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just IMAGINE if… Shreya Aneja

Shreya Aneja is an architect and environmental designer, who won just IMAGINE if… 2022 with her work at Nostos Homes, which builds homes for forcibly displaced people.

Applications are now open for just IMAGINE if… 2024 – the University of Reading’s flagship business innovation scheme, co-founded in 2019 by the University and our Chancellor Paul Lindley.

Shreya won the 2022 edition and, alongside her not-for-profit work with Nostos Homes, she works as an architect and environmental designer at White Arkitekter in London. White Arkiteketer recently won Architect of the Year at the Dezeen Awards for being “a leading voice in the drive towards more sustainable buildings”. Shreya shares more about her just IMAGINE if… journey and why you should apply.

How is Nostos Homes helping the world?

Being forcibly displaced means being forced to leave your home, or place of residence, due to calamity, war, persecution, and destruction. 86,500,000 people are forcibly displaced every year.

Nostos Homes has successfully deployed homes in Malawi, Africa and Assam, India for people displaced due to natural disasters. They have delivered over 500,000 nights of shelter to the impacted communities. They continue to scale up their efforts and provide homes around the world, making a difference to people who don’t have shelter.

The homes they provide are modular – meaning they can be transported as a flat pack – and are sustainable, being constructed from 90% recyclable materials.

Shreya shares more about the impact Nostos Homes is having:

What was the just IMAGINE if… process like?

Describing her experience as “inspiring”, Shreya shares more about the process:

How has winning the award helped Nostos Homes?

The award has helped Nostos Homes to scale up and accelerate their growth and to continue to deliver their homes to the people who need them. Nostos also partnered with Meta Data for Good and the University of Durham from just IMAGINE if… 2022 to publish Looking Closer – a data-driven report on forcible displacement patterns around the world.

Hear more from Shreya on the benefits of just IMAGINE if…:

What would you tell someone who is considering applying to just IMAGINE if…?

“Go for it,” Shreya said. “I don’t think anybody needs to think twice before applying for it, because it’s an incredible opportunity.”

Apply now

If you’ve been inspired by Shreya’s story and have an idea that could help change the world for the better, then find out more and apply now for just IMAGINE if… 2024. The closing date for entries is 7 January 2024, 23:59.