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Melati Wijsen      

Activist, Social Entrepreneur & Founder at Youthtopia

Melati Wijsen is a 20-year-old Indonesian/Dutch full time changemaker. 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!

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

Wijsen 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.

Wijsen 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 and recently co-chaired at the World Economic Forum.

In 2019 Wijsen completed the filming of her first feature film length documentary, Bigger Than Us, traveling the world to visit young changemakers.

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.

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