The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship today announced 16 winners for social innovation in 2023.
The 2023 Social Innovators include a list of notable founders and CEOs, multinational and regional business leaders, government leaders and recognized experts.
The list includes a Nigerian entrepreneur who supports small farmers to increase their profits and turn at-risk youth into entrepreneurs; a New York-based pioneer of “open hiring” helping people who face barriers to meaningful employment by offering work with no interviews, no background checks and no résumés; and a Brazilian collective network of more than 70 organizations in 14 countries that monitor land use and change to promote conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and fight climate change.
The awardees were selected in recognition of their innovative approach and potential for global impact by members of the Schwab Foundation Board. The selection committee includes Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark (2011-2015), and social innovation expert Johanna Mair, Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership at the German Hertie School of Governance, and HM The Queen Mathilde from Belgium, Honorary Board Member.
“The 2023 Social Innovators represent a generation of social and environmental change leaders who demonstrate that innovative models of cooperation and action across sectors are critical to advancing the complex challenges we face,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and President. from the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting marks the 25th anniversary of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In 1998 Hilde Schwab, together with her husband Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, created the foundation to support new models of social change, combining values and dedication with the best business principles to create a more just, sustainable and inclusive world. equitable world.
Today, the foundation has a thriving community of more than 450 global social entrepreneurs that has impacted the lives of nearly a billion people in 190 countries. Entrepreneurs provide access to healthcare, education, housing, finance, digital skills, and advocacy networks that create economic opportunities for job creation, better health, and stability.
“Complex problems cannot be addressed by a single organization, and this year’s Schwab Foundation laureates showcase new models of cross-industry collaboration using innovative technology, human networks, and shared knowledge and resources. Many social innovators have a long history of working collaboratively with others. The ambition now is to create systemic change through collective efforts,” said François Bonnici, Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
The Schwab Foundation Awards 2023 are organized in a long-term partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, founded on the philosophy of “ubuntu”, the African concept of giving and caring for your neighbor and other members of your community.
“Social entrepreneurs act as a bridge connecting ethics and values with our business principles. I believe these entrepreneurs are blueprinting for significant savings by reimagining progress during these uncertain times,” said Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation and Chancellor of the University of Cape Town.
The 2023 Laureates are awarded in four categories:
Pioneering systemic solutions to social and environmental challenges ranging from refugee family reunification and human rights to water infrastructure and financial inclusion.
Ady Beitler, CEO, Nilus (Argentina) – leads the Argentine social enterprise that uses technology and collaborative economy models to reduce food loss and waste. His organization’s mission is to alleviate hunger by lowering the cost of healthy food for low-income people, a goal he achieves by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it at reduced prices.
Aniket Doegar, CEO, Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (India) –has led the Indian social impact organization working to facilitate access to social care for seven years. She digitized welfare schemes and provided application support to more than 120,000 people in low-income rural and urban communities.
Aref Husseini, CEO, Al Nayzak Foundation for Extracurricular Education and Scientific Innovation (Palestinian Territories) – challenge traditional teaching methods in the Palestinian education system to produce more students who are critical thinkers and who approach problem solving through inquiry, analysis and scientific thinking.
Celina de Sola, President, Glasswing International (El Salvador) – empowers people and communities to address the root causes of poverty and violence through education and health programmes. Glasswing has expanded from its base in El Salvador to 10 other countries and has impacted more than 1.5 million lives since 2007.
Joseph Kenner, CEO, Greyston, USA – the New York-based pioneer of “open hiring” that helps people who face barriers to meaningful employment by offering work without interviews, without background checks and without resumes. Best known for its bakery, Greyston is now expanding its reach and aims to bring open contracting employment opportunities to 40,000 Americans by 2030.
Kola Masha, Managing Director, Babban Gona (Nigeria) – helps small farmers increase profits and turns at-risk youth into entrepreneurs. Babban Gona’s unique technology platform helps farmers increase yields and aims to create millions of jobs for youth, breaking a cycle of poverty and violence in rural communities.
Säbeen Haque, Executive Director, doctHERS (Pakistan) – connects female doctors with millions of underserved patients using digital technology through the innovative doctHERS healthcare platform. The online marketplace helps reintegrate female physicians into the workforce and empowers marginalized communities by circumventing sociocultural barriers that can restrict access to healthcare.
Corporate Social Intrapreneurs:
Leaders within multinational or regional companies driving the development of new products, initiatives, services or business models that address social and environmental challenges.
Benoît Bonello, Director of Social Innovation, SUEZ Group (France) –Lead the company’s inclusive business approach with the aim of generating a positive impact on society and the environment.
Kanika Pal, Director of Sustainability South Asia, Hindustan Unilever (India) –An award-winning CSR and sustainability professional with over 17 years of experience, Pal left the corporate sector from 2015 to 2017 and founded the Solutions for a Clean and Healthy Environment Foundation to influence behavior change for a cleaner planet.
Public social intrapreneurs:
Public sector leaders, whether local or national governments or representatives of international organizations, harnessing the power of social innovation and social entrepreneurship to create public goods through policies, regulations or public initiatives. The Schwab Foundation is the first of its kind to recognize public sector change agents.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor, Freetown City Council, Sierra Leone) – committed to the transformation of the city’s services, infrastructure and environment through an inclusive approach based on data. The mayor’s three-year Transform Freetown plan details 19 concrete targets in 11 sectors covering issues ranging from waste management to improving urban planning and tackling environmental degradation.
Bushra Al Mulla, Director General, Abu Dhabi Family Care Authority (UAE) – has been a serial intrapreneur in the Abu Dhabi government and has transformed the lives of families, children and people with disabilities through the integration of public services to establish a holistic approach for families, enabling them to live as empowered citizens in the emirate.
Collective Social Innovation:
Organizations that come together to address complex problems that cannot be addressed by individual actors, taking advantage of common assets such as knowledge, innovative solutions, human capital, access to networks and communication channels.
MapBiomas (Brazil), co-directed by Tasso Azevedo, Founder and General Coordinator, Julia Shimbo, Scientific Coordinator, and Marcos Rosa, Technical Coordinator – a collaborative network of more than 70 organizations in 14 countries that monitor land use and land use change to promote conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and fight climate change.
ProjectTogether (Germany), co-led by Philipp von der Wippel, Founder and Co-CEO, and Henrike Schlottmann, Co-CEO – a German-based innovation platform that supports the next generation in developing innovative ideas from circular economy projects to climate-positive agriculture. to support refugees. He has supported more than 1,000 social pioneers and built a network of more than 500 volunteer trainers and 400 experts.
Punjab Education Collective, India, co-led by Khushboo Awasthi, COO of ShikshaLokam, Rucha Pande, COO of Mantra4Change, and Simranpreet Oberoi, Co-Founder and Leader of Sanjhi Sikhiya – a collective of four organizations working to transform Punjab State’s public education system and improve educational standards against global benchmarks, impacting 2.3 million students in 19,000 public schools in Punjab.
Tamarack Institute (Canada), co-directed by Liz Weaver and Danya Pastuszek, co-CEOs – develops and supports collaborative strategies to fight poverty and solve major community problems, mainly in Canada. The network has grown to more than 90 regional members, local non-profit or community associations, whose work impacts 22 million Canadians, or 58% of the country’s population.
WIEGO (Global), co-chaired by Sally Roever, International Coordinator (UK/US), Janhavi Dave, International Coordinator, HomeNet International (India), and Lorraine Sibanda, President, Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (Zimbabwe) – a global network dedicated to improving the working conditions, rights, protection, economic opportunities and voice of all working poor, particularly women, in the informal economy.