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Responding to the Spanish educational system that is rooted in standardized curricula and outdated pedagogical methods that emphasize rote memorization and passive learning, Montserrat del Pozo is building an educational reform movement in Spain and abroad connecting teachers, administrators, parents and both private and governmental institutions.
Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization, wants to restructure the field of sanitation worldwide. Providing humanity with clean, safe and convenient toilets is a familiar goal, but it remains a distant one because of cultural taboos, poor funding and a lack of political will.
Guy Etienne’s new approach to education gives Haitian students two key abilities—creating innovations in science and technology and the confidence, commitment and skills to help change communities. Each reinforces the other and comes from hands on experiences.
Johannes Hengstenberg is convinced that climate protection is not abstract and complicated, but a question of sound communication and access to information. Johannes developed a hands-on system that shows how easy it is to save energy: He provides online tools that enable every consumer to track their energy consumption and allows them to take action to reduce it. He is changing how citizens consume, modernize, or build houses, by demonstrating the additional value of “saving energy.”
With an initial focus on the coffee industry, Paul Rice is using Fair Trade to transform global trade practices and ensure that farmers in developing countries earn a fair price for the goods they produce.
Sustainable economic development is not only a question of industrial space, infrastructure, or even investment—a lack of entrepreneurship can be a major barrier to economic growth and social development. José Manuel Pérez (Pericles) realized that few young people were thinking and acting like entrepreneurs, so he developed a strategy to infuse a more innovative, entrepreneurial mindset into society through the formal education system.
Madan Rai is establishing a powerful rural cash economy built on Nepal’s resources: water, people and land. His initiatives work directly with young people and farmers to increase agricultural productivity, create new job opportunities, and open access to domestic and international markets.
Ellen Moir is improving learning for students—and especially underserved students—in America by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers. She does so by building the world’s first corps of professional education mentors composed of expert teachers.
Sarah Otterstrom is collaborating with the government, private and citizen sector and involving the citizen sector in Nicaragua’s biologically diverse dry tropical forest, in order to create a form of development conservation that both empowers local populations and changes the culture of environmental stewardship. Sarah has adapted the concept of environmental corridors so that it continues to support biodiversity, but integrates a concept of human thriving as a part of ecosystem health.
Luz Rello is adapting the information environment that stymies effective learning for people with dyslexia. She is challenging the traditional approach to educating dyslexics by creating and disseminating innovative methods and technologies both to improve their performance on reading and writing, and to change the way information is presented to them in the external environment to make it more accessible.