One Young World Profile profiles

Madhav Datt

IIT Kharagpur; Harvard University

I am passionate about

Millions of people across the world live in a state of acute environmental crises caused by the lack of access to safe water resources and food insecurity, because of natural disasters, socio-economic conditions, wars and conflicts. While problems of this scale require robust policy initiatives from the top down, communities in crisis need immediate and ambitions bottom-up solutions. I strongly believe that climate change is the biggest challenge of my generation, and solutions can only be developed through multi-stakeholder partnerships between young leaders, innovative corporations and governmental bodies. I am deeply passionate about working at the intersection of applied AI and sustainability, and with Green the Gene, I am focused on developing simple, yet very data intensive, low-cost, and technologically innovative solutions tailored to address extremely specific safe water access and food security problems faced by communities across the world.


I founded Green the Gene as a small environmental club in school when I was 8 years old. Since then, we have scaled the organization to one of the world’s largest completely youth-run environmental non-profits, with projects in 62 countries. I have mobilized over 7000 people, all under the age of 24, to join me and volunteer to build tangible solutions for communities facing acute climate crises. I have initiated and led technology and data intensive projects to address very specific yet acute water accessibility problems faced by local communities. For example, developing extremely low cost (< $8 per unit), machine learning driven water filtration units, providing safe water access to over 40,000 people in rural Tanzania; recycling 3,000,000+ liters of swimming pool water annually in Haryana; planting over 1,500,000 trees in Gambia and 600,000 in India; developing compact box-gardening urban farms empowering 1,200+ people to start home based agricultural enterprises (towards food security) in water-scarce urban areas in Uganda; deploying 45,000 retrofitted stoves in Sierra Leone and India, that cost less than $5 to build, increase energy efficiency and lower harmful emissions. As a software engineering intern at Google, I developed machine learning algorithms for Nest thermostat energy demand response programs, to reduce energy used by home heating/cooling systems during peak energy demand times.