Social consciousness around fighting climate change is expanding. Many around the globe are responding to the crisis with new ideas, including a new and galvanized generation of young people, who are calling on everyone to work towards reducing carbon footprints and living more sustainable lives.
The Washington Post’s Climate Solutions section, in partnership with Rolex, focuses on the individuals working to find answers. We will bring together young scientists, entrepreneurs, and advocates for a live event focused on the most innovative inventions, proposals and solutions to combat climate change. We will put a spotlight on people who are leading the charge in finding new ways to move towards a more sustainable world. We will also look at the challenges for those on the front lines of this fight, as they battle bureaucracies and roadblocks.
KARAN JERATH, CO-FOUNDER, KARTON
Karan Jerath is the youngest member on the 2016 Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Energy List and a United Nations Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 Young Leaders were selected from more than 18,000 nominations and work with the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth on efforts to engage young people in the realization of the Goals. His novel patented invention targets remediation methods for subsea oil spills and has earned him the Intel Foundation’s Young Scientist award along with recognition from the Kingdom of Brunei, Kingdom of Bahrain, Emperor of Japan, and the Governor of Texas.
Last year, he filmed a documentary, now on Amazon Prime Latin America, titled ‘The Power of the Centennials’ with Bancolombia, the most sustainable bank in the world as reported by Dow Jones. The objective of the episode is to show a youth’s perspective on how leaders of multi-national corporations should operate, particularly around sustainability issues. He had direct conversations with the President and CEO of Corona Industries, a multi-billion dollar Colombian mining and ceramics company, and was ultimately able to have Corona Industries commit to issues around improving worker conditions and ergonomics, working towards closing circular economy gaps in operations, expanding investments to youth, and eliminating virgin plastic usage within their supply chain.
Alongside working for a Big Four Consulting Firm, he is the co-founder of KARTON, a social good transportation company in Zambia, Africa. KARTON’s mission is to bring technology and data to disrupt the transportation sector in the African continent. The company connects shippers and carriers moving freight and will ultimately invest in services like financial literacy and energy storage solutions to address the power shortages experienced within the country.
SARAH EVANS, FOUNDER AND CHAIR, WELL AWARE
Sarah Evans is the founder and board co-chair of Well Aware, an Austin-based nonprofit that funds and implements clean water systems for impoverished communities in Africa. Well Aware is known for its sustainability model in building lasting water systems with high impact.
Evans is also founder and CEO of Well Beyond, an international company that advises organizations on water development efforts, and oversees water project execution. Well Beyond has also developed software to improve the water aid sector.
Evans has worked to change the way water projects are executed and managed in east Africa. She has built a team of staff and volunteers who implement projects that are realistic and lasting through strategic partnerships, true community involvement and empowerment, hygiene and sanitation education, and impact measurement. Evans’ model positions Well Aware and Well Beyond partner communities to thrive, and every dollar invested is at least quadrupled in productivity.
MIRANDA WANG, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, BIOCELLECTION
Miranda Wang is a US-based Chinese Canadian entrepreneur, environmental advocate, and inventor. She is the Co-founder and CEO of BioCellection Inc, a plastic-to-plastic chemical upcycling technology company with a focus on polyethylene plastic waste. Her company’s patented process invention ATOD™ transforms polyethylene waste into platform chemicals with a 70% lower CO2e footprint, and synthesizes these chemicals into quality performance materials that can compete with virgin materials on price. Miranda believes that the solution to the plastic problem lies in deeptech (and mostly chemical) innovation and scaling up new manufacturing processes that recycle hard-to-recycle plastics.
She brings together key stakeholders in waste management, jurisdictions, and brands seeking improved sustainability to solve the plastic pollution crisis. Backed by well-known impact investors, philanthropists, and governmental programs aimed at solving big problems in our world, her company has received over $5M in investments and $4M in grants. Among other accolades, Miranda is a Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate, Forbes 30 Under 30, Echoing Green Climate Fellow, UN Young Champion of the Earth, Pritzker Environmental “Genius” Prize Winner, and the first undergraduate winner of the Wharton Business Plan Competition. Outside of her day job, Miranda is an only child and lives in San José, CA with her husband Robert and their cat Pirate and rabbit Unicorn. She is an avid gardener with a keen interest in landscaping with nature. She received her Bachelor of Arts in cell and molecular biology, philosophy, and engineering entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.