There's no question that sustainable solutions to our most pertinent challenges are needed urgently. And young South Africans are not only searching for and supporting calls for these solutions; many have come up with innovative social enterprises and inventions of their own.
Here are four such South Africans – young innovators who are working towards a sustainable future for us all.
Kiara Nirghin stood out long before she started attending Stanford University in 2018. The young innovator won a Google Community Impact Award and the 2016 Google Science Fair for her idea that helps drought-stricken areas.
Her award-winning initiative uses waste products from plants to create a special polymer that stores water. The polymer, made from orange peels and avocado skins, is super absorbent and provides a unique solution for water storage.
According to a 2018 interview with SABC, Kiara says that her non-toxic, biodegradable polymer could be used by farmers to increase the drought tolerance of their crops. The polymer could collect moisture during rainy seasons and release it during dry periods.
Kiara plans to use her knowledge to pursue the development of her polymer and to bring even more social innovation and sustainable solutions to her home country.