several development finance institutions. He is Senior Advisor at Fundación Futuro Latinamericano (FFLA).
David Gruber (United States), a marine biologist and acclaimed National Geographic Emerging Explorer, has discovered hundreds of species and identified new marine phenomena.
Paula Kahumbu (Kenya), a driving force behind Africa’s conservation movement, is CEO of NGO WildLifeDirect. She has helped preserve threatened wildlife and habitats in Kenya.
Adam Rutherford (United Kingdom), a geneticist and author, is a broadcaster at Inside Science for BBC Radio 4 and The Cell and The Gene Code for BBC Television.
Annika Sörenstam (Sweden/United States), acclaimed as the best female golfer of all time, has rewritten the record books, changing the way women’s golf was played.
Ravi Venkatesan (India), business leader and philanthropist, is a technology pioneer who is also helping to drive social change. He is the founder of the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship.
Ling Wong (United States), an investor and entrepreneur, is passionate about the application of technology in society. She is currently General Partner of Sea Lane Ventures, an investment firm.