Class of 2015
Pioneering citizen-led accountability in Nepal
South Asia Representative
“Taking leadership, while maintaining team spirit with honesty and integrity, is key. Good ideas come from everywhere, so going beyond the mainstream to find wisdom is fundamental. Take risks, test new innovations, and be willing to fail - that's what makes a leader extraordinary."
Narayan Adhikari is an accountability entrepreneur who has dedicated himself to the non-profit sector for over a decade, helping to change peoples’ lives. He currently works as a South Asia representative for Accountability Lab. Narayan led the development of several innovative tools for accountability, including Integrity Idol, a national campaign to honor honest civil servants; #QuakeHelpDesk, a hub for resources to monitor and improve the Nepal earthquake response; Nalibeli, a crowd-sourced information database on higher education and public service; and accountability film schools.
Narayan was a Think Tank (LINKS) Atlas Corps Fellow, and has participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He is a founding member of the Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network (GYAC), where he is also a South Asia representative. Narayan served as the executive director for Youth Initiatives, where he played a key role in mobilizing youth across sectors to campaign for the National Youth Policy and promoting youth issues in the Constitution of Nepal. His strong leadership skills and extensive knowledge of anti-corruption and youth issues have made him an effective advocate for people and civil society, and for creating social change on the national and international levels.
Narayan holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology.
High tech for low-cost design
Zubaida Bai is widely regarded as an expert and leader in the field of engineering design for low-cost health products customized for the developing world. Zubaida’s work empowering underserved women led her selection by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and she was named a Maternal Health Fellow by Ashoka Changemakers, among many other honors.
Zubaida is the founder of ayzh (pronounced “eyes”), a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women worldwide. They develop low-cost, appropriate technology designed to meet the unique needs of women in resource-poor settings. Ayzh aims to be the leading global provider of live-saving, life-changing health products for underprivileged women across the globe. With the goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality through improved quality of care at the time of birth, ayzh’s long-term vision is to prevent deadly and debilitating infections for six million women over the next five years by giving them increased access to a clean, safe delivery, and a healthy start to a new life.
Zubaida holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in the development of modular products, as well as an MBA in Social and Sustainable Enterprises.
Redirecting capital for positive, long-term impact
MSCI ESG Research
"I engage with others at a macro and detailed level simultaneously. Effective leaders understand higher-order principles that organize both outcomes and in the processes and means used to achieve them. They convene people around a shared, inspiring vision that operates as the glue to motivate united, cohesive action."
Emily Chew is vice president of MSCI ESG Research in Hong Kong, where she leads a team of specialist research analysts across the Asia-Pacific region on company-level and thematic environmental, social, and government (ESG) analysis. . MSCI ESG Research is the leading independent research house used by global institutional investors to integrate ESG factors into investment.
Emily’s work engages the region’s largest institutional investors on relevant ESG risks and opportunities. Through publications and regional speaking engagements, Emily has established herself as thought leader in this emerging field in the Asia-Pacific.
Emily was previously a funds management and capital markets lawyer with Baker & McKenzie, and worked on human rights law and advocacy projects in East Timor, Indonesia, and Australia, most recently leading a year-long national women’s rights project supporting the UN periodic review of Australia. She serves on the UN Principles for Responsible Investment Listed Equities Outreach Sub-Committee, as an executive committee member of Oxford Women’s Leadership Community, and was previously vice-chair of the China Carbon Forum. Emily holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and law and arts degrees from Melbourne University.
Driving sustainable development in Thailand
Founding Executive Director and Lecturer
G-Lab, School of Global Studies
"I try to integrate and improve on the qualities of integrity, vision, and humility in everything I do. Leaders should be values-driven, open, and confident."
Ada Chirapaisarnkul is a lecturer and founding executive director of G-Lab: Social Innovation Lab at the School of Global Studies, Thammasat University. Previously, she was the assistant vice president at Government Housing Bank. Prior to this, she worked as the Social Innovation and Partnerships Manager and senior policy analyst at the Prime Minister’s Office, leading a multi-stakeholder team to develop the first National Master Plan for social entrepreneurship development in Thailand, and was appointed to the vice-secretariat on the Social Finance Sub-Committee. Additionally, Ada founded the Thai Young Philanthropist Network (TYPN) in 2008 to engage young professionals to mobilize their skills, expertise, network, and funding to build capacity for key development agents in Thailand. As of June 2015, TYPN has more than 2,700 members with notable projects including Brain Exchange (www.brain-exchange.org), Taejai.com – the first crowdfunding platform in Thailand – Nexus Thailand, and the Social Entrepreneur Mentorship Program.
Ada is a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship. She holds an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London, an M.A. in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Economics from Thammasat University.
Advocating for justice and freedom
Founding Executive Director
Software Freedom Law Center
"By taking on challenges, not letting pride get in the way of action, acting on my convictions, and admitting my mistakes, I make my team feel like they belong. The best leaders are humble, courageous, and focused."
Mishi Choudhary, a technology lawyer and an online civil liberties activist, is the founding executive director of SFLC.in, a pro-bono legal services organization based in New Delhi, India. SFLC.in is widely regarded as the leading organization for extensive work on free speech and expression, privacy, software patents, corporate surveillance, network neutrality, internet governance, free and open-source software, and access to knowledge. It brings together lawyers, policy analysts, technologists, and students to protect freedom in the digital world as India becomes a digital society. A frequent commentator on issues related to technology and policy, her writings and views have been quoted in the Indian Parliament, and her opinion pieces have appeared in major dailies such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, The Hindustan Times, and most national newspapers and TV news channels in India.
Mishi is also the legal director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) in New York City, where she represents the world's leading free and open-source software projects. SFLC counsels clients on the big picture, beyond today's specific problems, helping projects reach their long-term goals safely and efficiently, so developers can concentrate on making great software.
Mishi represents clients before the High Court of Delhi and Supreme Court of India independently, and regularly files amicus briefs in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mishi has a Master’s Degree in Law from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Delhi. She is licensed to practice in India and the State of New York.
An inclusive leader for positive growth
Executive Director and Global Head of Energy Complex
Noble Group Limited
"I take the time to understand each individual, their drivers and motivations, and attempt to thread a common link to be able to move forward, united. Recognizing the individuality of people and harnessing that uniqueness into an effective, aligned, and complementary force is key to leading effectively."
Manish Dahiya is the executive director and Global Head of Energy Complex at Noble Group Limited. His work focuses on enabling the requirements of an energy short world as it balances its demands for growth with the obligation of providing basic power requirements to the populace. This encompasses the facilitation, finance, and route to market of new coal projects around the world, providing access to the most abundant and cost-effective energy resource available. It also entails advising, facilitating, financing, and participating in the development of new power generation projects globally, as well as the development of more environmentally-friendly coal resources and advising on the development of more efficient generation units.
Manish engages all stakeholders including communities, social groups, government and global business leaders, and leading institutions including sovereign and private wealth funds.
Manish holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Giving voice to the marginalized worker
Good World Solutions
"We define leadership as imaginative thinking and anticipating future needs, as well as taking calculated risks to drive maximum social impact while maintaining organizational health. I try to leverage my team's strengths and translate them into the highest contribution to our mission."
Heather Franzese is the executive director of Good World Solutions. Recognized as a Purpose Economy 100 (PE100) global change maker, she has been working for 15 years to improve the lives of vulnerable workers in global supply chains.
Good World Solutions is the winner of the Ashoka Changemakers Feedback Loops competition and is one of 12 social enterprises in the 2013 accelerator class at Santa Clara University’s Global Social Benefit Institute at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Since 2010, the organization’s Labor Link platform has given voice to over 100,000 workers and farmers in 12 countries – including China, India, and Bangladesh – helping to prevent tragedies like the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed 1,100 workers in Bangladesh.
Heather’s cross-sector experience includes launching the fair trade certification for apparel, raising $4 million in social impact funding, managing CSR for Columbia Sportswear licensees, and working with small-scale farmers in the Peace Corps. She holds a Master’s in Economic Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and sits on Etsy’s Manufacturing Advisory Board.
Helping others find their way through education
GIAP VAN DUONG
"A leader creates a better future for others in a manner in which everyone can trust, participate, and contribute their best."
Duong Giap is the founder and main lecturer of GiapSchool, the first massive open online course (MOOC) platform in Vietnam.
From 2007 to 2010, he worked at the University of Liverpool as a postdoctoral researcher before joining the National University of Singapore as a research scientist through 2013. After 12 years abroad, Duong returned to Vietnam to improve the quality of education there by launching the first MOOC platform in Vietnam and starting the Books4Experts and Books4Children projects. He also conducts coaching on leadership and innovation for corporations to increase productivity and consulting for schools to improve the quality of education. His mission is to build a reliable knowledge infrastructure and free education resources, as well as to help people identify their own paths in life.
Duong received a Ph.D. in Technical Physics from Vienna University of Technology in Austria in 2006, a MSc. in Chemical Engineering from Chonbuk National University in South Korea in 2002, and a B.A. in Chemical Engineering from Hanoi University of Technology in 1999.
Conserving habitats and species
RAJEEV K. GOYAL
Author, Activist, and Rural Development Worker
"Anyone has the potential to be a leader, it's a part of life that is basically inevitable. Different people have to contribute at a higher level at different times depending on the circumstances. I don't see myself as a leader, but rather as someone who wants to be part of something that can only be achieved through a larger group contribution."
Rajeev Goyal is the co-founder of Koshi Tappu Kanchenjunga Biodiversity Education Livelihood Terra-Studio (KTK-BELT). Founded in 2013, KTK-BELT aims to mitigate ecosystem fragmentation in the eastern Himalayas by designing a contiguous educational land trust stretching from Koshi Tappu, Nepal’s largest aquatic bird sanctuary, to Mt. Kanchenjunga, the 3rd tallest peak in the world. The trust will conserve and teach about Himalayan biodiversity, while creating ecologically-sensitive livelihood opportunities. Rajeev is a former Peace Corps volunteer and United Nations Volunteer (UNV), and from 2008 to 2011 was the national director of Push for Peace Corps, a legislative campaign aimed at doubling the size of the Peace Corps. The campaign’s proposal for a US$60 million increase in funding – the largest since 1961 – was successfully passed in Congress, and facilitated the addition five countries and over 1,000 volunteer positions to the Peace Corps globally.
Rajeev belongs to several non-profit boards, including the Phul Maya Foundation and the Living Earth Institute (LEI), and serves as an advisor to the Karuna Foundation. He is the author of a memoir, The Springs of Namje: A Ten-Year Journey from the Villages of Nepal to the Halls of Congress, which received the 2013 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award. He is the recipient of the Eric Dean Bender Prize for Public Service in recognition of his co-authorship of a report on caste discrimination and conflict in Nepal.
Rajeev received a law degree from New York University in 2006, and recently earned a Master’s of Professional Studies in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University.
Innovating and educating for growth
Khovd State University
"In any organization or group, there is leader. Being effective means that, regardless of whether one was elected or appointed, leaders are looked up to because of their character and action, and how they mobilize their influence. I try to maximize my influence for the greater good, so the outcome is always the most positive for the greatest number of people.”
Yanjmaa Jutmaan is the chancellor of Khovd State University, and is the first woman to hold this position at a state university in Mongolia. Her vision is to link the university to the economic growth of the provinces it serves. She established an Innovation Incubation Center, out of which five factories have been launched. Recognized as a woman leader, she aspires to see Mongolian universities actively developing startup business which will provide employment opportunities in the provinces, slow down movement of skilled labor to the capital, contribute to city development and support the decentralization process. In 2013, she was named a Science Fellow by the Ministry of Education and Science of Mongolia.
Yanjmaa obtained her Master’s Degree in Statistics from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of North Carolina. Yanjmaa is fluent in English, Mongolian, Russian, and Korean.
Innovating sustainable, responsible products
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
"I am most able to motivate my team when I'm passionate about a topic or a mission. Leaders challenge the status quo to create change and are resourceful in dealing with challenges."
Kristin Kagetsu is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Saathi, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the education and employment rates of women by providing affordable sanitary protection to women in rural India. Saathi aims to empower the women and girls of rural communities so that they will have jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, and access to feminine hygiene, and be an integral and productive part of their communities. Saathi has won the HBS New Venture Competition and participated in MassChallenge.
Kristin has a passion for engineering design that makes a direct impact on people's lives. As an undergraduate student, she worked on multiple projects with the MIT Design Lab (D-Lab) in Brazil, Nicaragua, and India.
Kristin also volunteered with the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), working to structure and expand the national collegiate team to better support over 60 collegiate chapters, as well as to develop the SASE leadership in the Northeast. She is currently an MIT DLab ScaleUps Fellow and resides in India.
Kristen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.
Using high tech to maximize human potential
Founding Program Manager, Director’s Fellows
MIT Media Lab
Lisa Katayama is the founding program manager of the MIT Media Lab's Director's Fellows, a program that builds collaborations between the technologies of the MIT Media Lab with social activists, designers, artists, and other creative impact-driven communities all over the world. She is the founder and president of a nonprofit called The Tofu Project, which empowers social activists and entrepreneurs in Japan with leadership, design, and storytelling tools.
Previously, Lisa was a technology and culture journalist producing work for outlets such as Wired, Boing, Popular Science, The New York Times Magazine, and PRI’s “Studio360.” Her book, Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan, won the STEP Design Award in 2009, and her blog, TokyoMango.com, was the runner-up for The Weblog Awards' Best Asian Blog that same year. In 2012, Lisa co-produced and co-directed a web documentary series about a community of surfers who survived the tsunami in Japan titled “We Are All Radioactive.”
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys climbing and playing with dogs. Lisa volunteers at an AIDS hospice in San Francisco and as a court-appointed special advocate for foster youth.
Crowdfunding for independent journalism
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
"If I am into something, I am really persistent and incredibly passionate about it, whatever it is. People follow you and are persuaded by you if they see that.”
Seung-yoon Lee is the CEO and co-founder of the crowdfunded independent media platform Byline. Byline removes barriers between readers and the news, empowering readers to support journalists and their content directly. Within 8 weeks of its beta launch, Byline has already become the world’s most visited crowdfunded journalism site. Byline is seed-funded by billionaire investor Nicolas Bergguren and Jae-woong Lee, founder of leading East Asian web portal Daum. Byline’s advisors include Bill Emmott, former chief editor at the Economist, Sir Harold Evans, former editor of The Sunday Times, and crowdfunded-journalism pioneer Peter Jukes.
Seung-yoon is also contributing editor to The WorldPost, a joint publication between The Huffington Post and Berggruen Institute on Governance, and was the first East Asian president of the prestigious Oxford Union debating society. During his term as president, the Union hosted world-class speakers including Peter Thiel, rapper and fellow South Korean PSY, United States Senator John McCain, and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari. Seung-yoon also launched the Union’s own YouTube Channel that features its key debates and speaker events.
Shaping a more equal and just Asia
Deputy Regional Director, East Asia Region
"Growing up in the deprived and patriarchal environment of Cambodia's post-Khmer Rouge period, I was hungry for knowledge and education. My past forged my conviction to serve the people of Cambodia, and to eradicate extreme poverty, gender inequality, and the culture of impunity. Effective leaders put others' interests before their own, and who inspire people to see and deliver their vision. Asia is my country and Cambodia is my homeland, and I believe that with compassion, honesty, courage, and leadership, Cambodia can succeed and transform."
Solinn Lim is the deputy regional director of the Oxfam East Asia office. She has 16 years of direct experience in countries across East Asia, focusing on natural resource governance, community development, and policy and campaign. She also serves as the chairwoman of the board of directors of VBNK, a leading manager’s training institute in Cambodia, and as a technical advisor for the Critical Ecology Partnership Fund, a joint grant portfolio for the Indo-Burmese region.
In 2002, Solinn became the executive director of Save Cambodia’s Wildlife, a premier conservation NGO. Her five years of leadership contributed to four-fold growth of the organization. In 2005, she was elected chairperson of the National Steering Committee overseeing the EU/Global Environment Facility’s Small Grant Program.
Solinn holds a MSc. in Environmental Policies from the University of Oxford.
Empowering traditions with technology
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Piksel Indonesia Company
"It's all about impact – leaders are the change agents who inspire people to move and innovate, and create a multiplying effect through the people they inspire. I use technology to solve a problem in the traditional art industry. This system can spread to empower thousands of artisans and revitalize the creative industry"
Nancy Margried is the CEO and co-founder of Piksel Indonesia Company, an enterprise that focuses on creative industries. She also created Batick Fractal and jBatik Software in 2007 to spread innovation to empower traditional artisans, giving them the tools, technology, and skills to help them develop their crafts. She was the recipient of the UNESCO Award of Excellence in 2008 and was named Google Innovator Hero in 2013. Nancy presented at APEC 2013 on how technology can help preserve batik dyeing culture and techniques and bring economic benefits to traditional artisans.
Besides focusing on fashion and the software business, Nancy’s team is currently establishing a cooperative in Bandung, Indonesia, which aims to empower the community through creativity and technology, and open access to markets, funding, government, and other collaborators to bring them out of poverty.
Empowering citizens to fight for good governance
"Effective leaders need to be unwavering in their objectives, but pragmatic and flexible. I aspire to these qualities, and I hope Asia 21 will help me work towards them"
Henry Motte-Muñoz is the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption NGO in the Philippines, which since its founding in 2011 has grown to a budget of US$150,000. In 2013, he founded Edukasyon.ph, a comprehensive online database of higher education courses and scholarships, which will launch in the Philippines in 2015.
Henry was born in Paris to a Filipina mother and a French father, and was raised between Paris, London, and Zurich, with yearly multi-month trips back to the Philippines. He earned his BSc in Economics and Economic History at the London School of Economics, after which he joined Goldman Sachs in their Investment Banking Division, covering healthcare from London. Subsequently, he joined Bain Capital’s Private Equity team, investing in a firm with strong strategy consultant roots. After two years, he was sent to Harvard Business School on a company scholarship and graduated with distinction in 2013.
Making healthcare accessible to all
MOHSIN ALI MUSTAFA
Strategy and Program Development
Aman Healthcare Services
"Integrity: an unwavering commitment to honesty in work matters. Determination: persevere when things get tough. Passion: this is hard to fake. Passion makes going the extra mile much easier, and inspires those around you to give 100%"
Mohsin Mustafa is a medical doctor in Pakistan who manages the communications and strategy of Aman Healthcare Services. This position has allowed him to work with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, where he is creating a disaster-management framework for Karachi and eventually the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia regions. He has trained over 11,000 people in basic life support and first response.
Mohsin is passionate about disaster-management, politics and the outdoors. He has trekked to the base camps of K2, Nanga Parbat and Rakaposhi. This August, he will scale a 7000-meter peak, Spantik. He is also an advanced open-water scuba diver, and runs a diving company with friends called Divers Reef Karachi which has introduced over 5000 youth from Karachi to aquatic sports. Mohsin graduated from the Aga Khan University and, after obtaining his M.D., chose to pursue public health full-time in Pakistan.
Sharing knowledge, engaging people, and developing innovation in learning
ABDUL GHAFAR NAZARI
Manager, Training and Development Human Resources
Roshan Telecommunication Development Company
"Vision, dependability, resourcefulness, execution, and inclusiveness: these make a leader. Vision inspires faith in your leadership. When my colleagues have a problem, they can depend on me to share my expertise. I am famous for my resourcefulness, and always say 'together, we can!'”
Abdul Ghafar Nazari is the manager of Training and Development Human Resources at Roshan Telecommunication Development Company, where he has over 8 years of experience working with leading organizations. Previously, he has held positions such as lead trainer at the Aga Khan Foundation, and senior training officer at the Afghanistan Rural Microcredit Program/AKDN Banking. He also volunteers at the Aga Khan National Council. He is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Tech Forum Central Asia, held in Kazakhstan in 2012, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Young Leaders Forum 2012. Additionally, he was Afghanistan’s delegate to the Pakistan Youth Dialogue, and a member of Young Activists for Reform and Change. He is certified in microfinance training of trainers by ADBI and the World Bank, for which he has received numerous accolades from Afghanistan and abroad. He has conducted more than 100 workshops to different groups of society.
Abdul holds a bachelor’s degree from the Law and Political Sciences Faculty of Kabul University, and is a graduate of Islam Qalah High School. He was a youth exchange student through the American Councils for International Education from 2005 to 2006.
Building cohesive and resilient communities for progress
Institute of Governance and Policy, Singapore Civil Service College
"The pressing challenges are complex, and they are best managed by coalitions of collaborators. The most effective leaders need to combine skills in managing discrete institutions with the ability to build and maintain networks of allies. They balance risk management and accountability with empowering entrepreneurialism and creativity.”
Vernie Oliveiro is currently the senior researcher at the Civil Service College’s Institute of Governance and Policy in Singapore, which seeks to develop innovative approaches to governance in Singapore. Her writing on governance has been published by Ethos and the Centre for Liveable Cities. Vernie is also co-chief adjudicator of the 2002 and 2015 World Schools Debating Championship, and served on the chief adjudication panel in 2014.
Vernie has been a member of the Association of Women for Action and Research, Singapore’s only gender equality civic organization, since 2011. She was the secretary and a founding member of the Debate Association in Singapore, and was a two-time member of Singapore’s National Schools’ Debate team. Before joining the Singapore Public Service, Vernie was lecturer in history at Harvard University, from which she earned her A.M. in 2005 and Ph.D. in International History in 2010. She was resident tutor for history at Dunster House from 2007 to 2011, and a graduate student associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs from 2007 to 2010.
Building platforms for change
"I feel deeply. This fuels my sense of mission, though the mission may seem to shift shapes and seem elusive."
Umanga Pandey is the founder and director of KG Nepal, a social initiative that regards individual evolution, not political revolution, as the path for change. KG provides a platform for volunteers to undertake small engagements – usually designed to help neglected children from government schools in the inner city of Kathmandu – that have deep meaning for them. He also heads a high school that has an independent learning culture to motivate students towards academic learning and self-discovery. Previously, he worked in international finance in over 7 countries, including positions at Salomon Smith Barney, IFC, and Aavishkaar Venture Capital.
He holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Brandeis University.
Breaking the cycle of poverty with education
"I try to inspire my team to keep their goals in focus, which has led them to share their work and responsibilities. We have created a culture of openness where diversity is considered beautiful, not a matter of conflict. I try to instill leadership values among the team members; true leadership doesn't produce followers but rather other leaders."
Korvi Rakshand is the founder of the JAAGO Foundation. The organization was started in a small room with only 17 children in 2007, with the dream of breaking the cycle of poverty through quality education for the unprivileged. Soon, with immense love and affection for deprived children, Korvi expanded his organization to include 1,800 children studying in 13 branches of JAAGO schools all over Bangladesh.
Considered as a pioneer of volunteerism in Bangladesh, Korvi also founded Volunteer for Bangladesh, which has more than 17,000 registered volunteers across the country.
Korvi’s work and dedication have earned him various awards and recognition, including participation in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Mosaic International Award in 2010. In 2013, he was listed in the “Top 99 under 33 Influential Foreign Policy Leaders” by The Diplomatic Courier, in Washington, D.C., and he was also a finalist for the Commonwealth Youth Awards 2013 for promoting volunteerism in Bangladesh. In 2014, he was named one of 10 inspirational Bangladeshis around the world by the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration. This year, Korvi was awarded Most Innovative Development Project of 2015 by the Global Development Network of the Japanese Ministry of Finance for the concept of online schooling.
Korvi holds degrees in law from the University of London.
Working toward a world with no language barriers
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
"Effective leaders have empathy: they listen to peers and advisors and know when - and when not - to lead. Ultimately, they make firm decisions moving forward, even if the decision may conflict with advice."
Matthew Romaine is the co-founder and CEO of Gengo, Inc, a crowd-sourced human translation platform with over 15,000 translators supporting 35+ languages.
Matthew started his career at Sony Corporation, where he focused on research and development. Matthew then joined the Corporate Technology Strategy Group under CEO Sir Howard Stringer. In 2006, he got the entrepreneurial itch and left Sony to found Majides, a web-services incubation company. The most visible service was miistation.com, which was covered in The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine. In 2009, he co-founded Gengo, Inc., which has raised a total of US$24 million from international venture capitalists including Intel, Atomico, and Recruit. As CEO of Gengo, he aspires to bring a “piece of Silicon Valley” to Tokyo, and, with his internationally diverse team, he seeks to break down language barriers for the global community.
Matthew was raised in Japan and attended an international school before returning to the United States for boarding school. He studied computer science at Brown University and received a Master’s Degree in Music from Stanford University.
Putting school bags in the hands of slum children
Sanitation and Education Slumabad
"I grew up in the slums and educated myself despite severe economic and social pressures not to do so. I read Great Expectations when I was a kid, and was inspired to work toward a better future for myself, my family, and my community. An effective leader is a dreamer who dares to join existing possibilities with his vision while managing the expectations of those around him."
Muhammad Sabir is the founder of Slumabad, an organization that seeks to give every child living in slums the opportunity to experience joy, and to save lives through promoting safe sanitation practices. Previously, he worked with Khudi Pakistan, Door of Awareness, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Muhammad grew up in a nomadic family, and in his own slum the air was always heavy with the smell of human waste and children could be seen picking over piles of garbage. Since his childhood, he has struggled to educate himself and his siblings. His passion for reading kept him and his dreams alive – reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was a defining moment of his life – as he washed cars in markets, sold newspapers, and picked up garbage. Having worked as a child laborer himself, Muhammad is motivated to improve the slums and the quality of life for children there by building toilets and sending children to school: a child with a school bag means a world of difference for the slums.
Leading the way to India's tech future
Chief Executive Officer
MobME Wireless Solutions Ltd
"In a country like India, which is 134th in the global ease-of-doing-business rankings, startup entrepreneurs go through a huge number of hurdles. An effective leader leads by example: I created a successful startup myself, and now founded the first public-private partnership technology incubator in the country. "
Sanjay Vijayakumar is the CEO of MobME Wireless Solutions, one of India’s most exciting and innovative mobile value-added service companies. Sanjay began his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 22, creating and leading a team of engineering graduates to build MobME Wireless. He is also chairman of the board of Startup Village, India’s first incubator for public-private partnerships, promoted jointly by the Government of India and private sector entities.
India Today has rated Sanjay as one of the thirty-seven Indians driving the future of India, and Forbes placed him in the “Just 30 Club.” Sanjay is a Rajeev Motwani Fellow, an honor established in memory of the late Stanford Professor Rajeev Motwani. He is also an Aspen Ideas Scholar at the Aspen Institute, and was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Founding Curator and Global Shaper for making significant contributions to the community.
Shaping a violence-free environment for women
International Development Specialist, Human Rights Activist, and Photographer
"In exercising leadership to address the issue of violence against women, I have engaged people, harmonizing a diversity of perspectives, thinking creatively, and developing innovative approaches to advocate for change. An effective leader mobilizes people to transcend boundaries and effectively face challenges."
Chatrini Weeratunge is an international development specialist, human rights activist, and photographer. She has nearly a decade of experience working in countries across the Asia-Pacific region on issues such as international trade and investment policy, gender, education, and corporate social responsibility. Chatrini has undertaken lead roles in policy advocacy, research, and program management, and has worked with UNDP, UNOPS, IISD, the Asia Foundation, and in the corporate sector. She has published widely on socioeconomic policy issues in journals including UNESCAP’s Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Review.
Combining her passion for human rights advocacy with her artistic talents, Chatrini uses photography to highlight issues such as child abuse and gender inequality. Her photos have also been used by UN agencies for advocacy. Her commitment to civic leadership includes volunteer work with various NGOs in Sri Lanka.
Chatrini holds a MSc. in Development and Planning from University College London and a BSc. from the University of Edinburgh.
Imagining an inclusive South Asia
Co-founder and Country Director
Yunus Social Business India
"It's an exciting period of history: there is a questioning and redesigning of economic, social, and cultural paradigms. In this context, leadership is the ability to imagine new paradigms, and also to co-create them in collaboration with deeply interconnected but diverse stakeholders"
Aarti Wig is co-founder of the Indian arm of the Yunus Social Business (YSB), which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus to create selfless businesses that tackle social problems. At YSB, she plays many roles, and she helped set up the world’s first Yunus Social Business Fund in Mumbai, which has funded seven social entrepreneurs across India.
Aarti is creating a social business incubator program with India's premier management school and a social business market company for a leading international shoe company. She also conceived of a new financial instrument that will leverage commercial capital to pay for social success in social enterprises.
Aarti is a regular speaker at social enterprise events internationally, focused especially on South Asia. She is a member of the UK India Business Council's Next Generation Network and was part of the India Australia Youth dialogue. Prior to YSB, she was an investment banker at JPMorgan in Mumbai.
Aarti is passionate about the power of individual enterprise to create an inclusive society and believes that dialogue can multiply individual impact. She has a Master’s Degree in Finance from the London School of Economics.
A champion of work that works
SHUN FU ANTHONY WONG
Regional President, Global Brand Management
Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific
"An effective leader is one who takes risks. Uncertainties are everywhere, and even small decisions change outcomes, define success, or failure. An effective leader directs, takes others onto meaningful yet uncertain paths – and succeeds"
Shun Fu Anthony Wong is Regional President, Global Brand Management at marketing services agency Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific. There, he consults global clients on marketing strategy, and has helped many clients achieve sales success. In 2014, he was named Asia Pacific Account Person of the Year, and in 2010, was named Greater China Account Person of the Year in his industry by Campaign magazine. In his personal time, he advises Creative Economy magazine in China, Future Forest, – a Korea-China reforestation NGO which planted millions of trees in the Mongolian desert creating a “Green Great Wall,” – and the Harvard Club of Hong Kong.
Putting Taiwan on the map
CHIH WEI (BRIAN) YANG
Head of APAC
ProSiebenSat1 Media AG
"Every day I tell my team where we are going and why. I leave them to be creative with the 'how.' Attract and trust your people."
Brian Yang is currently head of APAC at ProSiebenSat1 Media AG, in charge of shaping the German media company's regional investment strategy and execution.
Previously, Brian served as vice president of new business development for Grimm Press, where he set up the London office, built partnerships with international publishers, created the first children’s museum in the Greater China area, and formulated digital strategy. Before that, Brian cofounded cacaFly International Media, a digital ad agency with US$50 million in revenue and over 100 employees as of 2014. There, he played a pivotal role in fundraising, strategy, and key partnerships, including with Facebook. He is now a non-executive director with cacaFly. He has held engineering, marketing, and investment roles in Fortune 500 companies like TSMC and Renren.com.
Brian received an MBA from the University of Cambridge, where he rowed, led the MBA tennis team, and consulted entrepreneurs in London, Cambridge, and Romania. He also teaches at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, is a well-regarded angel investor, and advises the Taiwanese government on innovation and cultural policy.
Doing the right things to improve others' lives
Head of Advanced Digital Analytics, Global Digital Medicines
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
"Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things"
Xing Yuan is the head of Advanced Digital Analytics of Global Digital Medicines at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. In this role, he builds a strong center of excellence of advanced digital analytics for closed loop marketing and real-world data, and he oversees the development of new analytical methodologies that unleash the power of big data being gathered from all Digital Medicines initiatives.
In his previous role as the associate director of marketing science for Novartis, Xing led cross-functional projects with marketing, finance, managed market, and health economics to forecast sales, shape growth strategy, and design marketing mix to maximize return on investment.
Xing is also committed to public service: he co-chairs the Chinese Culture Community – the largest employee resource group within Novartis with approximately 600 members – and his significant contributions earned him the prestigious Novartis President’s Award in 2010.