Vanessa, 25, is a climate activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement. She began striking for the climate in her home town of Kampala in January 2019, after witnessing droughts and flooding devastating communities in Uganda. She now campaigns internationally to highlight the impacts of climate change already playing out in Africa, as well as promoting key climate solutions such as educating girls. In 2020, Vanessa was named a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as being listed one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the year and the 100 most influential young Africans. The FT named her one of 25 most influent women of 2021.
Her first book A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis was acquired in a nine-way auction by One Boat/Macmillan in the UK and published in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This rousing manifesto and memoir about climate justice shares a vision of hope on how we can – and must – build a livable future for all. Malala Yousafzai calls Vanessa ‘an indispensable voice for our future’ and Greta Thunberg praised the book for its reminder that ‘while we may all be in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat.’