The 2020 Global Social Impact House Fellows convene this January for a weeklong intensive learning experience in Belize. The 2020 Fellows represent a diverse range of disciplines across sectors, focusing on impressive approaches to social impact such as job creation, sustainable design, arts and culture, interfaith communication, access to education, and intergenerational skill building. The 2020 cohort works in 13 countries, operating out of ventures, collectives, nonprofits, and public service. This is as impressive a group as we’ve ever seen, and we’re thrilled to introduce you.
Abhijit Nikhade builds strategic cloud computing and AI ecosystem for GE Renewable Energy’s Clean Energy Initiative. In his role, he works closely with engineering, research, energy consulting and executive leadership to create customer-centric solutions. He is the cofounder of Microskills, which works to empower informal sector worker from emerging economies. Through his startup he is committed to provide an AI-mentor to micro-entrepreneurs on their finger tip to develop their business. He is the World Economic Forum Global Shaper leading various projects in Detroit and North America. He is one of the youngest elected Board of Directors of Wayne State University’s Alumni Association. He has represent World Economic Forum and GE Renewable Energy at first ever Youth Climate Summit and 74th session of UN General Assembly. He has spoken on various initiatives and social issues at international platforms.
Alma received a Bachelor’s in Business, a Master in Organizational Development and has taken several courses and certificates in Leadership and Sustainable Business Strategies. She started her career working in the Automotive Industry in areas like purchasing, planning, import- export and quality. She realized that she wanted something different- a more “humanistic” field, where she could make a positive impact in people’s life. As such, she made a transition to the education field. She worked in leadership development in a higher education institution for 10 years and found the concept of social entrepreneurs, which seemed to be the coalition of two of her interests: business (not the way she experienced it) and impact. After spending one year in the non-profit sector, she decided to team up with my actual business partners and create Unboxed, a Social Innovation Consultancy Firm.
Arshiya Kherani is the CEO & Founder of Sukoon Active, a brand dedicated to designing sustainable activewear and hijabs for Muslim women. Sukoon Active empowers women to own their potential by providing access to the tools Muslim women need to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Sukoon Active is at the forefront of the conversation around Muslim women in sports around the world. Arshiya is passionate about inclusive fashion, and while building her company, has run successful crowdfunding campaign, designed and implemented a creative and brand strategy, and brought a set of products to the global market that previously didn’t exist. You can follow her day-to-day @arshiya_kherani on Instagram, or her writing at arshiyakherani.com or on Medium.
Caroline is the CEO and co-founder of Nu Market, a social enterprise that elevates women artisans around the world by expanding their market access. Nu Market sources unique handmade textiles for interior designers, hotels, restaurants, and funds women’s education in partner artisan communities. Previously she was a Fulbright fellow in China, where she documented women artisans and their textile traditions, inspiring her to launch Nu Market. Caroline is also an independent photojournalist focused on stories about gender and economic inequality, bad policy and art and cultural innovation. Her photos have been featured by CNN, National Geographic, the South China Morning Post, Apple, British Airways, and elsewhere. She speaks fluent Mandarin and conversational French, Spanish and German. She once swam from Asia to Europe, and her favorite board game is Huggermugger.
Baltimore, MD, United States
Courtney works at the intersection of policy, politics, and finance. Courtney co-founded a global strategic consulting firm serving clients in Australia, Israel, and the U.S. to develop novel impact interventions and broad policy advocacy strategies to promote systems-change in corporate, government, and non-profit organizations. Courtney works with policymakers, corporate executives, industry experts, entrepreneurs, impact investors, and communications and media strategists to advance sustainable investment policy reform efforts. Courtney previously served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs where she spearheaded a series of drug pricing and healthcare investigations, promoted bipartisan legislation to address the opioid crisis, and oversaw matters relating to the U.S. Census. Courtney also served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Courtney began her legal career as an associate covering antitrust litigation and congressional investigations at a nationally renowned corporate law firm in Washington, D.C. Courtney received a B.A. in International Studies and Jewish Studies from Emory University in 2009 and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2013. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Diego A. Sanchez Gomez is an urban planner currently working for the County of Maui in the areas of floodplain administration and emergency management. Diego graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics (2013) and Master of Science in Civil Engineering (2017) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, one of the driest and most populated urban centers in his country. Diego is passionate about working with indigenous communities both in Mexico and the USA in projects related to sustainability, industrial hemp farming and permaculture and currently is a project lead for Ecoaldea Poxil, a new eco-village situated near the Cobá archaeological zone in the Mayan Yucatan. He greatly enjoys hiking in Iao Valley, playing bass guitar, reading theology books, and eating tacos, the glorious food of the Mexican people, whenever possible.
Enrique Morales is an artist, curator, arts administrator, and policy researcher. His art practice is primarily installation based, working with various materials, while working through photography, video, sound, and other experimental media. His art making is often through the lens of a growing social art practice. As an arts administrator, he is a co-founder of a non-profit arts organization, the Northwest Arts Connection, where he serves as Program Director. As a policy researcher, his industry of focus is Cultural Policy, a field that includes Art and Culture, as well as Sports. In his spare time, Enrique enjoys playing and watching tennis.
Francisco Abad is the Founder and Executive Director of CODEIS (the Corporation for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation), a Latin American nonprofit social enterprise based in Ecuador that through various programs and initiatives, aims to empower and equip at-risk youth, migrants/refugees, domestic violence survivors (or at-risk women), and people with physical disabilities, in order to train them on social entrepreneurship and leadership skills to provide them the tools to create profitable and impactful projects and then connecting them to mentors and professional networks so that they can access the financial system, capital and even subsistence stipends depending on the target groups. Francisco is also South America Regional Director for Hult Prize Foundation, the biggest social enterprise competition for university students, awarding 1 million USD every year in partnership with the United Nations and Bill Clinton who in 2012 named it one of the five ideas changing the world and was named by Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus as the Nobel Prize for students. Francisco is Latin America Regional Director for the Circle of Intrapreneurs, the biggest open youth lead community of social intrapreneurs in the world. He also is a Global Shaper from the World Economic Forum and leads the regional conference in Quito 2020. Francisco is alumnus of communities such as One Young World, StartingBloc, FIDAL, Georgetown GCL, among others. Francisco has Masters of Public Administration in International Development from London School of Economics. He has a BA with a double major in Political Science and International Studies, with a minor in Leadership.
Washington DC, United States
Graham McLaughlin leads the social responsibility program for Optum, a global health services organization with over 180,000 staff across 150+ global offices. He has also founded a for profit social enterprise and a non-profit incubator helping individuals coming out of incarceration launch businesses, and has lived with returning citizens for the last 6 years. Graham has advised the White House, spoken on Capitol Hill, and presented at numerous conferences on both reentry and corporate responsibility issues. He is evaluating the best way to create a real estate portfolio that builds career paths, wealth, and affordable housing for returning citizens and young people aging out of foster care that can be a sustainable, replicable model.
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Jessica Harding has been employed in the mental health field from 2009, when she began working at a locked psychiatric hospital in South Central Los Angeles with low income clients with severe mental disorders like Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. From that position, she took a job as a Transitional Living House Manager at a Dual Diagnosis Program that focused heavily on Dialectal Behavior Therapy. She was trained in the four tenants of DBT (mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation), validation, and proper coaching practices. After one year, she was promoted to Program Manager at the Dual Diagnosis program until she enrolled at Tulane’s Masters of Social Work. During her program, she has had the opportunity to learn about macro and micro social work, evidence based therapy and social justice. In addition, she has started her online shop where she sells scented soy candles and prayer candles. These candles are supposed to be used with mindfulness practices, such as meditation, to bring forth good energy and manifest your inner desires. Her goal is to have candles in order to benefit various organizations that helped underserved communities and start an affordable housing commune in south Los Angeles.
New York City, NY, United States
Themis Hope Inc.
Juni works on the strategic planning and program development of different social impact ventures. Most recently, she founded the Center Forum New York, Themis Hope – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that assists vulnerable members of the society, those in a state of oppression and experiencing exploitation. Trained as a theologian and economist, she has several years of post-graduate work experience working alongside c-level executives, for international consulting companies and the United Nations. She has expertise in multiple aspects of start-up life including strategy, project management, and program development. She has a degree in economics, and a PhD and Master’s in history and religion at University of Cambridge & University of Oxford. Her personal interest is in interfaith peace building: she is the Director of Shabbat Salaam at Interfaith Ventures, a non-profit incubator that has won multiple social impact awards.
Westminster, CO, United States
Lauren Hofmann is a globally-minded, purpose driven leader leveraging entrepreneurship, consulting and community activation to meaningfully connect ideas and action. Through her intersectional work, from research to process design, she aims to solve society’s most pressing issues in health, social and economic inequality. Lauren is currently exploring how gaming can be utilized as a vehicle to inspire sustainable social change at both business and consumer levels. She holds a BSc from Miami University, an MSc from Henley Business School (graduated first in cohort) and holds certifications in Business Analysis, Six Sigma and The Project Management Program through Emory University. She is a Board Member at Creative Strategies for Change, a social impact investor at The Colorado Solidarity Fund and a member of the Fall 2019 CO.STARTERS Accelerator.
Luke Hosty is the creative director of Protect Blue. His background in filmmaking, photography and art combine with his love for the ocean established his commitment to protect it. After ten years in the Royal Marines, he found sanctuary underwater and he’s been finding his way back to the sea ever since. His role at Protect Blue is to bring the projects to life – in the way it looks, feels & sounds and also to ensure every story and every idea is told honestly and shown the care & attention it deserves.
McCall is currently a consultant for nonprofit organizations as well as educational support. In September 2018 she co-founded a nonprofit organization in The Bahamas called Sanctuary, which raises awareness and supports victims and survivors of sexual abuse and violence. Prior to this, she worked full-time in Speech Therapy in The Bahamas, having a BS in Speech-and-Language Pathology and Audiology and a BS in Deaf Studies. In 2012 she co-founded Haitian Education And Residence which is a transitionary program for youth who age-out of the orphanage system in Haiti. McCall is passionate about being an advocate and voice for the vulnerable.
Nana Ohene Adu is a mother, an educator, entrepreneur and scientist with a passion to connect individuals to their dreams in love, respect and positivity. With a degree in Biochemistry/Food science and a post graduate diploma in Management, she voluntarily co-founded the LEAP (Leading to Enhance Abilities & Potential) social enterprise comprising of an elementary school and a reading / mentoring hub for the youth; whiles working in the mines as a chemist and employee engagement manager. LEAP gives her purpose and the more she does it the more she realizes that more people need sustainable skills to empower themselves and their communities hence the Sikapa for girls’ initiative which focuses on girls’ financial empowerment. She believes in being ready when opportunity knocks so she is constantly developing herself and others closer to her; whether at home or at work.
Nayda Bobonis Cabrera, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, completed her Bachelor of Communications and a Law Degree, both at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. As a resident of Buena Vista Hato Rey, born and raised in that community, at 23 years old she became president of its board, being the youngest president among the leaders that make up the Group of the Eight Communities Surrounding the Martín Peña Channel (G-8). During her studies in law she became involved in the Probono Program, working directly with the immigrant community on the island, while becoming part of the Board of Directors of Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción, an organization which has as its north the creation of young agents of change. These actions led her to be a recipient of the McConnell-Valdés Scholarship for 2017-2018, the first female to receive it. As a member of the Puerto Rican Movement for Dignified Living (PRODEV), she has had the opportunity to dialogue and advocate to eradicate social inequality and promote access to justice. Nayda is currently working with FURIA, Inc. as Legal Advisor in Community Affairs, identifying legal problems and helping find solutions, as part of the communities’s process of achieving their development and organizational goals.
Rachel is a designer, passionate about crafting experiences that empower individuals to reach their creative potential. She was born into a family of creatives in Los Angeles, found the piano to be her 2nd voice, and played piano competitively for 12 years before starting at Stanford University—where she met others who shared her creative energy including the other co-founders of Girl Possible. Through today, Rachel has continued to grow Girl Possible and has worked with other startups and global corporations on innovation strategy in New York, Berlin, and Silicon Valley. Currently, Rachel is a product designer in San Francisco at AngelList, designing the future of venture capital. To rest and relax, Rachel loves doing balancing poses in yoga, searching for the best local Asian restaurants, learning Korean, and traveling to new places.
Ein Vered, Israel
Sharon is the co-founder of Midbun (Burning Man Israeli regional) and founder of the Midburn art program. Sharon is an active member and co-founder of Fugara art collective, Fugara is an interdisciplinary group of artists, designers, and makers creating interactive and immersive experiences through large scale installations. As an artist and a cultural activist I try to integrate my passion with my project’s. Moving on on the line between being an event producer to an art director in various project in the business world as well in the free culture field.
Sonia is a social worker, family counsellor, researcher, community organizer, radio and TV broadcaster and a public speaker
She is the winner of the Surrey Board of Trade Women in Business – Social Trailblazer Award 2019 as well as the Finalist of the Surrey Board of Trade Women in Business in the Top Professional category. Sonia has been nominated 3 times for the BC Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Award. A Fellow of Human SecurityX, Caux, Switzerland, Sonia currently sits on various committees like The Social Equity and Diversity Committee for the City of Surrey, is a Board member of the BC College of Social Workers and the Founder of Shakti Society and Shakti Awards, the longest running awards for the South Asian community, particularly for women.
Tiffany Yu is the founder & CEO of Diversability, an award-winning social enterprise to rebrand disability through the power of community. She is also the founder of the Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter, which has awarded $32,500 in grants to 33 disability projects in 7 countries. She serves on the San Francisco Mayor’s Disability Council, appointed by San Francisco Mayor London Breed. She started her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, working on over $14 billion in announced transactions. Her work has been featured in Forbes, the Guardian, Marie Claire, and the World Economic Forum.
Tomoe is the founder of Project M’INT, a project that aims at helping mid-senior career adults develop their career plans based on their purposes, characters, and preferences, as well as encouraging Japanese society to create a better future with promoting age diversity. Previously, she was an Associate Director at Sony Global Education where she led a business development strategy to launch STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education products in the U.S. She also has a decade of experience in business operations at Sony and Playstation in Japan and Asian pacific countries. She also graduated from the Master of Science in Decision Analysis at Minerva in 2019, as a part of the second-graduating class where she learned data analytics and complex decision-making. Her passion is to harness individual potential regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic background, and age by accelerating innovations. Through working at VIA Programs, a founder of EdTechWomen Tokyo and a writer on the educational landscape at Forbes, she has taken actions to obtain analytical skills and leadership in the education field.
Vahisha Hasan is a faith-rooted organizer working at the intersections of faith, social justice, and mental health and serves as the Executive Director of Movement in Faith, a project of Transform Network. She is a powerful public speaker, transformative facilitator, social justice trainer, minister, and writer with a deeply prophetic voice and imagination for how faith communities can be an active part of healing and collective liberation. Vahisha holds a dual Master’s of Divinity and Master’s of Mental Health Counseling with an Education Specialist Certification from Gardner-Webb University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Interpersonal Organization from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to penning book reviews, journal articles, and online publications, she has published two editions of Resipiscence: A Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy, 2018 and 2019 editions.