2010 Vienna Summit Strategy Thought Partners

Story bubbles on world map
Source: Ashoka


Anousheh Ansari

On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer travelling to and staying onboard the International Space Station for 10 days. Afterwards, back on Earth as a successful serial entrepreneur, Anousheh returned to her job as Co-founder and Chairman of her latest technology company, Prodea Systems. In her previous endeavor in 2001, Anousheh had served as Co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the board for Telecom Technologies, Inc. An active proponent of world-changing technologies and social entrepreneurship, in 2004 Anousheh and her family provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. Furthermore, Anousheh currently works to enable social entrepreneurs to bring about radical change globally, with organizations such as ASHOKA and the PARSA Community Foundation. She also hopes her tale of determination, hope and success inspires children to dream big and study hard to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.


Bill Carter

Bill Carter is Director of Ashoka Africa. He served on Ashoka's International Board for twenty-nine years, focusing on strategy development, and is a founding member of the Board. In that capacity, he interviewed many hundreds of candidates to become Ashoka Fellows. In 2009 Bill stepped down from the Board so he could serve as a member of the Ashoka staff. In his current role, Bill guide’s Ashoka’s overall strategy in Africa, oversees the selection of African Fellows, and helps develop and launch new initiatives including a groundbreaking initiative to identify, support, and connect Changemaker Schools across the continent. As a senior civil servant at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bill led the Agency's effort to create the Federal Government's first approved Agency Performance Management and Incentive System under the Civil Service Reform Act. Prior to serving at EPA, Bill was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where his assignments were in the fields of education, economic development, insurance and housing. Bill has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.


Bill Drayton


As one of the world’s leading thinkers on social change, Bill Drayton has pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship. He is the CEO and founder of Ashoka, a global organization that elects over 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. Through Ashoka, Bill has introduced the world to a fundamentally new model of how ideas can change social systems across the globe, improving the lives of millions. In recognition of his achievement in the field of social entrepreneurship, Bill is the recipient of this year's Martin Essl Social Prize, which comes with a value of € 1,000,000 and will support the first edition of the Globalizer.


Dermot Desmond


He is Chairman of International Investment & Underwriting (IIU), which he founded in 1995. IIU is a private company, operating from the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin, specialising in direct equity investment and underwriting, funds management and capital markets trading. Prior to founding IIU in 1995, he established a number of software companies serving the financial services sector. Through his private equity company IIU, he has investments in a variety of start-up and established businesses worldwide, in the areas of financial services, technology, education, information systems, leisure, aviation, health and sport. He is Chairman of a charity called ‘Respect’, which was set-up by the Daughters of Charity to raise funds to develop their services to people with a mental and physical handicap. He is a Board member of several companies, charities and educational bodies. He is also a trustee of the Chester Beatty Library. 


 Georg Pölzl


He is Chief Executive Officer at Austrian Post and Spokesman of the Management Board at T-Mobile Deutschland. From 2007 to 2008 he was Special Deputy of the Management Board, Member of the Expanded Group Management Board at Deutsche Telekom. Previous he was also Managing Director at T-Mobile Austria GmbH.



Harry Roels

Harry Roels (1948), a Dutch citizen, joined the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in 1971, after completing a masters degree in Physical Chemistry at Leiden University. He lived in Sarawak, Brunei, Scotland, the Netherlands, Turkey and England during various assignments, and travelled extensively worldwide in the course of his work. He was a member of the executive board of Royal Dutch/Shell, 1999-2002. In 2003 he joined RWE AG , a multi-utility conglomerate based in Germany, but with assets worldwide. As CEO, Harry refocused RWE strategically on its core competencies in electricity and gas, creating substantial shareholder value. He also spearheaded a programme of cultural change. As of 2008, Harry concentrates on personal priorities, which include the chairmanship of a charitable foundation with activities in Africa and South East Asia, which he started in 2005. His foundation focuses on improving health and education among the poorest. It also supports, through Ashoka, a number of social entrepreneurs in Asia. Outside the not-for-profit world, Harry continues in some non-executive and advisory roles. Harry is married and has two adult daughters.


Lance Fors

Lance received his BA from UC-Berkeley and his PhD from the California Institute of Technology, both in molecular biology. During his school years he also assembled a large real estate portfolio that he continues to own and manage. After receiving his PhD, Lance founded and built Third Wave Technologies into a leading DNA diagnostics company. Since Third Wave, Lance has focused on social entrepreneurship, founding and building a special needs housing provider, and venture philanthropy. In venture philanthropy, Lance currently serves as Chairman of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), New Teacher Center, and Reading Partners; a director of Social Venture Partners International and Jumpstart; and an advisor to a number of high-growth nonprofits. Lance is also lead director and co-owner of Lance Construction Supplies, an inventor on dozens of patents, an Ernst and Young entrepreneur of the year award recipient, and an avid tennis player and swimmer.



Lawrence Lunt


Lawrence (Larry) Lunt is a private investor from Belgium who manages Armonia, his family office in Greenwich, Ct, USA, focusing 100% on triple-bottom-line investments with a balanced emphasis on people, planet and profit. Armonia seeded TBL Capital, a venture fund focusing on social enterprises in the US. He is a Director of his family private equity group, Artal, that invests through its advisor, the Invus Group. Prior to moving to the US in 1997, he was active in venture capital in Europe where he developed the Lino group focusing on retail outlets.



Marc Castagnet


Marc Castagnet holds MBA degrees from both France and USA. After a career in banking in New York and starting his business in China in 1989, he started SgT Group in the 1990s and sold it in 2009. SgT has been a pioneer in offering quality control and outsourcing supply chain services in the garment and fabric industry and first introduced value-added services at logistic platforms 7 years ago. SgT has 24 offices in 15 countries and was sold to a private equity group. Marc holds multiple directorships in entrepreneurial companies in Asia and Europe. Marc is a Member of Young President Organization International and Chair of the North Asia Economic Development Network. He is also a member of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce where he holds the Vice Chairmanship of the Europe and Asia-Africa committees.


Martin Essl


Martin Essl is CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of bauMax Group. In 2007, he founded the Essl Social Prize, an annual international award for social initiatives that offers sustainable support to those who help people in need. Mr. Essl first joined the Schömer bauMax group in 1984 as a Management Assistant where he built a controlling and cost accounting system and developed an enterprise resource planning system. He also served as the Managing Director and Vice-Chairman of the Management Board of the Schömer bauMax Group from 1989 until 1999.



Nihar Kothari


Nihar Kothari is the Director and Executive Editor of the Patrika group of companies. He is currently in charge of editorial planning and readership development of the newspaper. Nihar holds a Masters Degree in Economics from University of Rajasthan and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois. 



Olivier Kayser


Olivier founded Hystra, a global consulting firm that works with business and social sector pioneers to implement hybrid strategies and innovative business approaches that are profitable and scalable. They are designed to eradicate social and environmental problems, requiring the combination of insights and resources from the business and citizen sectors. Hystra’s first five clients are among the top 20 largest French corporations. From 2003 to 2008, Olivier was Vice-President Europe of Ashoka. He launched its Paris and London offices, and designed and launched what is now the Ashoka Support Network, a rapidly growing global network of over 250 business people, He was a leader in Ashoka’s global “Hybrid Value Chain” initiative, fostering partnerships between corporations and social entrepreneurs.



Paul Bernhard Kallen


Mr. Kallen, who holds a PhD in Economics, started his career in 1986 as an assistant to the CEO of a machinery manufacturing and engineering company in the Otto Wolff Group. Two years later, he joined the management consulting company McKinsey & Co, becoming a partner in 1993. After three years, he joined family-owned company Hubert Burda Media, initially as managing director for corporate finance, administration, personnel and managing director of Burda's international publishing holding. In 1999, Dr. Kallen was appointed Member of the Executive Board for Technology (Print, Internet, IT) in addition to his existing management duties.


Richard Fishman


Richard Fishman - lawyer, technology executive and venture capitalist - has recently become a member of Ashoka's senior leadership team.In 1994, Richard became President of Thinking Machines Corporation, which developed and manufactured the world's fasted supercomputers at the time. He reorganized and restructured Thinking Machines, selling its three core components to three major tech companies. As Thinking Machine's employees moved on to create new businesses in the early days of the Web, Richard was sought out as advisor and investor, and through three successive venture capital vehicles, had the good fortune to participate in nine IPOs. Richard has served on the boards of numerous publicly-traded and privately-held companies, and non-profit organizations.


Ta-lin Hsu 


Dr. Ta-lin Hsu is Founder and Chairman of H&Q Asia Pacific and has been investing in Asia for over 20 years. He joined Hambrecht & Quist Group in 1985 as a General Partner and founded H&Q Asia Pacific in 1986. Since inception, H&Q Asia Pacific has managed over $2.6 billion in capital, operates from eight offices throughout the region and has invested in more than 300 companies. Prior to H&Q, Dr. Hsu worked at IBM for 12 years. In his last position in senior management, Dr. Hsu held corporate responsibility for all of IBM’s advanced research in mass storage systems and technology.



Ulrich Dietz


Ulrich Dietz, born in 1958, founded the internationally leading IT service provider GFT in 1987 and has been Chairman of the Executive Board of GFT Technologies AG since its IPO in 1999. The GFT Group currently employs around 1,200 full-time and around 1,500 freelance employees at 20 locations in seven countries. In 2009, GFT’s turnover totalled approx. € 220 million. Ulrich Dietz studied mechanical engineering and product engineering at the University of Reutlingen and Furtwangen and graduated as a certified engineer. He is the co-founder of the Transfer Centre for Information Technology (TZI) at the Steinbeis Foundation for business development.


Valeria Budinich


For over two decades, Valeria Budinich has designed and implemented innovative business development programs spanning 22 countries around the world. In 2003, Valeria joined Ashoka, a leading community of social entrepreneurs to launch the Full Economic Citizenship (FEC) Initiative. Through FEC Valeria is creating a movement around Hybrid Value Chains (HVCs) — commercial partnerships that leverage the critical strengths among business and citizen sector organizations. By advancing HVCs, Valeria is helping business create new markets that did not exist before due to important elements and players that were missing or because transaction costs were too high.


Willie Cheng


Willie Cheng is a former partner of Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm. Prior to his retirement in 2003, he was the country managing director of Singapore and the managing partner of its Communications and High Tech practice in Asia. Since his retirement, he has stayed involved with the business and the InfoComm community. He sits on the boards of Singapore Press Holdings, NTUC Fairprice and Singapore Health Services. However, he spends the larger part of his time working with nonprofit organizations at the board and volunteer level. Among these, he is Chairman of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation and Caritas Singapore, and a Director of Council for Third Age, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and the Singapore Golf Association.




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