Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 – 09:04 AM EST
MIAMI, Dec. 16 /CSRwire/ - The Americas Business Council Foundation (abc*) announced the three winners of its hemisphere-wide search from among 100 Ashoka Fellows from the Americas whose innovations are solving the most pressing human, social, business and environmental challenges confronting the region. The 34 finalists selected by abc* presented their work during the three-day 2011 abc* Continuity Forum held in Miami. Culminating its at a reception hosted by PODER magazine (the region’s most prestigious business publication), the three winners were announced, honored, and will receive a year of ongoing media and advisory assistance to take their projects to scale in the region. The three winners are:
La Tablée des Chefs (The Chef’s Table) – created and led by Ashoka Fellow Jean-Francois Archambault (Canada) – emerged from watching nine tons of high quality food thrown into the garbage after stadium sports events of the Montreal Canadians. The Chef’s Table now brokers leftover food (from the Stadium, and major Montreal hotels) to go to feed over 60,000 people in Montreal’s poorest areas, 700 meals per day, every day of the year. For video visit www.ashoka.org/fellow/jean-francois-archambault and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyVCma4l9m0. For more details about how this project works, visit: www.tableedeschefs.org.
Cauce Ciudadano A.C. (Citizen Pathway) – created and led by ex-gang member and Ashoka Fellow Carlos Alberto Cruz Santiago (Mexico) -- a comprehensive program of education, social inclusion and jobs to earn income legally for the over 75,000 youth between ages 11-21 ripped from their families to live as part of organized crime in Mexico. For youth who engage with Cauce Ciudadano, criminal recidivism is 24 percent, compared to over 85 percent among youth in other court-ordered programs on a fraction of their budgets. See a short video about this work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okfnIsfS2ak. For more details, visit: www.cauceciudadano.org.mx
Biotecnología Agrocolombiana (Colombian Agri-Biotechnology) – created and led by Ashoka Fellow Luis Orlando Castro Cabrera (Colombia) – after 30 years of painstaking scientific investigation, this social business has patented Natur-Abono, an organic biodegradable fertilizer, and related bio-insecticide and bio-pesticide products made from transforming organic material from waste management plants into agricultural products that raise the growing performance of plants up to 244 percent, reduce their water consumption, fungal and insect blight and loss, and have been used to reclaim depleted, chemically abused, saline and desert soils for productive agriculture. To view video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3YcTRTdek4
For more details, visit: www.luisorlandocastro.com.
Ashoka Fellows met during the Forum with world-renowned thought and action leaders brought to Miami by abc* for this event. Among them were Jane Goodall, renowned conservationist and UN Messenger of the Peace; Lance Armstrong, world-class athlete and now life-long advocate devoting his life to raising awareness and funds for a cure for cancer; futurist and UCLA professor Jared Diamond, Pulitzer-prize winning author of his book,” Guns, Germs, Steel and Collapse,” sharing insights about business, the environment and the future of human societies; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who spoke as Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education about needed education reforms to ensure the next generation in the Americas has the skills to be successful in a global economy; Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the InterAmerican Development Bank, outlining the region’s progress and continuing challenges; David Axelrod, Senior Political Advisor to President Obama; and Chandran Nair, analyst, top business consultant and author, who talked about the impact of demographics and the need to rethink consumer economic policy as Asian population will reach 6 billion by 2050.
Emilio Azcárraga, Chairman of Grupo Televisa and co-founder of the abc* said: “We know that we can make a positive impact in our region through forums such as this…I have no doubt that the shared inspiration, information and hope felt at the Forum will produce new relationships and supportive synergies to leverage the impact of the ideas and innovations showcased here. ”
“The 2011 Continuity Forum was a true celebration of social and business entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Paula Recart, leader of Ashoka’s U.S. program. “We are delighted that abc* and Ashoka share the vision of what it takes to make big changes in the world, and we appreciate their recognition of our Fellows’ work in the region.”
Armando Laborde, head of Ashoka’s work in Mexico and Central America, and playing an increasing leadership role in Latin America, said he was gratified by the high level of leaders who attended. “This Forum brought together established leaders and emerging leaders, each with his or her own passion and dedication to create and grow sustainable solutions to problems afflicting our lands and our people. This Forum will certainly reinforce the value of the work of these Ashoka Fellows and the impact it will have in the region.”
That added impact may come not only from abc* Foundation’s mentoring and advice, but from those in the Forum’s audience: leading venture capitalists and social investment firms who made connections with major philanthropists, multilaterals such as the InterAmerican Development Bank, media moguls and corporations interested in finding cutting-edge solutions and backing leading innovators. Such high-level networking and in-depth conversations were a significant part of the Forum’s value for Ashoka Fellows and all who attended.
The Summit was co-sponsored by:
Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the world’s working community of nearly 3000 leading social entrepreneurs. It champions the most important new social change ideas and supports the entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. As Ashoka expands its capability to integrate and connect entrepreneurs around the world, it builds an entrepreneurial infrastructure that is supporting the fast-growing needs of the citizen sector. Ashoka’s vision is to create change today, for an Everyone A Changemaker™ society to become the reality of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.
About Americas Business Council Foundation
The Americas Business Council (abc*) Foundation is a think-do-tank that seeks to further peace, sustainability and prosperity by fostering discussion with leaders from the Americas about the most pressing social and environmental challenges and presenting them with opportunities to engage in impact-driven initiatives that provide tangible solutions. Founded in 2008, ABC* provides a platform for the region’s emerging leaders to use their influence, networks, and resources to bring about lasting positive change. The organization was founded by four prestigious Latin American Co-Chairs - - Emilio Azcárraga, President and CEO of Grupo Televisa; Guillermo Romo, President and founder of Grupo Mega; Angelica Fuentes, CEO of Omnilife; and Jorge Vergara, President and founder of Omnilife and owner of the ‘Las Chivas’ football team. Mario Escarpeta, Chairman of Azurita, also recently joined the organization as co-chair. For more information, visit www.americasbusinesscouncil.org.
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