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The Big Issue / Big Issue Invest
Nigel is CEO of Big Issue Invest & Chairman of The Big Issue. The Big Issue was launched in 1991 as a business response to the crisis of homelessness. It offers homeless people the opportunity to earn an income through selling The Big Issue magazine. It is recognised as the most well known social brand in the UK and has inspired 100 similar publications across the globe. Big Issue Invest was set up by The Big Issue to create a “social merchant bank”, by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs, to back sustainable social ventures. The organisations invested in have directly benefited over 1.7m individuals, sustained 3,200 in employment, and trained over 14,000 people. In 2013, in partnership with Threadneedle Investments, we launched the UK’s first mainstream social bond fund available to institutional, foundation and retail investors. Nigel received an OBE for his services to social enterprise and is Social Enterprise UK’s ‘Champion of Champions”.
Rainforest Action Network
Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network, is a world-class campaigner with more than a decade of experience and an unmatched track record pressuring and inspiring some of the world’s largest corporations to protect rainforests. A veteran environmental and social justice activist, Lindsey has spent her career preventing commodity expansion into globally critical forest areas, and has played a central role in achieving some of the most significant corporate policy commitments to protect forests over the past decade. In her previous role as the Director of RAN’s Forest Program, Lindsey led RAN’s Rainforest Agribusiness and Rainforest-Free Paper campaigns in their fight to stop palm oil and pulp and paper expansion into Southeast Asian rainforests. During Lindsey’s tenure, the Forest Program won groundbreaking protections for forests, the climate, and human rights in Indonesia from fashion to agribusiness to publishing sectors.
Dr. Yifat Reuveni is a professor at Tel Aviv University’s Recanati Business School, where she teaches MBAs students social entrepreneurship and social finance. She did her PhD on the New Economy at McGill University Canada, focusing on high-tech-Industries in the US, Canada, Israel and Europe. As a recipient of a Canadian International Development Agency scholarship she participated in the McGill Program for Economic and Social Rights, working with the first-nation people in Kahnawake, Canada, and writing an assessment report of business opportunities in the Mohawk community. Prior to Canada Yifat worked for with the Association for Human Rights in Israel as the Director of the consulting department. She has given courses on human rights, the new economy and the neo-liberal economy at Recanati business school, Ben-Gurion School of Business, The Ruppin School of Business, and has acted as a judge for several enterprise pitching competitions in clean tech and global development projects
Director, Global mHealth Initiative
Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Alain Labrique is the founding director of the Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, a multi-disciplinary consortium registering over 82 faculty projects and 150 students engaged in mHealth innovation and research across the Johns Hopkins system. An infectious disease epidemiologist, with training in molecular biology and over a decade of field experience running large population-based research studies, Dr. Labrique serves on the faculty in the Global Disease Epidemiology and Control Program of the Department of International Health. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Community-Public Health in the School of Nursing of the Johns Hopkins University. He is lead investigator in several research projects measuring the impact of mobile information and communications technologies on improving maternal, neonatal and infant outcomes in resource-limited settings, primarily in South Asia. Dr. Labrique was recognized as one of the Top 11 mHealth Innovators in 2011.
As Executive Director of Code REDD, Karin advocates for corporate leaders to address climate change by catalyzing the market for REDD verified emissions reductions through both voluntary and compliance carbon markets. Her background in finance and emerging markets combined with her demonstrated interest in international development and environmental conservation makes Karin uniquely suited to lead Code REDD. Karin brings years of expertise in clean technology and sustainability and more than a decade of experience in the private sector originating & structuring large-scale transactions with major multinationals.. Karin has worked for large corporations such as JP Morgan Chase and global sustainability initiatives such as Masdar City. She has spent several years working in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, & Indonesia, and speaks several languages. Karin holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Duke University, a M.B.A. in finance with honors from Edinburgh Business School, a M.P.A. in International Development Economics from Harvard University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in India.
Lynda joined the MAVA Foundation as Director General in August 2010. She is responsible for defining and implementing the strategy of the foundation and leading the secretariat team. She has also led the foundation to incorporate a new programme to work on sustainable economy. Before joining the foundation, Lynda spent 13 years with WWF International in Switzerland where she was in charge of managing and directing global strategies and, prior to that, of WWF leadership and organisational development. Lynda began her career as a San Francisco stockbroker and then earned an MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Lynda serves on the Board of the Global Footprint Network, the Governing Council of the European Foundations Centre, the Advisory Board of the Fundacion Biodiversidad, and the steering group for the European Environmental Funders Group. She also acts as Chair of the IUCN Framework Partners group.
Dan is a Program Coordinator representing Sterile Processing Education Charitable Trust (SPECT). SPECT was founded by Christina Fast (his daughter) after several volunteer trips on the Africa Mercy Ship in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Republic of the Congo. While working on the ship, Christina visited several hospitals and discovered that post-operative infection rates were extremely high. She became convinced that she could do something to decrease these rates. Upon returning to Canada, she began the process of establishing an organization focused on raising the standards for sterile processing in low to middle income countries. She returned to Africa several times since 2011 to increase her knowledge of the issues, assess local situations, and begin an educational program with local staff. She has big dreams for the future. Dan has an MBA and undergrad degree in agriculture. He has worked on projects in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Canada. He has become passionate about his daughter's vision and is looking to get more involved.
White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
As Executive Director of the White Ribbon Alliance, Betsy McCallon is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and developing plans, a dynamic team, and resources to deliver it. Betsy joined the White Ribbon Alliance in 2004 and has contributed to the growth of the Alliance from a loose network, to a driver for global attention and commitments to maternal health, to a focus on national advocacy and accountability. She was drawn to the White Ribbon Alliance because of its focus on local solutions to address issues of inequality and the huge potential for change.
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Dianna Cohen , the Los Angeles-based multi-media visual artist, painter and curator, is best known for her two-dimensional and three-dimensional works using recycled plastic bags – sewn together – ranging from small hanging pieces to room-sized installations. Cohen has shown work in solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and India. In 2014, Cohen’s work will be included in the GYRE exhibition at the Anchorage Museum of Art in Alaska, the Plastic Free Island Project: an ongoing collaboration with the Drifter’s Project in Kefalonia, Greece, and an exhibition at Sandler Hudson gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Dianna is the co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition, a group that addresses the pervasive problem of plastic pollution. Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to STOP plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.
Author and Speaker
Dr. Taddy Blecher is Chairperson of the South African National Government task team on Entrepreneurship, Education and Job Creation, and CEO of the Maharishi Institute and the Community and Individual Development Association. He is known as a pioneer of the free tertiary education movement in South Africa, having helped to create six free access institutions of higher learning. He is Co-Founder of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship with Sir Richard Branson. He also serves on a Task Team for the British Government on the reinvention of higher education. In 2012 he co-founded the Impact Sourcing Academy and Invincible Outsourcing, an ISSP focused on giving unemployed youth experience and access to the business services sector. Dr Blecher is a World Economic Forum "Global Leader of Tomorrow" award recipient, a "Young Global Leader", a Skoll Global Social Entrepreneur, an Ashoka Fellow, and has been awarded two honorary doctorates.