7 of 11
Hero: Majora Carter
Founder, Sustainable South Bronx

"If you are told from your earliest days that nothing good is going to come from your community, that it is bad and ugly, how could it not reflect on you?" -- Speech at TED conference, February 2006

With unemployment an increasingly urgent problem - and global warming a growing concern as well - Carter is increasingly looking pretty darn brilliant. (She is, in fact, a past recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award.)

The nonprofit organization she founded several years ago, Sustainable South Bronx, works to solve both problems simultaneously. It started one of the nation's first urban green-collar job training and placement programs in a place with off-the-chart unemployment.

The nonprofit has trained Bronx residents how to restore former waste sites, install ecologically friendly "green" roofs and create urban farms on formerly toxic land.

This year she launched an economic consulting firm to help other blighted communities around the country. Carter's goal: To encourage a "whole new class of people who see the environment as not just for rich people," she says. --L.O.

NEXT: Zero: Alan Greenspan
Last updated December 12 2008: 6:01 AM ET
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.