Laila Rashed Iskandar Kamel is now the Minister of State for Environment Affairs in Egypt under the interim government of Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi. Her track record in Cairo’s waste management brought her to the attention of the statesmen in her country; she is the founder of “Community and International Development Group” (CID), a holistic consultation firm which aims to bridge grassroots communities and giant manufacturers so they can both work for the good of the community. Her work with the “zaballeens,” or garbage people, earned her the “Goldman Environmental Prize” in 1994.
Dr. Laura Stachel is the co-founder of the non-profit organization “WE CARE Solar.” She and her husband, Hal Aronson, launched the organization to provide sustainable lighting systems to hospitals and clinics in developing countries where mortality rates due to childbirth are high. The “Solar Suitcase” units they have distributed to 27 countries have saved thousands of patients so far, even beyond mothers and their babies. The solar lighting system now enables clinics which lack electricity to continue their business during the night, which was previously an inconceivable feat.
Can someone who loves gardening as a hobby really make an impact? Robin Emmons did so with the help of volunteers and donors who made “Sow Much Good” grow from a backyard initiative into a “Movement for Food Justice.” Tired of the rat race, Robin quit her job to do some self-searching; after a few weeks, she was told that her brother was being held in jail for an undiagnosed schizophrenic outburst. Concerned about her brother’s deteriorating health in the mental facility, she volunteered to bring fresh produce from her backyard garden. She soon realized that her purpose was all around her – literally.
Ludwick Marishane has no qualms admitting that, ever since he was young, he’s been searching for ways to be an agent of change. He may be best known as the man behind “DryBath,” the first cosmetic of its kind that works for the rich and otherwise. Odorless and biodegradable, it allows people to bathe without using water - you just apply it to your skin and you’re good to go. But, before he reached 17 years old, he had already invented a healthy cigarette, a mobile dictionary, and nearly published a nationwide security magazine.
James Beshara has always believed in the power of doing things together, and this is evidenced by his two most popular creations – dvelo.org and crowdtilt.com. And if you think these sites are similar to fundraiser sites such as eventbrite.org and paypal.com, the main difference is this: instead of a single person charging everyone to achieve a common goal, crowdtilt.com enables everyone to pool their resources to achieve the goal, no matter how big or small it may be.
Heart disease is among the most pressing issues in the medical world today - not just because of its effect on the human body, but also because of the vastness of its scope on the human population. Like any other disease, heart conditions do not choose who to attack – whether you are rich or poor, you could become infected.
Van Phillips is certainly used to being on-the-go. Being an outdoor person, he enjoys running, hiking and playing sports. But things took a bad turn when he suffered a horrible accident, severing his left leg after being run over by a boat. From living such an active lifestyle, Van had to get used to his new – and heavy – foot. He couldn’t walk properly, he couldn’t run, and he wasn’t the person he used to be. So, he created what would become known as the “Flex-Foot” – technology that has changed the game for amputees.
“Information should be shared, not stored.” This phrase summarizes the life and career of Aaron Swartz, who spent what little time he had fighting against corruption and unnecessary secrecy so people could have access to what they need to know. One of the most influential activists of our generation, Aaron has truly made a significant mark by giving the masses the power to know the truth by fighting for freedom of information.
There is a saying: “Wealth has a purpose, and it is so you could enrich others.” This is the case of the life of Pierre Omidyar, who became one of the world’s youngest billionaires and is spending his time, effort and resources to give to those who are in need. Often describing himself as a “technologist by profession, but philanthropist by heart,” Pierre lives up to what it means to be “blessed to become a blessing.”
Do we persecute someone just because of his/her family’s unbelievable monetary wealth? This is often why people judge David Mayer de Rothschild and associate him with greed, slavery and war – all because he’s a Rothschild. This has not made things easy for him, especially when he decided to raise awareness about the Pacific Garbage Patch, which led to the creation of a 60-meter boat he named “Plastiki.” As the name suggests, it is made of 12,500 reclaimed bottles and other recycled materials. David even used cashew and sugar for glue to stay faithful to the cause.