“Observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate.” That is what the brilliant young scientist and inventor Gitanjali Rao told actor and philanthropist Angelina Jolie about her process, over Zoom, from her home in Colorado, during a break in her virtual schooling. Just 15 years old, Rao has been selected from a field of more than 5,000 nominees as TIME’s first ever Kid of the Year. She spoke about her astonishing work using technology to tackle issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying, and about her mission to create a global community of young innovators to solve problems the world over.I'd heard of Gitanjali Rao and her work to purify drinking water in response to Flint Water Crisis, but I don't recall seeing and hearing her before. She really is remarkable and deserving of the honor. When her second grade teacher told her that she could change the world, she wasn't kidding. Here's to a long and successful career in science and technology where she helps make the world a better place.
The next honoree is Eric Yuan: Businessperson Of The Year, who is the founder of Zoom.
Eric Yuan, the 50-year-old founder and CEO of Zoom had worked for a decade to build a no-frills, highly functional conferencing platform for businesses. Now it's being used in all sorts of unexpected places, from delivery rooms to grade schools.I am going to be a good environmentalist and recycle my the first part of my response.
I've been using Zoom as a director of the Coffee Party for years, so I became an early adopter. Because of that, I say two things to my readers. First, welcome to the club. Second, we are living in science fiction times, and not just because of the pandemic.I now know who to thank for creating this app that has made running an organization remotely more efficient, convenient, and enjoyable. Thanks, Eric Yuan!
I finish this series by congratulating all the honorees for making a difference: Rao, Yuan, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Frontline health workers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Porche Bennett-Bey and other racial-justice organizers, LeBron James, and BTS — congratulations! May all of you continue making the world a better place!