For his environmental engagement, entrepreneurial spirit, and focus on social involvement, NDU Alumnus Christopher Arida (BE’17) has been selected from Lebanon as a 2021 Junior Chamber International Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honoree in the category of Business, Economic, and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishments.
Christopher exemplifies the spirit of the JCI mission through his entrepreneurial spirit and ethical leadership business, as well as his impact on society; he was able to turn challenges into opportunities on a local and global level and serve as an official brand ambassador for JCI. Since 1983, JCI has honored over 200 individuals from 47 nations, and the TOYP program serves to formally recognize young people under the age of 40 who excel in their chosen fields and exemplify the best attributes of the world's young people.
During his university studies, Christopher was the Vice President of the Air and Waste Management Association student chapter, and today, he is the co-founder and CEO of Diwama, a startup introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and image recognition into waste management. It sells an AI-based Software as a service (Saas) solution to waste management companies that automates waste analysis, collects data on waste streams, and drives recycling revenues. His vision is to make waste management seamlessly accessible and affordable for the whole world through digital transformation and artificial intelligence.
Arida highlighted the importance of his next twelve months, where he will aim to raise Lebanon’s seed round of 0.5 million USD, expand his impact through Lebanon and UAE, establish a presence in Europe, and represent Lebanon in multiple upcoming events in 2022.
“My next step is to continue scaling Diwama's technology to help combat climate change, contribute to the UN SDG goals, and accelerate the transition into a circular economy by making Zero waste a global reality. The long-term vision is to develop advanced AI-based and automation technologies and make them affordable and accessible in developing countries to elevate the waste management industry and bridge the gap with developed countries,” stated Christopher.
He encourages everyone to “stop dwelling on past mistakes, learn from them, take action, and have the courage to face your fears. This is when you personally grow and become happier in life.”
Make sure to keep a lookout for the 2021 JCI World Congress registration taking place soon to watch Christopher’s official recognition during the online awards ceremony!