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Sophia Kianni      

Climate Activist & Founder of Climate Cardinals

Sophia Kianni is an Iranian-American environmentalist studying climate science and public policy at Stanford University. She is the founder and executive director of Climate Cardinals, an international nonprofit with 8,000 volunteers in 40 countries working to translate climate information into over 100 languages. She represents the U.S as the youngest member on the inaugural United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.

Kianni’s work has been featured in news outlets including Forbes, CNN, BBC, ELLE, TIME Magazine, The Guardian, NBC, and even on the front page of The Washington Post. She was previously a fellow with PBS NewsHour and has written for news outlets such as MTV News, Cosmopolitan, Refinery 29, and Teen Vogue. She is a prolific public speaker and has spoken at universities across the country including Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Emory University, and Harvard University.

Kianni is available in partnership with Collective Speakers.

Speech Topics


If Adults Won’t Take Action to Protect Our Future, Youth Will In middle school, Sophia brought up her concerns about climate change to her relatives and was shocked when they told her they knew nothing about global warming. She later learned that 40 percent of adults on Earth have never heard of climate change. Kids back in the day used to skip school to play hooky; now, they’re skipping school to fight for their futures. As a national strategist for Fridays for Future, Sophia worked alongside Greta Thunberg to mobilize millions of students to strike for climate action.

After decades of inaction by the government, the young generation has finally decided to take matters into their own hands. Through this presentation, Sophia will provide a look into the dynamic world of youth climate activism and sketch out what life is like for the teenagers saving our planet.


When Sophia was 12 years old, she looked up at the night sky in Iran and realized that she couldn’t see the stars due to pollution. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the environmental degradation that impacts the most vulnerable populations on our planet. Her middle school advocacy has led her to start an internationally acclaimed nonprofit, Climate Cardinals, and work as the youngest advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General. Sophia believes that in this digital age, anyone can make a difference through the power of social media and mass mobilization. In this inspiring presentation, she will share how anyone can make a difference by sparking a movement or starting an initiative.

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