Winners of the 2023 World of 8 Billion International Student Video Contest Announced

Eighteen winners earned top spots in the 12th annual World of 8 Billion student video contest, formerly known as the World of 7 Billion contest. More than 4,800 students in grades 6-12 from 45 countries and 47 U.S. states and territories participated in this year’s contest.

Student Videos Tackle Tough Issues

This year’s contest asked middle and high school students to submit a 1-minute video about how population growth impacts one of the following global challenges: climate change, gender equality, or waste. Each video also needed to share a sustainable solution to the global challenge introduced.

“Our growing world of 8 billion poses enormous challenges for the planet and the well-being of people everywhere,” said John Seager, president of Population Connection. “Students grasp that and are inspiring us with their ideas for a more equitable and sustainable future.”

An astonishing 3,000+ videos were created. The winning videos presented innovative solutions to problems as varied as fast fashion, access to menstrual products, reducing carbon emissions, e-waste, and agricultural waste. You can view this year’s winning entries, along with students’ photos and bios, on our contest website:

Video Contest is a Unique Classroom Assignment

Many science and social studies teachers have incorporated the contest into their lesson plans for years. “As an educator, I’m grateful for this impactful contest. When students reflect at the end of the year, they often say this was the most meaningful project they created,” said Shiloh Francis, social studies teacher at Hawaii Technology Academy.

“We hope the contest helps to amplify student voices on these global challenges related to our growing world of 8 billion people,” said Pam Wasserman, Population Connection’s Senior Vice President for Education. “The winning videos really celebrate the students’ exemplary research, creativity and problem-solving skills.”

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 World of 8 Billion contest winners!

Climate Change Video Winners

High School

1st Place video:Better Batteries for a Better Future” by Sophia Rico, TX

2nd Place video:Reducing Emissions with Direct Air Capture” by Arnav Bali, MD

Honorable Mentions:
Setting a Cap to Climate Change” by Ryan Lee, WA
Mass Transit: The Express Train To Sustainability” by Roberto Quesada, NY

Middle School

1st Place video:Earth’s Fate on Your Plate” by Eera Deshpande, MN

2nd Place video:Monitoring Climate Injustice” by Jade Lan, CT

Gender Equality Video Winners

High School

1st Place video:Close the Gap: Gender Inequality and Labor” by Maria Aurelio, WA

2nd Place video:Call the Shots on Menstrual Inequality” by Jimena Chacón González, Arianna Prado Calvo, and María Fernanda Zeballos Llerena, Costa Rica

Honorable Mentions:
Women With Water” by Tammy Nguyen and Ella Stack, MT
Girls Can Learn Too” by Bisola Akintunde, Canada

Middle School

1st Place video:Child Marriage” by Eva Chen and Alice Feng, WA

2nd Place video:Reproductive Rights” by Adelaide Hobor and Hazel Boerger, NJ

Waste Video Winners

High School

1st Place video:Creating a Circular Food Industry” by Lara Orlandi, England

2nd Place video:Our Fashion Footprint” by Stella Abarca, IL

Honorable Mentions:
Composting: Build Your Solution to Food Waste” by Yoonseo Kim and Hyunseo Kim, IL
Look up to Feeding 8 Billion” by Grace Puma, VA

Middle School

1st Place video:E-waste: A Golden Opportunity” by Surya Arunkumar, TX

2nd Place video:E-Waste: The Growing Problem and Solutions for a Sustainable Future” by Benjamin Kurian, OH