Insights Blog

7 data-driven climate activists and CSR leaders to follow on social

Data-driven environmentalism – Exasol

Earlier this year, Exasol joined the UN Global compact driven by our commitment to its Ten Principles on safeguarding the environment, respecting human and labor rights, and working against corruption. We believe these principles are also important for business and serve to define how we function as an organisation. 

That’s why we’d like to highlight some of the key influencers within the Data for Good movement – celebrating and encouraging the use of data in meaningful ways that help to solve pressing issues involving the environment, human rights and education. Insights from data can help to change the world – so read on to get inspired by the influencers who are really making an impact.

Max Roser

Max is a researcher at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development, where he and his team study significant global problems including poverty, global health, infectious diseases, hunger, violence, humanity’s impact on the environment, and inequality.

In 2011 he founded, an open-access online publication that presents the data and research necessary to make progress in dealing with these issues. Currently, the publication is read by over a million visitors every month and is a go-to reference for policymakers. It’s also cited over a thousand times a year by academic publications and mainstream media. 

Follow Max on Twitter

Helen Jackson

Helen is an accomplished environment and natural resource economist with many years’ experience researching environmental and energy-related issues for government, the private sector and multilateral institutions. She has worked on assessing asset-level climate resilience with the Climate Bonds Initiative, a pioneering not-for-profit within green finance, and was one of the first people to work inVivid Economics the world-leading climate and energy consultancy that’s now part of McKinsey & Company. 

Her latest venture is ClimateNode, a not-for-profit aiming to systematically gather, organise and connect data on climate risks for the public benefit using science techniques, including natural language processing and graph databases. Its goal is to broaden our understanding of how climate change may impact economic activity, natural resources and human welfare, not to mention how we can adapt.

Follow Helen on Twitter

Ketan Joshi

Ketan Joshi is a sustainability expert and science communicator focused on clean tech and climate change. He has over eight years of experience in the renewable energy sector, specialising in data analysis, corporate communications, and community engagement. He was also a part of the data and science innovation communications team of CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

In September 2020 he published his book ‘Windfall: Unlocking a Fossil Free Future’ — the culmination of a decade working, analysing, writing and engaging on social media to advance Australia’s energy and climate interests.

Follow Ketan on Twitter 

Dr. Michael Mann

Michael is one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. In 2001, he was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and has received numerous awards and accolades, including selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. Currently, Micheal serves as the Director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University

He’s contributed massively to the scientific understanding of historic climate change based on temperature records from the past thousand years. This includes pioneering techniques to find patterns in past climate change and to isolate climate signals from noisy data. Micheal has authored four books and more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Jakob Runge

Jakob heads the Climate Informatics working group at the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Data Science and became a guest professor of computer science at TU Berlin earlier this year. His group combines innovative data science methods from different fields, including graphical models, causal inference, nonlinear dynamics, and Loading...deep learning.

He works closely with experts in climate science and is also part of the editorial team at Environmental Data Science,a new open-access journal from Cambridge University Press. 

Follow Jakob on Twitter

Dr. Sally Uren OBE

Sally is Chief Executive at Forum for the Future, working with business, governments and civil society to realise a sustainable future by catalysing transformational change in global systems. This involves working with leading global organisations such as the UN Global Compact to address complex challenges in systems such as food, energy, apparel and shipping.

Currently, she’s involved in several projects including Cotton 2040, a multi-stakeholder collaboration designed to accelerate the mainstreaming of sustainable cotton, and Growing our Future, a collaborative project designed to scale regenerative agriculture in the US. Sally also helped initiate Net Positive, a coalition of leading businesses working to define the next wave of corporate sustainability.  

In December 2017 she received an OBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours List for services to sustainability in business.

Follow Sally on Twitter

Sasja Beslik

Sweden-based Sasja is an internationally renowned ESG financial expert, having recently spent time at Bank J. Safra Sarasin and Nordea Asset Management as a writer, blogger and influencer. He is the author of “Where the Money Tree Grows” (2021) and the weekly newsletter “ESG on a Sunday.”

In 2013, he received the Order of the Seraphim from the King of Sweden for outstanding contributions to Swedish environmental and sustainability theory. 

Follow Sasja on Twitter

Meaningful change

To drive meaningful change, businesses need access to data, and data-led insights. Having the most relevant and up-to-date information is the only way to understand how pressing contemporary issues will affect us, and CSR influencers are doing great work to show how organisations and society at large can adapt.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s a growing number of exciting, inspiring influencers who are working with data and providing insights on human rights, sustainability, the environment, and more. We can’t wait to see what they’ll produce in the future.