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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Live from TEDGlobal 2014

Charmian Gooch unveils the Great Ripoff Map, showing the impact of corruption

October 8, 2014

In March, anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch stood on the TED stage in Vancouver to make a bold TED Prize wish: to shed light on anonymous shell companies that shield corrupt activities. “My years as a field investigator and campaigner at Global Witness have shown me how the corrupt deals that destroy the environment and rip off […]

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Live from TEDGlobal 2014

Field Work: A sneak peek of session 4 at TEDGlobal 2014

October 8, 2014

The speakers in this session can’t be contained in a cubicle or desk chair. These bold thinkers — from an activist surfacing human rights on video to a scientist uncovering the biodiversity of her island nation — do their work out in the world, surfacing fresh insights as they go. The speakers who’ll appear in this session: […]

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