Emily Pilloton-Lam gives young people the power tools they need to build the world they want to see.

Why you should listen

Emily Pilloton-Lam is a builder, educator and lifelong lover of power tools. She believes that the act of designing and building our physical world is a form of activism and social justice, particularly for women, youth and people of color. With a background in architecture, she founded Girls Garage, a nonprofit design and construction school, to equip the next generation of girls and gender-expansive youth with the personal power and technical tools to build the world they want to see. Every day, she teaches carpentry, welding, architecture and activist art to cohorts of young people who put these skills to work on pro bono construction projects for their community.

Pilloton-Lam is a lecturer in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of three books including Design Revolution and Girls Garage; she lives with her family and two dogs in Oakland, California.

Emily Pilloton-Lam’s TED talks

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