Zaheer Allam is an innovative thinker in the fields of architecture, urbanism, energy, and ecology. Allam is trained as an urban planner, currently working for the Global Creative Leadership Initiative and acting as a consultant for the government of Benin, focusing on regenerating the cities of Cotonou and Porto Novo.
Because island nations are the most likely to be affected by climate change, countries like his native Mauritius are looking at innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Allam has been working with industry groups to encourage the use of earthen construction techniques in urban areas, which can reduce the cost of a local house by 40 percent when compared with conventional construction systems. He is also the cofounder of Plateforme Citoyenne, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for renewable energy in Mauritius.
In 2014, he was nominated by the United Nations (U.N.) to represent the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea region on the steering committee of the U.N. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference in Samoa. In August 2016, he was elevated to the rank of Officer of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, the highest order of merit in Mauritius.