Charmian Gooch takes on anonymous companies

The wish

Global Witness

The winner

Charmian Gooch

The year

2014

My wish is for us to know who owns and controls companies, so that they can no longer be used anonymously against the public good. Let's ignite world opinion, change the law, and together launch a new era of openness in business.

The plan

Our goal is to end anonymous companies by creating the first-of-its-kind public registry for company ownership, ending the era of anonymity and the corruption that it facilitates. Granting this wish is going to take all of us: concerned citizens, business leaders, government officials and so many more. Our global campaign is centered around increasing awareness of this complex and critical issue, in order to catalyze public pressure to change the law all around the world.


Get involved

Get involved: Join the movement

1. Join the movement for global change

Let’s build a movement to make it impossible for criminals and others to hide behind anonymous companies. Global Witness -- along with partners around the world -- is leading a campaign to end anonymous companies. We need your support.

Get involved: Tell the story

2. Share the story

Creatives, animators, broadcasters, photographers and app designers, this wish needs you. The story of anonymous companies and their effect on real people’s lives remains largely untold. Bring your gifts to bear on this global problem and inspire others to act. You're also welcome to share our contect:

Get involved: Mobilize your communities

3. Mobilize your communities

The first step to ending anonymous companies is to educate people and encourage them to join the campaign. We want you to become the voice of the wish in your local community.

Get involved: Contribute to the public registry

4. Contribute to the public registry

We need your support to create the first-ever prototype of a public registry for collecting and publishing critical information on who ultimately owns a company. This prototype will serve as a guide for governments that want to end anonymous companies. Want to help us make this prototype public registry a reality? Email us at tedprize@ted.com to learn how to get involved.

Get involved: Convene the business community

5. Convene the business community

Transparency is good for businesses and consumers. We all want to know whom we’re buying from and whom we’re doing business with. If you own or work in a company -- big or small, publicly listed or privately held -- we need you to join the global campaign, take part in the conversation and support this wish. We want to bring together as many companies as possible to figure out how we can collectively advance a movement towards transparency. Join us.


About Charmian

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. Learn more about Charmian


News from Global Witness

Watch Charmian's Talk

More from Global Witness


Check out our Facebook page


Connect with us


Anonymous companies infographic
What are anonymous companies? Like Russian dolls, you can have one company inside another. Learn more in our Anonymous Companies Infographic

Learn more


Playlist (10 talks)

Depths of Corruption

10 talks that take you deep into ethically murky territory
Watch now