Tackling climate change and the countless environmental challenges we face calls for innovation and courage. Young leaders are leading the way, and they’re using STEM skills to do it. 

Whether we realize it or not, almost every environmental initiative is connected to STEM — science, technology, engineering or math. You don’t have to be an engineer or rocket scientist to use STEM skills. From composting and gardening, to researching, to launching social media campaigns and apps, changemakers are using STEM every day to make our world more sustainable. 

Ashoka and General Motors searched the country for young people between the ages of 14 – 20 years old who are working to build a more sustainable future. Meet the innovators that applied.

Young person at a rally of climate activist holding a sign that says "We need a change"

Changemaker Summit

Winners of the Our Planet, Our Purpose: STEM for Changemaking Challenge join other young changemakers, Ashoka, and General Motors for the dynamic Changemaker Summit.

Last year on July 22-24, 2020, Ashoka and General Motors brought together 25 young changemaking teams for a three-day online event. We embarked on an energizing journey packed with community, collaboration, movement building, and harnessing changemaking and STEM skills for sustainability.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, delivered a keynote and shared her own changemaking journey that redefined traditional conservation and inspires us all to take action on behalf of all living things and planet we share.

Collage representing the Changemaker Summit which includes lime green background, a graphic of the earth and the Zoom screen event.

General Motors' Vision

The automotive industry helped transform the world – reshaping our physical world and fundamentally changing the way many people lead their lives. However, with mass mobility also came crashes, environmental impact and time wasted due to congestion. 

Today, General Motors aims to transform the world again by creating a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Success won’t happen overnight, but with the help of passionate innovators, motivated by urgent societal issues (like climate change), we can make these visions a reality.