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This profile is dedicated to the memory of late Bohuslav Blazek. It was prepared when Bohuslav was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995. Bohuslav Blazek a psychologist in the Czech Republic, is facilitating community development by increasing ordinary Czechs' ability to think creatively and participate in group discussion. His primary tools are "soft games," which he has developed to change social behaviors.
Florentinus Gregorius Winarno has created the infrastructure for the production of safe and secure food in Indonesia. Known as the father of food science and technology, he has established the field of food security and localized job opportunities in the food processing industry.
Sarah Trad is confronting Lebanon’s growing drug addiction problem by drawing on creative, science-based methods that are common in the West, but have yet to be implemented in the Arab world. She believes that addicts are suffering from an illness that can be cured with proper treatment, and should not be shunned by society. Her holistic approach encompasses treatment, prevention, and advocacy for change.
Michael Kelly is catalyzing a nationwide movement to substantially increase the number of people growing their own food. He has resurrected the traditional Irish notion of the “meitheal,” a practice that builds a spirit of community by working collectively on individual projects—much like a barn-raising—to exponentially increase the number of people with the skills to grow their own food.
Simón Parisca is attempting to spark and sustain social innovation in Venezuela and, in the process, develop a new kind of leadership capacity for the long-term development of Venezuela.
Jerry White is creating a victim-free world by transforming passive victims into active survivors and leaders. Jerry’s Survivor Corps, a worldwide peer-to-peer support network, gives conflict survivors the tools they need to become leaders in their communities. By transforming survivors’ perceptions of themselves, Jerry is able to change global societal attitudes towards role of conflict survivors in the prevention of violent conflict.
Petr Bergmann is revitalizing the cultural prosperity of Central European cities and towns. By restructuring cultural centers in a way that addresses pressing social issues, Petr is enriching communities and developing a culture of tolerance and understanding.
By initiating citizen-led industrial pollution monitoring, Penchom Saetang is amplifying the Thai public demand for corporate and government accountability to community health and the environment, at the neighborhood level, as well as national policy.
Pradeep Ghosh has designed a social security system that incorporates the financial and community realities of the Indian poor. His approach offers economically vulnerable communities the chance to take charge of their social security using their existing resources, and does so in a way that can be replicated across India’s poorest communities.