Misha Teasdale

Founder: Greenpop

Misha Teasdale doesn't merely plant trees, he grows platforms that encourage people to think more sustainably about life so communities can bring about social change from within. It's about shifting mindsets, not tilling soil. As the founder of Greenpop, a Cape Town-based NGO that brings volunteers, companies and communities together to plant indigenous trees in under-greened areas, Teasdale knows first hand the sense of pride that trees bring to every school, cr�che, orphanage and community centre they beautify. The trees also seed new opportunities. In addition to the many educational platforms and workshops Greenpop facilitates to sustain its programmes, the team is now looking at establishing micro-nurseries that will create employment opportunities through agro-enterprises in township communities. It's all part of a long-term vision, one that helped Greenpop win the 2010 social entrepreneurship business plan competition hosted by the department of economic development and tourism and the International Labour Organisation. The irony is that Greenpop doesn't have the seed capital to buy its own bakkie. Instead it relies on more renewable resources, such as friends and companies, to help transport the trees in the hope that, one day, Greenpop will serve as a valuable resource to them. Helping to connect these like-minded people to bring about social change is just a part of what Teasdale does, a part of who he chooses to be. In 2008 he completed "Love to Africa�, an expedition from Cape Town to London, which profiled over 60 community-based organisations and NGOs, making the information available to corporate social investment and "voluntourism� internationally. He also produces the popular charity event, "Night of 1 000 Drawings�, which helps to raise money and awareness by selling drawings created by professional and amateur artists. Because that's the kind of guy this 29-year-old photographer, designer and social activist is � "a human doing, not a human being�, to quote a friend. � Cat Pritchard

Website: greenpop.org Twitter: @greenpop_CPT