Gen Z Trends

9 Inspiring Young Leaders to Follow in 2024


The world we live in today is undoubtedly facing some of its toughest challenges yet – from misinformation to climate change, poverty, and even war. It’s no secret that things can feel pretty overwhelming at times. But here’s the thing – we at Moonshot Pirates refuse to let the negativity get us down.

You know why? Because we firmly believe that no matter how tough life gets, there are always countless young people out there who are taking bold action to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond. These inspiring changemakers are tackling a variety of issues, ranging from the environment and education to social justice and beyond.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of 9 young changemakers whose story and development you have to follow in 2024.

Shervin Dehmoubed

Shervin Dehmoubed | 9 Inspiring Young People to Follow in 2024

Do you remember the incredible amount of packaging you got the last time you received something you bought online? Right now, most of the packaging waste is not being recycled. With EcoPackables, the Forbes 30 under 30 honoree Shervin Dehmoubed (22) wants to change that. EcoPackables creates packaging that is 100% compostable and recyclable. Partnering with big retailers such as Nestlé and Ted Baker, the company has prevented more than 12.5 million plastic polybags and pouches from ending up in landfills last year alone.

Sophia Kianni

Sophia Kianni (22) is an Iranian-American social entrepreneur and activist and the youngest United Nations advisor in US history. At 17, she founded Climate Cardinals, a nonprofit working to make climate education more accessible to people who don’t speak English. Today, it is the world’s largest youth-led climate nonprofit, with 10,000 volunteers in 80+ countries.

As a prolific storyteller, Sophia has spoken at all top universities and written for major news outlets like TIME Magazine or the Washington Post. With her debut TED Talk, she won the TED Global Idea competition.

Sophie Kaitlin Drescher

Sophie Kaitlin Drescher | 9 Inspiring Young People to Follow in 2024

Sophie Kaitlin Drescher (17) is the youngest moderator of Austria. She is also the founder of the startup GREEN, which focuses on promoting sustainability and eco-friendliness in our daily lives. When she’s not at school, she is creating fun and engaging content on TikTok for WKO LOOKAUT. Her work as a moderator has put her on some major stages, like the Peter Drucker Forum or the 4Gamechanger Festival. Sophie is passionate, self-driven, and always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow.

Nkosilathi Nyathi

Nkosilathi Nyathi (20) is from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, an area that has experienced harsh droughts and floods in his lifetime. He first set out on his climate activism at the age of 10, when he joined his school’s environmental club. Since 2015, he has been engaged with UNICEF and GreenLine Africa, advocating for climate action and serving as a voice for young people in Zimbabwe and Africa. Over the years, his passion for climate change issues, stemming from the continued environmental degradation of his hometown, has motivated him to participate in important climate change initiatives around the world.

For Nkosilathi, not only is he fighting for the future of his generation, but he is using his position to elevate the personal narratives of African youth in the fight against the climate crisis and affirming that their experiences matter, their voices matter.

Anoushka Sinha

Anoushka Rinha | 9 Inspiring Young People to Follow in 2024

Anoushka Sinha ( is a social entrepreneur, activist, and sustainability consultant. She is the founder of Anupam Foundation, a global youth-led, SDG-focused movement that works globally to empower, enrich, and engrain the values of resilience, empathy and courage in young people globally to become agents of change be it in the climate space or human rights arena. She has also worked as an advisor to UNICEF, ambassador at UNEP, and is currently leading the youth employment youth advisory group at the World Bank.

Anoushka is also finding means to impact real lives through research-driven work. She has worked on various interdisciplinary research projects focusing on gender equality and equal access to education and climate change.

Fionn Ferreira

Fionn Ferreira’s (22) innovative magnet-based method for extracting microplastics from water has positioned him as a leading young inventor in environmental science. Based on his work, he founded The Green Journey Coalition, an organization that strives to increase access to clean and safe water globally and develops the needed technology for cleaner water to fight plastic pollution As a speaker, Fionn shares his passion for sustainability, fights against plastic pollution, and advocates for cleaner oceans and a more circular economy on global stages. His insights into sustainability and innovation have inspired audiences worldwide, making him a leading voice in environmental advocacy.

Have a look at this short video describing Fionn’s fantastic invention:

Sofia Sanchez

Sofia Sanchez | Moonshot Pirates

Sofia Sanchez (19) got into biotech in 2019, when she hacked bacteria in her room using CRISPR. Since then, she has worked on countless projects, like translating text and images into DNA, designing more efficient biofertilizers, all the way to growing kidney cells in her bedroom.

As a freelance writer, Sophia has written more than 90 articles for her blog as well as different biotech organizations all over the world and Johns Hopkins. She got into UC Berkeley and started her biotech engineering degree at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico.

Krishiv Thakuria

Krishiv Thakuria | Moonshot Pirates

While everybody is talking about revolutionizing the education system, Krishiv Thakuria (15) is actually doing it. Passionate about how AI can disrupt education for the better of human potential, he is researching pedagogy and applying AI to build, the next-generation learning tools that make learning faster.

He is also a passionate public speaker and has been invited to speak at numerous events, including World Summit AI 2023, and at Microsoft’s Canadian HQ in Toronto. He is an active advocate in AI x education and has been invited to share his knowledge of AI to hundreds of educators across the world.

Avi Schiffmann

Avi Schiffmann (21) is a one-of-a-kind platform developer. In late 2019 he created, a live global dashboard that tracks the spread of the pandemic in real-time. He launched the website when there were only 51 COVID cases. When the war in Russian Invasion happened, he co-created, a site that helped more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to find temporary shelter in Europe and North America. When the massive earthquake hit Turkey and Syria last year, he helped again with, a website aimed at connecting the 1.5 million left homeless with people willing to host them.

Out of all these experiences, he founded InternetActivism, a non-profit that collaborates with NGOs to develop open-source websites, apps, and general software to provide humanitarian support when a crisis strikes.

However, this year, Avi is focusing on a new industry: artificial intelligence. Last year, he sold his first Tabs, a necklace that records all interactions its wearer has, and sends them to an AI chatbot which extracts the most important information from the conversations and saves it in a structured database. The chatbot then can help the user remember past conversations better and also help with brainstorming, planning and making decisions. You can have a look at it here:

Mentoring for Young Leaders

Feeling inspired by these young changemakers? Ready to #takeaction and make waves yourself? Join the Shape the Future challenge and develop your solution for the future of climate – and get the chance to win a trip to Silicon Valley.

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