The Prince and Princess of Wales/Twitter;
Prince William has entered the chat!
The Prince of Wales, 40, messaged the cohort of finalists for this year's Earthshot Prize in a playful video shared on social media Friday. In the quick clip set to upbeat music, William walked outside and created a text chat titled "Earthshot Finalists 2022," adding the 15 innovators and sending a personal video message.
"Hello Earthshot finalists for 2022," William said with a smile, the camera panned selfie-style. "Great to have you on board, you're doing fantastic work, and I'm really looking forward to Boston."
Some of the changemakers "replied" to the royal, agreeing that they were humbled and honored to be in the running for the prestigious environmental award, which comes with over $1 million in prize money and support to scale solutions for global impact.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) November 4, 2022
Early Friday morning, the Earthshot Prize released the list of the contenders being considered for the five awards this year. Over 1,000 solutions were submitted for the second Earthshot cycle — a 30% leap from last year. The winners will be announced during a glittering awards ceremony in Boston at MGM Music Hall at Fenway on December 2. Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are set to attend — their first trip to the United States in nearly a decade.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Prince William said, "The innovators, leaders, and visionaries that make up our 2022 Earthshot Finalists prove there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our planet. They are directing their time, energy, and talent towards bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet's greatest environmental challenges, but to create healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities for generations to come."
"I am so excited to celebrate these fifteen Finalists and see the five Winners of The Earthshot Prize announced in Boston – the hometown of President John F. Kennedy, who shared The Earthshot Prize's belief that seemingly impossible goals are within reach if we only harness the limitless power of innovation, human ingenuity, and urgent optimism," he added.
Alastair Grant - Pool/Getty
Incentivizing change across five critical categories — Protect and Restore Nature, Clean Our Air, Revive Our Oceans, Build a Waste-Free World and Fix our Climate — finalist Charlot Magayi told PEOPLE that whatever the outcome is at the awards ceremony next month, she and her team are thrilled to have made it this far.
"I feel like even if we do not win, the validation and the platform that Earthshot provides is going to ensure that we do get there by attracting us to the partners that we've been looking for for years," said Magayi, founder and CEO of founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves, which is being considered for the Clean Our Air prize.
Earthshot Prize Awards
Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
"I really do want to win, but even if I don't get the top prize, it gives me a platform that we're going to be able to leverage to get the financing and the resources that we need to scale our business," she added.
Inspired by President Kennedy's iconic Moonshot mission to land a man on the moon, the Prince of Wales launched the Earthshot Prize in October 2020 to inspire environmental change and help repair the planet over the next decade. With optimistic urgency, the Earthshot vision believes that human ingenuity can make the planet cleaner and safer by 2030.