Meet the Advocates Mobilizing for More Equitable Societies

A climate-change refugee, food redistributor, 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 12 advocates creating change to promote social, political, and economic justice.

Jane Marx’s Social Impact Comes Caffeinated


After founding Long Street Coffee last summer out of a converted garage in Melbourne, Jane Marx and her husband, Francois, turned their café into a platform for creating awareness of Australia’s severe restrictions on refugee rights, employing refugees and providing paid, six-month barista trainee-ships to asylum seekers.

LocoL Reimagines Fast Food

Los Angeles, San Francisco

Michelin-starred chef Daniel Patterson and Kogi food truck king Roy Choi bring affordable Korean-American fusion to neglected food deserts with fast-casual chain LocoL. Their “burgs” are beef patties cut with grains, seaweed, and tofu, though customers at the inaugural location in Los Angeles’s Watts neighborhood could barely tell the difference. Next, the pair will launch LocoL in San Francisco.

Ioane Teitiota Challenges Refugee Classifications

South Terawa

Rising sea levels threaten the existence of Ioane Teitiota’s home country of Kiribati—a low-lying island chain in the Pacific—so he sought refuge in New Zealand, campaigning to become the first climate change refugee. After a four-year legal battle, Teitiota was deported, but not before raising international awareness of Kiribati’s plight and the effect of climate change as its own form of persecution.

Li Tingting is China’s Fiercest Feminist


Chinese performance artist Li Tingting—who has taken over male public restrooms and marched down Beijing streets wearing a blood-splattered wedding dress to protest gender and sexual inequality—spent 37 days in prison after her activist group, dubbed the “Feminist Five,” planned demonstrations for last year’s International Women’s Day. Since her release, Tingting has been studying law, aiming to become the first openly lesbian attorney in Chinese history.

Nafisa Kaptownwala Sees Beauty in Many Shades


At just 27 years old, Nafisa Kaptownwala is the founder of Lorde Inc., the first modeling agency whose entire roster boasts models of color—many of whom were recruited off of Instagram and on the street. Though only launched in 2013, Lorde has already expanded from its London base to Toronto and New York City, knocking at mainstream fashion’s door to remind the industry that a big, wide world of diverse beauty exists out there.

Chris Mosier Sprints Toward Inclusivity

New York City

When Chris Mosier earned a spot on Team USA’s sprint duathlon squad for the 2016 World Championship, he became the first openly transgender athlete to make a U.S. national team aligned with his gender identity. As founder of and executive director of GO! Athletes, Mosier consults with sports leagues on trans inclusivity and creates bias response protocols informed in part by his personal experiences with discrimination. This year, Mosier saw another victory with the International Olympic Committee lifting its policy requiring that transgender athletes complete reassignment surgery in order to compete.

Rafael Strasser Brings People to the Table


Rafael Strasser has your dinner plans covered. His initiative, Über den Tellerrand, combats prejudice by integrating migrants into the local communities of 20 German cities through cooking classes, recipe sharing, pop-up restaurants, and more.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Puts Women First

New York City

Before Emma Watson, there was Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The United Nations Under-Secretary- General and Executive Director of UN Women is the mastermind behind the HeForShe campaign, which encourages men to be more proactive in achieving gender equality. Most recently, Mlambo-Ngcuka advocated for climate change solutions in the Paris Agreement that address the disproportionate impact environmental change has on women and girls.

Hari Nef Shatters the Mold

New York City

When Hari Nef signed to IMG Models last May, she became the first transgender model on the top agency’s U.S. roster. Since then, Nef has walked in New York Fashion Week, been featured in Vogue, and visited the White House as part of its Champions of Change event honoring LGBT artists. The Tumblr favorite has also jumped into writing and acting, appearing on the second season of Amazon’s Transparent.

Megan Smith Breaks Glass Ceilings

Washington, D.C.

In September 2014, President Obama named Megan Smith chief technical officer of the United States, making her the first woman to hold the post. A former Google executive and veteran of Silicon Valley, she helped found the Malala Fund in 2012 specifically for Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s work in girls’ education and empowerment, and serves on the board of Vital Voices, a nonprofit that works with women leaders in economics, politics, and human rights.

Jose Manuel Moller Fills a Forgotten Food Need


Jose Manuel Moller’s company, Algramo, buys essential food goods in bulk to distribute affordably through vending machines on the outskirts of Chilean and Colombian cities, where local stores often charge up to 40 percent more than in central areas. The service is now expanding to Mexico.

Jody Wilson-Raybould Raises Her Voice for the Indigenous


Jody Wilson-Raybould was sworn in as Canada’s minister of justice and attorney general this past November, making her the first indigenous person to hold the office—not to mention the country’s first liberal minister of justice in a decade. One of her first actions in office was to establish a national framework to combat violence against indigenous women.

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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