Global Witness co-founder Charmian Gooch is the 2014 TED Prize winner. At her NGO she exposes how a global architecture of corruption is woven into the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.

Why you should listen

Charmian Gooch co-founded watchdog NGO Global Witness with colleagues Simon Taylor and Patrick Alley in 1993 in response to growing concerns over covert warfare funded by illicit trade in timber and other industries.

Since then, Global Witness has captured headlines for their exposé of “blood diamonds” in Uganda, minerals in the Congo and illegal timber trade between Cambodia and Thailand, and more. With unique expertise on the shadowy threads connecting corrupt businesses and governments, Global Witness continues their quest to uncover and root out the sources of exploitation and conflict. As they said to the Daily Telegraph: "Consumers have a right to know what they're buying, and what was done to obtain it." 

In 2014 Gooch was awarded the TED Prize (as well as the $1 million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship). Her Prize wish: to know who owns and controls companies, to change the law, and to launch a new era of openness in business.

What others say

“Global Witness ... works to expose the corrupt exploitation of natural resources.” — New Times

Charmian Gooch on the TED Blog
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“It’s like climbing a mountain—you take one step at a time”: TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch talks campaigning to end anonymous companies

June 20, 2014

Earlier this month, the Queen announced legislation to clamp down on corporate secrecy in her speech at the opening of Parliament in the United Kingdom. This may be news to the rest of the world, but it was a hard-won victory for the campaigners at Global Witness, an international non-governmental organization known for hard-hitting field investigations […]

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TED Prize

What is the TED Prize (and how can you win next year’s)?

March 26, 2014

What do a British chef, a Newcastle University professor and an anti-corruption activist have in common? They’re all winners of the TED Prize – a cash award, currently for $1,000,000, given annually to a forward-thinking individual with a fresh, bold vision for sparking global change to make the world a better place. The Prize begins with […]

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Global Issues

The TED Prize wish: What you can do to end anonymous companies

March 20, 2014

By Natasha Scripture Anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch stood up on stage at TED2014 tonight and revealed her TED Prize wish: to get rid of anonymous companies once and for all by making who owns and controls them public knowledge. As head of Global Witness, a UK-based non-profit that has been campaigning for transparency for the […]

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