These intrepid folk saw a problem and set out to solve it themselves. This is a chance to learn from their successes, as well as their failures.
Ben Skinner is an author and abolitionist whose book A Crime so Monstrous has raised awareness of the solvable problem of modern day slavery.
An avid cyclist and traveler, Dan Austin wanted to bring the joy of riding to children around the globe. His effort started in 2006 in Cambodia where he arranged for 88 children to each get their own bike. He raised the 88 dollars needed per bike in just two weeks. Since then, Austin's growing non-profit has given out more than 1,000 bikes and is looking to scale even further.
Shannon Galpin is a resident of Breckenridge, Colorado, who became transfixed by Afghanistan and the young women she met during a trip to the war-torn region. On her return, she sold her house and dedicated herself to improving their plight, a challenging endeavor for anyone, but particularly for a woman and former pro mountain bike racer.
Hilton Kelley—a 2011 winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize—was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, along the Gulf Coast. Looming over the residential communities of Port Arthur are eight petrochemical plants, and their emissions make the local air some of the worst in the country. Against all odds, Kelley succeeded in improving the air and the health of his neighbors. Says Kelley of his effort: "I speak up for the disadvantaged because it is the duty of all mankind to help those in need, those who have no voice, no way of helping themselves."
Skiing in the trees near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, David Gonzales saw firsthand how the pine beetle was attacking and killing the forests in Grand Teton National Forest. In response, he started Treefight and enlisted folk, including pro skier Lynsey Dyer, to repel this dreaded invader. The solution: Create a network of hikers to go deep into the forest to protect the trees by stapling packets of pheromones to them.