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Asia Society Announces First Asia Game Changer Awards

Sep 16, 2014
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NEW YORK, September 16, 2014—Asia Society today announced the first-ever Asia Game Changer Awards, designed to recognize those making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world. This year’s honorees include 13 leaders and institutions from Asia and the U.S.

“Asia Society is proud to establish the first awards to honor the true ‘game changers’ in Asia today,” said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran. “The awards are designed to fill a glaring gap—a lack of recognition of people who are truly transforming ideas into action and improving lives in Asia. Our inaugural honorees represent an extraordinary range of geography and achievement. What they share in common are vision, passion and proven impact, wherever and however they happen to be changing the world.”

Honorees were selected based on input from Asia Society’s global network. The 2014 awardees are:

Game Changer of the Year Jack Ma, Chairman, Alibaba Group, For history-making business and philanthropy in China
Shigeru Ban, Founder, Shigeru Ban Architects, For finding beauty, and hope, in the landscapes of disaster
Madhav Chavan, Co-Founder and CEO, Pratham Charitable Trust, For bringing the gift of literacy to millions of Indians
Illac Diaz, Founder, MyShelter Foundation and Liter of Light, For bringing light, literally, to so many lives
Fashion Girls for Humanity, For demonstrating that 'looking good' and 'doing good' can be one and the same
Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Minister and Senior Advisor to the Indonesian President, For providing a brilliant blueprint for responding to disaster
Saad Mohseni, Chairman, MOBY Group, For bringing news, information and entertainment to a barren landscape
Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO, Acumen, For changing the way the world tackles poverty
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Founder, SOC Films and President, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan, For eye-opening films that give voice to the voiceless
Playing for Change, For using the power of music to spread a global message of hope
Pawan Sinha, Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, For a truly visionary approach to treating India’s blind
Malala Yousafzai, Education activist, For continuing to dream, and fight for girls the world over, after living a nightmare
Zhang Minxuan, Professor, Shanghai Normal University, For leveling the playing field by providing quality education to millions in China

While all these honorees received widespread support, “One individual stood out in our selection process,” says Sheeran. “The truly game-changing nature of Jack Ma's company Alibaba, and his philanthropic vision for China, have made him our Asia Game Changer of the Year.”

Mr. Ma and most of the other honorees will attend the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the United Nations on October 16, 2014. Mr. Ma will give an address to the gathering. The evening will also feature a special video address from Malala Yousafzai and a live performance by Playing For Change.

Downloadable versions of the complete press release in English and Chinese are available.