It’s true enough that a lot of social media really is a dumpster fire. But plenty of people are also using Twitter or Insta to educate, celebrate, or to build more inclusive, dynamic social movements. They show us the original promise of social media: that it can bring together and mobilize a diverse coalition of people.

Every year, the Grist 50 highlights emerging leaders who are working toward a more sustainable and equitable future. Follow these five online to get updates from a future you’d like to live in:

  1. With posts from around the globe, climate striker Alexandria Villaseñor will connect you to activism across the U.S. and keep you tuned in to the global youth climate movement. (Instagram)
  2. Birder Jason Ward’s tweets — especially his #trickybirdID challenge — set the bar for knowledge, expertise, and funny, sharp commentary. (Twitter)
  3. University of California, Santa Barbara prof Leah Stokes breaks down the science of new climate-change studies on Twitter — and demolishes climate deniers.
  4. Indigenous writer, editor, and policy analyst Julian Brave NoiseCat crafts Green New Deal proposals, but in his spare time, will update you on justice, climate, and progressive issues. (Twitter)
  5. Scientist and former zookeeper Corina Newsome gives followers a fuller sense of what conservation science can look like. Also? She’s a whole lot of fun. (Twitter)

There are 45 other folks doing great work on our list! Read about all of them on the 2020 Grist 50.