Meet the leaders and companies inspiring to change the world

At the end of 2022, it is projected that 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. And these needs will have to be met not only by government officials and leaders, but corporations and big business must also become a contributor to humanitarian action. The pandemic has highlighted that we are a global and interconnected community, with our collective health and safety tied to the health of the most marginalized in society.

The past decade has taken a heavy toll around the world. Whether it is armed conflicts (wars), natural disasters caused by climate change, diseases, poverty and food insecurity (currently 61 million people are facing acute food insecurity), these effects are devastating.

Below are some of the humanitarians, social entrepreneurs and business leaders, old and new, committed to making a difference globally and/or locally, who have sacrificed to help, protect and inspire the most vulnerable populations. of the world for a better society.

Patrick Youssef, Regional Director, Africa, International Committee of the Red Cross

Patrick Youssef, Regional Director, Africa, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Prior to his current assignment as Regional Director for Africa, he led the Red Cross delegation to Iraq and served as Chief of Operations for North and West Africa. In addition to his field experience, he has worked on specific topics related to respect for international humanitarian law, such as the treatment and judicial guarantees of persons deprived of their liberty, the recruitment of children in the armed forces and transitional justice. . Born in 1978, he holds a law degree, a master’s degree in diplomacy and strategic negotiations from Paris Sud XI and an LLM in international law of armed conflict from the University of Geneva.

Felix Maradiaga, civil society expert and founder of the Civil Society Leadership Institute

After serving as the youngest Secretary General of the Department of Defense, Felix dedicated himself to strengthening peace, democracy and the rule of law in Central America. A recognized international expert on civil society, post-conflict reconstruction and leadership development. In 2007, he founded the Civil Society Leadership Institute, one of Central America’s leading training centers for civic leadership and nonviolence. He is a widely published social entrepreneur and thought leader in Central America. In addition to his pro bono work with civil society, Felix is ​​the executive director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policy (IEEPP), one of Central America’s leading think tanks. He is also an advisory director at Pioneer Capital Partners, an investment firm dedicated to making principal investments in Central America and the Caribbean. In 2012, he founded “Fundación Libertad” as a non-profit umbrella organization coordinating his civic and social innovation initiatives. Felix is ​​a Young Global Leader (Alumnus) of the World Economic Forum and in 2010 was inducted into the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In 2015, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs awarded him the prestigious Gus Hart Fellowship. Maradiaga was a presidential candidate seeking to run against Ortega when he was arrested amid a wave of arrests of opposition politicians.

Neema Kaseje, Pediatric Surgeon at Doctors Without Borders.

Neema Kaseje, a pediatric surgeon from the humanitarian association Doctors Without Borders. Kaseje’s career has been dedicated to building pediatric surgical care delivery systems in Kenya, Haiti, Congo, CAR and Liberia. In Haiti, Kaseje was the only pediatric surgeon in the public sector. She expanded access to pediatric care by training young doctors. As a result, her team doubled the number of children with access to life-saving surgical care. “We are in the midst of multiple devastating humanitarian crises,” says Kaseje. “A pandemic that has killed more than 6 million people, along with climate disasters, conflict and violence, are driving innocent people away from their homes around the world. Today, 100 million people, mostly women and children, have fled persecution, violence, conflict, poverty and social unrest. Neema calls for “more inclusive processes and interventions towards those who are usually left behind, including women and children, who bear often the burden of humanitarian crises”.

Sister Jenna, Director of the Museum of Meditation

In her journey to inspire change and find solutions to current crises, Sister Dr. Jenna recognized that we are all impacted by our leaders, that government plays an important role in everyone’s life, and that government officials more than anyone need to rediscover their deep humanity in order to serve with kindness. Through various initiatives, Sister Jenna has made it her mission to reconnect government officials to their higher consciousness so they can bring “good” to the masses. “If political leaders have touched their own inner humanity, it is natural that they serve everyone, beyond their parties and their agendas,” he added.says Sister Jenna. Settling in the heart of Washington D.C., where she also founded Meditation Museum I and II, Sister Jenna also serves on the White House Interfaith Committee, helping residents tap into their higher consciousness to help them become better leaders. Honored with the President’s Lifetime National Community Service Sister Jenna is a trusted spiritual mentor committed to bridging the gaps in societies through countless accomplishments such as her syndicated radio shows meditating america and When East Meets West as well as her work with world-renowned producer Ricky Kej on the 2022 Grammy Award-winning meditation album Om Shanti, as well as her book Meditation: intimate experiences with the divine through contemplative practices.

Yetnebersh Negussie, human rights activist

Yetnebersh Negussie is an Ethiopian human rights activist, particularly interested in promoting gender and disability inclusion in overall development at different levels. As a result of her remarkable lessons in advocating for the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities, she co-founded the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), along with other colleagues, in 2005, during which she served as executive director until 2016. In September 2017, Yetnebersh was named co-winner of the Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. she is a co-founder of the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD). Yetnebersh is currently the President of the Ethiopian Disabled Lawyers Association (ELDA) and Co-Chair of the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission.

Doug Wood, CEO of Tommy Bahama

Doug Wood is a strong and effective leader responsible for over 20 years of impressive company growth and expansion. He was named chairman in 2008 and chief executive in 2015. Wood is currently the CEO of the lifestyle brand Tommy Bahamas. Under his leadership, he continued and expanded the brand’s charitable efforts such as the Garden of Hope and Courage, Skin Cancer Foundation, No Kid Hungry, Bike Ms, The Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI), Fashion Scholarship Fund, The Rainier Scholars, Golf Charity Golf Tournament Series and Breast Cancer Research Foundationwhere starting October 2022, Tommy Bahama will donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and participate in a “gathering” program at their retail stores for guests to donate.

“I am fortunate to be at a company where an incredible charitable spirit is part of our culture,” said Doug Wood, CEO of Tommy Bahama. “Employees at all levels engage in a grassroots, bottom-up, not just top-down approach to giving. As a result, we work with a wide range of organizations large and small, providing the time, money and the support needed to make a difference. We create special product collections, raise funds at our annual golf tournaments for local charities, and create rally programs in our stores and restaurants. We also support initiatives led by employees – from supporting refugee groups and fundraisers to sponsoring a team of Tommy Bahama employees in the Bike MS race, where employee participation and funds raised have grown every year. I may have some credit for that, but really, they are our employees, everyone here believes in the power of giving, doing the right thing is part of who we are. We are one team.

WJP Los Deliversitas Unidos, Justice for essential workers

WJP Los Deliversitas Unidos The mission is to advance the rights of essential workers in the food delivery space and help them get the basic protections they need and deserve. Los Deliversitas Unidos is a new organizing effort spawned by the Workers Justice Project to give a vulnerable group of gig workers access to basic rights, such as the right to use the bathroom and a minimum wage. Many food delivery people can work 12 hour days in the cold or rain for multiple catering applications and still don’t earn enough to feed their own families. Many food workers lost their jobs when the restaurants that employed them were forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their only option was to work through a delivery app, such as GrubHub, DoorDash, Relay, and UberEats, among others. New York City has up to 65,000 app-based food deliverers who continue to feed the city. Last year, the organization was honored by Buchanan Scotch Whiskey at an intimate dinner for their work in protecting the rights of these workers.

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