A woman in a green dress who is holding a coffee cup and standing at the shore of a lake

“For me, climate change is personal.”

Data scientist Siyu Yang witnessed her hometown transform due to human-created climate change. Now, she's dedicated to her career to solving problems for cities like hers.

For me, climate change is personal. I grew up in Kunming, China, nicknamed “Spring City” for its Mediterranean-like, mild weather. Kunming Lake sits right next to the city; it’s a beautiful lake that’s had poems written about it. But when China was industrializing, developers and farmers filled it with dirt and debris and crops, gravely reducing the mass and volume of the lake. Now, the climate of the area is more extreme with each winter and summer.

Climate change worries the hell out of me.

Today, I work on a team that looks at how artificial intelligence could address some of Earth’s most challenging problems. Everything we do in the name of sustainability should solve problems, not just make us feel good about ourselves.—Siyu Yang, originally from Kunming, China

A photo of a woman lying on a blanket in the grass reading a book

“I got an idea for a children’s book.”

Marine conservationist Bonnie Lei knows firsthand how climate change affects people and communities. She decided to take that message directly to kids as a way to build empathy for others.
A photo of a man wearing athletic gear sitting on the sidelines of a football field

“Football was about solving puzzles, and facing opposition is a mental game.”

As a child in Texas, Phillip Hale’s life centered around football. The discipline, teamwork, and puzzle-solving prepared him for what he’s doing now.
a woman looks up at a blue sky with green palm trees in the background

“It’s pretty cool not to feel like I’m just one voice.”

Clara Mansilha and a coworker started an environmental sustainability movement at their local office—inspiring other employees around the world. 
A man lays on a hammock with his children, a boy and a girl, who hang their legs over his lap

“I’m part of something that’s so much bigger than me.”

Chief environmental officer Lucas Joppa's childhood playground was a forest. No TV. No computers. Now, he's betting our planet’s future on technology.
Royce Martin and Heather Dowdy having a conversation while standing in the snow outside their family home in Chicago.

“My life has given me a special lens for people marginalized by the intersection of race, gender, class, and disability.”

Growing up on the Southside of Chicago, Heather Dowdy found her relationship with her hardworking dad led her to develop products that everyone can use.
A mother and daughter hold hands by the river and smile

“Standing up for what’s right often isn’t comfortable.”

As an attorney, Makalika Naholowa’a says her law degree gives her a rare privilege, and she feels responsible to use it for good.