Van Jones
cofounder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, founder of Green for All

The Tennessee native, who now lives in Oakland, California, is helping make the green movement a little less white.

Figuring that plenty of poor black and brown urban youths are at as much mortal risk as polar bears, Jones pushes for environmentally sound economic development through projects such as the Oakland Green Jobs Corps. One of his slogans: "Green-collar jobs, not jails."

Upside | He's an inspirational speaker, visionary planner, and practical organizer.

Downside | Van who?