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Change Agent of the Year 2023 is Alexandr Matrohin from Moldova!

LIFE Academy is proud to announce that Alexandr Matrohin from Moldova is the Change Agent of the Year 2023. Alexandr has been selected for his engagement, commitment, and ability to convince the authorities of Moldova’s second largest city, Balti, to see the benefits to invest in changing the city’s street lighting into LED lights.

The result of Alexandr’s project is that the city saves money, reduces emissions, and will function as a role model for other cities. This is a good example for other people and authorities to be inspired to take action for sustainable solutions – Alexandr shows that it is possible to change the mind set of authorities and make sustainable development happen.

The Change Agent of the Year is rewarded for acting as a role model that inspire others to fins sustainable solutions. Alexandr will receive 1 000 US dollars to be used for continued work for a sustainable future.

Alexandr Matrohin from Moldova, Change Agent of the Year 2023.

We took the opportunity to ask Alexandr a few questions when delivering the news about him being the Change Agent of the Year 2023, see below.

Congratulations! How does it feel to receive this award?

BIG Surprise. First thoughts were if LIFE Academy accounts were compromised :). I am glad that this project was successfully completed, and people remembered about it. 

Could you tell us about your work in Moldova as well as your current position and organisation?

Holding a director role of Diolum LTD in Moldova I was involved in energy audits, PV street light project, technical assessment and monitoring of EU PV power station project, wood pellet production line operation, biomass burning and sin gas generation R&D, planting fast growing trees. 

In the last couple of years, I relocated to the Republic of Ireland where I work as Cyber Security Manager at Grant Thornton. At the same time, I am thinking about new opportunities in the Irish market where I can implement and develop new EE projects.   

You have been working with a project in Balti, Moldova, to put up street lighting. Could you tell us a bit more about this project?

The Balti municipality has the following situation in 2013:

  • No budget for renovation.
  • Low street light quality – out of 11 076 installed luminaries only 6 200 luminaries were in operation with limited schedule of 2 359 hours per year.
  • Decreased budget for street light in 2014.
  • Increased electricity cost by 10% in 2014 and +50% in 2015.
  • Maintenance cost was 25% from total cost of operation.
  • SEAP obligations.
  • Local elections scheduled in 2015.
  • No light control system in place.

Proposed solution included:

  • Old luminaries replacement (6 200 pcs) to LED type.
  • Street light network extension by 800 pcs.
  • Increase illuminance level by 100%.
  • Increasing light quality to 3 600 hours per year.
  • Installation monitoring and control solution SCADA system.


  • Project duration 270 days.
  • Warranty 5 years.
  • Average life time of system is 50 000 hours or more then 15 years.
  • Operation savings 84%.
  • Maintenance savings 78%.
  • Reducing emission of CO2 by 1 745 t per year.
  • Payback period 5 years.
  • High resistance to price grow.
  • No need for the extra budget in next 5 years. The savings cover bank credit payments.
  • This project meets the SEAP requirements.
  • Street light control system SCADA.

You will be awarded with USD 1 000. Do you have any idea what the money will be used for?

I am going to spend this award on R&D project related to maintaining positive mental health.

You were a participant of LIFE Academy training programme on EE2013C. What knowledge and experiences did you bring from this programme?

Project management and development. Sharing experience and knowledge. New technics and technologies. New friends. Improved communication skills. Increased networking.

What is your driving force in your work life?

To make life better. Create health environment. R&D.

General Information about Change Agents

A Change Agent is a person, trained by LIFE Academy to act for a sustainable development in their organisation and country. There are around 2 000 LIFE Academy Change Agents in 80 countries all over the world that are part of the LIFE Academy global network.

The Change Agents create true value for their organisations and they have their focus on making changes that are sustainable, with a holistic approach taking both the environment, social and economic issues in consideration.

In the work for our common sustainable future it is very important with role models that can inspire more people to take action for sustainable solutions. To encourage our role models, the Change Agents in our network, we award a Change Agent of the Year.

Previous Change Agents of the Year:

2015 – Ms. Fasika Minde from Ethiopia

2016 – Dr. P. Kanagavel from India

2018 – Ms. Jackie Namakula from Uganda

2019 – Ms. Margaret Mutsamvi from Zimbabwe

2020 – Ms. Lucia Marroquín Mendoza from Mexico

2021 – Dr. Matthew Matimbwi from Tanzania

2022 – Mr. Noy Shoung from Cambodia