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Dagmara Bienkowska is working with underdeveloped rural communities to generate vigorous citizen participation and successful development plans. Her approach creates a new attitude toward local traditions which enables community members to use those traditions as sources of income and civic pride.
Ryszard Michalski is helping a subculture of Polish youth who are politely referred to as alternative, but often seen as deviant, to contribute significantly to society. He helps them to find jobs and provides them with an organized forum and a self-driven system to carry out a portfolio of social activities.
Jadwiga Lopata is creating an alternative "eco-village" economy for rural Poland by introducing family farms to the emerging premium markets for organic produce and livestock, and building a cottage eco-tourism industry around the lifestyle of natural farming.
Jarek Dominiak is forming investment clubs to teach financial management skills to people from all walks of life, and particularly to people living in rural areas. These clubs build trust among participants and encourage hands-on learning through collective investing.
Krzysztof Liszcz is training the mothers of children with cerebral palsy to provide improved care for their children in a home-based program that is spreading throughout Poland. His program reduces state expenditures while certifying the mothers so that they can earn money with their new skills.
Jacek Strzemieczny is changing the very nature of student-teacher relationships in Polish schools through a unique civic education program that empowers students and community members to become active in the reform and development of newly independent local school systems.
Antonio Paz Martinez has built a remarkable community organization out of the wreckage wrought by the 1985 earthquake in poor neighborhoods of central Mexico City. He's now spreading its ideas and adding a vertically and horizontally integrated economic machine built up from small back veranda "informal sector" neighborhood producers.
Krzysztof Margol is revitalizing Poland's underdeveloped rural areas by stimulating awareness of business opportunities and providing new jobs to the rural unemployed. He trains the unemployed to start new business ventures and recruits business, banks, and local governments to back new job-creating initiatives.
An industrialist, enlightened banker, and now social entrepreneur, Ibrahim Betil has contributed to the advancement of full citizenship for Turkish workers and young people throughout his varied career. Starting five years ago, he turned his attention fully to putting in place opportunities for young adults to contribute to positive social action through their own initiative.
Zdzislaw Nitak is building environmental consciousness in Polish cities by focusing on the connection between urban household habits and environmental decay. He works with youth, teachers, parents, government authorities, and neighborhood associations, not only to change the patterns of their own consumption, but also to consolidate an efficient lobbying structure to influence laws, policy makers, and producers alike.