We’re on a mission to help build a world that’s kinder and greener for the planet, animals, and future generations. But we can’t do it alone. Vision of a Kinder, Greener World is a new series on our blog featuring interviews with changemakers, thought leaders, artists, and everyone in between sharing what they’re doing to make a better world a reality. We believe everyone can be part of making a world that’s better for everything. Optimism isn’t just for dreamers.
Since establishing our Sustainability and Health Council last year, we’ve added an inaugural panel of brilliant young changemakers. The Gen Z panel is made up of four high school-aged students from across the world who believe in the power of science and technology to solve today’s toughest challenges. As the generation who will be most affected by our climate future, the Gen Z council offers an invaluable perspective as we look for big, systems-changing solutions.
Meet Sofia Sanchez, one of the founding members of the Gen Z panel. Sofia has been developing biotechnology research projects in conjunction with some of the top researchers at the University of Mexico, Tecnológico de Monterrey. In addition to leading an iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team to create better biofertilizers, she is also an avid science communicator, penning blog articles and hosting her own podcast.
We spoke with Sofia to dive deeper into her vision for a kinder, greener world.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a biotech developer in-the-making, currently researching lab-grown cotton, and taking part in global communities like The Knowledge Society and Dojo-Nucleate. In 2021, I led an international iGEM team that designed more efficient biofertilizers. Previously, I also explored different correlations between the gut microbiome and health and researched the CRISPR technology applied to longevity alongside postdocs from Tecnológico de Monterrey.
In a nutshell, my mission for the next ten years is to bring biotech solutions to the world.
What inspired you to join the Sustainability and Health Council?
At the same time with being concerned about the ecological crisis that we’re starting to face, I’m a great techno-optimist. I believe in the power of people working together towards a climate-positive mission and using tools like precision fermentation to achieve it. Perfect Day’s mission is exactly that! The Sustainability and Health Council offers me the opportunity to both share my perspective as a young person in the biotech space and share my vision for a kinder and greener world, with the world!
By 2050, what does a kinder, greener world look like to you?
I envision a world where we use biology as a technology. A world where we don’t exploit nature to make progress. A world where we grow things like dairy sustainably. And that it’s accessible to everyone! I envision everyone from my friends in Mexico to people I know from around the world, will be able to open their fridge and eat ice cream that has a net-zero carbon and water footprint and didn’t hurt any animal to make it.
What is something you wish more people knew about? Tell us why.
We, Gen Z, will be the generation that is most affected by the effects of climate change. It’s no wonder why I frequently see many of my friends doing activism to support a greener future. I wish more of them knew that biotech is here to help, and that it’s not just research. Companies like Perfect Day are bringing these products to market, and soon enough, we’ll all be able to enjoy them.
Five years from now, what do you hope to accomplish?
In 2021 I started researching lab-grown cotton as a sustainable biotech product. Last month I started developing a proof of concept at a local lab, and I’m currently applying to different opportunities to take this project further. My mission for the next five years is to commercialize and scale up this solution.
What’s your favorite dairy product (that you can’t wait to be available animal-free!)?
This was actually the hardest question! I’d say my top 3 for products or dishes I’d love to try animal-free versions of soon are: mint & chocolate cream, cheesecake, and a matcha latte.
Inspired? Do you have a vision for a kinder, greener world or know someone who would like to share their perspective? Let us know in the comment box.
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