Next Generation Changemakers

Collage of black and white headshots with a turquoise background

We believe that empowering and amplifying the voices of young people globally is key to catalyzing change and building a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.

That’s why we are committed to building a vibrant and diverse global community of inspiring young changemakers who are committed to innovative action and impactful social change. Through collaboration and networking, we hope to create a space for connection and learning to amplify their lived experiences, expertise, and impactful solutions. In turn, we hope this will inspire and empower others to act in their own communities.

To help deliver on this promise, we have identified and recruited a network of intersectional and multi-disciplinary thinkers, doers, and communicators in key areas such as climate, equity, conflicts & crises, culture, and innovation and technology to serve as Blue Marble’s Next Generation Changemakers to better guide and inform our work.

Meet the inaugural cohort of Blue Marble Next Generation Changemakers

Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne

Sri Lanka | Expertise: Climate, Foreign Policy, Tech & Innovation

Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne headshot

Anoka Abeyrathne is an eco-social entrepreneur, advocate, and co-founder of GISS. Known for Mangrove conservation, digital upskilling, nature-based solutions, and regenerative agriculture, she has been a lead negotiator with the British Council for the historic Loss and Damage Fund. Abeyrathne is a Forbes under 30 awardee, Sri Lanka’s first female World Economic Forum New Champion and the youngest and first Sri Lankan awardee of the World Youth Award, Cosmopolitan 35 under 35, and the first Sri Lankan female Commonwealth Youth Award recipient from HM the Queen. She has over 10 years of experience in the corporate, social, and public sectors having served as an assistant director of the Ministry of Environment.

Christina Adane

Netherlands | Expertise: Climate, Culture, Conflict & Crises

Mayada Adil headshot

Christina Adane is a campaigner based in London. She started her journey at Bite Back, where she was co-chair of a youth-led movement fighting for a fairer food system in the UK. She's most known for starting the campaign to extend free school meal provisions during the COVID-19 lockdown—which was later spearheaded by Marcus Rashford—as well as other campaigns around junk food marketing and food equity issues. Her international work includes delivering food systems workshops to youth from South-East Asia/ Pacific countries and raising awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Tigray. Some of her accolades include BBC's 100 Women of the World 2020, Diana Legacy Award Winner 2021, and finalist of the International Children's Peace Prize.

Mayada Adil

Sudan | Expertise: Climate, Culture, Foreign Policy

Mayada Adil headshot

Dr. Mayada Adil is a young leader in sustainable development goals (SDGs), a medical doctor, a fashion designer, a climate advocate, and co-founder of the LaLoupeCreative artistic platform. She was recognized by the United Nations Secretary-General Envoy on Youth for her profound work in achieving the Agenda 2030 and contributing creatively to advancing and amplifying young voices in domains like human rights, SDGs, and peace and health equity around the globe. She works to create strategies and policies that strengthen the youth's meaningful participation in high-level decision-making, particularly as a crucial component to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030, with a whole-of-society approach.

Komal Ahmad

USA | Expertise: Climate, Tech & Innovation, Conflict & Crises, Justice

Komal Ahmad headshot

Komal Ahmad is a changemaker, humanitarian, and entrepreneur. As a young student at UC Berkeley, she recognized the true nature of hunger—a logistics challenge rather than a scarcity problem. This revelation ignited her drive to found Copia, a trailblazing, Y-Combinator-backed for-profit food redistribution and waste reduction technology company. With Copia's innovative platform, Ahmad has revolutionized how we combat food waste and eradicate hunger in North America. Her efforts have diverted an impressive 6 million pounds of food from landfills, providing over 7 million meals to those most in need. Ahmad's outstanding achievements have earned Copia recognition as one of the top three startups led by women in the United States.

Cherrie Atilano

Philippines | Expertise: Climate, Culture

Cherrie Atilano headshot

Cherrie Atilano, a Filipino social entrepreneur, heads her own company AGREA: an innovative and inclusive agri-business that is founded on sustainable agriculture, fair trade, and a replicable model of an agri-based economy. She is an influencer for Filipino farmers and is being recognized by the UN and the World Economic Forum for her views and her work towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). As a multi-awarded entrepreneur, Atilano is tuned to global issues such as climate, environment, poverty eradication, and gender. She studied agriculture at Visayas State University and food systems at Waginegen University in the Netherlands. She also finished her executive education at Stanford University and Harvard Kennedy School.

Nicole Becker

Argentina | Expertise: Climate

Nicole Becker headshot

Nicole "Nicki" Becker is an Argentinean climate activist and co-founder of Jóvenes Por El Clima, or Youth for Climate, which is a social and political movement led by the country's young people who fight to reverse the effects of the climate crisis. In 2020 she was recognized by the Argentinean Congress for her fight against climate change and was chosen as one of the seven most influential women by the newspaper Infobae. She is an environmental communicator, former co-host of the podcast Permitido Pisar el Pasto, and currently writes for various media outlets. Becker is a co-author of a chapter in Greta Thunberg's book, The Climate Book, and a law student at the University of Buenos Aires.

Jamira Burley

USA | Expertise: Culture, Conflict & Crises, Justice, Tech & Innovation

Jamira Burley headshot

Jamira Burley is a human rights activist and social impact strategist with a passion for work that lives at the intersection of community, policy, and social philanthropy. Over the last 17 years, her work has taken her across the United States and over 30 countries working with collective impact teams representing business, government, and youth leaders to make equitable change centering on the lived experiences of directly impacted people. Currently, Burley is the worldwide education strategic initiatives lead at a global technology company and a senior fellow at the Responsible Business Coalition for Justice. In addition, she was honored by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change and Forbes under 30 honoree in law and policy.

Jessica Chen Weiss

USA | Expertise: Foreign Policy

Jessica Chen Weiss headshot

Jessica Chen Weiss is the Michael J. Zak Professor for China and Asia-Pacific Studies in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Previously she served as senior advisor to the secretary's policy planning staff at the U.S. State Department on a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars (IAF-TIRS). Weiss is the author of Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations. Her research appears in International Organization, China Quarterly, the New York Times, and Foreign Affairs, among others. Weiss was previously an assistant professor at Yale University and founded FACES, the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford University.

Nalleli Cobo

USA | Expertise: Climate, Justice, Conflict & Crises

Nalleli Cobo headshot

At the age of 19, Nalleli Cobo led a grassroots campaign to permanently shut down a toxic oil drilling site in her community which caused serious health issues for her and others. Her organizing has yielded major policy movements within both the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which voted unanimously on bans of new oil exploration and the phasing out of existing sites. Cobo began her activism at the age of nine after noticing smells coming from the oil well near her home. She co-founded People Not Pozos and the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, which focuses on environmental racism in the community. She won the 2022 Goldman Environmental Prize and was included on the 2022 Time 100 Next list.

Rorry Daniels

USA | Expertise: Foreign Policy

Rorry Daniels headshot

Rorry Daniels is the managing director of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), where she leads and oversees strategy and operations for ASPI's projects on security, climate change, and trade throughout Asia. She is also a senior fellow with ASPI's Center for China Analysis. Her research interests are U.S.-China diplomacy and its regional implications, Taiwan and cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and how to deal with North Korea. Daniels regularly writes and contributes to media analysis on these topics, and hosts the Asia Society Policy Institute's flagship podcast, Asia Inside Out. She speaks Mandarin and holds an MS in international relations from NYU's Center for Global Affairs and a BA in screenwriting from Emerson College.

Alejandro René Daley Rivero

Venezuela | Expertise: Climate, Tech & Innovation

Alejandro René Daley Rivero headshot

Alejandro Daley is committed to promoting sustainable environmental policies that address air pollution and climate change. Currently, he's completing a master’s degree in public administration at Columbia University. Rising to president of the board at El Derecho a No Obedecer, Daly has worked to develop and promote social advocacy around issues such as air pollution, climate justice, and refugee rights, mobilizing over 200,000 young people in Colombia. As a founding member of both the Latin American Coalition for Clean Air and the National Citizen Network for Clean Air in Colombia, his purpose is to promote climate justice and the right to a healthy environment for young people across the globe.

Darcie Draudt

USA | Expertise: Foreign Policy, Culture

Darcie Draudt headshot

Dr. Darcie Draudt is a postdoctoral research associate at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. A political scientist and policy analyst, she publishes research and commentary on Northeast Asian relations and United States foreign policy. She has previously held research positions at the George Washington University Institute of Korean Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Research and Training Center in South Korea, among others. Draudt holds a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, an MA in Korean Studies from the Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies, and a BA with Honors in Anthropology from Davidson College.

Niels Drost

Netherlands | Expertise: Foreign Policy, Conflict & Crises

Niels Drost headshot

Niels Drost is a Research Fellow at the EU & Global Affairs Unit and the Russia & Eastern Europe Centre (CREEC) of the Clingendael Institute. His research revolves primarily around contemporary politics and security issues in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Niels holds an MA in international relations in historical perspective (cum laude) from Utrecht University, a BA in international studies with a major in Russia and Eurasia (cum laude) from Leiden University and a BA in journalism from Hogeschool Utrecht. Prior to joining Clingendael, Drost studied Russian language and literature at the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg and worked as a freelance journalist for Dutch regional and national broadcasters.

Ilyess El Kortbi

Ukraine | Expertise: Conflict & Crises, Climate, Justice, Money, Tech & Innovation, Foreign Policy

Ilyess El Kortbi headshot

Ilyess El Kortbi is a Ukrainian climate justice activist and a public figure in human rights protection, environmental conservation, and climate change mitigation. Using they/them pronouns, El Kortbi is a key member of the youth climate movement, a peace campaigner, and one of the co-founders of Fridays For Future Ukraine. Their work has highlighted the connection between energy dependency on fossil fuels and the conflict in Ukraine, framing it as a "climate war" within the broader climate crisis. They challenged world leaders' interests by speaking at the G7 Leaders Summit in 2022 in Germany and have intervened at various conferences, including TED and UNFCCC conferences. El Kortbi is a member of the MAPA community and YOUNGOs.

Dana El Kurd

Palestine/USA | Expertise: Conflict & Crises, Foreign Policy, Justice

Dana El Kurd headshot

Dana El Kurd is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Richmond. She specializes in comparative politics and international relations of the Arab world, particularly in how authoritarianism endures, and how societies meaningfully challenge it. She holds a Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas at Austin. Professor El Kurd has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Global Studies Quarterly, PS Political Science & Politics, and more. Her book, Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine, was published in 2020 by Oxford University Press. Her next projects include a solo-authored project on the impact of Palestine on the global order.

Yetunde Deborah Fadeyi

Nigeria | Expertise: Climate

Yetunde Deborah Fadeyi headshot

Deborah Fadeyi is an accomplished energy and sustainability professional with a decade of cross-disciplinary experience. She founded REES Africa, a non-profit providing energy access to Nigeria's most vulnerable and remote rural communities. She works as the chief sustainability officer at Mottainai Recycling, Oyo State Waste Management, holding the position as the youngest C-level executive. Fadeyi also leads Vectar, a startup driving clean energy innovations while incentivizing users to reduce costs and monetize social and climate impact. She was appointed as the youngest brain trust board member under the Climate & Energy Domain at XPRIZE, where she collaborates with experts to develop global prizes.

Wawa Gatheru

USA | Expertise: Climate, Justice

Wawa Gatheru headshot

Wawa Gatheru is a GenZ environmental justice advocate and Rhodes Scholar passionate about cultivating a climate movement made in the image of all of us. She is the founder and executive director of Black Girl Environmentalist, the largest national community dedicated to empowering Black girls, women, and non-binary people in the climate movement. In January of 2023, musician Billie Eilish personally invited Gatheru to join her on the first-ever digital cover of Vogue alongside seven other youth climate activists. She is a 776 Fellow and sits on boards and advisory councils for Earth Justice, Climate Power, Environmental Media Association, the National Parks Conservation Association, Sound Future, and Earth Percent.

Sara Guillermo

USA | Expertise: Justice

Sara Guillermo headshot

Sara Guillermo is CEO of IGNITE, bringing over 15 years of experience helping young women break into America’s political landscape to become leaders within their communities and beyond. Under her leadership, IGNITE was recognized with a $4 million award by the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge for its bold ideas to expand women’s power and influence in the United States by the year 2030. Guillermo was personally recognized as a Roddenberry Fellow for her extraordinary leadership in making our world a more equitable and just society. As CEO of IGNITE, her analysis and expertise have been featured widely in national media outlets such as CBS News, NPR, CNBC, the New York Times, Forbes, and USA Today.

Nadia Gullestrup Christensen

Denmark | Expertise: Climate, Foreign Policy

Nadia Gullestrup Christensen headshot

Nadia Gullestrup Christensen is an EU youth delegate to the United Nations for the UNGA 77th session. She's also chair of the Danish Youth Climate Council, giving recommendations to the Minister of Climate and Energy of Denmark. In the Council, Gullestrup Christensen is working with other members to create a global alliance of youth climate councils from all over the world, as well as strengthen local engagement by creating councils in municipalities in Denmark. Previously, she has been a Danish youth delegate to the UN for climate and environment. Gullestrup Christensen holds a bachelor's degree in natural resources, with a specialization in environmental economics, and she's currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental economics.

Martha Haile

Kenya | Expertise: Tech & Innovation

Martha Haile headshot

Martha Haile is a seasoned startup executive and food systems venture builder with a strong background in the agricultural technology sector. With over eight years of experience in Kenya and Nigeria, she has played key leadership roles in top ag-tech startups operating across Africa. Haile is the co-founder and former COO of Hello Tractor, as well as the former vice president of business development at Wefarm. Throughout her career, Haile has excelled in forging strategic partnerships and managing global teams. Her expertise lies in launching new business revenue channels and utilizing in-depth market insights to drive the growth of technology solutions within smallholder farmer communities.

Isaias Hernandez

USA | Expertise: Climate, Justice, Culture

Isaias Hernandez headshot

Born in Los Angeles, Isaias Hernandez grew up in Section 8 housing, received food stamps, and lived in a community that faced environmental injustice. These firsthand experiences are where he’d eventually find his passion for the environment, social justice, and equity. He created the digital media platform QueerBrownVegan to produce independent science communication videos on the climate crisis while building events to bring people together. As Hernandez witnessed the ways pollution affected his body and community, he turned his frustrations into a solution: creating environmental education that would prioritize accessibility and intersectionality. Most recently, he interviewed Kamala Harris and was featured on the digital cover of Vogue.

Angel Hsu

USA | Expertise: Climate

Angel Hsu headshot

Angel Hsu is an assistant professor of public policy and the environment at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She's the founder and director of the Data-Driven EnviroLab, an interdisciplinary research group that applies data-driven approaches to environmental issues. She was a contributing author to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and a 2022 report released by the National Academy of Sciences on greenhouse gas emissions information necessary for decision-making. Dr. Hsu was a TED 2020 Climate Countdown Speaker and was recognized as a 2022 Bloomberg New Economy Catalyst. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental policy from Yale University and was formerly an assistant professor of environmental studies at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

Hera Hussain

England | Expertise: Tech & Innovation

Hera Hussain headshot

Hera Hussain is the founder and CEO of Chayn, a global nonprofit that creates resources on the web to address gender-based violence. Chayn’s multilingual resources—designed with, not for survivors—have reached more than 500,000 people from all around the globe. Raised in Pakistan and currently living in the United Kingdom, Hussain knew from early on she wanted to tackle the issues of violence against women. She believes in using the power of open-source technology, trauma-informed design, and hope-filled framing to solve the world's pressing issues. Hussain is an Ashoka Fellow, and was on the Forbes 30 Under 30, MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35, and European Young Leader 2020 lists.

Lina Tori Jan

Afghanistan | Expertise: Conflict & Crises, Foreign Policy

Lina Tori Jan headshot

Lina Tori Jan is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, and advocate for equality and human rights, with a focus on the rights of women, girls, and refugees. She currently leads the implementation of Georgetown University’s new Afghanistan initiative, Onward for Afghan Women, elevating and supporting Afghan women leaders with opportunities to continue their advocacy on behalf of Afghan women and girls. Shaped by her experiences as an Afghan woman raised in Afghanistan, Jan has worked around the globe with companies, NGOs, and governments, assisting in their efforts to create a more just society. Jan is a UNICEF Education Champion and, in this capacity, has addressed audiences across North America, Europe, and Oceania.

Hoda Katebi

Iran/USA | Expertise: Justice, Foreign Policy, Conflict & Crises

Hoda Katebi headshot

Hoda Katebi is an Iranian-American writer and community organizer. Her work has been hailed from the BBC to the New York Times to Vogue and featured in books, journals, and museums around the world. She's the founding member of Blue Tin Production, an apparel manufacturing workers co-operative run by women of color; a national lead with Believers Bail Out, a bail fund using Zakat to bail Muslims from pretrial and immigration incarceration; organizing strategist with the No War Campaign; and is currently building a community space in Chicago in collaboration with Black and brown youth organizers called 63rd House. She is a contributor to the book I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security.

Renata Koch Alvarenga

Brazil | Expertise: Climate, Foreign Policy, Justice

Hoda Katebi headshot

Renata Koch Alvarenga, from Brazil, is a leading voice on gender and climate justice in the global youth movement. At 22 years old, she founded the youth-led and Brazil-based organization EmpoderaClima to raise awareness of the need for women’s empowerment in climate decision-making spaces and advocate for girls’ education and climate action in the Global South – more specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean. She recently graduated with a master's in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she did research on climate finance and resilience—in partnerships with Harvard and the UN—in Puerto Rico and Barbados. For the past eight years, Koch Alvarenga has been working tirelessly to ensure young people can access high-level UN spaces.

Aurélie Jean

France | Expertise: Tech & Innovation

Aurelie Jean headshot

Aurélie Jean has been working for more than 15 years as a research scientist and an entrepreneur in computational sciences, applied to engineering, medicine, education, economy, finance, and journalism. In the past, Jean worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Bloomberg. Today, Jean works and lives between the USA and France where she shares her time between consulting, research and development, writing, and teaching in executive education. She is a science editorial contributor and published three non-fiction best sellers on algorithms as well as a sci-fi novel. Jean is also the chief AI officer and co-founder of an AI deep tech startup on early detection of breast cancer.

Bogolo Joy Kenewendo

Botswana | Expertise: Climate, Foreign Policy

Bogolo Joy Kenewendo headshot

Bogolo J. Kenewendo is a global economist and strategic advisor who has served as the Cabinet Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry and a specially elected member of Parliament in Botswana. She is currently championing climate action and finance as a catalyst for development in Africa and the global south in her role as Africa director and special advisor of the UN High-Level Climate Champions team. Kenewendo is a vocal advocate for gender equity and the protection of children’s rights. She has received global recognition for her work, including being appointed as a member of the G7 gender equality advisory council and a member of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ high-level panel on digital cooperation.

Sophia Kianni

USA | Expertise: Climate, Tech & Innovation

Sophia Kianni headshot

Sophia Kianni is an Iranian-American social entrepreneur and activist studying at Stanford University. She is the founder and executive director of Climate Cardinals, the world’s largest youth-led climate nonprofit, with 9,000 volunteers in over 40 countries. She has sat on boards and advisory councils for the New York Times, World Economic Forum, Ashoka, American Lung Association, and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. She is the youngest United Nations board member and advisor in United States history. Kianni has been named VICE Media's youngest Human of the Year, a National Geographic Young Explorer, among Business Insider’s Climate Action 30, one of Teen Vogue's 21 under 21, and a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree.

Marie Christina Kolo

Madagascar | Expertise: Climate

Marie Christina Kolo headshot

Marie Christina Kolo is a climate activist, social entrepreneur, and ecofeminist from Madagascar. In addition to being listed as one of the BBC's 100 Women in 2022, she won several national and international awards for her strong commitment to climate justice and gender equity. Currently, Kolo is the Indian Ocean Regional Director of the French NGO People Power Inclusion, focusing on economic and financial inclusion of the most vulnerable through the green/blue economy. Her social business, Green N Kool, is a model in the circular economy and the leader of the national platform on gender and climate justice. Among her achievements, she initiated a research center dedicated to climate and gender justice.

Sage Lenier

USA | Expertise: Climate

Sage Lenier headshot

Sage Lenier is a New York City-based activist fighting for an education system that properly prepares Gen Z for a climate-changed future. She's the founder of Sustainable & Just Future, a youth-led nonprofit making environmental education accessible. While she was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, Lenier designed the Solutions for a Sustainable & Just Future course, which has since enrolled over 1,800 students. In 2023 she was listed as one of ten next-generation leaders by TIME magazine, and she recently wrapped up a Public Voices Fellowship with The Op-Ed Project. Lenier has also worked with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), a research center within the Yale School of the Environment.

Bian Li

USA | Expertise: Climate, Culture, Money, Tech & Innovation, Conflict & Crises

Bian Li headshot

Bian Li is a renowned futurist, educationist, and celebrated thought leader leading the charge in transforming the future of work and education. As the visionary founder of The Hungry Lab, she spearheads innovation in sustainability-focused startups, dynamically reshaping the requisite ecosystems for their evolution and growth. Within The Hungry Lab, she stewards The ReThink Tank™ and its Operation EARTH™, promoting systemic transformations in tech ecosystems aligned with impactful UN Sustainable Development Goals. With a distinguished repertoire including TEDx talks and the prestigious REX Karmaveer Gold Chakra Award, Li also devotes herself to ocean conservation, wholeheartedly committed to sculpting a sustainable, regenerative future.

Adrian Lipscombe

USA | Culture, Justice, Climate

Adrian Lipscombe headshot

Adrian Lipscombe embarked on her career in city planning upon earning a master's degree in architecture. She made a significant impact working with municipal governments in Austin and San Antonio on community-focused projects, and she advocates for fostering connections between local farmers and ranchers with chefs, promoting opportunities for all. Through her restaurant—Uptowne Café in La Crosse, WI—she skillfully weaves her Southern upbringing, Midwest ingredients, and African-American heritage, creating a unique culinary experience. As one of the few Black restaurant owners in the area, Lipscombe's vision gave birth to the 40 Acres Project, aimed at preserving the legacy of Black agriculture and foodways by acquiring Black-owned land.

Ilina Logani

USA | Expertise: Justice, Conflict & Crises

Ilina Logani headshot

Ilina Logani is a 2023 U.S. Rhodes Scholar pursuing a master's degree in economics and social history at the University of Oxford. Originally from Spokane, Washington, her academic and career focus has been on racial and economic equity in schooling and housing. Her past pursuits have sought to tackle problems of inequality from the angles of economic analysis and community organizing alike. To this end, she has worked as a research fellow under Washington's Lieutenant Governor to study the state's affordable housing crisis. Most recently, she has researched income inequality and homelessness as a Menard Family Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Joycelyn Longdon

England | Expertise: Climate, Justice, Tech & Innovation, Culture

Joycelyn Longdon headshot

Joycelyn Longdon is an environmental justice activist, digital creator, and academic based in the United Kingdom. Her research centers on the design of justice-led conservation technologies for monitoring biodiversity with local forest communities in Ghana. She is also the founder of ClimateInColour, an online education platform and community for the climate curious, at the intersection of climate justice, climate technology, and biodiversity conservation. The platform itself is primarily a launchpad for critical conversations but also a space of hope, a place to make climate conversations more accessible and diverse, and a tool to transform how people learn about, communicate, and act on climate issues.

Riana Lynn

USA | Expertise: Culture, Climate, Tech & Innovation

Riana Lynn headshot

Riana Lynn is a neo-scientist, creative entrepreneur, public speaker, AI patent holder, and technologist. She focuses her efforts on building companies that solve science and supply chain problems. Currently, she's an angel investor and creative director and was formerly a Google Entrepreneur in Residence—which is a select group of experienced founders, operators, or executives providing research and portfolio support. Lynn has been featured in USA Today, MIT 35 under 35, and serves as World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer. She's an Austin, Texas-based entrepreneur who enjoys growing fruit trees, writing film scripts, and exploring culinary and architectural heritage sites around the world.

Hillarie Maddox

USA | Expertise: Climate, Culture

Hillarie Maddox headshot

Hillarie Maddox is an educator and community builder, guiding people back into a relationship with Mama Nature. She left the city for rural homestead life, fell in love with nature, and found a renewed purpose in life. After realizing her career was no longer a marker of success, she left the tech industry to pursue writing and entrepreneurship. Her current focus is community research for modern farmers/homesteaders, and helping city folks slow down through mindfulness and nature connection. She has an MS in organizational development and has deep expertise in learning experience design. She has spent 12+ years building global, executive-level learning programs for some of the biggest companies in the world.

Xiaoxue Martin

Netherlands | Expertise: Foreign Policy, Tech & Innovation, Conflict & Crises

Xiaoxue Martin headshot

Xiaoxue Martin holds a research MA in Asian studies and an MA in international relations from Leiden University. In 2020, she joined the independent think tank Clingendael as a research fellow for the China Centre and the strategic initiatives & outreach unit. Her work focuses on the contemporary politics and international relations of China, in particular Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs, and China’s relations with the United States and the European Union. She has researched topics including European dependence on China, China’s economic coercion, the Belt and Road Initiative, and Chinese soft power in Europe. Previously, Martin studied abroad at National Taiwan University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong and interned at the Dutch Consulate General in Guangzhou.

Isabel Mavrides-Calderon

USA | Expertise: Justice

Isabel Mavrides-Calderon headshot

Isabel Mavrides-Calderon is a Latina disability justice activist and organizer. Her work focuses on advocating for policy change, accessibility, and anti-ableism. She has hosted numerous campaigns and protests for disability rights bills with the ACLU, Patients Rising, and the Center for Disability Rights. She was one of the leaders of a successful campaign to take down CVS vs. DOE, a Supreme Court case that threatened to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act. She has also worked as an accessibility consultant for various think tanks and protests, such as the Australian National Climate Strike. In addition to organizing, Mavrides-Calderon has given lectures at universities, conferences, and news platforms across the country.

Jade McGlynn

England | Expertise: Foreign Policy, Conflict & Crises

Jade McGlyn headshot

Dr. Jade McGlynn is a research fellow at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. She received her DPhil, on the political uses of the past in Russian domestic and foreign policy, from the University of Oxford. She is the author of two books, Russia's War (Polity) and Memory Makers: The Politics of the Past in Putin's Russia (Bloomsbury). Her research focuses on Russian state-society relations, memory politics, propaganda, and Russia's war on Ukraine since 2014. Her journalism and expert commentary on all things Russia has been featured in a wide variety of international media outlets, from CNN to the New York Times. She is a frequent contributor to BBC, Deutsche Welle, the Telegraph, and the Spectator.

Alaa Murabit

Libya/Canada | Expertise: Conflict & Crises, Culture, Foreign Policy, Justice, Money, Tech & Innovation

Alaa Murabit headshot

Dr. Alaa Murabit founded Voice of Libyan Women at age 21 in 2011. Her leadership in peacebuilding and bringing coalitions of faith actors together to challenge the suppression of women's rights perpetuated by religious text interpretations, particularly in conflict and fragile settings, was cited as a “turning point in women’s rights globally” by Human Rights Watch. Her TED Talk, "What My Religion Really Says About Women," viewed seven million times, was selected as Talk of the Day, one of four moving TED Talks by the New York Times, and one of 12 TED Talks That Define the Future of Feminism. In 2019 she founded Co-agency, an accelerator for emerging women’s leadership in security, health, peacebuilding, and policy.

Sana Ali Mustafa

Syria/USA | Expertise: Conflict & Crises, Justice

Sana Ali Mustafa headshot

Sana Ali Mustafa is a feminist human rights activist and movement leader fighting against oppression in Syria and around the world. She's the CEO of Asylum Access, where she leads the organization’s work on refugee rights and refugee leadership, and is the first and only female CEO of an international refugee rights organization with lived experience of forced displacement. Prior to joining Asylum Access, Mustafa led global efforts for the representation and inclusion of forcibly displaced persons. She is an active public speaker; a board member of the Karam Foundation, an aid organization focused on helping those affected by the Syrian Civil War; and a member of Syria’s first Syrian women’s political movement.

Nadea Nabilla

Indonesia | Expertise: Tech & Innovation, Climate

Nadea Nabilla headshot

Nadea Nabilla earned a master's degree in electronic engineering specializing in the field of information technology convergence (ICT) from Kumoh National Institute, South Korea. She has a range of experience, from a software engineering consultant at Multi-National Company (MNC) to a beauty pageant runner-up, focusing on ocean issues. Before returning to Indonesia in 2017, she was a technology researcher in South Korea, and she has since authored papers, articles, and university-level patents on the advanced implementation of ICT technology. With her recent project at Azura Indonesia called Manta One, she keenly aspires to support sustainable fishing in the coastal fishermen community within Indonesia.

Matthew Chukwudi Nwozaku

Nigeria | Expertise: Justice, Culture, Tech & Innovation

Matthew Chukwudi Nwozaku

With a background in LGBTQ+ advocacy, art curation, and community building, Matthew Nwozaku's work has left an indelible mark on young people around the world. As the executive director at Obodo, a youth-led non-profit furthering the normalization of queer experiences in Nigeria, Nwozaku has spearheaded impactful campaigns and community-driven initiatives that bridge the gap between art, technology, and philanthropy. Their role in the #EndSARS movement and the #QueerLivesMatter and #EndHomophobiaInNigeria campaigns spotlighted police brutality and ignited a nationwide discourse on systemic change. Through social media mobilization, they amplified the voices of young Nigerians, sparking a wave of demand for justice and accountability.

Jehiel David Oliver

Kenya | Expertise: Tech & Innovation

Jehiel David Olive

Jehiel Oliver is the founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology company that connects tractor owners with smallholder farmers in need of tractor services. At Hello Tractor, Oliver is responsible for overall management and strategy. He has been honored with numerous awards for his work in social entrepreneurship including being recognized by Foreign Policy magazine as a Top 100 Global Thinker and a World Economic Forum circulars inaugural cohort member. He was appointed under the Obama administration as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, where he chaired the technology subcommittee. Outside of work, Oliver remains active serving on the board of Shared Interest and H4H.

Una Osili

USA | Expertise: Justice, Money, Conflict & Crises

Una Osili headshot

Dr. Una Osili is the Efroymson chair in philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. She's also the associate dean of research and international programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world’s first school of its kind. Dr. Osili has pioneered new approaches to using data to improve the understanding of trends in economic development and philanthropy. Her research is focused on household financial behavior across low-income and high-income environments. She has studied remittances from international migration, charitable giving, private transfers, and education. Osili also leads the research and publication of the Global Philanthropy Tracker and the Global Philanthropy Environment Index.

Tharmelinggem Pillai

Malaysia | Expertise: Conflict & Crises, Justice, Foreign Policy

Tharmelinggem Pillai headshot

Tharma Pillai is the co-founder and advocacy director of Undi18, a youth movement that successfully advocated for the lowering of the voting age in Malaysia from 21 to 18 years old. The constitutional amendment received unanimous votes in Parliament – the first time it has happened in the country's history. The bill has enfranchised an additional 5.8 million voters, transforming the Malaysian political landscape. In 2020, he was part of the team that launched Parlimen Digital, the first youth-led virtual Parliament session in the world. As an acknowledgment of his work, he is a recipient of Tatler Asia’s Most Influential and included on Generation T Asia and Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 lists – along with other international fellowships.

Germán Santillán Ugarte

Mexico | Expertise: Culture

German Santillan Ugarte headshot

Germán Santillán Ugarte is a social entrepreneur and cultural chocolatier working towards a more inclusive and just future through the recognition of the importance of indigenous cultures. He is the founder and CEO of Oaxacanita Chocolate, the first Mexican social chocolate company to be recognized internationally for its social impact. Through the production of artisanal chocolate, Santillán and his team contribute to the social, economic, and environmental development of the proudly indigenous communities of the Mixtec Region of Oaxaca. His work has been recognized by President Barack Obama, the International Youth Foundation, Meta, TED, and the Westerwelle Foundation for contributions to international social innovation.

Céline Semaan

Lebanon | Expertise: Climate, Conflict & Crises, Culture, Foreign Policy, Justice, Tech & Innovation, Money

German Santillan Ugarte headshot

Céline Semaan a Lebanese-Canadian designer, writer, speaker, mother, and advocate working at the intersection of environmental and social justice. She's the founder of Slow Factory, a 501c3 an award-winning organization addressing the intersecting crises of climate justice and social inequity — filling the gap for climate adaptation and preparedness, building community power through open education, narrative change, and regenerative design. As a part of this work, Slow Factory produces a conference series promoting sustainability literacy called Study Hall, the first science-driven incubator in fashion called One X One, as well as a material science lab focusing on waste to resource new materials.

Sharona Shnayder

Israel | Expertise: Climate, Conflict & Crises, Foreign Policy

Sharona Shnayder headshot

Sharona Shnayder is a Nigerian/Israeli environmental activist, National Geographic Young Explorer, chairwoman of social justice nonprofit OurstreetsPDX, and founder of the global grassroots movement Tuesdays for Trash—tackling the garbage crisis facing our planet. Despite how intimidating climate change often feels, in 2020 she chose to channel her fear into mobilizing a movement that has now brought people from 40+ countries together to remove over 38,000 pounds of litter from our environment in 6/7 continents. As a BIPOC youth activist, she aims to provide a unique perspective to the climate movement that will reduce global waste while creating a cleaner and more equitable home for everyone on this planet.

Mitzi Jonelle Tan

Philippines | Expertise: Climate, Justice

Mitzi Jonelle Tan headshot

Mitzi Jonelle Tan is a full-time climate justice activist based in the Philippines. She is the convenor and international spokesperson of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), the Fridays For Future (FFF) of the Philippines. She is also a steering committee member of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Youth Climate Justice Fund, and an organizer with FFF MAPA (Most Affected Peoples and Areas) making sure that voices from the Global South are amplified and given space. A strong voice on anti-imperialism, anti-colonization, and the intersectionality of the climate crisis, she is committed to changing the system and building a world that prioritizes people and planet, not profit, through collective action.

Lyric Thompson

USA | Expertise: Foreign Policy

Lyric Thompson headshot

Lyric Thompson is the founder and CEO of the Feminist Foreign Policy Collaborative. In this capacity, she leads the initiative’s development and the execution of strategy, helps form evidence-based policy recommendations, and convenes critical conversations that foster learning and innovation in this growing field. In her 15-year career, she has advocated for women’s rights issues at the United Nations, G7/G20, White House, the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the Department of Defense. She is an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where she teaches a graduate-level course on women’s rights advocacy. Thompson writes regularly on gender and foreign policy for such outlets as the New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Devex.

Gönül Tol

Turkey | Expertise: Foreign Policy

Gönül Tol headshot

Dr. Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey program, a senior fellow with the Black Sea Program, a frequent media commentator, and the author of Erdogan's War: A Strongman's Struggle at Home and in Syria. Based in Washington, D.C., she has taught courses on Turkey, Islamist movements in Western Europe, world politics, and the Middle East at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies and at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. She has extensive expertise on Turkey-United States relations, Turkish domestic politics, immigration, foreign policy, social movements and their radicalization process, and the Kurdish issue.

Rōze Traore

USA | Expertise: Culture

Rōze Traore is a chef, media personality, and entrepreneur who has made it his mission to help those of every socio-economic background, working to bring the pleasures of eating fresh, beautiful food to communities facing food insecurity. He is the creator of unique dining experiences for iconic brands such as the New York Times, Veuve Clicquot, AMEX, and Louis Vuitton. As a child, Traore spent time recovering from open heart surgery, during which time he looked towards the kitchen as a place of healing and recovery. At age 18, Traore packed up his knife kit and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu. From there, he went to work in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world including Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad.

Franziska Trautmann

USA | Expertise: Climate

Franziska Trautmann headshot

Franziska Trautmann was born and raised in Carencro, Louisiana, where she witnessed Louisiana's coastal erosion crisis and lack of recycling options. While at Tulane University, she co-founded Glass Half Full to tackle these two issues. Glass Half Full's mission is to recycle glass into sand for coastal restoration, disaster relief, and more. After graduating with honors in chemical engineering in 2020, she continued to pursue Glass Half Full full-time. She now serves as the CEO, forging new partnerships, expanding operations, and leading coastal restoration efforts. Her work has been featured in news outlets such as NBC Nightly, CBS, and more, and she shares her journey and processes with her 270,000 followers on TikTok.

Jennifer Uchendu

Nigeria | Expertise: Climate

Jennifer Uchendu headshot

Jennifer Uchendu is a climate activist and founder of SustyVibes, a youth-led organization guiding sustainability advocacy and implementation in Nigeria. Recently her work has focused on the intersection of climate change and mental health, where she is exploring safeguarding and support systems for Africans through research, advocacy, and community action. Uchendu has a master's degree in development studies from the Institute of Development Studies, UK under the prestigious Chevening Scholarship. She is also an alumnus of the Cambridge Institute For Sustainability Leadership and the Lagos Business School. In 2017, Uchendu co-authored the e-book A Guide to Business Sustainability in Nigeria.

Mariana Vasconcelos

Brazil | Expertise: Climate, Tech & Innovation

Mariana Vasconcelos headshot

Mariana Vasconcelos is the CEO of Agrosmart, a technology pioneer alumnus of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and serves as an advisory board member at Thought For Food, Fundação Espaço ECO, and Instituto Interamericano de Cooperação para a Agricultura. She is a climate activist and an expert in digital agriculture, considered one of the most influential people in Latin America by Bloomberg Linea. An advocate for gender equality, she was recognized by Globant with a Women That Build award. She was also recognized as a Young Global Leader by the WEF, a 50 Next by the World's 50 Best Restaurants & Bars, an Innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review, Forbes 30 Under 30 Brasil, and Fast Company World's 100 Most Creative in Business.

Neil Vora

USA | Expertise: Climate, Foreign Policy, Conflict & Crises

Neil Vora headshot

Dr. Neil Vora is a physician with Conservation International—an American nonprofit environmental organization focusing on science, policy, and partnership with businesses, governments, and communities—where he leads its efforts on pandemic prevention. He previously served with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2013, Vora led an investigation in the country of Georgia concerning a newly discovered poxvirus. He was deployed to Liberia in 2014 and to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019 to assist in the responses to the two largest Ebola outbreaks in history. From 2020-2021, Vora developed and led New York City’s COVID-19 contact tracing program. He still sees patients in a public tuberculosis clinic in New York City.

Brian Woerner

USA | Expertise: Culture

Brian Woerner headshot

Brian Woerner is the Bosted-based founder and CEO of World Honey Exchange (WHE), an organization that works on bridging beekeeping groups and cooperatives around the world with new marketplaces. They look to create a worldwide community of honey producers and procurers, where quality honey and information about it can be more easily exchanged. WHE has curated specialty kinds of honey from places such as Chile, Columbia, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Tanzania. He was a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative reverse exchange fellow (Colombia), a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow (Swahili), a Peace Corps volunteer (Guinea and Mali), and is a graduate of Boston University's Questrom School of Business and Pardee School of Global Studies.

Britt Wray

Canada | Expertise: Climate

Britt Wray headshot

Dr. Britt Wray is the director of the chair’s special initiative on climate change and mental health in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine. She is the author of two books, the most recent being Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, which is an impassioned generational perspective on how to stay sane amid the climate emergency, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Wray has spoken at TED and the World Economic Forum, and her work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She's currently a fellow in the Climate Health Organizing Fellowship offered by Harvard C-Change.

For questions about the Next Generation Changemakers, contact Tria Raimundo, Director, Global Development Programs at the Council.