Four of the world’s most influential young adults provide a refreshing glimpse of what the workplace may look like in 2025. These extraordinary individuals discuss the ways that technology is forcing us to challenge traditional concepts of work and office and how these changes may affect the future.
About the Presenters
Youth Ambassador, Automation Anywhere
Riya Shukla is a youth ambassador for Automation Anywhere. She is engaged and excited about the challenges facing her generation and using technology to solve them. She is passionate about giving back and is an avid volunteer for many social programs in her community. A rising senior in high school, her interests include neurosciences, psychology, and world history.
Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags and YOUTHTOPIA
Melati Wijsen is an 18-year-old Indonesian/Dutch activist and change maker. She founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags with her younger sister and has been leading the youth-driven movement since 2013. Melati drove the successful ban against plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam on their home island of Bali in 2019. She started the people movement “One Island One Voice” and the social enterprise, “Mountain Mama’s.” She has spoken at TED and the United Nations and was selected among FORBES top-10 most inspiring women in the country.
Melati is very passionate about protecting the ocean. She is an Alumni Member of the World’s Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council of the United Nations. Most recently, Melati graduated one year early from high school at the Green School and has since been honored by TIME as part of the annual list of most influential teens in the world, along with CNN Heroes Young Wonders. She is now launching a new youth-empowerment project called YOUTHTOPIA to empower youth through education and provide them with the tools they need to become change makers.
World's Youngest Bitcoin Millionaire
Known as the world’s youngest Bitcoin millionaire, Erik has already had a long and storied career. In his words:
I was a kid from Idaho, then…
- At 15: Dropped out of high school and moved to San Francisco
- At 17: Sold my startup
- At 18: Became youngest Bitcoin millionaire
- At 19: Built a working Dr. Octopus Suit
- At 20: Launched a Satellite
- At 21: Built a multi-million dollar crypto company
Inventor and Cancer Researcher
Inventor Jack Andraka, of Crownsville, Maryland, is not your typical teenager. At the age of 15, he invented a new, potentially lifesaving tool for detecting pancreatic, lung, and ovarian cancers. The test, using a dipstick-type sensor, filter paper, and a basic instrument for measuring electrical resistance, detects an increase of a protein that indicates the presence of these cancers during early stages when there is a higher likelihood of a cure. The test costs three cents and takes five minutes to run. Based on promising preliminary results, Andraka calculates his sensor is 90 percent accurate, 168 times faster, 26,000 times cheaper, and 400 times more sensitive than current pancreatic, lung, and ovarian cancer-detecting methods.
He holds an international patent on the device and hopes to bring it to market within 10 years. He believes the same detection method could be applied to virtually any disease. Andraka won the grand prize at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. He advocates for open access to federally funded scientific research.
Co-founder and CEO, The PFA Institute
Riya Kataria spoke her first words at 6 months of age. She discovered the word “revolution” at the age of 5. She notes that from that moment, she knew it was up to the youth to start a revolution. Kataria competes in numerous state and national speech and debate competitions and has always been in awe of the power of words. Kataria is a peer resource and proponent of voice amplification and founded Picket Fence Academy, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best public-speaking education to elementary and middle school students to encourage the youth to make their voices heard. Kataria is on the Board of Directors of the USA chapter of Greenkeepers, an international group of student environmentalists focused on fostering a greener world through small, obtainable steps. She organized her school’s March For Our Lives and spearheaded a movement with 300 teachers and 2,000 students in Fremont, California, to advocate for higher wages.