Matthew Chang

A Teen Climate Activist’s Perspective on the Cumulative Power of Action

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Conversation Date: 05/17/2023

At first glance, an innocuous cold email may not seem like a powerful seed of change. But for Matthew, it has led to a climate movement and years of public service. In this conversation, Matthew explores the “compounding” effect of small actions, from personal interactions with government officials to starting a school garden, and how these minor steps of progress can exponentially blossom into a larger crusade. He hopes his personal journey, from student to organization leader, can encourage and inspire other young changemakers to take action on their beliefs.

Matthew Chang

A 16-year-old climate education champion, Matthew Chang leads Climate Garden, a global movement of over two hundred schools and a thousand students, and was recognized by the Orange County Register as one of its 125 Most Influential People of 2022 and by the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce as a 40 Under 40 listmaker. Matthew serves on the City of Irvine Green Ribbon Environmental Committee as its first student member at large. He is deeply involved with local community leaders like Congresswoman Katie Porter and the Irvine City Council to empower other youth activists and promote climate reform. Matthew hosts Sustainable Future on Spotify, broadcasting weekly interviews with changemakers to an audience spanning four continents.

He currently serves as class president of Woodbridge High School and is passionate about using public speaking to better the world.


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