Young Lao Scientist Selected as 2023 Young Explorer at National Geographic Society

23-year-old Thinakone Lounagdy, a young scientist from Laos. ( Photo : VOA).

A young scientist from Laos has been selected as one of the 15 candidates for the National Geographic Society’s Young Explorers 2023 program, which celebrates individuals who are leading change and breaking boundaries in their communities through storytelling, conservation, education, scientific innovation, and more.

23-year-old Thinakone Louangdy or “Toto”, a computer scientist, and consultant with the World Health Organization (WHO), was among the 15 youths selected from 13 countries between the ages of 18 and 25, to be a part of the program.

This unique initiative which brings together inspirational young leaders from across the globe is run by the National Geographic Society, a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

“As a recent graduate of the National University of Laos, I found this opportunity very intriguing as it provides opportunities for young people, including Laotian youth, to explore the scientific world,” says Thinakone.

The National Geographic Explorer program offers funding and support to individuals who illuminate and protect our world through their work in science, exploration, education, and storytelling. Alongside funding, Young Explorers receive skill-building, leadership development training, and networking opportunities to connect and collaborate with their peers.

As a computer scientist who analyzes global health initiatives in underserved communities through interview-based research, Thinakone is very grateful to have the opportunity to showcase his work on a worldwide platform.

“Being nominated allows me to connect with more young people to improve our planet through the global organization that supports research and our goals, and as a young person who works closely with remote community that motivates me to do more,” he says.

This year, the 23-year-old Lao scientist will participate in a workshop in Washington DC, the capital city of the United States, to brainstorm and exchange his ideas with other youths from around the world.

As an encouraging message to the youth of Laos, Thinakone says, “Apply to this program and have confidence that your contribution, no matter how small, can shape or protect the world in which we live.”