Eco-Business Sustainability Leadership A-List winners and CDG-EB Impact Sustainability Education Grant unveiled

Eco-Business Sustainability Leadership A-List winners and CDG-EB Impact Sustainability Education Grant unveiled

Singapore, 1 February 2024 – Local government leaders, chief sustainability officers, entrepreneurs and prominent activists who have pushed for change in their organisations and communities in the Asia Pacific region were honoured and celebrated today at the fifth edition of the  Sustainability Leadership A-List Awards by Eco-Business.   

A diverse range of individuals across Asia Pacific were recognised, such as those who spearhead efforts across decarbonisation, nature conservation, smallholder empowerment, healthcare, and waste management. 

The Sustainability Leadership A-List awards by sustainability media and advisory firm Eco-Business are the annual who’s who list of distinguished sustainability leaders in Asia Pacific. Winners were unveiled at the inaugural EB Impact charity gala dinner hosted at the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay in Singapore on Thursday. 

Themed ‘Onwards: Sustainability Leadership in a Time of Urgency’, the event also saw the launch of the CDG-EB Impact Sustainability Education Grant, the first-of-its-kind grant in Singapore which aims to transform the lives of underserved youths in Singapore who have plans to enrol in a tertiary education course with a focus on sustainability and sustainable development.  

EB Impact is a Singapore-registered non-profit established in 2019 focused on delivering training and programmes on youth and education to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some of its flagship programmes include a youth mentorship programme Sustainability Exchange as well as the Sustainability Media Academy which upskills journalists and editors on climate and sustainable development reporting and story-telling. 

EB Impact founder and Board Member, Jessica Cheam, said: “Through this initiative, we hope to provide a helpful nudge to young students to pursue sustainability-driven courses, to prioritise those in financial need and provide them with not just financial assistance in the form of grants but also leadership development programmes.” 

In his opening address as guest of honour, Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and Ministry of Manpower said: “2023 was Singapore’s fourth hottest year on record. For the rest of the world, it was the warmest year on record. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of record we can pat ourselves on the back and say ‘congratulations’ – it is something that should get all of us to worry. The effects of climate change and the impacts of it are very real. We must collectively take actions today to safeguard the well-being of our current and future generations. We have to set an inflection point. And if we don’t take these inflection points seriously, we will soon be past the tipping point.” 

ComfortDelGro Managing Director / Group CEO, Mr. Cheng Siak Kian said: “ComfortDelGro is committed to creating a sustainable future not only through our business operations but also by nurturing young leaders and talent in the sustainability field. We believe that the CDG-EB Impact Sustainability Education Grant will empower our youths to champion sustainable development and drive change. We hope that the recipients of the grant will be able to embark on fulfilling careers and help chart a sustainable future for Singapore.” 

Singapore-listed ComfortDelGro (CDG) is one of the world’s largest land transport companies with global operations spanning seven countries – Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, Ireland and Malaysia. The group is one of the companies leading the sector’s decarbonisation in Asia. In 2021, CDG became the first mobility operator in Asia to commit to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and is among the few Singapore companies to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Asia Pacific since 2019. 

As a start, 10 youths — eight from Singapore and two from ASEAN countries — will be awarded a SGD5,000 grant at the start of their academic year. These beneficiaries will gain access to mentorship and leadership opportunities through EB Impact’s programmes and sustainability ecosystem, as well as potential internships where suitable.  

Applications for the CDG-EB Impact Sustainability Education Grant officially opened on the night of the gala, with more details and link to the application form available on the website for youths who wish to apply. 

Sustainability Leadership A List 

The awards ceremony on Thursday commemorated 20 outstanding individuals who have made a measurable impact on society and the environment in 2023.  

These included individuals working across a wide range of organisations, such as energy storage solution start-up deMITasse Energies, global real estate company Lendlease and the Quezon City local government in the Philippines. Prominent environmental activists, including an Indigenous grassroots leader, were also recognised for the impact they have demonstrated in the causes that they are fighting for. 

The Sustainability Leadership A-List 2023 by Eco-Business drew over 100 nominations from Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as South Asia and Australia.  

The nominees were assessed by two distinguished panel of judges representing leaders from business and civic society. After careful deliberation, 10 individuals from business, government and civil society sectors and 10 youths made it to the final Sustainability Leadership A-List.  

The list celebrates individuals who are diverse in background and age, and serves as a testament that passionate young people have the power to make a tangible impact in sustainability in the region.  

The event, which was attended by 200 guests in person and hundreds more virtually, commemorates the fifth edition of the annual Sustainability Leadership A-List presented by Eco-Business in partnership with Indonesian conglomerate RGE, Singapore-listed property firm CDL, and LinkedIn. 

The charity dinner also marked the 15-year anniversary of Eco-Business and five years of EB Impact since its inception. 

Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Director of Eco-Business, said: “We are delighted to commend the work and efforts of these talented individuals, who come from all walks of life and are a testament that age presents no boundaries when united for a common cause.” 

Ng Wai Mun, Deputy Editor, Eco-Business added: “It is clearer than ever that our climate crisis will continue to adversely affect the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide, especially those from vulnerable communities, underlining the importance and impact of effective and persistent climate action. We hope that by celebrating the efforts of these individuals, that others will truly be inspired. We congratulate all the awardees who were recognised today, we thank all our partners and community for supporting this initiative.” 

The Sustainability Leadership A-List judges included:   

  • Ramnath Iyer, Lead, Sustainable Finance Asia, IEEFA   
  • Su-Yen Wong, Board Director, Singapore Institute of Directors (SID)   
  • S Viswanathan, Professor of Operations and Corporate Sustainability, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore  
  • Tom Brzostowski, Singapore Country Director, The Nature Conservancy  

The Sustainability Leadership Youth A-List judges included:  

  • Esther An, Chief sustainability officer, City Developments Limited (CDL)   
  • Lahiru Wijedasa, Asia Forest Coordinator, Birdlife International   
  • Madhumitha Ardhanari, Sustainability Strategist, Forum for the Future   
  • Tanah Sullivan, Group Head of Sustainability, GoTo    

Here are the winners of the Eco-Business Sustainability Leadership A-List 2023: (see Appendix I for detailed citations) 

  1. Aida Greenbury, Senior Sustainability Advisor, Independent Oil Palm Smallholders’ Union (SKPS) and Board Member, Farmers for Forest Protection Foundation, for supporting and speaking up for smallholder farmers’ welfare in Indonesia. 
  2. Cate Harris, Group Head of Sustainability and Global Head of Lendlease Foundation, Lendlease, for pushing the real estate industry to tackle value chain emissions.  
  3. Celine Lim, Managing Director, SAVE Rivers, for enduring in fight against timber logging in Sarawak, Malaysia.  
  4. Cherrie Atilano, Founder, President and CEO, Agrea Agricultural Systems International, for pioneering economic models to lift farming communities out of poverty.  
  5. Eric Lim, Chief Sustainability Officer, United Overseas Bank (UOB), for mapping transition finance pathways to support a sustainable Southeast Asia.  
  6. Felix Ayque, Founder and CEO, Komunidad, for building climate resilience in typhoon-prone Philippines with technology.  
  7. Joy Belmonte, Mayor, Quezon City, Philippines, for leading the charge to invigorate and green the Philippines’ most populous city.  
  8. Krista Milne, Co-Chief Heat Officer and Climate Change and City Resilience Director, City of Melbourne, Australia, for instituting effective policies to help Australia beat the heat.    
  9. Mahesh Nakarmi, Founding Chairman and Executive Director, Health Environment Climate Action Foundation (HECAF360), for redesigning healthcare waste management systems in Nepal.  
  10. Vijay Prateik, CEO, deMITasse Energies, for harnessing technology for a new class of energy-storing power plants. 

The winners of the Eco-Business Sustainability Leadership Youth A-List 2023 are: (see Appendix II for detailed citations)  

  1. Antonio Flores, Founder and Executive Director, FarmLab Ecopraxis, for reimagining community-owned agriculture in the Philippines. 
  2. Ho Xiang Tian, Co-founder, LepakInSG, for examining Singapore’s green policies to drive ambition and accountability.   
  3. Jann Vinze Barcinal, Founder and Chairperson, Dulungan Youth, for championing youth environmental stewardship through hornbill conservation.   
  4. Kong Man Jing, Co-founder, Just Keep Thinking, for making science education fun and accessible. 
  5. Krishna Ariola, Lead Convenor, Youth for Climate Hope, for leading a local environmental movement to fight for ecological justice.    
  6. Mihir Pershad, Founder and CEO, Umami Bioworks, for combatting unsustainable fishing with cell-cultivated seafood innovation.   
  7. Natasha Zulaikha, Co-founder, Coralku, for advocating research-based coral conservation in Malaysia.  
  8. Oh Chu Xian, Founder, Magorium, for giving new life to contaminated plastic waste with proprietary technology.   
  9. Tamara Dewi Gondo Soerijo, CEO, Liberty Society, for helping refugee women rebuild their lives through fashion entrepreneurship.   
  10. Yasser Amin, Chief Stridy Officer, Stridy, for tackling Singapore’s litter problem.  

Lucita Jasmin, Director for Sustainability and External Affairs, APRIL Group said: “Congratulations to this year’s A-List Awards recipients. We commend these winners who exemplify that sustainability is about practical, collective action on the ground and delivering positive impact to our stakeholders, particularly the local communities. We applaud Eco-Business for recognising sustainability leaders who are balancing the objectives of business and the global ambitions for climate, nature and inclusive development.” 

Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, CDL and Youth A-List judge said: “2023 was the warmest year on record, with deadly extreme weather events occurring under global warming of about 1.1°C. With less than six years left to actualise the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the power of youths in the battle against the climate emergency cannot be understated. As a longstanding advocate of youth empowerment, CDL is thrilled to have supported the Eco-Business Youth A-List since its inauguration in 2020, and delighted to recognise youth leaders who are able to drive change towards a more sustainable future in the public, private and people sectors.” 

Grace Kerrison, Head of LinkedIn Sales Solutions, Asia-Pacific said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it. LinkedIn is proud to partner with Eco-Business in celebrating the Eco-Business Sustainability Leadership A-List awards this year. Together, we’re honouring the trailblazers in Business Sustainability – the practitioners, entrepreneurs, and social innovators who are not only leading but also transforming companies and communities to make a meaningful difference in the Asia Pacific region. Their commitment to putting our planet and society first is not only inspiring, it’s the blueprint for a sustainable future. Congratulations to this year’s Sustainability A-List and Youth A-List nominees and winners.” 

Sustainability Leadership A-List winner Joy Belmonte, Mayor of Quezon City: “What inspires me to keep pushing on is the people of our city. It is when you see that the people are receptive to what you believe in, that they are cooperative and see the point of why you’re doing something and work with you, and then you get inspired to continue the task – because you know that your efforts are not futile. When that realisation strikes you, that’s the greatest inspiration that you can ever have to just keep on moving. It’s the fact that you know your actions are impacting the community, the environment and the people that live in in your communities.”  

Sustainability Leadership Youth A-List winner Kong Man Jing, Co-founder, Just Keep Thinking: “From the people who we manage to reach through our videos, to the families who enjoy our nature-guided programmes and workshops, to the children that come up to tell me how much they have learned about nature and how much they want to protect the planet – these moments are all very precious to me and inspire me to continue pushing forwards.”  

Read more about the Sustainability Leadership A-List winners and the Sustainability Leadership Youth A-List winners in our special reports. 

One-to-one interviews with Sustainability Leadership A-List winners, judges and partners are available upon request. For interviews and media queries, please contact:  

Gabrielle See 

Finance correspondent  


About Eco-Business  

Established in 2009, Eco-Business is Asia Pacific’s largest media and business intelligence organisation dedicated to sustainable development and ESG performance. We publish high quality, trusted news and views to a senior audience around the world on business and policy developments. MNCs, SMEs, governments, multilateral institutes and civic society organisations across the world tap on our suite of thought leadership services across multimedia platforms, as well as advisory services, training and development. We are headquartered in Singapore, with a presence in China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and correspondents in major cities around the world. Visit   

About EB Impact  

EB Impact is the sister non-profit organisation of Eco-Business focused on delivering training and programmes to Asia Pacific’s underserved communities to generate positive sustainable development impact. Visit


Appendix I 

The Eco-Business Sustainability Leadership A-List 2023 – Profiles  

In alphabetical order

Aida Greenbury 

Senior Sustainability Advisor, Independent Oil Palm Smallholders’ Union (SKPS)  

Board member, Farmers for Forest Protection Foundation 

Aida is a Senior Sustainability Advisor to SKPS, an Indonesian organisation committed to supporting small-scale oil palm farmers become more sustainable. She helps smallholders gain market access through fair pricing schemes and no-deforestation management efforts. Beyond policy, she also provides psychological support, inspiring optimism among smallholders facing stringent agricultural regulations.  

Last year, as a former advisor to the High Cabon Stock Approach Foundation, Aida simplified the High Carbon Stock (HCS) toolkit so that smallholders can independently apply it.   

She has dedicated herself to global and regional deforestation issues. With 15 years as the Managing director of Sustainability at Asia Pulp and Paper Group, Aida brings unparalleled expertise to her current endeavours. 

Cate Harris 

Group Head of Sustainability and Global Head of Lendlease Foundation, Lendlease 

Cate is the Group Head of Sustainability for real estate company Lendlease. She recently spearheaded the development of Lendlease’s groundbreaking protocol for Scope 3 emissions, which make up 90 per cent of its carbon footprint. This industry-leading piece of work provides practical pathways for developers, builders and construction material manufacturers to address their value chain emissions, to work towards achieving Lendlease’s absolute zero carbon target – achieved with no offsets – by 2040. 

In 2023, she called for industry peers to disclose their Scope 3 emissions and pushed for an industry-wide data-sharing platform.  

She was recently named in Financial Standard’s 50 most influential ESG leaders. Throughout her 20 years of experience, she also served as the executive director at the UN Global Compact Network Australia. 

Celine Lim 

Managing Director, SAVE Rivers 

Celine is a member of the Kayan tribe from Long Pilah, Sarawak. She was formerly an educator before becoming the Managing director at indigenous rights activist group SAVE Rivers. Recently, she garnered support from other Malaysian and international NGOs and forced Malaysian timber group Samling to withdraw a defamation lawsuit against SAVE Rivers. The suit sought damages from SAVE Rivers who called out Samling for not consulting local communities with their logging operations. 

She is also the driving force behind a movement to oppose the Baram Dam project that would have displaced 20,000 Indigenous Peoples from their land in Sarawak. The mega hydroelectric dam would have inundated 412 square kilometres of land, an area three-fifths of the size of Singapore. 

For two years, she organised a blockade and made it fun with food, music and dancing. SAVE Rivers maintained good relations with the Sarawak Forestry Department and State government which helped the NGO push for the Baram Dam to be revoked. 

Cherrie Atilano 

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Agrea Agricultural Systems International   

Cherrie founded Agrea Agricultural Systems International, an inclusive agribusiness driven to eradicate poverty, alleviate climate change and ensuring food security in the Philippines.  

She envisions to develop her nation’s first sustainable living model through her One Island Economy Model in Marinduque, one of the Philippines’ poorest provinces. 

As of 2019, Agrea has offered holistic guidance and financial literacy to 500 farmers. Cherrie’s initiatives have transformed underused land into sustainable agriculture sites, increasing farmers’ income up to 5 times and impacting 1,274 residents.  

Agrea also leads a government-funded Farm School that teaches farmers modules on financial literacy, organic agriculture, agripreneurship and farm tourism. 

Eric Lim 

Chief Sustainability Officer, UOB 

Eric was appointed UOB’s first CSO in 2021. Under Eric’s leadership, UOB recently launched its first net zero progress in October 2023. The Singaporean lender achieved reductions in financed emissions for five high carbon-emitting sectors, remaining below their respective reference target pathways. The bank has also provided S$38 billion (US$28.6 billion) in sustainable financing as of September 2023, surpassing its S$30 billion (US$22.5 billion) target roughly two years ahead of schedule 

He also actively speaks as a sustainable finance leader at various high profile global, regional and local events, including COP27, Oxford Sustainable Finance Summit, Point Zero Forum and Singapore Fintech Festival. 

Eric was recently named the Best Sustainability Officer at The Asset ESG Corporate Awards 2023. 

Felix Ayque 

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Komunidad   

Felix is the Founder of Komunidad, saving lives with climate resilience data analysis and software. Since 2021, he has been working with governments and companies to alert coastal communities vulnerable to frequent storms in real-time. 

He launched an ongoing early warning monitoring system in tourist destination Siargao Island. Called the Climate Smart-Siargao project, he is working to set up Komunidad’s systems with nine municipalities by end 2024. 

Through Felix’s leadership, Komunidad has an efficient team consisting of meteorologists, data scientists, IT developers and disaster risk reduction experts. Their systems are also supporting villages in India and Cambodia. 

Joy Belmonte 

Mayor, Quezon City 

Joy is a visionary Mayor committed to transforming Quezon City, the most populated city in the Philippines. Re-elected in 2019, she launched the “Trash to Cashback” program in 2022 which revolutionised waste management by allowing residents to exchange recyclables for points to pay bills and buy groceries. She also pioneered projects like “Vote to Tote”, transforming campaign tarpaulins into bags, and installing refill stations for essentials in convenience stores. 

As a staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights, Belmonte declared Quezon City the nation’s “safest space” for the community, conducting mass commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.  

Under her leadership, the city established the QC Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department, shaping a roadmap for a climate-resilient and carbon-neutral city by 2050 through the Enhanced Local Climate Change Action Plan. She is also a recipient of the 2023 UNEP Champion of the Earth award for reducing citywide plastic pollution. 

Krista Milne 

Chief Heat Officer and Climate Change Director, City of Melbourne 

Krista Milne is Melbourne city’s Co-Chief Heat Officer and Director of Climate Change and City Resilience. She is one of the first two chief heat officers appointed in the city. 

She leads initiatives to help Melbourne achieve its net-zero emissions city by 2040 target and works with partners across government and private agencies for better heat management and coordination. She is also known for being on the ground by engaging with communities affected by heatwaves.   

She has over 20 years’ experience in climate action, environmental policy and regulations and corporate sustainability and has been at the forefront of many of the city’s world-renowned climate initiatives including Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, Power Melbourne, heat action, advocacy and adaptation programmes. 

Mahesh Nakarmi 

Founder Chairman and Executive Director, HECAF360 

Mahesh started Health Environment Climate Action Foundation (HECAF360), Nepal’s leading provider of climate-friendly technology solutions for healthcare waste management systems. An engineer by training, he developed simple and accessible methods to disinfect and compost medical waste before selling off any recyclable material.   

Mahesh actively participates in the design of climate-resilient hospitals in difficult terrains across Nepal. He has also pushed for local communities, politicians and local hospital administrators to take ownership of health care waste management issues. 

Mahesh’s leadership by example also gained the attention of the World Health Organization, the German International Development Organisation GIZ and USAID among others. 

Vijay Prateik 

Co-founder and CEO, deMITasse Energies 

Vijay leads deMITasse Energies, a start-up that builds industrial power plants to be more efficient, low cost and lower missions than thermal power plants. His technology can supposedly store electricity and industrial waste heat eight times cheaper than lithium-ion technology for over 18 months without any energy loss. 

Vijay’s technology is supporting power grids in India and in Colorado, US. He targets industries forced to waste a lot of energy with thermal power plants, helping them to cut their emission footprint by over 60 per cent and boost energy efficiency by over 40 to 60 per cent. His technology is also helping the Indian and US Navy to go green by providing them with efficient energy storage and waste heat recovery tech. 

The company now has pilots with several clients and as of August 2023, is moving towards commercialisation, pending regulatory approvals. 


Appendix II 

The Eco-Business Youth A-List 2022 – Profiles 

In alphabetical order 

Antonio Flores II 

Founder and Executive Director, FarmLab Ecopraxis 

Antonio is a farmer and Executive Director at FarmLab Ecopraxis, an organisation aimed at revolutionising agriculture in the Philippines through agricultural science, social technology, and regenerative design. He also holds a national certificate in Training Methodologies for Organic Agriculture Production. 

Armed with a background in agricultural biotechnology, he aims to create regenerative agriculture models to nourish, enhance biodiversity, and sequester carbon. He is working to establish community gardens, organic farms and food forests across the Philippines. Since 2020, he has enlisted agricultural land as hubs for climate action with 12 model sites and 12 partner communities. 

Wearing many hats, Antonio is also a technical consultant for the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), helping schools develop self-sustained crop landscaping for entrepreneurship. 

Ho Xiang Tan  

Co-founder, LepakInSG  

Xiang Tian co-founded LepakinSG to be Singapore’s most impactful informal environmental group. Since 2015, he has pushed Singapore to rethink its current environmental commitments through climate advocacy, youth diplomacy, and literacy campaigns to simplify government environmental policies. 

He leads initiatives to bridge expert and public consultation with the Singapore government’s environmental policies. In 2022, he compiled feedback from experts and the public towards the Singapore Green Plan. In 2023, he and his team successfully deferred plans for fish farms around Pulau Satumu and Pulau Jong.  

Currently, he also tracks environmentally related questions asked in Parliament. He is a regular speaker at Singapore’s youth-led climate protests organised by climate justice collective SG Climate Rally. 

Jann Vinze Barcinal  

Founder and Chairperson, Dulungan Youth    

Javie is a nature conservationist who founded youth-led grassroots organisation Dulungan Youth to fight for community-led biodiversity conservation in Antique province. In 2020, he helped push for the local government in Antique province to recognise the critically endangered Rufous-headed hornbill as a provincial flagship species through Provincial Ordinance 2020-208. 

He uses storytelling techniques to mainstream conversations on protecting the hornbill. Recently, he led flagship ‘Paglaum workshops’ that uses art and ecology to instil hope for and inspire positive action from at least 100 youths. Through Dulungan Youth, he also establishes partnerships with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Haribon Foundation, engaging communities through month-long awareness campaigns during Dulungan Month in August annually. 

As a 2024 Forest Restoration Steward of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), he further empowers hornbill conservation efforts through ecological education, agroforestry and community tree nursery projects. 

Kong Man Jing 

Co-founder, Just Keep Thinking 

Man Jing, more widely known as Biogirl MJ, runs an edu-tainment platform called Just Keep Thinking, which has garnered a huge following on TikTok and Instagram. She provides free environmental and science education to advocate for environmental action. 

Her platforms have amassed over 500,000 followers within three years. Her ability to creatively break down facts into entertaining information has inspired schools to use her content to spark children’s interest in environment and sustainability issues. One of her videos on intertidal wildlife etiquette pushed government agencies to provide additional training for volunteer guides and to improve legislations to protect marine life in Singapore. 

She herself is also an active volunteer and nature guide who works with communities on the ground to spread awareness on environmental campaigns, conducting intertidal nature tours, hosting community cleanup events and outreach booths. Man Jing also recently co-authored and published a comic book on intertidal biodiversity awareness which was nominated as a finalist for Singapore Book Awards 2023.

Krishna Ariola 

Lead Convenor, Youth for Climate Hope 

Krishna is the Co-founder of Youth for Climate Hope, a Bacolod-based environmental youth coalition. She played a pivotal role leading the successful Coal-Free Negros movement that successfully stopped coal-fired power plants and a liquefied natural gas plant from developing in Negros Occidental, her hometown in the Philippines. She won the Negros Occidental Conservationist Award in 2021 for her campaigning efforts. 

As a youth and energy campaigner at the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), she puts her experience organising rural communities and grassroots to campaign for clean energy and ecosystem preservation. She is also an eloquent speaker who inspires audiences to join the global movement on human rights and climate action, at Egypt’s COP27 and as a TEDx speaker, twice.  

Mihir Pershad 

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Umami Bioworks 

Mihir founded Umami Bioworks, a start-up that brings together stem cell biology, machine learning and production automation to pioneer technology that makes cultivated seafood to tackle unsustainable traditional fishing.  

In April 2023, Mihir, along with his team, developed the world’s first cultivated fish fillet. He is now preparing his start-up for commercialisation. through democratising access to Umami’s cultivated tech, and through recruiting an experienced team of scientists, bioengineers and food industry experts. He also secured the start-up’s first two licensing customers in Malaysia and Japan, allowing Umami to enter the Japanese market. 

Under Mihir’s leadership, Umami has also been recognized as one of Silicon Review’s 50 Most Admired Companies of the Year in 2022, winner of the THRIVE Global Impact Challenge in December 2022, and Best Alternative Protein Company in FoodTech Challengers 2023. 

Natasha Zulaikha 

Co-founder, Coralku 

Natasha hails from a diverse conservation background and has recently co-founded Coralku in 2021, a research-driven coral restoration enterprise that restores degraded coral reef sites in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia. Coralku aims to address knowledge gaps in coral reef science through application of cutting-edge techniques to enhance the resilience of our future corals. 

Natasha and her team combine conservation communication and cutting-edge techniques to restore degraded coral reefs and has successfully planted 6,700 corals. By getting youths to participate and adopt corals, the conservation scientist is also raising awareness about the hardships of coral restoration.   

She is currently a PhD candidate studying conservation psychology, focusing on human-elephant conflicts in Malaysia. In 2021, she was recognised by Prestige’s 40 under 40 Award for outstanding leaders in sustainability and conservation. 

Oh Chu Xian 

Founder, Magorium 

Chu Xian is the Founder of Magorium, a deep-tech start-up that recycles contaminated plastic waste into new material to pave more sustainable roads in Singapore. Her innovation and entrepreneurship have enabled businesses and developers to dispose of plastics responsibility, quickly, and affordably. 

Chu Xian also works with Singapore’s government agencies on sustainability campaigns, workshops and recycling drives to call upon adopting alternative greener materials for infrastructure development. 

She has been recognised in the Forbes under 30 Asia, Prestige under 40, The Peak Power list, 10 For Zero under Conservation International, Edge under 35. She has also been supported by DBS Foundation, HSBC Sustainability Fund and Gamechanger, Temasek Foundation, Bluewater Heros award by One Marina and Citibank amongst others. 

Tamara Dewi Gondo Soerijo 

Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Society 

Tamara is the CEO at Liberty Society, an Indonesian social enterprise that addresses environmental woes from fast fashion industries and simultaneously empowers marginalised women. She employs 25 refugee Afghan women to sew fabric items using sustainably sourced materials such as bamboo, cotton, or even waste fabric. 

Her strategic business-to-business plan involves transparently collaborating with socially conscious organisations based in Indonesia and Singapore, including fashion brands that want to ethically manufacture their items. Liberty Society recently teamed up with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Uniqlo to repurpose denim offcuts into pouches and cardholders. They are also working with Deloitte Indonesia to upcycle plastic waste into laptop sleeves. 

Yasser Amin 

Chief Stridy Officer, Stridy  

Yasser is the Chief Stridy Officer in Singaporean community cleanup organisation Stridy. He dedicates his time to facilitate accessible and low-effort community cleanup efforts and awareness campaigns. In 2023, through Yasser’s efforts, Stridy organised over 100 cleanup sessions in both urban and natural environments, hosting around 3,500 participants. 

Yasser’s passion for the environment was ignited during his first beach clean-up experience. Witnessing the detrimental effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems motivated them to act and protect these precious natural spaces. 

He is also the co-lead of the #EastCoastBeachPlan, where he unites various clean-up organisations in Singapore to perform clean-ups together and exchange best practices. He also actively represents and speaks for this collective group at various NGO and governmental events. 

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