Game Changers

Meet some of Canada's accomplished people under 30.

They're under 30, and each one of them is already making a mark.

On Wednesday, June 30, The National introduces some of Canada's interesting, influential, innovative, and entrepreneurial young people.

But we know there are more. Tell us about your under-30 Game Changer and her or his accomplishments by posting a comment to this webpage.

Hossam Abdelgawad

27 years old, Toronto

Hossam is the recipient of the 2010 Young Researcher of the Year Award for his PhD study, which offers a novel approach to the mass evacuation of major cities in case of catastrophe.  His approach has been used successfully during a simulated evacuation of the City of Toronto using rapid transit, buses, and automobiles.

Anand Agarawala

28 years old, California / Toronto 

A U of T graduate from Nigeria, Agarawala invented and patented a new type of touch screen technology.  His invention allows users to interact with their files using a 3-D interface, much the same way they do in real life, without using a keyboard or a mouse. Agarawala said he took inspiration from his own desk to create a program that allowed him to push and pull items around his desktop with his fingers, instead of pointing and clicking.  His idea was such a hit that Google bought it for an undisclosed amount.

Xavier Dolan

21 years old, Quebec

He's 21, but don't expect Xavier Dolan to be making films about frat-boy exploits anytime soon.  After starring in a number of popular Quebec productions for children and teens, he exploded on the international scene with a film he wrote, directed and acted in, J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother). The film won over the judges at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2009, winning an astonishing three awards at the prestigious event.

Emma Graham

16 years old, Ottawa

Emma’s interest in organic chemistry sparked after being exposed to the problem of pollution while living in China.  Through her research, Emma discovered that adding Indian dill oil to pesticides made them less toxic.  She was one of the youngest participants at the Intel International Science and Environmental Fair, beating out over 1,500 students from around the world to win fourth place for her dill oil discovery.

Sophia Gran-Ruaz

17 years old, Mississauga

At age eleven, Sophia founded Snug as a Bug, Kids Helping Kids. Her organization puts together care packages of puzzles, games and toiletries for children who are staying in shelters in the Greater Toronto Area.  She recently won the Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist award, sponsored by Mackenzie Investments.

Cheryl Perera

24 years old, Richmond Hill

In her teens, Cheryl was made aware of the sexual tourism industry and its sexual exploitation of children while doing research for a school project.  Soon after, she traveled to Sri Lanka, where she took part in a sting operation, playing an undercover decoy in order to nab a pedophile. On her return to Canada, Cheryl started OneChild, an organization created and run by young people, dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children around the world.