Get Inspired by These Young Activists for Sustainability

Greta Thunberg

Biography:

Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg was born in Sweden on the 3rd of January 2003. Thunberg’s father used to be an actor, while her mother sang the opera.

Greta was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which is now considered an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People with Asperger Syndrome possess normal intelligence and linguistic development but have an impaired ability for social interactions. They also tend to develop a deep interest and focus on one particular area or field, and, in Greta’s case, it was climate change. She started learning about the issue at the tender age of eight. Within a few years, she had altered many of her habits, including becoming a vegan and refusing to commute through airplanes (Both airplanes and livestock produce gases that significantly contribute to global warming).

What Is She Famous For?

Like we mentioned, she felt very strongly about climate change, and she was soon persuading lawmakers to pay greater attention to the issue. For nearly three weeks before the 2018 Swedish elections, Greta missed school to protest outside the parliament, displaying a sign that said, ‘School Strike for Climate. Even though she started the strike off by herself, more and more people started joining her with each passing day. Even though Greta rejoined school after the elections, she continued to skip classes every Friday and go on strike in a movement that came to be known as ‘Fridays for Futures.’ Over the last two to three years, Greta has spoken about climate change on several notable platforms, including the European Parliament and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

How To Follow Her?

You can follow Greta Thunberg through her Facebook page or Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Boyan Slat

Biography:

Born on July 27th, 1994, in Delft, Netherlands, Boyan Slat is an entrepreneur and inventor. He previously studied aerospace engineering and is currently the CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. His story started when, as a 16-year-old, he was scuba diving in Greece and observed that the ocean contained more plastic than fishes. He started probing deeper into the problem of plastic pollution and realized, to his greater surprise, that no serious efforts were being made to address this problem.

What Is He Famous For?

The desire to clean up the ocean continued to burn stronger in his heart with each passing day, and Boyan finally came up with an idea. Instead of targeting the plastic, he decided to develop a system that would concentrate the plastic with the help of the ocean currents. In February of 2013, he decided to form The Ocean Cleanup. Just over three years later, in June 2016, he had developed the initial cleanup prototype, and by late 2017, the working pilot had been launched.

In 2015, Boyan received the Young Entrepreneur Award from the Norwegian HM King Herald, and he was a part of the Foreign Policy 2015 list of Global Thinkers. In 2016, he made it to Forbes 30 under 30 list, while he was chosen as Reader’s Digest’s European of the Year in 2017.

His startup, The Ocean Cleanup, was one of The Year’s Designs selected by the London Design Museum. The initiative has won several other accolades, including INDEX: Award (2015), Fast Company’s Innovation By Design Award (2015), alongside being one of TIME magazine’s 25 best inventions (2015).

How To Follow Him?

Boyan Slat is available on Instagram and Twitter; you can also follow him through his website theoceancleanup.com.

Fionn Ferreira

Biography:

Fionn Ferreira was born in November 2000, and, alongside being a student, he is a scientist and a pollution innovator trying to solve the crisis related to plastic pollution. Growing up in a remote Irish region, Fionn spent a great deal of his time around Ireland’s coastal areas. He observed the increasing amounts of plastic that washed up on the coastline, and his observations greatly concerned him.

What Is He Famous For?

In an attempt to counter the growing plastic pollution problem, Fionn started organizing beach cleaning operations. He also dedicated his energy to developing machines that quantify and collect the pollution of plastic.

Upon learning about microplastics and the tremendous harm they pose to the ecosystem and human health, Fionn decided to find a method for their removal. After many failed attempts, he produced a device that used magnets to eliminate plastic particles from the water at astonishingly high extraction rates. Moreover, the method was clean, fast, and unharmful.

In 2019, he was declared the Grand Prize Global Winner at the Google Science Fair, leaving several renowned scientists awestruck. Eventually, he founded Fionn and Co. LLC to test his microplastic-removal methods. He has currently formed a partnership with Stress Designs and, with its help, is building, testing, and fine-tuning his designs.

Fionn has spoken at the World Economic Forum 2020 (and will be doing so in 2021), Global Plastic Health Summit, European Commission Research Conference, The Martin Luther King Lectures, and the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit 2020. He has also judged The Young Plastic Pollution Challenge as well as the Greentech Festival Berlin 2020. He has been featured on Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNN, and Forbes

How To Follow Him?

You can follow Fionn on Twitter, as well as through his website www.fionnferreira.com.

 

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