Winners 2010

Winners and Finalists WSL Awards 2010

Winner Category Social Business Leaders 2010

Jobeda Ali | Fair Knowledge | | UK | @jobeda

Winner Category Leaders in Networks/Campaigns for Social Change 2010

Irit Rosenblum | New Family | | Israel | @NewFamilyEng

Winner Category leaders in the Workplace 2010

Dr Samantha Collins | Aspire Companies and The ASPIRE Foundation | | USA and UK

Category Social Business Leaders 2010

WINNER Jobeda Ali | Fair Knowledge | | UKJobeda Ali

Jobeda raises the voices of marginalised people in mainstream issues, through innovations in learning and collaboration.

She wants marginalised people to be able to influence mainstream issues such as climate change, economic systems, political leadership, science, global peace etc.

Fair Knowledge work on two levels; firstly in a grassroots capacity to raise the aspirations of disadvantaged youth (usually film training). They also organise global conferences, the Cineforums, to include marginalised people in high profile discussions and collaborations. These events are designed to upskill, promote and connect women and minorities with mainstream leaders and initiatives. Within the events, we include a film festival and professional learning programmes.

How do you overcome obstacles?

“I was born in a mud hut in Bangladesh, to illiterate uneducated parents and I attended the most deprived schools in the UK. I graduated from Cambridge University.

But most my obstacles are intellectual – it is conditioned in society that marginalised people should be helped, rather than be the helpers or leaders. Finding funding is difficult: it is usually designed to support minorities in their minority-ness, for example, funding for working with black boys to prevent knife crime is more accessible than funding for black boys to become scientists.

Revenue generation is a big challenge as minorities are conditioned to expect things to be free! No-one likes to pay for social-impact activity, but through our Ecotopia project we are also challenging how economic value is perceived.”

Recommended: Rebecca Onie | | USARebecca Onie  | Health Leads USA (ex Project Health)

Faced with escalating health care costs and growing health disparities, the United States desperately needs new models of health care delivery. Simply increasing access to high-quality clinical care will not yield traction on these issues, particularly for low-income patients. A prescription for antibiotics is insufficient when there is no food at home, or when a family must live out of a car.

To improve health outcomes for all Americans – and especially low-income individuals – health care must be redefined to include access to employment training, housing, and other basic resources as a standard part of patient care.

HEALTH LEADS USA’s model is simple but effective: In clinics where our Family Help Desk programs operate, physicians can “prescribe” food, housing, fuel assistance, or other resources for their patients as routinely as they do medication. Located in the waiting room and staffed by college volunteers, our Family Help Desks “fill” these prescriptions by connecting patients with key resources.

What are your own quality standards?

As an organization seeking to integrate into the health care system, we hold ourselves to the patient quality standards of the hospitals and clinics where we practice. Over the next four years, HEALTH LEADS USA seeks to assess the health-related return on investment of our programs, including correlations to: a) decreases in negative healthcare utilization, b) increases in patient compliance and/or healthy behaviors and c) enhanced clinic efficiency.

[…] Finally, as an Ashoka Fellow as well as a MacArthur recipient and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Rebecca is regularly held to international quality standards of entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, ethical fiber, and social impact—values reflected in organizational culture.

Recommended: Elise Klein |  | Australia/UK/MaliElise Klein | Mali Initiative

My life’s purpose is to unleash human potential around the world. I do through the charity The Mali Initiative which I founded 6 years ago when I was 21. Our development work supports the dreams of local Malians (in West Africa) who want to make a difference in their communities. Through partnership, we support Malians to develop, implement and manage their own community development projects and become active agents in the development of their own country.

The approach of supporting local people’s aspirations and agency is new to the field of international development and so I have just moved to the UK from Australia to start my Doctorate at Oxford University. I am researching the cutting edge approach we use in the Mali Initiative to help fight poverty and make aid more effective.


Category Leaders in Networks/Campaigns for Social Change 2010

WINNER Irit Rosenblum | New Family | | Israel Irit Rosenblum | New Family

While Israel protects freedom of religion for all faiths; no citizen has the right to freedom from religion. Israel is the only democracy in the world that denies its citizens the right to marry if they don’t meet religious criteria. The absence of separation of religion and state, civil marriage and interfaith marriage, means that the 42 % of family units which fall outside the de facto recognized definition of family in Israel, a man and a woman of the same religion married with the religious rites required for government recognition, are discriminated against in recognition, rights and benefits.  Motivated by these challenges to Israeli democracy, Irit Rosenblum founded the New Family organization in 1998 to fill an important gap in the practice of law and human rights: to attain the right of every individual to establish a family and to exercise equal rights within it.

How do you measure your social impact?

Data collected on number and distribution of people who receive legal information, consultation and aid at New Family.
Increased government recognition and social acceptance of same-sex, single-parent, interfaith and other families that fall outside of the social consensus.
Frequency, potency, variety and framing of media coverage of family status and rights.
Legal precedents and policy changes achieved which advance family rights in Israel.

Recommended: Christina Wiltshire | The 21st Century Network| | UK Christine Wiltshire | The 21st Century Network

“The 21st Century Network was set up to discuss some of the great issues of our millennium and bring back the hope that we can do something about it. The purpose is to create and expand engagement in the public square between citizens as well as corporations, government and NGOs where there is a common concern for the sustainability of both our planet and the people on it.

The network is set up as a group for those who believe that we need to develop a new form of humanism that includes people of all religions and none, but who embrace humanistic values as the basis of their actions: global compassion, personal self-discovery, shared development, planetary concern and a love of community.

On our social action network site we offer people the opportunity to engage with others over what concrete social action to take around the issues we discuss.”

How do you know you are creating a social impact?

Leaders, from MPs to Trade Union executives and business owners, are willing to present and discuss their stance, both in larger panel discussions as well as small discussions groups. The meetup membership is growing at a pace of app. 100 members per months, with hardly anyone leaving.  Each meetup attracts between 50 and 120 people for the monthly events, and between 15 and 30 people for the more frequent mini-meetups. Since 2007, a total of 54 meetups has been held. Other organisations commit to collaborations. Most recently: the Runnymede Trust and UnLtd.  The active audience ranges from college students to senior citizens, across fashion designers, clerics, SME CEOs, and social care workers. Every single person is committed to practice mutual respect.  Community action groups have been founded, such as the “Campaign For Real Democracy”, headed by Mark Barret, based in Enfield.

Recommended: Khalida Brohi | WAKE UP Campaign against Honor Killing! | | PakistanKhalida Brohi

The most crucial issue I am campaigning against is the crime Honor Killing. In most tribal areas of Pakistan old traditions and customs are still one of the significant values of life and in these conservative setups women are victimized in forms of Wata Sata(Exchange Marriages), Child Marriage, Hak-Bakhsish(marriage with Quran) and Honor Killing. According to UN about thousands of women are killed in Pakistan each year in honor-crimes. These are cases reported but thousands go unregistered and thus unnoticed.

I being from the very same tribes of Balochistan escaped the horrifying laws and did my studies in Karachi, my freedom led me to wish the same for all those standing at stake to the criminal “codes of honor” and thus in 2006 I launched a vast campaign that I call, WAKE UP Campaign against Honor Killing!

What are your quality standards?

Local communities are mobilized and sensitized against the crime; Local communities behaviors are changed towards the status of women; Civil society has networked for large scale advocacy on policy; National networks against Honor Killing established for policy advocacy; Policy makers are sensitized to improve their policies and implementation mechanisms to prevent Honor-crimes; Traditional music is collected and introduced; Traditional language is collected, published and introduced; The Traditional Embroidery Centers are providing majors outcomes as: embroidery is promoted and marketed by value-adding techniques. Women are economically empowered which is giving them decision-making power in the community but also lessening the menace of VAW. The traditional livelihood of communities has improved and this will improve the overall poverty situation of communities. Situation with regard to women has changed a lot and they have come out of their present situation of being under male dominancy.

Recommended: Ruth Rogers | Body Gossip | | UKRuth Rogers | Body Gossip

Through Body Gossip, I tackle the issue of Body Image by inviting real people all over the UK to write their story about their body.  Too many people believe that their bodies are not good enough, and that therefore they are not good enough. I hope to change that belief, to encourage acceptance, confidence and enjoyment of our bodies.

By using a cast of well-known personalities to perform the Body Gossip stories, live onstage and in short films, the voices of the public are given celebrity endorsement – immensely powerful in our society.

Body Gossip answers the voice of the people, the normal people in the middle, with real bodies, who are desperate to shout “Look, this is us”.  Body Gossip gives us all a powerful voice to shout about our own, unique and realistic beauty and to create community of people dedicated to changing the way beauty is perceived.

How do you help other people to be recognised for the work they do?

At every Body Gossip event I have invited up and coming artists to perform or exhibit, to increase their exposure at a high profile event.  These artists include a band, a soul singer, a painter and a performance artist.  They have all benefited from their involvement with Body Gossip, by gaining new contacts, expanding their network and invariably booking gigs or selling work.

The young directors who work with the celebrity actors are gaining experience and contacts, and have all benefited from Body Gossip.

I make it very clear to everyone who becomes involved with Body Gossip that they must feel a mutual benefit from their involvement.  Therefore Body Gossip has allowed the actress Natalie Cassidy to showcase her versatility, the model Chloe Marshall to highlight her commitment to the celebration of varied beauty, and TV presenter Anne Diamond to further her own campaign, Fat Happens.


Category Leaders in the Workplace 2010

WINNER: Samantha Collins | Aspire Coaching & Leadership Development and The ASPIRE Foundation | | USA and UKDr Samantha Collins | Aspire Foundation

Aspire’s purpose is to advance women leaders in corporations around the world through research, coaching, leadership development and events. We tackle issues such as:  balancing work and family; women being seen as less committed because of family responsibilities; lack of visible senior role models; stereotypes or preconceptions about women’s aspirations for promotion; opportunities for promotion denied to women with flexible work arrangements; lack of mentoring.

The Aspire Foundation seeks to make a difference to women suffering from injustice in countries within The Middle East, Africa and Asia. Our not-for-profit foundation does this through mentoring and coaching programs for women working in charities, social enterprises and community projects in these locations.

How do you now you are currently creating a social impact?

We have worked with over 10,000 corporate women since we were founded. We have had an organisational impact on the companies we have worked with in terms of advancement of women and retention rates. And we have had a positive impact on the women in terms of work/life balance/time with family, enabling the women to make a difference in their families and communities.

We have made a social impact through our work advancing women into leadership positions, changing the way organisations work, implementing culture change and by challenging the status quo in the organisations by coaching senior leaders.

Currently, The ASPIRE Foundation is working with the women who run Women for Women International, an organisation that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. ASPIRE coaches members of WFW’s management team and senior leadership, impacting over 84,000 women globally.

Recommended: Allison Ogden-Newton | Social Enterprise London || UKAllison Ogden-Newton

Allison is Chief Executive of Social Enterprise London, the leading support and development agency for social enterprise in the capital. The issues she tackles are the barriers social entrepreneurs and social enterprise leaders face in achieving their sometimes astonishing levels of social and environmental impact.

She works tirelessly to lobby local and national government, the private sector and the general public to increase understanding of and commitment to social enterprise.

She also leads an organisation which runs some of the most innovative and cutting edge grass-roots support programmes for social enterprise leaders available anywhere in the UK.

What obstacles has Allison overcome to get where she is now?

Allison has been at the heart of social enterprise for several years. In that time the movement has gone from being little known to being seen by many as the future of public service delivery in the UK. The obstacles she has encountered and challenged include resistance from the public sector unions (challenged in a Guardian article late in 2009), labyrinthine procurement and commissioning guidelines which often prevent social enterprises from competing for contracts, poor quality statutory business support and the challenge of uniting a diverse and often disparate sector.

As a woman Allison has also faced the challenge of being accepted in the predominantly male world of business and government leadership. To address the challenges women face in business, she served as a member of the Government’s Women’s Enterprise Task Force from 2005 to 2009, working to improve opportunities for enterprising women.

Recommended: Liz Mc Dowell | The Otesha Project UK | | UKLiz McDowell

Liz’s work responds to three major needs: the need for action to create a more sustainable and fair world, the need for more young leaders, and the need for new approaches to learning and behaviour change. Many young people who care about sustainability don’t know how to get involved or take action and for those young people who want to find education, employment or training in the sector, there are few resources showing where to begin. Otesha equips young people with the confidence to become emerging leaders at the forefront of the green economy. With the right knowledge, tools, skills and supportive community, they will be uniquely positioned to drive change forward and thrive in an economy where green jobs and leadership in sustainable development play a major role. The Otesha Project UK is not only training young leaders - being entirely youth-led, they are also leading by example!

How do you measure your social impact?

Otesha’s biggest impact is on the young people they work with. The impact on Cycle Tour members and Change Project participants is measured by the skills, knowledge and confidence they develop to become advocates for social and environmental issues, the community they build, and what they go on to do – such as start up their own projects or find careers in the sustainability sector. On a wider level, Otesha’s impact is also measured by the number of people they reach across all programmes (so far, it’s over 10,000) and measurable changes these people make to their lifestyles (i.e. cycling to school or buying Fairtrade) as evidenced by the postcards they send in and the feedback they give. Liz also measures Otesha’s impact by whether the programmes engage young people no one else is working with, and whether they’re innovative, creative, filling a clear need and contributing to a thriving organisation.



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