The term “be the change you want to see in the world” has become cliché for a lot of people today, but there are still some who prove that these words are true. A good example of this is Narayanan Krishnan, who for more than ten years now has been impacting the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless, poor and mentally ill people in India.
Zhang Xin is the CEO of SOHO China, the largest and most trusted real estate developer in Beijing. Together with her husband, Pan Shiyi, they started the company from scratch. From being a factory worker in Hong Kong, Zhang Xin braved going to London in search for a better life. Life overseas did open doors for a Chinese woman like her. Now a mother of two, Zhang Xin is several times richer than the Queen of England. Her family net worth is currently valued at 3.6 billion dollars, making her one of the richest in China and the whole world.
Samuel Truett Cathy is the patriarch of the second largest chicken fast-food chain in the United States, the Chick-fil-A. The restaurant has been around since the 1940s and has thrived despite controversies. They are known for being closed on Sundays, which is strange for a restaurant business. S. Truett Cathy devotes his Sundays to the Lord and he wants his employees to rest like what is commanded in the Bible. He has also written five books. Now 92 years old, he still keeps transforming lives by living his faith.
Barbara Van Dahlen is an American psychologist who founded a non-profit organization called Give an Hour in order to help emotionally and mentally injured war veterans through offering free counselling. Give an Hour was founded in 2005 and is now composed of nearly 7,000 volunteers who have given an estimate of 57,000 hours of free service to soldiers who have served in the Middle East. Barbara has taken part in discussions concerning mental issues of men in uniform in Pentagon, Veterans Administration, White House, and Congress.
Eric Robert Greitens is the founder of The Mission Continues, a non-government organization that provides an avenue and encourages post-Afghanistan veterans to serve the community after being wounded in battle. He’s a celebrated philanthropist, author, speaker, and soldier. He went to Duke University as an Angier B. Duke scholar and to Oxford as a Rhodes and Truman scholar. From 2005 to 2006, Eric served as a White House fellow where he worked on a project called The Universities Rebuilding America Partnership. A renaissance man, he excels in photography, boxing, karate, and marathon.
Harry Leibowitz co-founded the World of Children Award with his wife, Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz. He used $250,000 of his own money to fund what would later be touted as the “Nobel Prize© for Children” after realizing that there’s no award-giving body that acknowledges those whose work are focused on children. Since World of Children started giving awards, it has helped 30 million children from 140 countries and has granted around $5M to their 95 Honorees. It’s the only global recognition and funding non-profit that recognizes the efforts of those working to improve the lives of vulnerable children throughout the world.
Craig Kielburger founded Free The Children when he was only 12 years old. The organization’s cause called We Day is now the largest charitable Facebook cause in the world with over 100 thousand followers. Free The Children is also considered the world's largest network of children helping children through education with 650 schools built, catering to the needs of 55,000 children who use them. Craig is the recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child and the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award aside from being nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Alison Lawton is a philanthropist inasmuch as she is a businesswoman. She is currently managing Winfield Venture Group alongside her Mindset Social Innovation Foundation. The principle behind her social business is simple: every penny you give for charity takes commitment. Her commitment is best seen in her chosen endeavors. She gave $1 million to the UBC Graduate School of Journalism to send students overseas and enable them to report on issues that are not receiving due attention.
Jennifer Buffett co-founded the NoVo Foundation with her husband, Peter Buffett. Peter, as you might have already heard or surmised, is the youngest son of business magnate, Warren Buffett. The husband-and-wife tandem began their philanthropic work when Warren handed them 100,000 dollars in 1999 to fund a small foundation. Little did they know that Warren had bigger plans for them. Somehow, Peter knew that his father was going to give all his wealth away. But the manner in which he executed his will almost took him aback.
Dr. Zhengrong Shi is a businessman, engineer and philanthropist most famous for founding the solar power company “Suntech,” which was among the largest suppliers of solar energy materials in the world. Since its establishment, Suntech has grown to become among the most trusted names in terms of solar energy, and has had clients from all over the world, from big companies in countries spanning from the tip of Europe to the vast lands of Asia, to the everyday small businesses almost everywhere.