SEATTLE — Some people talk about ending global poverty while others take action. Below is a list of ten innovators who are dedicated to alleviating poverty across the globe.
- Salil Shetty – As Secretary General of Amnesty International, Bangalore-born Salil Shetty spends his days working to alleviate human rights issues and ensuring that one day everyone will have adequate food, housing, water, sanitation, healthcare and education. Before working for Amnesty International, he served as the Chief Executive of ActionAid and worked for the United Nations Millennium Campaign.
- Teddy Cruz – A prominent professor, architect and activist, Teddy Cruz has worked globally to put an end to world hunger and has presented about global issues at many universities, like Harvard, the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, University of Anyang in South Korea and University of Auckland in New Zealand. As an urbanist, he is always trying to find new ways to lift people out of poverty through urban development.
- Louise Fresco – As a Dutch Scientist, Louise Fresco specializes in food and agriculture sustainability. Formally a United Nations director and a member of many academies, Fresco has developed a bright understanding for how poverty, hunger and environmental unsustainability impact the world. She promotes the understanding of foreign agriculture rather than food aid and has done fieldwork in over 80 countries, studying how successful local agriculture can be the key to ending world hunger and implementing it into the minds of those around her.
- Josette Sheeran – Josette Sheeran has been dedicated to ending world hunger in many ways. She is the CEO of Asia Society, a nonprofit organization working toward developing a strong relationship between the United States and Asian nations, where she encourages world leaders to work together in addressing world poverty. Formerly, she was the US Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs in the State Department, the eleventh Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme and employee for the World Economic Forum.
- John Coonrod – John Coonrod is the Executive Vice President for The Hunger Project, where he is in charge of research, advertising, communications and advocacy efforts. In 1977, Coonrod became the first volunteer for The Hunger Project, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering men and women to end their own hunger. Some of the many things Coonrod is advocating for include supporting agriculture in developing communities, empowering women in agriculture and raising awareness for global warming’s effect on agriculture and sustainability.
- Ernesto Sirolli – Sustainable Development Expert, Ernesto Sirolli contributes to ending global poverty by educating individuals on the importance of global sustainability. Founder of the Sirolli Institute, a nonprofit working to empower local entrepreneurs, Sirolli has helped sustainability promoters start 40,000 businesses worldwide.
- Ellen Gustafson – Ellen Gustafson dedicates her time to helping indigenous farmers beat out fast-food restaurants and junk food producers from dominating the market. As a sustainable food-system activist, Gustafson co-founded the FEED Foundation, a nonprofit that recycles plastic bags to raise money to provide 60 million schoolchildren worldwide with healthy meals.
- Cindy Levin – Originally from Chicago, former engineer, Cindy Levin, has left the world of engineering behind for activism and volunteer work. She works as a coach and activist for nonprofits like RESULTS, Bread for the World and Shot@Life. Her main focus is to provide cost-effective vaccinations to patients living in poverty worldwide.
- Andrew Mwenda – Ugandan journalist, Andrew Mwenda, is not afraid of letting his work and views about poverty and politics worldwide get him arrested. Founder of the news magazine, The Independent, his work focuses on empowering Africans living in poverty to be strong enough to pull themselves out of poverty rather than providing aid to impoverished African communities. With the belief that people who receive become “passive objects,” he writes about the importance of economic development, free speech and transitioning foreign aid from being put into the hands of corrupt governments to into the hands of deserving individuals.
- Ashraf Ghani – Politician Ashraf Ghani has used his knowledge of political science and anthropology to rebuild his country and aid the poor. After the fall of the Taliban, Ghani served as finance minister to help bring his country out of economic devastation. He has been featured on TED Talk, where he spoke about recovering from economic hardships and questioning traditional economic assistance.
– Julia Hettiger