The young changemakers of the RSA Fellowships - RSA blog - RSA

The young changemakers of the RSA Fellowship

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  • Picture of Maeve Devers
    Maeve Devers
    Fellowship Development Coordinator
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Environment
  • Social innovation

Ranging from just 23 to 29, these Fellows possess an impressive wealth of passion, knowledge, creativity, and drive.

From climate activism and tech entrepreneurship to social enterprise and mobility, covering innovation, international influencing and thought leadership across important humanitarian projects; the one thing uniting their work is a will to actively pursue and push for social change.

Daze, Chantal, Jonathan, Sophie, Dominique and Chloe all embody our Design for Life mission of actively working towards a regenerative future for us all.

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to these young Fellows and their exciting work in the hope of inspiring you and your projects.

If reading this piece reminds you of an RSA Fellow whose work you would like to spotlight, or if you would like us to highlight your own work, please do get in touch using the email address [email protected].

Daze Aghaji

Image of Daze Aghaji

At just 23, Daze is a dynamic force of nature. Hailing from London, she is a climate justice activist whose advocacy for radical systemic change centres on youth political engagement, regenerative cultures, social justice, and intersectionality.

Her bold activism has led her to working with an array of leading NGOs, charities, and grassroots change makers globally. She has been closely involved with the climate movement Extinction Rebellion since its formative days. Amazingly, Daze was the youngest candidate to stand in the European Parliamentary election in 2019. The Guardian have described her as a ‘ball of energy, conviction and warmth’.

Currently, she is a Creative Director at Earthrise Studio, a consultant for a range of NGOs, an artist in residence at Phytology, and a contributor to Sky TV’s environment series.

In Daze’s own words the only way we can prevent environmental catastrophe is by ‘going back to our roots and falling back in love with our land’.

Chantal Epp

Image of Chantal Epp

Learn more about Chantal

Chantal is the award-winning Founder and CEO of ClicknClear, a music rights tech and licensing company servicing choreographed sports where music is intrinsic to the routine. With a background in music production, and as an international cheerleader, she was perfectly placed to found the company after cheerleading was sued by Sony Music and she wanted to solve the problem. ClicknClear recently secured a ground-breaking deal with a large US sports federation.

Outside ClicknClear, Chantal is a trustee for ParaCheer International – a disability inclusion education and advocacy charity founded by her partner Rick Rodgers, to promote disability inclusion in cheerleading. Chantal is the secretary of her village council where she is keen to improve her local area and unite the community.

As an advocate for disability inclusion, women in tech and female entrepreneurship, she has won multiple entrepreneurship awards. She won a Women In Innovation Award from Innovate UK in 2022/23.

At 29, Chantal is leading by example by tackling injustices to enable change.

Jonathan Tan

Image of Jonathan Tan

Learn more about Jonathan

Jonathan is the 29 year old Co-Founder of Greater Change; a social enterprise offering financial planning support and flexible micro-grants to help people out of homelessness. Jonathan describes Greater Change as deeply rooted in ‘respecting individual dignity and aspirations’.

The idea for Greater Change first arose in 2017, when Jonathan and the Co-Founder Alex McCallion were volunteering at a homelessness charity. They began questioning why homelessness exists to such a shocking degree in the sixth wealthiest country in the world, and why people get stuck in temporary accommodation for years and years.

So, they created Greater Change to address the financial barriers blocking people’s way out of homelessness, by providing financial planning support and a personalised budget. They have just passed the milestone of helping over 650 people in the UK out of homelessness. Their recent impact report found that, over 85 percent of the people they help sustain their move out of homelessness and over 50 percent find gainful employment after.

Sophie Pender

Image of Sophie Pender

Learn more about Sophie

Sophie grew up in a single-parent household on a council estate in North London, balancing two jobs alongside her schoolwork after losing her father to his battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. To build a better life for herself, Sophie left her hometown for the University of Bristol to study English. After discovering the existence of the old boys' club (an alleged network that propels those from private schools into top jobs) Sophie, age 19, founded The 93% Club – a members' club for state school students – to do the same.

Since then, The 93% Club has become the largest network of state-educated individuals in the UK, operating in just under 50 universities and working alongside the UK’s top employers to promote access to university, careers and opportunities for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. They’re taking a centuries-old system and repurposing it to change society and tackle social immobility head-on.

This year, they are launching a professional network to ensure that state-educated individuals, particularly those from more working-class backgrounds, have the connections they need to excel and navigate throughout their career.

You can learn more about the work of The 93% Club in The Economist's documentary 'Why it's harder to earn more than your parents'.

Dominique Palmer

Image of Dominique Palmer

Learn more about Dominique

Dominique is an exciting youth climate justice activist, storyteller, writer, and global speaker. She passionately strives to unite people for climate action and utilises creative means to invoke a cultural shift to prevent climate destruction.

Dominique became an environmentalist after discovering how pollution was affecting her community. She is now an organiser in, Fridays for Future, a global youth movement for climate justice, and has been involved in international campaigns, global climate strike coordination, and bringing 350,000 people in the UK to protest for climate action in September 2019.

Dominique is also a lead coordinator in Climate Live, a young leader in UN Women’s Feminist Action Coalition for Climate Justice with Fridays for Future MAPA, and a contributor in the co-development of the Global Youth Recommendations: Youth, Gender, and Climate Change.

At just 23, she was named in Forbes 2020 Leading UK Environmentalists list.

Chloe Ford-Welman

Image of Chloe Ford-Welman

Learn more about Chloe

Chloe is 24 and is the Director of The Haller Foundation, which supports smallholder farmers in Kenya to build sustainable livelihoods through regenerative agriculture and nature-based solutions. Haller’s vision is for ecology and economy is to ensure both people and nature can thrive together in harmony. So far, The Haller Foundation has seen 56 communities embark on their model for livelihood improvement, supporting thousands of smallholder farmers to establish sustainable livelihoods and transition themselves out of poverty.

Chloe has been working with the foundation for five years. In that time, she has led on the development of their Haller Famers app, an innovative digital tool which offers sustainable, affordable, and highly replicable farming techniques to smallholder farmers in East Africa. As Foundation Director she is currently working on scaling Haller’s legacy to new communities and ecosystems that remain threatened by the climate crisis.

Chloe’s passion for sustainability, nature, design, and creativity for positive change is a perfect example of how to strive to forge a better future for all.

It’s always a joy to learn about the unique and interesting work that our Fellows are involved in, and we look forward to following these young Fellows on their journey.

Know an inspiring young Fellow?

Would like us to feature a Fellow you know is carrying out great change? Perhaps you'd like us to to shine the spotlight on your own work? Either way, get in touch with the Fellowship team.

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