Webinar Series Change-makers: Taking the leap to save the planet

Change-makers: Taking the leap to save the planet

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 | 10:00am to 11:00am (Singapore/Hong Kong time)

In this session, Karen Gilchrist of CNBC spoke with 19-year old Melati Wijsen, an international youth activist who has been working to increase climate action and reduce plastic consumption since 2013. The founder of youth organization Bye Bye Plastic Bags and YOUTHOPIA, Ms. Wijsen has successfully pushed for the ban on single-use plastic bags on her home island of Bali. Bye Bye Plastic Bags is now in 50 locations in 29 countries around the world. She has spoken at several global occasions about social and environmental issues from the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund to the World Economic Forum.  Honored by TIME on its list as most influential teens in the world as well as CNN Heroes Young Wonders, Ms. Wijsen has also been selected among Forbes’ top ten most inspiring women in the country and most recently Forbes 30 Under 30 for Asia.
This session was also streamed on CNBC International Facebook live.

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About the speakers

Melati Wijsen

Bye Bye Plastic Bags & YOUTHTOPIA

Melati Wijsen is a 19 year old Indonesian/Dutch full-time change-maker.

At 12 years old, she founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013 with her younger sister Isabel, then 10, and has been leading the movement driven by youth since.  After 6 long years on the frontline, the official ban on plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam has been enforced by the

Balinese government (June 23 2019).  This is thanks to the thousands of supporters and loyal, determined partners on the island.  Bali is the first Indonesian province to make the ban on plastic bags happen.

Ms. Wijsen graduated from Green School Bali in 2018, one year early and has been a full-time change-maker ever since.

She also founded the people's movement One Island One Voice in 2015 where over 500+ Bali based businesses come together to say NO to single use plastics.  In 2017 Mountain Mamas was established, a social enterprise empowering women in the mountains of Bali: every woman gets paid per bag that she produces and 50% of the proceeds of the sales go back to the community for education, waste management and health insurance, the other 50% help fund BBPB.  Melati has spoken on world stages such as TED, the EU parliament in Brussels and the UN in NYC.  She has also been selected as FORBES top ten most inspiring women in the country in 2017, Forbes 30 Under 30 for Asia and recently co-chaired at the World Economic Forum.

In 2019 Ms. Wijsen completed the filming of her first feature film length documentary, Bigger Than Us, traveling the world to visit young change-makers.  Her most recent project YOUTHTOPIA is focused on empowering more young people to accelerate change by providing them with relevant skills and tools to create impact through peer-to-peer programs.

Melati Wijsen

Karen Gilchrist

Reporter, Make It, CNBC

Karen Gilchrist is CNBC International’s Make It reporter for Asia Pacific, covering entrepreneurship, start-ups, careers and more.

Based in the Singapore office, Ms. Gilchrist is the creator and host of CNBC’s original digital video series, “Make It International.” The series, which shines a spotlight on the rising start-ups across the region, sees her make regular appearances on CNBC’s business day programming, as well as appearing across all digital and social channels.

Ms. Gilchrist also writes daily for CNBC Make It’s online site, where she focuses on investment advice, workplace trends and leadership insights for millennial audiences.

In addition to editorial coverage, she frequently moderates panels and interviews at major events and conferences in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Prior to relocating to Singapore in 2018, Ms. Gilchrist was based in CNBC’s London office, where she covered a range of international business and political news.

She graduated with a B.A. Hons in English Language and Literature from the University of Liverpool.

Karen Gilchrist