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    Since India’s booming microfinance sector has failed to include the poorest of the poor in its economic development programs, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has created an innovative “trickle-up” approach to poverty alleviation. Starting with grants and training for people who otherwise lack access to microcredit, his program aims to graduate participants first to regular microfinance programs and then to traditional financial services.

    Recognizing that sustainable marine resource management hinges on the economic survival of small-scale fishers, Wichoksak Ronnarongpairee is creating Thailand’s first market for sustainably captured seafood, owned and operated by fishing communities by, simultaneously, creating a national awareness and consumes demand for healthy marine food.

    With little or no access to quality English education, the rural youth demographic in India is barred from equal opportunities in higher education and professional employment. In the absence of skilled teachers in schools, combined with an English-illiterate environment, rural students are unable to read, write or comprehend basic English, leading to a high drop-out rate from schools and colleges.

    Rajeev George offers a viable solution to the acute housing problems faced by the urban poor. His unique approach to city planning is founded on high-integrity, verifiable data, the strategic use of future-sensitive technology, and the active participation of settlement dwellers.

    Mostafa Shiblee is engaging Bangladeshi students in debates to divert their attention away from uninformed political activity and antisocial behavior and towards participation in the social sector. By creating the structures for them to hold debates on serious issues in front of key policymakers, Shiblee is providing students with an avenue for civic participation and policy impact.

    Verónica Torassa has developed an integrated approach to rural development that focuses on improved education, health, women’s empowerment, and youth involvement, all done in close collaboration with the public and private sector. This integrated approach has strengthened rural identity, promotes a more sustainable rural development and, as a consequence, avoids rural exodus to major cities.

    Official methods to manage conflict are unable to contain Colombia's escalating levels of violence. Hernando Roldán is working with ex-vigilante youth to demonstrate an effective nonformal, voluntary, community-based alternative method of conflict resolution in Medellín, one of Colombia's most violent cities.

    Saidal Haq Chunnu is a dedicated and charismatic social activist who became blind at an early age. In 1991, as a recent masters graduate, he established his first initiative in Bangladesh to help the blind learn and refine the skills necessary for either higher education or employment.

    Sharafat Azad is addressing the gaping hole in occupational health hazard prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in India. With the majority of India’s work force in the informal sector, most laborers work in dangerous health conditions for little pay and without access to insurance or treatment for their occupation-related diseases.

    Deeply influenced by his own experiences of the challenges of life in urban city centers, Stephan de Beer founded an initiative that regenerates inner cities in a sustainable, socially inclusive way using local assets and building local ownership.