Melinda Gates serves as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She helps shape and approve foundation strategies, review results, advocate for foundation issues, and set the overall direction of the organization. She received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1986 and a master’s degree 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.
Sven Giegold is a Member of the European Parliament and one of the founding members of Attac Germany. Sven has dedicated much of his career towards green industry issues, speaking out on issues of globalization, ecology, and tax policy. He devoted over 15 years to voluntary work in the youth environmental movement, and today is a representative of Friends of the Earth Germany. He holds a University degree in Adults Education, Policy and Economics in Lüneburg, Bremen and Birmingham and a Master’s degree in Economic Policy and Economic Development at the University of Birmingham (UK).
Jeff Chapin uses design as a means to address longstanding social and environmental issues that exist in developing countries and in his homeland of the United States. He strongly believes in a user-led approach to design, engaging local communities in the research, ideation and testing that leads to new products and services. He currently leads an array of projects at IDEO and frequently collaborates with iDE (International Development Enterprises). Jeff strongly believes in the market as a means to address social issues and applies the lens of design across all aspects of supply and demand.
Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specialising in international social development with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and protection issues, especially in conflict situations. She is currently the Interim CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, a pan African women’s grant making organisation. Born in Ghana, she has lived and worked in many countries in Africa, as well as the UK, Europe, and the USA. Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women and children’s rights activists and leaders, plus policy development and advocacy with a variety of international agencies and organisations.
Baaba Maal is a Senegalese singer and guitarist born in Podor, on the Senegal River. Baaba sings primarily in Pulaar and is the foremost promoter of the traditions of the Pulaar-speaking peoples. He has released several albums. In July 2003, Baaba was made a UNDP Youth Emissary. In March 2012 he visited Mauritania with Oxfam to call attention to the humanitarian need resulting from the food crisis in the Sahel. Also an Ambassador for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 campaign, he has become an increasingly vocal champion for the rights of women and girls.