Four Inspiring Women Innovators Announced as Winners of the International C40 Women4Climate Tech Challenge 2020

Four Inspiring Women Innovators Announced as Winners of the International C40 Women4Climate Tech Challenge 2020

Innovations from Cambridge (UK), Tel Aviv-Yafo and California unveiled

Four inspirational women have today been announced as the winners of C40’s 2nd Women4Climate Tech Challenge 2020. The winners are:

  • Lorena Gordillo Dagallier from Cambridge (UK) who successfully pitched her initiative “open-seneca”- a mobile air quality sensor network that will be installed throughout the city alongside educational workshops.
  • Anai Green from Tel Aviv-Yafo who impressed the judging panel with her innovative fabric “Lumiweave” which offers a shade function at the same time as permitting light.
  • Meiling Gao and Vivian Bi from California, who jointly won with their initiative “Clarity”, a smart, indoor-outdoor low cost air monitoring system that provides real-time air quality data.

These entrepreneurs will now see their innovations brought to life in one of this year's host cities; Lisbon, Stockholm, Los Angeles or Tel Aviv-Yafo, with  $50,000 in funding to be split amongst the winning projects and used to support their experimental phase in each city.

The Women4Climate Tech Challenge is a joint initiative from C40 Cities and the VELUX Group. The Challenge aims to support and promote diversity and inclusion in technology, innovation and the built environment sectors. All the projects judged in the competition were led by women; address urban sustainability, mobility, food, waste, water, building, urban farming, air quality solutions; deliver measurable impacts; and have the potential to be scalable in other cities. All three winners of the Women4Climate Tech Challenge were selected and chosen for their forward thinking and innovative solutions. 

“When women have the chance to innovate, invent, and lead, our economies, our families, and our environment are better off,” said C40 Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Women4Climate Tech Challenge puts the power of saving our planet in the hands of women — bringing bold solutions to our cities and placing them at the forefront of our global effort to combat the climate crisis.”

Ingrid Reumert, VP, Global Communications, Sustainability & Public Affairs, VELUX Group said: “Congratulations to these women for their innovative solutions that will now gain momentum to come to life in cities around the world. This challenge really emphasises that women-led solutions for sustainable development and climate action are important for shaping the cities and communities that we would like to live in. The VELUX Group is very proud to have been the sponsor of this second inspiring challenge.”



Lorena Gordillo Dagallier is from Cambridge, UK and her initiative “open-seneca” was chosen as the winning project by officials in both Stockholm and Lisbon. Therefore, “open-seneca” will be implemented in both of these cities.

Open-seneca is an initiative working to highlight and install mobile air quality sensor networks throughout cities. Uniquely the monitor's data is captured and recorded by volunteer ‘citizen scientists.’ The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness within communities about personal exposure to particulate pollution while creating pollution maps that can be used to inform policy and urban development.

In addition to providing sensors, the initiative also aims to educate communities through a series of practical workshops in the hope to drive behavioural change and change attitudes. 

By hosting workshops prior to each deployment, the project demonstrates and explains the effects of air pollution on both public health and the environment. These interactive sessions share practical solutions for citizens and work to drive behavioural change.

Lorena Gordillo Dagallier said: "We all hear every day about the problems of air pollution and climate change. However, most people do not see it as a personal issue and there is a lack of motivation for change. I used to be one of them. But now I am aware, and I want to raise awareness around me. With open-seneca, I am committed to drive behavioural change and bridge the step between individuals and cities to build a healthier and greener future." 

Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon said: “The W4C Tech Challenge competition was fierce, with a lot of very high-level applicants. However open-seneca combines two of Lisbon’s core values: citizenship engagement and sustainability. By collecting and sharing data on their own exposure to air pollution, we will empower citizens to think about air quality and what each one of us can do to improve it. We’re excited to have the opportunity to pilot this technology so we can in the near future, use this data for better informed decisions.“

Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm said: “By gamifying air quality measurement and pairing it to bike commuting, we are confident that open-seneca has the potential to increase the well-being of our citizens. We strongly believe that involving citizens can help raise awareness on the impact of air quality and the need to rethink the design and mobility modes in our cities.”



Anai Green, will see her solution come to life in her home city of Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Anai’s innovative Lumiweave is a new outdoor fabric that cleverly combines embedded solar organic PV cells which create both light and shade and can be used in urban settings as umbrellas and canopies of varying sizes. 

This practical and versatile product offers a workable approach to climate change and shows how textiles can be used to support the environment and reduce rising temperature by offering shade and lighting.

Anai Green said: “Coming together with the Women4Climate Tech Challenge and a wider audience focused on today’s climate challenges is a unique opportunity to bring technology, design and urban stakeholders together. This will provide Lumiweave with a platform for promoting innovative design solutions for tempering the urban environment.” 

“One of the most pressing issues of concern regarding climate change in Tel Aviv-Yafo is the rising temperature, a great challenge that we will be contending with in the coming years” said Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai. “Lumiweave’s solar shading structures can bring a unique solution to this problem. We are thrilled to work with Anai Green to test the solution where it is most needed”.



Meiling Gao and Vivian Bi will be able to witness their initiative “Clarity - Smarter Buildings for Healthier Communities” being implemented in Los Angeles. 

“Clarity” is a smart, low cost air monitoring unit that can be used both indoors and outdoors, as well as in a variety of buildings such as schools and offices, to provide real-time air quality data that cities can use to monitor and best protect public health. The “Clarity” unit studies extreme pollution and records air quality data which can be measured and controlled to create healthier communities. 

Meiling Gao and Vivian Bi said: “We are excited and really looking forward to partnering with city leaders In LA and other innovators through our collaborative and empathetic approach. The Women4Climate Tech Challenge brings novel tech solutions that can really help tackle climate change and we are thrilled that our project will be implemented In LA and improve the way we understand and respond to air pollution in our city.”

The winners of the Women4Climate Tech Challenge were selected by a jury of mayors and senior city officials. The pitch process this year took place online to a virtual audience of ca. 200 guests. The Tech Challenge encourages and promotes women leading the world towards a sustainable and greener future and aims to cultivate ground-breaking climate solutions and create opportunities to see winning projects scaled and implemented in other C40 cities.

For more information about the Women4Climate Tech Challenge 2020 please visit


Issued on behalf of Women 4 Climate Tech Challenge by YOURgb EVENTS LTD.  For more information, images or interview opportunities please contact Alison Melton on / 07713122119




Around the world, C40 Cities connects 94 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe. The current chair of C40 is Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania. 


To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit our website and C40 Knowledge Hub or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.



The Women4Climate initiative, originally launched in 2017 by former C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, aims to advance women’s leadership in climate action in the world’s leading cities with local mentorship programmes and a global community of women change-makers. Through the Tech Challenge, C40 brings the Women4Climate initiative and its successful mentorship program into the innovation community, driving action that will help cities tackle climate change with measurable impact.



For almost 80 years, The VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights, decorative blinds, sun screening products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 11,500 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by non-profit, charitable foundations (THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family. In 2019, VKR Holding had total revenue of EUR 2.9 billion and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated EUR 178 million in charitable grants. For more information, visit



Lorena is a multidisciplinary engineer passionate about the power of open-science, citizen science, and community-driven spaces to find solutions to today’s world problems. After completing a general engineering degree at the Technical University of Madrid, she is now pursuing her PhD at the University of Cambridge as part of a doctoral training programme in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future. She is the co-founder of the open-seneca Initiative, which emerged from a team challenge with her cohort colleagues in 2018. The initiative aims to turn air quality monitoring into a global social movement with the help of citizen science. Open-seneca deploys low-cost, open-source, mobile sensor networks and provides an educational platform based on gamification for community engagement. Since then, she has developed strong leadership skills through collaborating with makerspaces and policy makers around the world to help build local capacity to improve air quality.



Anai is an industrial and product designer. She grew up in Israel, attended the Bezalel Academy of Art, and worked in Japan before opening her independent design studio in Israel. Over the past decade, Anai’s interests range from work on lighting and furniture, to the design of spatial objects and the relationship between materials, to technology, to bringing her designs to impact everyday life in urban settings. In 2010, she participated as a collaborator in Megama, a strategic design office competition, on an entry for the Landscape Urbanism Biennale called “32N Urban Shade” that focused on the significance of natural and built shade in the city of Bat Yam, Israel. Creating public shade maps and shade walls, the installation offered respite from the sun in the industrial zone. Lumiweave and the preoccupation with climate and well tempered environments emerged from this early exploration. Lumiweave combines Anai’s unique interests in emerging LED lighting technologies, flexible PV cells, with the potential of textiles in outdoor uses to address the problem of rising temperatures in urban environments.



Meiling is the Chief Operating Officer at Clarity Movement Co., an environmental cleantech startup based in California, USA. Clarity creates hardware and software technologies that measure and collect data on the air quality around us to make actionable insights to protect public health. Clarity works with NGOs and private and public sectors in over 20 countries around the world to find solutions to global air quality issues. Meiling was inspired to work with Clarity as taking action on both air quality and public health directly impacts reaching global climate goals. 


Prior to her work with Clarity, Meiling conducted research on the health impacts of urban development in China and the climate and air quality impacts of agricultural intensification in Colombia. Meiling holds a PhD from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences, a MS from Harvard University in Environmental Health, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Vivian is the Communications Lead at Clarity Movement Co. where she works on connecting the relationships between environment, society, and technology to support cities in mitigating the burdens of air pollution. Clarity’s turn-key solution for real-time air quality data is helping governments expand their current monitoring efforts to hundreds of additional measurement points, providing high resolution insights to understand air pollution concerns in cities. Vivian is especially interested in understanding how ideological values of nature and power impact our governance of the environment and people. 


Before Clarity, Vivian worked in environmental communications working for nonprofit organizations, environmental law firms, and advocacy and research organizations including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, Global Footprint Network, and the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute. Vivian earned her BS in Society & Environment and BA in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Download PDF