Changemakers Series: Maya Penn

ISF Changemaker Maya PennThe Ian Somerhalder Foundation is thrilled to present, Maya Penn, a long-time friend of ISF. Maya is an 18-year-old phenom, award-winning founder and CEO of sustainable fashion brand Maya’s Ideas, eco-designer, 3-time TED Speaker, global activist, social entrepreneur, animator, filmmaker, philanthropist, and Simon & Schuster author. She has been hand chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her youngest Supersoul 100 entrepreneur, change maker, and thought leader. Maya was featured in Forbes magazine at 10 years old, and has since been featured in Huffington Post, Business Insider, Entrepreneur Magazine, NPR, the NRDC, ESSENCE, The View, CNN, TIME, Grist, CBS This Morning with Gayle King, O Magazine, Ebony, The Steve Harvey Show, Wired, and many more. Maya was awarded the 2016 Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award, as well as honored at the SCLC Drum Major for Justice Awards for her activism and entrepreneurship. Maya is the winner of the 2013 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur of The Year Award. Magic Johnson chose Maya to be featured in his 32 Under 32 series.

Maya has been in business for 10 years and has also been sharing her unique, refreshing, and authentic perspective as a keynote speaker. She has given 3 TEDTalks and her latest TEDWomen Talk has gone viral worldwide and is one of TED’s official top 15 TEDWomen Talks of all time. She is known as the youngest female to do two back-to-back official TEDTalks. Maya has also spoken for IBM, Google (for their Made With Code imitative), The Women President’s Organization (WPO), Verizon, Newell Rubbermaid, Fossil, Girls Inc, Girl Scouts, and more.

Maya has received a commendation from President Barack Obama for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship. Maya is also an animator and filmmaker and is producing animated series to inspire the next generation of environmental activists. She premiered clips of her series during her TEDWomen Talk. In early 2016 during the Obama Administration, Maya made history when she produced and created the animation and film for the first ever digital report presented to Congress. The report was created to get a Women's History Museum built in Washington. She also founded a nonprofit organization called Maya's Ideas 4 The Planet and started an ongoing initiative where she designed and has created eco-friendly sanitary pads for women/girls in developing countries and she has shipped pads to healthcare facilities in Haiti, Senegal, Somalia, and more. Maya’s book, You Got This (Published by Simon & Schuster), is being used in schools around the world as curriculum to teach youth entrepreneurship and giving back. Maya has helped pave the way for today's young entrepreneurs and philanthropists.


ISF Changemaker Maya Penn

July 26, 2018