Campus Features


National Geographic Society has brought together hundreds of young people since 1888, all for the commitment to change the world for the better in their own ways.

/ 3 March 2021

As part of National Geographic Society’s own advocacy of preserving the most beautiful parts of the world’s culture and natural resources, the organization has maintained its annual tradition of celebrating some of the world’s most promising young leaders with the Fall 2020 Young Explorers list. They call these special individuals “changemakers”—those who are on the frontlines of the most pressing issues of our time, and boldly takes on these challenges to make the world a better place. Some of the work honored on the list include food insecurity, plastic pollution, water scarcity, access to education, and the like.

“The challenges facing our planet often seem daunting, but a growing community of young people are taking a stand. They have limitless potential to make an impact, with the imagination and drive to develop solutions to problems within their communities and beyond,” National Geographic expressed.

In this selection of 24 very special individuals between 17-25 years old, two Filipinas are highlighted for their efforts on sustainable farming and biodiversity conservation. At such a young age, both have already initiated great change in advocating for these two issues that are, more often than not, overlooked by more powerful leaders.

Photo lifted from Fall 2020 Young Explorer directory


Josefa Tauli, 25 years old, is a Kangkanaey-Igorot from the Cordilleras, part of the Steering Committee of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network. This is the youth arm of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which was established to encourage the sustainable use of our world’s resources. Tauli uses her platform to advocate for Indigenous Rights and environmental responsibility.

“I feel very excited and privileged to have been given the support by National Geographic to continue forward with the causes close to my heart. I’m also really looking forward to connecting with and learning from fellow youth who are all doing very inspiring work,” she shared in an interview with ABS-CBN.

Photo lifted from Fall 2020 Young Explorer directory


22-year old Louise Mabulo, on the other hand, focuses more on supporting and empowering our local farmers. As a chef, farmer, and entrepreneur, Mabulo founded The Cacao Project, a social venture created to equip farmers for sustainable success, food security, and helping them achieve resilient livelihoods.

“It is an absolute privilege to be recognized by National Geographic Society for this honor—knowing that they align with our vision and are here to support me through it. It’s extremely reaffirming,” Mabulo told ABS-CBN in the same interview.

Tauli and Mabulo are just two among hundreds of young changemakers named by National Geographic Society each year—proving the influence and power young people have when it comes to changing the world. Especially the one world—with all its problems—that they’ll inherit from past generations. These young leaders are taking matters into their own hands with creative and out-of-the-box solutions for problems that are simply not talked about enough, and definitely not solved nearly enough.

To help bring some much needed attention to these problems, National Geographic initiated this list, and the #GenGeo community of young people with empathy, tenacity, passion, and the insatiable desire to drive progress and make a difference in the world.

This list, and these two young women, prove the old cliché: age is just a number. The youth are just as, if not more, influential in instigating the change we all need to see in the world. Hopefully in the years to come, we will see even more Filipinos on the list, with their own campaigns and initiatives to push our society forward without leaving anyone behind.