Social Innovation

World-changers: Announcing the Social Innovators of the Year 2020

The Schwab Foundation's 2020 Social Innovators of the Year Image: Schwab Foundation

Francois Bonnici
Director, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Head of Foundations, World Economic Forum
Hilde Schwab
Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, World Economic Forum Geneva
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The Great Reset

This article is part of: Sustainable Development Impact Summit
  • The Schwab Foundation has chosen its Social Innovators of the Year for 2020.
  • Drawn from every corner of the globe, they share a purpose to ensure a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Here are the winners in each of the four categories.
  • Watch a video announcing the winners here.

For more than two decades, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has curated and gathered approximately 400 leading social entrepreneurs from 90 countries into the Schwab Foundation community and embedded them into the platforms of the World Economic Forum. Our community of social entrepreneurs has impacted the lives of 622 million people in more than 190 countries – clearly demonstrating significant progress on how we approach environmental sustainability and consumption, health and education, rural development and job training, and finding new ways to advance human rights and equality in different contexts around the world.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic is demonstrating our systems are broken. Citizens, activists and youth are crying out for strong action, while complex changes are required within governments, business and our research institutions. No single social innovator or institution can single-handedly respond, recover and reset from the greatest crisis we have seen in modern times.

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We need social innovation diffused within every sector so we can adopt and scale sustainable and equitable solutions – whether it be by leveraging mobile technology to treat patients in rural India, empowering Black communities and businesses in Brazil, or leveraging AI and big data to create inclusive and equitable education platforms in South Korea.

Recognising this fact, the Schwab Foundation expanded its remit in 2019 to recognize and support an ecosystem of pioneering actors who share a common purpose: to respond, recover and reset from the COVID-19 crisis sustainably, and to accelerate our progress towards the Great Reset and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.


The Schwab Foundation is proud to honour Social Innovators of the Year 2020 in the following categories:

  • Social Entrepreneurs are founders or CEOs who innovatively address a social or environmental problem, with a focus on low-income, marginalized or vulnerable populations.
  • Corporate Social Intrapreneurs are leaders within multinational or regional companies who drive the development of new products, initiatives, services or business models that address societal and environmental challenges.
  • Public Social Intrapreneurs are government leaders who harness the power of social innovation and social entrepreneurship to create public good through policy, regulation or public initiatives.
  • Social Innovation Thought Leaders are recognized experts and champions who are shaping and contributing to the evolution of this field.

Congratulate the outstanding Social Innovators of the Year 2020:

Social Entrepreneurs:

Lindiwe Matlali, Founder and CEO, Africa Teen Geeks (South Africa); Daniel Asare-Kyei, Co-Founder and CEO, Esoko (Ghana); Sooin Lee, Enuma Inc, Co-Founder and CEO (Republic of Korea); Dharsono Hartono, Co-Founder and CEO, PT Rimba Makmur (Indonesia); Anushka Ratnayake, Founder and CEO, myAgro (Senegal); Javier Goyeneche, Founder and CEO, Ecoalf (Spain); Shanti Raghavan, Co-founder and Managing Trustee, EnAble India (India); Dipesh Sutariya, Co-founder and CEO, EnAble India (India); Henrique Guilherme Brammer Junior, Founder and CEO, Boomera (Brazil); Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer, Family Independence Initiative (USA), Azim Sabahat, Chief Executive Officer, Glocal Healthcare Systems (India); Adriana Barbosa, Chief Executive Officer, PretaHub (Brazil); Ashif Shaikh, Founder & Director, Jan Sahas, (India).

Corporate Social Intrapreneurs: Hadi Wibowo, President Director, PT Bank, BTPN Syariah Tbk, Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasiona (Indonesia); Prashant Mehra Vice-President, Social Inclusion, Mindtree (India); Corinne Bazina, General Manager, Danone Communities, Danone (France); Nicola Galombik, Executive Director, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Catalyst Division, Yellowwoods Holding Sarl (South Africa).

Public Social Intrapreneurs: Ada Colau i Ballano, Mayor of Barcelona (Spain); Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF Representative to China (People’s Republic of China).

Social Innovation Thought Leaders: Jaff Shen Dongshu, Chief Executive Officer, Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation (People's Republic of China); Tse Ka Kui (KK), Co-Founder and Chair, Education for Good CIC Ltd (Hong Kong SAR); Ndidi O. Nwuneli, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd. (Nigeria); Cathy Clark, Faculty Director, CASE (The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship), Duke University (USA).

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