Session IX: Driving Change: Youth

Our nation’s youth know that they have the most to lose from a changing climate. They are clamoring for more and quicker climate action, yet our governments, businesses and citizens remain relatively sluggish and apathetic. What is next for the youth climate movement, and how can we support and ally with them?

Sofia Gilani
Climate Action Advocate
Green Muslims

About Sofia:

Born and raised in Virginia, Sofia grew up experiencing all the nature the state has to offer. Due to her parents’ backgrounds, she also had the opportunity to experience nature in Pakistan and Nicaragua. This set the path for an appreciation of the outdoors. Sofia joined Green Muslims in the summer of 2019 as an intern and now holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science. Professionally, she works mostly in compliance and regulation, as well as outreach and education. Sofia will be using her outreach and education skills, plus her passion for climate change advocacy to work with Green Muslims. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Daniela Fernandez
Founder & CEO
Sustainable Ocean Alliance

About Daniela:

Daniela is an award-winning social entrepreneur, thought leader, and internationally sought-after speaker on the entrepreneurial mindset, ocean innovation, technology, youth empowerment, and sustainability. At the age of 19, Daniela founded Sustainable Ocean Alliance as a college-room idea at Georgetown University. Five years later, SOA has created the world’s largest network of young Ocean Leaders in over 150 countries and launched the world’s first Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support developing technological solutions to address the greatest threats facing our planet. Daniela has been recognized for her work by former U.S. Secretary John Kerry, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and E.U. Commissioner Karmenu Vella. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a member of Friends of Ocean Action—a select group of leaders working to fast-track solutions to ocean challenges. She was awarded the 2020 Rising Star Visionary Award by the Silicon Valley Forum and named a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Piper Christian
University of Utah

About Piper:

Piper Christian is a Junior at the University of Utah. At age sixteen, Piper attended the COP21 UNFCCC Paris Climate Conference as a youth journalist, where she interviewed activists from around the world about their various efforts to protect the environment. In 2017, she gave the TEDx talk “Share Your Story, Protect the Planet” to speak about her experiences. She continues to gather and share stories from the climate movement as a recipient of the Yale Public Voices on the Climate Crisis Fellowship. As a senior in High School, Piper organized a student group which introduced and led the statewide campaign to pass HJR7 through the Utah Legislature, a resolution which recognized the impacts of climate change and encouraged emissions reductions within Utah. In 2018, Piper co-founded the Utah Youth Environmental Summit, which trained students from fifteen schools in climate activism strategies. As a college student, Piper founded a climate...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Katie Eder
Executive Director
Future Coalition

About Katie:

Katie Eder, 20-years-old, is the Executive Director of Future Coalition. Built by youth activists for youth activists, Future Coalition is a network of youth-led organizations and youth organizers across the US that fosters community and collaboration while providing young people with the tools, resources, and support to power their ideas and amplify their impact. Since launching in fall of 2018, Future Coalition has been organizing young people around a variety of issues including climate change, voting, and gun violence prevention. Under Katie’s leadership, the coalition has grown to include more than 40+ youth-led organizations and thousands of youth leaders and changemakers across the country. As a major force in the youth climate movement, Future Coalition coordinates the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition, the group that organizes the national campaigns for the climate strikes in the US and led the coordination of the historic September 20 climate strike with nearly a...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Rebecca Rehr
Director Climate for Health

About Rebecca:

Rebecca Rehr is the Director of ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health Program, a national initiative led by a diverse network of health leaders from across the sector. Rebecca is also currently serving on the National Recreation and Park Association Climate and Health Advisory Panel, and American Geophysical Union’s GeoHealth Section leadership. She was previously the Public Policy & Advocacy Manager for the Maryland Environmental Health Network, where she developed and supported statewide initiatives addressing climate change, pesticide use, lead poisoning, fracking, health impact assessments, and environmental justice. Rebecca completed a two-year fellowship in the Office of Children’s Health Protection at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has previously served on the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities and as Advocacy Chair for the Maryland Public Health Association. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Public Policy from Franklin and Marshall College and an MPH from the University of...