What we take for granted, the women in Kakenya Ntaiya’s village are denied. As members of the Maasai community, Kakenya and her fellow women were looked down upon by the men of their society. In a way, their cultural customs discourage a woman’s success: before women even reach high school, they are married-off and relegated to a life of service to their husband and children. But Kakenya fought her way to college, and eventually became the first Maasai woman to do so. And, because women do not forget, she founded “The Kakenya Center for Excellence” to give back.
Stephen Ritz is a dynamic inspiration for kids in the Bronx who were accustomed to believing there was no more hope for them. His enthusiasm is undoubtedly contagious, enabling troubled teenagers to secure sources of income with the knowledge he provided them in and out of school. In addition to restoring hope, Stephen also helped the malnourished community reclaim their health by growing local produce from his very own classrooms. His non-profit organization, called the “Green Bronx Machine,” harvested enough produce to feed 450 people. Now that’s what you call “serving the community” in the truest sense of the phrase!
Throughout Bill Mollison’s life, he has consistently promoted the concept of “permaculture,” encouraging people to grow their own food and teaching sustainable methods of producing it. Often called the “Father of Permaculture,” Bill has contributed greatly to its international popularity through not only his lectures, but also his bestselling books.
He created “TED,” “TEDMED,” “The Understanding Business” and “Access Press,” and wrote books on baffling topics. There’s no doubt that Richard Saul Wurman profited greatly from his own ignorance; all he ever did was ask questions. Richard wanted answers, but the information presented to him was hardly understandable. Because he set out to look for information and make it available through unorthodox means, he has every right to call himself an “information architect,” a term he coined himself for one who is into information architecture.
Call him an overly-attached dolphin-lover, but Ric O’Barry sees something in these wonderful and lovable creatures that many have missed or forgotten all these years: dolphins share several traits with humans, including emotion and intellect. In light of the dolphin population’s massive decline due to being hunted for food, Ric has become a dedicated defender of these creatures, travelling the world to encourage people to protect them.
Lawrence S. Wittner is an author, educator and activist who is known for his stand against the use of nuclear weapons. He has written nine books, co-authored and edited four, and published over 250 articles. He was once ostracized for being so outspoken about controversial issues, but kept in the direction he believed was right until people finally began to see things from his perspective. Slowly, he regained his authority, and is now one of the most sought-after speakers in the world.
Science is about looking for true answers, and this is the principle that has guided David Bellamy throughout his life, even when that truth is not something man is prepared to accept. As a true man of science, David is not afraid of being misinterpreted or even shunned, so long as he’s able to share the truth with others.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, also called “Guruji” or “Gurudev,” is one of India’s most compelling spiritual figures. He founded the “Art of Living Foundation” to give way to his humanitarian efforts and inspire people to become better versions of themselves. He is not only a spiritual leader, but also an author and an esteemed public speaker. He created “Sudarshan Kriya,” a breathing exercise which can help people live stress-free lives in this stressful age. Above all, he preaches about our need to be more compassionate towards one another.
Michael Pollan is a celebrated writer who educates people about the wonders of good food. Lean and fit, Michael walks the walk and does not consume anything processed. He wrote four bestselling books: “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” and “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.” A contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Michael has also served as Harper Magazine’s Executive Editor for 10 years.
How do you honor a legend? How do you live up to the expectations of the people around you if you happen to be the grandson of one of the noblest luminaries of the world? Arun Manilal Gandhi is faced with such a daunting responsibility being Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi’s fifth grandson. Out of the other male offspring of all his children, the calling to continue his grandfather’s legacy fell on Arun’s shoulders. He founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and The Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute as means to carry on his grandfather’s crusade for non-violence.