The Rolex Awards for Enterprise - Netflix

In 1976, The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were launched to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the legendary Rolex Oyster. The Rolex Awards is a series of biennial awards "aimed at fostering a spirit of enterprise around the world", promoted by the Swiss wristwatch company Rolex. The awards recognize outstanding achievement, particularly in the areas of science and medicine, technology and innovation, exploration and discovery,; the environment, and cultural heritage. The awards are given to five Laureates and five Associate Laureates for pioneering efforts to expand knowledge and improve human life. Laureates receive US\$100,000 each; the Associate Laureates, US\$50,000. As of 2011, 115 laureates have been selected since the awards were established in 1976. Judging is done by world-famous experts. All Laureates and Associate Laureates apply on their own behalf.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise - Netflix

Type: Award Show

Languages: English

Status: Running

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 2016-11-18

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise - Sonam Wangchuk (engineer) - Netflix

Sonam Wangchuk (born 1 September 1966) is a Ladakhi engineer, innovator and education reformist. He is the founding-director of the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) which was founded in 1988 by a group of students who had been in his own words, the ‘victims’ of an alien education system foisted on Ladakh. He is also known for designing the SECMOL campus that runs on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating. Wangchuk was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope in 1994, a collaboration of government, village communities and the civil society to bring reforms in the government school system. He invented the Ice Stupa technique that creates artificial glaciers, used for storing winter water in form of conical shaped ice heap.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise - Ice Stupa - Netflix

In January 2014, Wangchuk started a project called the Ice Stupa. His aim was to find a solution to the water crisis being faced by the farmers of Ladakh in the critical planting months of April and May before the natural glacial melt waters start flowing. By the end of February in 2014, they had successfully built a two-story prototype of an ice stupa which could store roughly 150,000 litres of winter stream water which nobody wanted at the time. In 2015, when Ladakh faced a crisis due to a landslide which blocked the Phugtal river in Zanskar and caused formation of 15 km long lake which became a huge threat for the downstream population, Wangchuk proposed to used a siphon technique to drain the lake and water jet erosion to safely cut the edges instead of blasting the lake as was being planned. However, his advice was ignored and blasting work was carried on. On 7 May 2015, the lake finally burst into flash flood which destroyed 12 bridges and many fields. In 2016, Wangchuk started applying the Ice Stupa technique for disaster mitigation at high altitude glacier lakes. He was invited by Government of Sikkim to apply siphon technique for another dangerous lake in their state. In September 2016 he led a three week expedition to the Lhonak Glacial Lake in North-West Sikkim, which had been declared dangerous for the last few years. His team camped in tents for two weeks at the lake amidst rain and snow, installing the first phase of a siphoning system to drain the lake to a safer level until other measures were taken up. In late 2016, the idea started gaining traction from the authorities in the Swiss Alps. Wangchuk was invited by the president of Pontresina, a municipality in the Engadine valley, Switzerland to build Ice Stupas to add to their winter tourism attractions. In October 2016, Wangchuk and his team went to the Swiss Alps and started building the first Ice Stupa of Europe together with the Swiss partners. In February 2018, a group of young local sculpturists and artist from Ladakh built an actual 10ft high ice stupa The wondrous sculpture is made entirely of ice and it took them 25 days of hard work and dedication to complete the project. What makes it more special and challenging for the team was the extreme conditions under which they've worked. As the stupa was housed inside another giant ice tower (ice stupa artificial glacier), they have to work in very low temperature of at least −12 Degree celsius.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise - References - Netflix