Category: Real Leaders 100

Felix Finkbeiner, Founder, Plant For The Planet

“A mosquito cannot do anything against a rhino, but a thousand mosquitoes can make the rhino change its direction.” Vision: A world in balance, where climate justice prevails and children no longer have to fight for survival. Action: The 17-year-old passed his target of planting a million trees in his home country Germany, and kept on […]

Anu Sridharan, Founder, NextDrop

 “I’ve made so many mistakes, been in so many ‘ wow, this is nuts’ situations.” Vision: A society that nurtures tolerance and understanding among all people. Action: Twenty-something Sridharan invented a mobile app that provides real-time information on water availability in India via SMS. In addition to serving the needs of women in developing countries she has […]

Julie Copeland, CEO, Arbill

“It’s not simply about the impact an accident has on an individual, but on families too.” Vision: An accident-free workplace. Action: Dedicated to protecting your most valuable asset – your employees – Copeland collaborates, brainstorms and actively provides safety advice to more than 300,000 workers. She knows that legislation alone is not adequate to provide safety in […]

Elon Musk, Founder, Tesla

 “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” Vision: We must expand life beyond this green and blue ball or go extinct. Action: Musk says his ideas can change history. At his car company, employees believe they are saving the planet, and at the rocket company, […]

Rosa Parks (1913-2005), Civil Rights Activist

“I don’t remember feeling anger, but I did feel determined to take this as an opportunity to let it be known that I did not want to be treated in that manner.” Vision: A society free of prejudice. Action: Parks refused to give up her seat to a white commuter on a bus in 1955. She became an icon of […]

Pierre Omidyar, Founder, eBay and First Look Media

“Long-term sustainable change happens if people discover their own power.” Vision: Democracy depends on a citizenry that is highly informed and deeply engaged in the issues that affect their lives. Action: First Look’s insistence on editorial independence has already attracted some of the most fiercely independent journalists around. Omidyar seeks to improve society through journalism […]

Emma Watson, Actress, gender activist

“Gender equality is not only a woman’s issue, it’s a human rights issue.” Vision: A world of gender equality. Action: Some campaigns portray the feminist cause as “man-hating.” By involving both genders in the #HeForShe campaign, Watson hopes to abolish the “us vs. them” mentality. She has launched a campaign that aims to galvanize one billion […]

John Mackey, Founder, Whole Foods

“Great companies have great purposes.” Vision: A more conscious way of doing business. Action: Mackey has devoted his career to helping shoppers satisfy their lifestyle needs with high- quality natural and organic foods. He cofounded the Conscious Capitalism Movement to challenge business leaders to rethink why their organizations exist, and to acknowledge their roles in […]

Betsy Mckinney, Founder, The New Founding Family

“My commitment is to Love, Partnership and Interdependence as the values needed to evolve our democracy.” Vision: A new founding document to evolve our governing systems based on a crowd-sourced Declaration of Interdependance. Action: While the U.S. was founded with a Declaration of Independence, leaders throughout history have affirmed that they are dependent on one another […]

Carol Hansen, CEO, Tatonka Capital Corporation

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Vision: A world where little girls know they can grow up to be a leader if they have a mind to. Action: As the immediate past Chair of the Women’s YPO Network (WYN) Carol gave a powerful organization a voice it never […]

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

“Health to the ocean means health for us.” Vision: To develop a global network of areas on land and sea that can help safeguard the living systems that underpin life on earth. Action: Earle is the recipient of more than a hundred national and international honors. She was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National […]

Tim Freundlich, President, Impact Assets

 “For a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, it’s no longer just about the bottom line.” Vision: Promoting a world where all capital is invested for optimal social, environmental and financial impact. Action: Freundlich has impacted the investing ecosystem by providing products and thought leadership that has enabled philanthropists, asset owners and their wealth advisors to make investments […]

Susan Mcpherson, Serial connector, Angel investor

 “It was when I started to see the intersection between cause and business that I realized that brands and corporations can be a force for good in the world.” Vision: A world where corporations are a leading force for good. Action: Spreads her vision by writing, consulting, tweeting, speaking and impact investing. As an angel […]

Denis Hayes, President, Bullitt Foundation

“Success requires the ability to distinguish between opinions and facts. Question every opinion, but never ignore proven facts.” Vision: A world in which humans live sustainably, in harmony with one another and nature, powered mostly by solar energy. Action: The principal organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, Hayes helped launch the modern environmental movement. […]

Geena Davis, Founder, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

“We’re showing kids a world that is scantily populated with women. They should see female characters taking up half the planet, which we do.” Vision: Inspire the next generation of content creators to focus on gender equality and reduce stereotyping in children’s media. Action: The Institute has amassed the largest body of research on gender prevalence […]

Ben Rattray, Founder,

“I want to see a world in which social movements and organizing is an everyday experience.” Vision: A world where no one is powerless and creating change is part of everyday life. Action: The world’s first online platform for change has provided a petition tool for more than 87 million users since 2007. Rattray’s mission is […]

Lucy Siegle, Journalist

“The global economy creates a global ignorance, in which producers and consumer cannot know or care about one another. The degradation of products, places, producers and consumers is inevitable.” Vision: To convince everybody they have a vested interest in fighting for the environment – however disenfranchised they feel. Action: Creator of the Observer Ethical Awards, Siegle […]

Simon Mainwaring, Founder, We First Branding

“The future of profit is purpose. Your brand must be the celebrant, not celebrity of your customer. Be a mission with a company, not a company with a mission.” Vision: A world in which business becomes a global force for positive social change. Action: Mainwaring wrote We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media […]

Scilla Elworthy, Founder, Oxford Research Group

“If the mantra of last century was ‘what can I GET?’, the mantra of this century ( for those ahead of the curve) is ‘what can I GIVE?” Vision: To enable leaders to make wiser decisions so that there is less suffering as a result of war. Action: Elworthy has brought nuclear weapons policy makers into […]

Bill and Melinda Gates, Founders, Gates Foundation

“Don’t just go for safe projects, take on the really tough problems.” Vision: Be an optimist. Focus on a few big goals that can help every person have a healthy, productive life. Action: Some of the projects the foundation funds will fail. Bill and Melinda Gates not only accept that, they expect it—because they think their […]

KoAnn Skrzyniarz, CEO, Sustainable Brands

“Cynicism is the enemy of the good. Focus on the positive and never forget that any action, big or small, in support of a better world helps tip the future in the right direction.” Vision: Imagine a world in which our economy works for all people – this generation and the next. Action: Reframing the […]

Matt Renner, Executive Director, World Business Academy

“Business is the most agile and important force on earth and also the most politically and socially impactful.” Vision: To inspire business to assume responsibility for the whole of society. Action: The academy is a nonprofit think tank and action incubator that assists those in business who share their values. They explore the roles and responsibilities […]

Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres

“A good environmental policy is good for business.” Vision: Mobilizing business leadership for a sustainable world. Action: Ceres was formed 25 years ago after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Their mission was to bring environmentalists and capitalists together to forge a new sustainable business model, one that would help protect the planet, weaving social challenges and […]

Chris Temple and Zach Ingasci, Founders, Living on One

“A real leader is someone who leads by example, through the personal narrative and values of their life.” Vision: A world of equitable opportunity, where everyone – no matter race, gender, or religion – is treated with dignity. Action: The pair immerse themselves in pressing global issues and create films about their experiences to inspire action. Their approach […]

Deb Nelson, Director, Social Venture Network

“We’re a network where members originally went to remind themselves that they’re not crazy.” Vision: To support and empower diverse, innovative leaders who leverage business for a greater good. Action: Helps build valuable peer-to-peer connections among influential business leaders, social entrepreneurs and impact investors. This creates high-impact collaborations that contribute to a just, humane and sustainable […]

Jeff Joerres, CEO, ManpowerGroup

“Previous eras were defined by the raw materials that transformed them: stone, iron and bronze. Now it’s human potential.” Vision: An era that will put unprecedented value on talent as the main driver of business success. Action: ManpowerGroup is leading governments and business leaders to re-examine how they leverage human potential in an increasingly volatile […]

Stephanie Sonnabend, Chair, Women on Boards

“I believe that women can have it all, just not all at the same time. We all have three aspects of our lives: work, family and personal.” Vision: Raising the number of women on boards to 20 percent by 2020. Action: Sonnabend believes her campaign will redefine good corporate governance and gender diversity standards, and create […]

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Founder, The 99

 “Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war. Often the lines between battles and wars are blurred.” Vision: A world where those who think outside the box don’t have their thoughts bullied back in to a box. Action: Created The 99 superhero comic series, based on the values that Islam shares with humanity. […]

Jennifer Garner, Actress

“Seeing pictures of a sponsored child makes you realize they look just like your kids.” Vision: Invest in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Action: As a member of the board of Save The Children, Garner has deepened her commitment to issues affecting children, especially the fact that a child […]

George Clooney, Actor, activist

“If you’re doing a movie about oil consumption and corruption, you can’t just talk the talk – you gotta walk the walk.” Vision: Celebrities using their public image and power to draw attention to social issues. Action: Used most of the money he earned from the Nespresso commercials to fund a satellite surveillance program over Sudan […]

Cynthia Sin Nga Lam, Founder, H2prO

“I think people around the world don’t really understand how serious water pollution and the energy crisis is.” Vision: Affordable clean water and electricity. Action: The 17-year-old developed a device that purifies dirty water and seperately extracts energy from the waste to create clean energy. Lam hopes her device can be scaled up to industrial size […]

Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui, CoFounder, IGNIA Partners

“We need a more inclusive world!” Vision: A world that delivers quality and inclusion to the majority. Action: The biggest exclusion in the world is the lack of access to quality products and services – healthcare, education, basic services and housing. Arregui believes this is a market failure, and he’s invested in innovative business models that eradicate […]

Helen Clark, Administrator, UN Development Program

 “Never look back is my philosophy.” Vision: Achieve the UN Millenium Development Goals. Action: The most powerful woman in the United Nations, Clark has an annual budget of US$5 billion and a staff of 8,000 in 182 countries. She is leading the charge towards the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The former prime minister of New […]

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

“There is an incredible opportunity to make a difference – now.” Vision: A new vision for the future where “business is unusual.” Action: Business has the power to drive change. The time is right for a radically different approach to business – one that puts people and planet at the core of how business is done. Branson […]

Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo

“To be a CEO is a calling. Don’t do it because it’s a job. It’s a calling, and you have to be involved with your head, heart and hands.” Vision: Performance with purpose. Action: Delivering sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and planet. By tackling obesity and improving the nutritional value […]

Bill Drayton, Founder, Ashoka

“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” Vision: Change everywhere requires everyone to be a changemaker. Action: The role of the social entrepreneur is to advance change for the common good and to conceive new patterns […]

Tetiana Chornovol, Journalist, civic activist

“We need to break up the corruption schemes and prevent them from being created.” Vision: A corruption-free Ukraine. Action: Appointed head of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Committee in 2014, she resigned after five months saying there was no political will in Ukraine to carry out a large- scale war against corruption. Her investigative journalism resulted in […]

Jeff Skoll, Founder, Skoll Foundation

“Measurement is important – like any kind of investment you need to be ruthless about what you are trying to achieve.” Vision: A world that deals with global challenges through social enterprise and impact investing. Action: Skoll believes that you should be as entrepreneurial in impact investing as you would in any other form of […]

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it.” Vision: A democratic Burma. Action: Spending two decades in detainment can dampen your enthusiasm, but Suu Kyi has emerged as an icon for peaceful resistance in an effort to bring democracy to military-ruled Burma. She must get powerful military […]

Spencer West, Motivational speaker

“Just because the world tells us something is impossible, it doesn’t mean we have to believe it.” Vision: To show the impossible can be done. Action: Losing both legs at age five has not stopped West from reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and inspiring millions of people to overcome their challenges. He has raised hundreds of thousands […]

Mary Robinson, President, Cimate Justice

“This is the last generation in a position to help prevent dangerous climate change.” Vision: A world engaged in the advancement of climate justice. Action: Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources. Robinson, a former Irish President, strives to participate in decision- […]

Seth Streeter, CEO, Mission Wealth

 “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”  – John E. Lewis Vision: Inspiring leaders to become successful in new ways by igniting their purpose and leveraging their gifts for greater impact. Action: Helping CEOs redefine their understanding of wealth, from being about financial accumulation to abundance in relationships, health, fun, emotional well-being, […]

Angelina Jolie, Actress, humanitarian

“We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering.” Vision: We all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. Action: Contacting the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was Jolie’s first step in using her celebrity status to visit “forgotten emergencies” around the […]

Nicholas Kristof, Human Rights Journalist, Author

“You don’t need to invade a place or install a new government to help bring about positive change.” Vision: To tell the world intimate tales of human courage and sacrifice that will inspire change for the better. Action: Giving a voice to the voiceless is what Kristof does best. The Pulitzer Prize-winner empowers audiences to understand the world […]

Kathy Giusti, CEO, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

“The most important thing a leader can do is set a vision and don’t stray.” Vision: To change existing cancer research techniques to one of collaboration, not competition. Action: The medical research model has long been built upon a system of competition – funding (grants) and accolades. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma (cancer of the blood), […]

Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank

“I believe that we can create a world without poverty because it is not the poor that create poverty.” Vision: To serve society’s most pressing needs by unlocking the potential of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs – the poor. Action: With a mission to interact, incubate and create, Yunus created the world’s first bank for the […]

Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College

“If you want me to do something tell me it’s not allowed for girls and then I definitely, absolutely would do it, whatever it is.” Vision: To make science, technology, engineering and math accessible to diverse groups. Action: Klawe is closing the computer science (CS) gender gap and having stunning success in getting more women […]

Dick Simon, Changemaker

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain Vision: A world in which there is no “them” – the most dangerous four- letter word in the English language. Action: Leads delegations to countries that are understood only as adversaries and that are traditionally difficult to access to hear local perspectives and gain understanding […]

Christine Lagarde, M.D. International Monetary Fund

 “The financial industry is a service industry. It should serve others before it serves itself.” Vision: Foreseeing global opportunities and challenges in a globalized world. Action: Oversees global growth and economic stability at the world’s most powerful financing institution on behalf of 188 member countries. She works with developing nations to achieve stability and reduce poverty, and […]

Jim Berk, CEO, Participant

“Changing the world is a team sport.” Vision: To use entertainment to inform, inspire, spark and accelerate positive social change. Action: Uses film, television and digital entertainment to tell high quality, socially relevant and commercially viable stories. Invests in content distribution platforms that allow them to expand their reach. Creates social action campaigns to move content […]

Desmond Tutu, Spiritual leader, social rights activist

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” Vision: A society that nurtures tolerance and understanding among all people. Action: The Archbishop Emeritus has identified essential human values as the building blocks for sustainable peace: Love, hope, tolerance and courage. His role as a spiritual leader has transgressed all cultures […]

Evan Chrapko, CEO, Waste to Energy

“Leave the world a better place than how you found it. That doesn’t mean you can’t do well for yourself along the way.” Vision: Solving the world’s energy problems through smart energy means, and solving social problems while you’re at it. Action: Ideas are a necessary first ingredient – and the bigger the idea, the better. […]

Gabbrielle Giffords, CoFounder, Americans For Responsible Solutions

“Dangerous people with guns are a danger to women – for moms, for families, for me and you.” Vision: A society that prevents gun violence. Action: A string of public shootings over the last few years has spurred Giffords to find solutions that prevent more violence, including background checks. Herself a victim, she fights entrenched […]

Nancy Lublin, CEO, Do Something

“I am not a charity. I run a charity. These are different things. If we want the best minds solving the biggest problems, it’s time we learned the difference.” Vision: Being more honest about failure in the nonprofit sector. Action: One of the largest organizations for young people and social change, their 3.4 million members create […]

Shari Arison, Businesswoman, philanthropist

“If there’s no planet, there’s no bottom line.” Vision: To be a catalyst for bringing about positive change to people, society and the planet. Action: The Arison Group operates two channels, business and philanthropy, as complementary platforms for doing good. Arison’s wide circle of businesses and organizations have created a large footprint to inspire change. […]

David Goswick, CEO, HOUZE

“Promote the energy sustainability sector as a whole, as this promotes energy security and helps avoid global conflicts over oil.” Vision: To create the most affordable and cleanest energy house in the world. Action: Created a zero energy house that guarantees no energy bills for 10 years. Goswick has engaged NASA scientists to create new technologies that change […]

Jane Elliot, Schoolteacher

“Keep me from ever judging a man until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.” Vision: Eliminating racial discrimination by showing similarities rather than differences. Action: In 1968, Elliot needed to explain Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination to her class. Her innovative approach to highlight different racial perspectives made her pupils feel what it […]

Derek Handley, Serial entrepreneur

“It’s less about planetary issues and more about the human issues that cause it.” Vision: A world where profit is put alongside people and planet. Action: Helped establish the B Team, a global group of leaders chosen for the work they’re doing to advance the cause of better business. Seeing the bigger picture of business and its […]

Rebecca Masisak, CEO, TechSoup Global

“Managing technology is managing change. Leadership can come from any place.” Vision: A world where technology is a powerful enabler for social change. Action: Leading a worldwide network of individuals and organizations that share a conviction to work together to develop and exchange new solutions to our most urgent social challenges. Masisak believes NGOs and nonprofits […]

Stedman Graham, CEO, S. Graham & Associates

“You are not your circumstances. You are your possibilities.” Vision: To help people understand their potential, develop an identity, and recognize the value of knowledge and how it applies to their lives each day. Action: Graham teaches identity development and leadership to people all over the world – from youth to executives. He has written 11 […]

Malala Yousafzai, Education activist and Nobel laureate

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Vision: An education for all girls regardless of their culture, religion or gender. Action: Yousafzai turned an attack on her life into an opportunity. Since her near-death incident, there has been an international outpouring of support for Yousafzai and her cause, to the point […]

Tim Jahnigen, Founder, One World Play Project

“Where play happens, change happens!”  – Lisa Tarver Vision: Using ultra-durable products to empower humanity to fulfill their dreams through play – a biological imperative – what we call “social nutrition.” Action: Jahnigen created a ball that never needs a pump, never goes flat. This year they’ll deliver their 1.5 millionth One World Futbol, impacting 45 million […]

Letizia Moratti, CoFounder, San Patrignano

“The boys and girls – whether rich or poor, those who can pay and those who can’t – are all treated equally.” Vision: To have drug addicts seen as productive members of society when placed within productive environments. Action: The creation of a global village of recovering addicts who are called “guests” and taught commercial skills. […]

Peter Diamandis, CEO, XPrize Foundation

“The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.” Vision: A world of abundance, where the basic needs are met for every child, woman and man. Action: Awards prizes to solve humanity’s grand challenges: energy, water, learning and health. The creation of Singularity University, which attracts, educates and incubates exponential entrepreneurs who […]

Nick O’Donohoe, CEO, Big Society Capital

“If we achieve our goal, in the future the invisible heart of markets will guide the invisible hand to improve the lives of those who would otherwise be left behind.” – Sir Ronald Cohen Vision: A world where investors ask themselves a different question: not “What is the risk and return?”, but “What is the risk, return and impact?” Action: […]

Oprah Winfrey, CEO, Harpo Productions

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future by changing their attitude.” Vision: To spread compassion and empathy around the world. Action: Winfrey popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre, which broke 20th-century taboos, and allowed previously disenfranchised people to enter the mainstream. She reinvented how best-selling books, self-improvement […]

Daryl Hannah, Actress, activist

“We’re a consumer nation and you have the power to influence big corporations through what you choose to, or not to, purchase.” Vision: To raise awareness around the environment and sexual slavery. Action: An active member of the World Future Council, Hannah speaks on policy solutions that serve the interests of future generations. This includes awareness […]

Brenden Millstein, CEO, Carbon Lighthouse

“If people aren’t inspired to help you, you aren’t asking for enough.” Vision: To stop climate change by making it easy and profitable for people and organizations to eliminate their carbon footprint. Action: Showing organizations that carbon neutral can be profitable. Since inception, they’ve converted 360 facilities in three countries. They’ve been profitable every year and […]

Jessica Alba, Founder, The Honest Company

“If you look confident you can pull off anything – even if you have no clue what you’re doing.” Vision: Safe and attractive baby products that don’t contain toxic chemicals. Action: Manufactures products that could challenge mass consumer goods at a similar price point and moving away from the perception that health and eco products should […]

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), Former President of South Africa

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Vision: A society based on dialogue and the art of speaking and listening to others. Action: Implemented transformative dialogue, problem-solving and social renewal that made South Africa’s remarkable transition […]

Cynthia Cleveland, Founder, Broad Think

“If your actions inspire others to do more, to learn more, to dream more or become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams Vision: A world where everyone’s talent is valued, our differences are a strength and collaboration provides new solutions. Action: Created educational programs for increasing board skills. Supported the Lean In movement […]

Alex Budak, CoFounder, Start Some Good

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson Vision: A world where everyone has the tools, knowledge and resources to create new futures for themselves and for their communities. Action: Tearing down barriers so more people can start doing good in the world. empowers people to […]

Kim Graham-Nye, CoFounder, gDiapers

“Mindful training is the single biggest competitive advantage in our complex world today.” – Chade-Meng Tan Vision: A world where resources are used and reused in a sustainable ecosystem that strives for the best use of all resources, including people. Action: Took advantage of their ability to turn waste into resource. gDiapers became a resource for parents looking […]

Peter Ter Kulve, President Commissioner, Unilever

“To make growth possible you have to incorporate bigger social themes or else you simply become a problem instead of a solution.” Vision: Sustainability will lead to a whole new funnel of innovation. Action: A key belief is that Unilever will do better business in a healthy society, rather than in an unhealthy one. Healthy […]

Linda Rottenberg, CEO, Endeavor

“If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough.” Vision: To lead the high-impact entrepreneurship movement around the world. Action: Created the first global organization focusing on the “scale- up” phase of entrepreneurship. Endeavor identifies, mentors and co- invests in high-impact entrepreneurs — business innovators demonstrating the greatest potential for growth. But don’t bet the […]

Gareth Ackerman, Chairman, Pick n Pay

“Make a difference. Invest in communities and leverage our networks to make things better for all.” Vision: A fairer world where we would work towards both growing the cake and sharing it more equitably. Action: Dedicates his business to values that have been in place for 50 years: Doing good is good business; consumer sovereignty; business […]

Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

“Hope is like a path. At first there is no path, but as more people walk back and forth, a path appears.” – Lu Xun Vision: To galvanize everyone to use their talents and insights to improve the world as part of their daily lives. Action: Coauthored the book A Path Appears, showing that ordinary people can […]

Dennis Overton, CEO, Aquascot

“I’m better at what I do in Scotland because of my work in Africa.” Vision: Long-term business sustainability and a deeper understanding of true profits are key. Action: Realizing that farming practices around the world basically require the same skills, regardless of the produce, Overton combined salmon farming practice in Scotland with plant oil farming in […]

Wendy Kopp, CEO, Teach For All

“Invest in educational development as a long-term force for change.” Vision: To channel the energy of her generation for educational equality. Action: Recruited 11,000 Teach For America corps members—all outstanding college graduates and professionals of all academic disciplines— for a two-year teaching commitment in the nation’s highest- need urban and rural regions  

Paul van Zyl, Founder, Maiyet

“If ordinary people feel their interests have been neglected, then a peace deal drawn up by elites will quickly unravel.” Vision: Using the power of markets and entrepreneurship to build peace and reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict. Action: Building peace involved promoting employment and higher profitability in countries with conflict. By founding luxury fashion brand Maiyet, […]

Danae Ringelmann, CoFounder, Indiegogo

“It’s important to empower entrepreneurs, artists and causes to fund what matters to them.” Vision: Raising funds through online crowdfunding to make ideas that matter happen. Action: Made it easy to take an idea, start a campaign and get it funded. A way for people all over the world to join forces to make worthy […]

Bill Strathmann, CEO, Network For Good

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community.” – George Bernard Shaw Vision: Generosity unleashed: How giving and investing together can unleash capital for global challenges. Action: Leads a digital donation platform, having driven more than US$1.25 billion to more than 100,000 charities. He now aims to distribute US$10 billion and unleash […]

Laura Giadorou-Koch, CEO, Dolium Winery

“We need people who, when they see a social problem, stop complaining, roll up their sleeves and do something in a big way.” Vision: Imagine if only one percent of students become social entrepreneurs, this world will be a better place for all. Action: Giadorou-Koch works with public and private schools, supporting educators with activities […]

Jim Ayala, Founder, Hybrid Social Solutions

“Harnessing and providing energy means that communication, health and the general quality of life improve.” Vision: Scaling-up business solutions to social problems. Action: Pioneered a social distribution company that distributes, services and finances a range of innovative products. Developed a “hybrid value chain” that bridges the gap that separates people and communities from the tools they need […]

Wendy Ruiz Cofino, Founder, MilknCookies

“Women aren’t just waiting to be filled with resources – they’re waiting to put their resources on the table, to lead towards a new world.” – Kavita Ramdya Vision: To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation that contributes to improved lives through design and technology. Action: Created an online game for kids that taught them about recycling. It won […]

Richard Bergfors, President, Max Hamburgers

“As we are a part of the problem, we want to be a part of the solution.” Vision: All people should have the possibility to meet their own needs and given the chance to contribute. Action: Responsibility is a core value incorporated in all business decisions. Diversity is fundamental and staff reflect the mix in […]

Debbie Levin, President, Environmental Media Association

“Business skills can do more than just make money – it can do some real good. It’s important to take risks and be an entrepreneur.” – Jeff Skoll Vision: Consumers can guide the success of corporations by what they choose to purchase. By creating this demand, the consumer controls the marketplace. Action: Working with Toyota, Levin helped […]

Felipe Vergara, CEO, Lumni

“Investing in the future potential of young people is the worthiest and best investment you can make.” Vision: Making higher education affordable for everyone. Action: Manages social-investment funds that invest in the education of students. In exchange, each student commits to pay a fixed percentage of income for 120 months after graduation. Students and investors are brought […]

Tyra Banks, Founder, Tyra Banks Company

 “Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!” Vision: Invest in girls and young women to help them realize their ambitions and discover new possibilities. Action: Established Fierce Capital, which develops and invests in early- stage start-up companies, including firms that are female-led […]

Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

“If everybody spoke about feminism, we’d all be less afraid.” Vision: A truly equal world where women run half our countries and companies, and men run half our homes. Action: Demonstrated the ability of women to run global enterprises. Wrote Lean In to help professional women achieve their career goals and for men who want to […]

Thomas Ng, Founder, Genashtim

“Why do we spend money that we do not have to buy things that we do not need to impress people who don’t really care about us?” Vision: To level the playing field globally for marginalized communities, starting with the disabled. Action: A virtual employment ecosystem with people working from the comfort, safety and convenience of […]

Katherine Gerber, Director, Youth Service America

“Keep standing up for what you believe in. I love people who care about how public policy affects our nation.” Vision: Youth, service and community coalitions have the power to change the world. Action: When young people have the chance to serve their communities, everyone benefits. YSA has created large-scale mobilization campaigns for young people, […]

Craig and Marc Kielburger, Founders, Free The Children

“The change starts within each one of us. And ends only when all children are free to be children.” Vision: To empower youth to change the world by being active local and global citizens. Action: Since launching their organization as teenagers in 1995, the Kielburgers have provided 45 countries with building projects, built 650 schools […]

Audette Exel, Founder, Adara Group

“Real leadership is inspiring others to come with you on your vision.” Vision: To change the way people think about the role of business, and demonstrate the power of the business/non-profit partnership. Action: Establishing two separate entities that are each allowed to do what they do best – a corporate advisory business and international development organization. […]

Michael van Patten, Founder, Mission Markets

“Consume your life in your vision, make it your obsession and do not think about plan B, but also be flexible as the road is not straight.” Vision: To use the power of the capital markets as a catalyst for positive change. Action: Threw his life into his vision with a single-minded purpose, pushing forward […]

Laura Roberts, CEO, Pantheon Enterprises

“Building a substantial business is the best way to make a significant difference.” Vision: To transform the industrial chemical industry and remove toxic chemicals from the environment. Action: Worked for years in a predominantly male industry to replace harmful chemicals with non-toxic ones. Proved that alternative products without toxins can do the job equally well. […]

Matt Patsky, CEO, Trillium Asset Management

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Archbisop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Vision: A world where the capital markets can be used for financial gain while promoting social equity and environmental sustainability. Action: Provides products and services that fulfill the financial, social […]