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Congratulations to Ashoka Fellow Bright Simons, founder of MPedigree Goldkeys, and Selorm Branttie, MPedigree's global strategy manager, for winning the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship! mPedigree fights drug and agricultural seed counterfeiting with a product identification marker that consumers use to determine authenticity immediately with a mobile phone.
Ashoka Switzerland is proud to share the inspiring collaboration between two Fellows, Christophe Dunand (réalise) and Frédéric Bardeau (Simplon)
Mara Ferreira, a former geographer, urban planner, and systems analyst for the city of Rio de Janeiro, has taken her skills and training to the countryside. She has developed a comprehensive systems approach that grassroots rural communities can readily use.
Paulo Lima founded a low-cost, effective print publication to spark the participation of children and teenagers in civic life and decision-making. He also helps adult readers understand and respect the perspectives of young people on issues of critical importance to the community.
Wigold Schäffer is developing, demonstrating and testing a new model for the operation of small farms that reconciles the preservation of secondary forests and attendant biodiversity with farmers' desires for higher incomes and improved quality of life.
Marta Porto is driving lasting behavior change around key social issues that are poorly understood in Brazil. She has developed a new paradigm for communication whereby she tailors social messages through dozens of media tools in order to communicate with thousands of micro-audiences. By effectively targeting these communities, speaking to them in a language they understand and leading them through their behavioral changes, Marta is impacting the lives of thousands of people throughout Brazil.
Zoica Bakirtzief has conceived a way for people with disabilities to enter into the job market. Rather than focusing on the few opportunities that exist in the formal sector for people who are disabled, diseased, and undereducated, she is training them to start and run their own businesses.
Marta is setting up an information system for the physically, mentally and sensorially disabled. The system will collect, produce, and disseminate important information for this currently neglected sector of the population, and with this service, Marta expects to influence public policy, thus improving the quality of life and citizenship of disabled populations.
Dissatisfied with the poor performance of Brazil in the field of information technologies and software development and convinced that the country had enormous creative potential, Silvio Meira created the Recife Centre for Advanced Studies and Systems (CESAR) in 1996. A unique, public-private non-profit institute which has become an extraordinary catalyst to innovation in software development, academic excellence, and private sector investment in the region.
Silvia is working to balance social development and community-building with environmental conservation, focusing on sustainability over the long term. Working from this vision, she is the first Brazilian to address biological imbalances caused by foreign plant species. Unlike the United States and Australia, which carefully control nonnative vegetation, Brazil has neither public policies nor legal limitations on the growth of species that degrade the quality of soil and crops.