Home Entrepreneurs WEF-backed Schwab Foundation names top social innovators for this year, 5 Indians on list

WEF-backed Schwab Foundation names top social innovators for this year, 5 Indians on list

by Ozva Admin
WEF-backed Schwab Foundation names top social innovators for this year, 5 Indians on list

New Delhi: As part of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, WEF’s sister organization, on Wednesday awarded 16 organizations for social innovation from countries including India, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nigeria , USA, France and United Arab Emirates.

The winners include 25 leaders, including five Indians, who work in fields such as education, agriculture, microfinance, environmental projects and empowerment of women in the informal economy.

The five Indians who won the awards were Aniket Doegar, Co-Founder and CEO of Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions; Kanika Pal, Director of Sustainability South Asia at Unilever; and Punjab Education Collective designer Khushboo Awasthi and co-leaders Rucha Pande and Simranpreet Oberoi.

The WEF has honored this year’s top innovators in 4 categories: Social Entrepreneurs, Corporate Social Intrapreneurs, Public Social Intrapreneurs and the recently introduced category, Collective Social Innovation.

Featured Social Innovators

Social entrepreneurs are leaders creating systemic solutions to the social and environmental challenges of today’s world, from the refugee crisis and human rights violations to water infrastructure and financial inclusion. Seven organizations from Uruguay, India, the Palestinian Territories, El Salvador, the United States, Nigeria and Pakistan were awarded in this category.

Aniket Doegar’s Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (HESPL) is a social impact organization working on digitizing welfare schemes in India to improve accessibility for low-income rural and urban communities. HESPL has digitized more than 6,000 schematics in various local Indian languages ​​and has supported more than 120,000 people in rural and urban areas over the past seven years.

Another honoree is Säbeen Haque from Pakistan, Co-Founder and CEO of DoctHERS, for her work to bring quality, affordable health care to women in the country. Launched in 2014, this innovative healthcare platform helps connect women physicians with millions of patients in underserved communities, helping women gain better access to healthcare and reintegrating women physicians into the workforce. The Pakistani social enterprise aims to reduce neonatal, maternal and medical mortality rates by 50 percent through video consultation and other telehealth services.

Public social intrapreneurs

Two innovators from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and West African Sierra Leone were honored this year in this category. Public social intrapreneurs are leaders within the public sector, governments, and international organizations, who create a public good through social innovation within public policies, regulations, or initiatives.

Winners include Bushra Al Mulla, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Family Care Authority, which works to improve quality of life by offering specialized services based on the needs of families and empowering children and people with disabilities. . Yvonne Aki Sawyerr, Mayor of the Freetown City Council in Sierra Leone, was honored for her work transforming the city’s services, infrastructure and environment using an inclusive data-driven approach.

Corporate Social Intrapreneurs

Two innovators from France and India were awarded for their work within multinational or regional companies to address social issues. Corporate social intrapreneurs are leaders working on developing new products, initiatives, services, or business models within companies to solve the challenges facing the world today. Among the winners was Benoit Bonello, SUEZ Group’s director of social innovation, who was honored for his work in leading the company’s inclusive business approach to generating a positive impact on society and the environment.

Kanika Pal from India, South Asia director of sustainability at Unilever, won the award for her work in the campaign for healthy and sustainable communities. She founded the Solutions for a Clean and Healthy Environment Foundation to influence behavior change for a cleaner planet.

collective social innovation

Lastly, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship introduced a new category this year to recognize the work of organizations that come together to tackle complex problems that individual actors cannot tackle. In the ‘Collective Social Innovation’ category, organizations that work together to optimally use resources such as knowledge, innovative solutions, human capital and more to address deep-seated problems around the world are recognized for their contributions.

Five organizations from Canada, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and Brazil were awarded, including the Punjab Education Collective of India, a group of four education organizations working to transform the public education system in the state.

By identifying key structural challenges, this collective co-creates solutions through programs that engage parents, teachers, school and district administrators, and NGOs, among others, to help improve the educational experience.

Khushboo Awasthi, Rucha Pande and Simranjeet Oberoi from the Punjab Education Collective were awarded for impacting 2.3 million students in 19,000 public schools in the state.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship consists of a community of more than 450 global social entrepreneurs that has impacted the lives of nearly a billion people in 190 countries. These entrepreneurs offer access to healthcare, education, housing, finance, digital skills, and advocacy networks that result in job creation, economic opportunity, better health, and stability.


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