Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has announced the winner of its fifth annual Engage Social Media Contest.
This year’s contest received 130 entries, a record level of participation in the five years of this competition, with submissions coming from 45 nations across six continents. For the first time, the contest welcomed submissions in formats other than blogging posts, which led to entries that included videos, slideshows and Tumblr updates.
The theme of this year’s Engage Social Media Contest challenged participants to make a case for the solutions that, in their view, could be most effective in mitigating climate change risks over the next decade. The goal of the contest was to connect the momentum gained from the November COP22 climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco with the enthusiasm building for the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which launched on 12 January.
Conclusions drawn from Masdar’s recent GenZ Global Sustainability survey also shaped this year’s theme, as the survey’s results found that global citizens aged 18 – 25 believed that climate change posed the greatest challenges to their future security and prosperity. Contestants were encouraged to debate their opinions within the Engage site, as well on social media platforms, using the hashtag #WorldIn2026.
This year’s winning post was submitted by Seva Karpauskaite of Kaunus, Lithuania. Her video, filmed with iconic Washington, DC monuments as a backdrop, explored the need to develop green financing structures that would allow clean technologies to expand and scale in order to reduce climate change risks over the next decade.
Ms. Karpauskaite is the first European and second woman to win the contest. A graduate of King’s College at Cambridge University, Ms. Karpauskaite completed her bachelor’s degree in politics, psychology and sociology. Currently she is continuing her studies at the School of International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in International Economics and International Politics with a focus on Energy, Resources and Environment. Amongst Ms. Karpauskaite’s long-term goals is to combine theoretical insights with practical experience into a future career in sustainability advocacy and consulting.
As the winner of this year's Engage competition, Ms. Karpauskaite will be Masdar's VIP social media influencer at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which this year runs from January 12th – 21st.
“We’re very pleased to see the record level of participation this year’s Engage Contest generated,” said Masdar’s Anca Westley, Director of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. “At a time when Masdar’s recent GenZ Youth Survey showed just how passionate young citizens worldwide are about addressing climate change, the contest raised many ideas of how society can ensure sustainable development over the next 10 years. We at Masdar were impressed with the wide range of opinions, as well as the high level of discussion that has continued on social media.
“The enthusiasm shared by both the contest’s participants and readers showed just how important this topic is to people around the world. The volume of comments on many of the postings, and the ongoing conversation on social media, revealed the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the next decade. And as a segue into the events that will soon launch during ADSW, this discussion enhances the event’s reputation as one where solutions can be found to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and sustainable technologies. The contest served an important purpose: to help build excitement for the coming week, and showcase why Abu Dhabi has become a leading global energy hub.”
During this year’s ADSW, the Middle East's largest gathering on sustainability, Ms. Karpauskaite will have the opportunity to cover the event's official Opening Ceremony and Global Action Day. Ms. Karpauskaite will also report on the tenth World Future Energy Summit, the ninth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony, the fifth International Water Summit, the fourth annual EcoWaste Summit, the second Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) side event, the second Student Exclusive event, and the first Global Energy Forum, in addition to other ADSW activities.
The contest’s runners-up were offered a complimentary pass for ADSW, which included access to all of the conference’s events. The participants who were also considered as the contest’s finalists were:
This year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is projected to gather more than 37,000 participants from 170 countries, including global decision makers in research, policy, industry and finance, to address the interconnected challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, renewable energy and water security.