Melinda Gates serves as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She helps to shape and approve foundation strategies, review results, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and help set the overall direction of the organization. She received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1986 and a master’s in business administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987. Since retiring from Microsoft in 1996, she has dedicated her energy toward the nonprofit world.
Graça Machel is a renowned international advocate for women’s and children’s rights, and has been a social and political activist for decades. She is President of the Foundation for Community Development which makes grants to civil society organizations to strengthen communities, facilitate social and economic justice, and assist in the reconstruction and development of post-war Mozambique. Following Mozambique independence in 1975, Machel served as Minister for Education and Culture and was subsequently appointed as the expert in charge of producing the ground-breaking United Nations Report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. In 2007, along with Nelson Mandela and other members such as Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter, Machel helped to found The Global Elders, a group of world leaders convened to contribute their wisdom, leadership and integrity to tackle some of the world's toughest problems.
Hans Rosling is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation. Rosling began his wide-ranging career as a physician, spending many years in rural Africa tracking and discovering the cause of the rare paralytic disease konzo. Research throughout his career has focused on links between economic development, agriculture, poverty, and health in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Rosling has served as health adviser to various aid agencies, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Through his work at Gapminder, Rosling co-developed the breakthrough software Trendalyzer, which converts international statistics into moving, interactive graphics representing global development trends.
Mechai Viravaidya is the Founder and Chairman of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA). He is a widely acclaimed leader in the fields of public health, education and community development. Since 1974, Mr. Mechai has initiated community-based family planning services, innovative poverty reduction and rural education programs, large-scale rural development and environmental programs, as well as groundbreaking HIV/AIDS prevention activities throughout Southeast Asia.
Originally from Sierra Leone, the hip-hop group Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew are known for speaking out against political and social injustices. They are hailed as “the voice of the voiceless,” speaking truths on behalf of those people who have no political power, spreading messages of peace and reconciliation, and inspiring the disenfranchised youth of Sierra Leone to pursue their dreams. Their unique sound blends the swagger and funk of hip-hop, the passion and energy of dancehall, and the socially conscious vibe of reggae.