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    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.

    Based on his experience as a penitentiary system inmate, Ronaldo Monteiro is transforming how society views convicts. By constructing support networks and promoting entrepreneurialism, he is proving that ex-prisoners can be productive members of society and can break the cycle of repeat-offending.

    Rodrigo Brito created the Entrepreneurs Alliance to develop, together with small businesses, infrastructure and quality services to increase income and profit in low-income communities that are normally excluded from the market. The Alliance facilitates a support network with businessmen, students, free-lancers, corporations, and the government, to assure the sustainability of small business entrepreneurs in low- income communities.

    In the vast peripheries of Sao Paulo, the poor suffer human rights violations, such as police violence, every day. Valdênia Paulino defends their rights by providing them with education and access to legal mechanisms of protection. Courses on legal rights identify patterns of systematic abuse while local public hearings ensure such abuses are dealt with properly.

    Having secured the legal foundation for the human rights of the LGBT community through judicialization, Marinalva is now reinforcing mainstream support of the LGBT community in public life and at home.

    In a region lacking community mobilization, Carsten Rübsaamen is addressing the education gap in rural areas of Mongolia and Cambodia by rallying local communities and targeting the lack of quality education for youth and young adults.

    Francimar Fernandes has created a way to access Quilombola communities that are completely invisible even to the Quilombola movement, Francimar supports them recover their identity to access basic rights and self-organize to autonomously go after their rights and economic sustainability.

    Maria do Socorro created Instituto Nossa Ilhéus to cultivate citizenship in municipalities, addressing both population and politicians. On one hand, she connects citizens with their civic role, engaging them through radio, social media, theatre, and workshops. On the other, she monitors politicians and their work, reminding them of their public role.

    By empowering citizens to take their seat at the table where environmental decisions are made, Paulo Célio de Figueiredo is enabling residents of Brazil’s river basins to better manage and protect their natural resources.