Meet the People Fighting for a Better-Informed Public

A WebMD for sex, an air quality-monitoring egg, and more.

Each year, GOOD celebrates 100 people from around the globe who are improving our world in creative and innovative ways—advocates, inventors, educators, creatives, business leaders and more who are speaking up, building things, campaigning for change, and ultimately refusing to accept the status quo.

In this section, meet 11 innovators redefining the way we consume, distribute, and engage with information.

Meet Four Information Advocates

Lauded for launching the pioneering geojournalism network InfoAmazonia, Brazilian journalist Gustavo Faleiros’s latest mission is building an army of citizen journalists. His platform provides exercises, tutorials, and open-source tools for all manner of environmental data pirates.

Veteran journalist Chai Jing directed the 2015 documentary that produced China’s “Silent Spring moment.” Under the Dome is a scathing investigation of Beijing’s air pollution, to which Chai attributes her daughter’s tumor. The Chinese government scrambled to censor the film, but after four days online it had already racked up 150 million views.

In Afghanistan, where journalists are often threatened or attacked by the government, press freedom is in constant jeopardy. As the South Asia coordinator for media development group DW Akademie, Priya Esselborn established the country’s first university network to develop journalism education programs.

At the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media, Ethan Zuckerman leads tinkerers forging the future of digital media. His venture Global Voices is a trusted international news hub, often featuring personal accounts of conflict—like activist Marcell Shehwaro’s series, “Dispatches From Syria,” which won a 2015 Online Journalism Award.

Razia Jan Knows Education is Key


Afghan philanthropist Razia Jan’s Zabuli Education Center, which provides K-12 education for girls in Afghanistan’s Deh’Subz district, graduated its first class last December. Still, an estimated 1.5 million Afghan girls aren’t enrolled in school. Jan’s next step, the Razia Jan Institute, is opening this March and will be the first post-secondary school for women in rural Afghanistan.

Lucianne Walkowicz Shares the Stars


As a leader of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project—which will photograph the entire sky every few nights for 10 years—and an astronomer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, Walkowicz hunts for alien signals and Earth-like planets. She recently completed a 300-mile, astronomy-themed bike tour from Chicago to St. Louis.

Zena Sfeir Gets Real About Sex


Zena Sfeir’s medical information platform Sohati didn’t gain 3.5 million users just because it’s convenient. The service, essentially an Arabic-language WebMD, breaks intimate medical topics out of cultural taboo, empowering women to understand their own sexual and reproductive health. Next, Sohati is expanding into video-driven healthcare.

Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli Breaks Barriers With Science


As head of the Moroccan team collaborating on the international ATLAS experiment to search for undiscovered elementary particles, El Moursli helped prove the existence of the Higgs boson—and even snagged a L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award. Nicknamed “Militant of Research,” El Moursli created the country’s first master’s degree in medical physics, and is developing a network of cultural and scientific clubs at Moroccan high schools.

Paul Miller Breaks the Ice

New York City

Soundscape musician, writer, and performance artist DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid (aka Paul Miller) will exhibit his next project, an imported Icelandic glacier, in Times Square, this fall at the Celebrating Glaciers New York festival, scored by natural sound from Iceland. The glacier will, of course, eventually melt—all in the name of environmental awareness.

Charlie Smith Tackles China’s Firewalls


Since its founding in 2011 by three individuals who operate under the pseudonym “Charlie Smith,” the Chinese internet censorship database Great Fire has become the authoritative watchdog against the government’s “Great Firewall” and is developing new tools to access blocked websites inside China.

Jessica Lam & Liam Bates Share the Air


When Jessica Lam developed asthma symptoms after moving to Beijing, she and her inventor husband, Liam Bates, started researching air-purifying machines. Finding a gap in the market, they co-founded Origins Technology and devised the Laser Egg last summer. Using an air vent and a particle-counting laser beam, the orb-like device instantly measures air according to the Air Quality Index. It also uploads the data online, producing a crowdsourced air quality map accessible to anyone with a smartphone, like Yelp for pollution. After Beijing’s AQI plummeted in November, Origins sold out of Laser Eggs.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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