The Dopper Changemaker Challenge is an opportunity for students across the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Nepal to change the world with their research related to polluted water and plastic waste. The top 10 finalists will win grants of up to £5,000, bespoke mentoring, and sector networks, to help them bring their innovative solution to life!
This week the semi-finalists will be selected by our jury of clean water and plastic waste experts. Keep reading to meet our incredible jury lineup, from plastic waste campaigners to innovative social entrepreneurs.
CEO and Founder of Dopper
The inspiration to become a social entrepreneur and start the company Dopper was initiated by the beach. In October 2009, after watching a documentary about ‘plastic soup’ Merijn Everaarts realized that we are living in a world with a very big challenge to overcome; to search for a solution for plastic waste and a better plastic lifestyle. The realization after watching the documentary was shocking, as was learning how toxic single-use plastic is. Something had to change, not tomorrow, but today. From that moment it began to frustrate Merijn – seeing so many PET bottles and plastic bags around. The volume of PET bottles was the most annoying and he started asking people why they used them. In the beginning he thought it was because they wanted mineral water, but everybody proudly noted that they reusing that bottle daily. It was not about the mineral water, but the bottle, so if people want a bottle, they can get a nice and sustainable one! The concept for the Dopper was founded.
Photographer and artist
Andy Hughes photographic work explores the littoral zone and the politics of waste. He is one of the first artist photographers who explored plastic as metaphor, subject and pollutant. Whilst at Art School, he learned to surf and was concerned about the increasing levels of human sewage and plastic he observed in the sea.He was the first Artist in Residence at Tate Gallery St. Ives and short-listed reserve artist for the Arts Council England Antarctic Fellowship. He has supported many non-profit and NGOs such as Surfers Against Sewage, RAWFoundationUK, The Marine Conservation Society and the Surfrider Foundation.
Maria Coronado Robles:
Senior Consultant of Natural Resources at Euromonitor International
Maria Coronado Robles is senior consultant in Natural Resources at Euromonitor International. She provides global expertise and forward-thinking insights in natural resources with focus on sustainability trends, helping companies to take more informed business decisions.
Prior to this role, Maria was a senior analyst in the ingredients team at Euromonitor International and she worked briefly for bio-bean a London-based company that recycles coffee waste into carbon neutral biomass and biofuels products. She completed her international Ph.D. in chemical engineering in collaboration with Imperial College London and subsequently joined the University of Leeds as a postdoctoral researcher working in plastic packaging waste in the CVORR project – Complex Value Optimization for Resource Recovery.
Head of Investments at Sky Ocean Ventures
Jamie joined the Sky Ocean Ventures team in 2018 to lead the fund’s investment processes and portfolio management. Sky Ocean Ventures is a media-powered impact investment fund launched by Sky with a £25M commitment to invest in and accelerate new science and technologies that can address the ocean plastic crisis. Building on Sky’s environmental campaign – Sky Ocean Rescue, we have partnered with leading research and scientific bodies such as National Geographic, Imperial College London and Innovate UK to find new innovative solutions to this challenge. Prior to Sky, Jamie worked as in investor at technology investments funds in both the UK and US and has been part of the founding team of an impact-focused start-up focusing on tropical crop health. Jamie is a graduate from the MBA program at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management in California, begun his career as a private equity lawyer at Freshfields and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in the UK and the Middle East and is a graduate of the University of Bristol.
Environmental Sustainability Manager at Stella McCartney
Debra joined Stella McCartney in 2016 and is the Environmental Sustainability Manager. Before joining Stella McCartney, Debra was a sustainability and climate change consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she primarily worked with Kering on their annual Environmental Profit & Loss. The E P&L is an innovative tool that quantifies and monetises the impact a business has on the environment from the production of raw materials used to its direct operations. In her role at Stella McCartney, Debra works with suppliers and supply chain teams to implement sustainable sourcing initiatives and reduce the environmental impact of the supply chain.
Unfortunately Debra cannot make it to the finals of the Dopper Changemaker Challenge anymore. She did however help in the selection of the semi-finalists.
Lizzie is an activist, author and influencer that focusses on sustainable traveling. Her main focus is to create awareness about plastic pollution in our waters. As an avid paddle-boarder the problem of plastic pollution might be more apparent to her than to others. And make no mistake! Lizzie is not just any paddle-boarder, one of her achievements for example is being the first woman to paddle-board across the English Channel!