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    Uygar Özesmi is a serial social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to the development of a society and economy that is in harmony with nature. With the belief that a “great transformation” is needed, he has founded over a dozen organizations and initiatives working towards ecological and social development and sustainability in Turkey and beyond in the past 25 years. His work has positively impacted the lives of 10 million individuals, moving Uygar closer to his vision.

    By creating the first viable, sustainable and scalable alternative to the existing nuclear power production system, Julien Noé is helping transform the existing electricity market in France. Julien’s grassroots cooperative model incentivizes citizens to rethink their consumption practices and offers a real boost to the country’s renewable energy production capacity.

    Today, unemployment is essentially seen as an economical problem with widespread negative psychological consequences. Emilie wants to turn it into a positive “learning life experience”. To equip unemployed persons and society with the core capabilities to seize such an opportunity to learn and grow, Emilie came up with a unique framework for the unemployed to self-organize in local optimist communities.

    In the mid 1980s Yvonnick Huet pioneered a market-based model to solve poverty and food issues through the restructuring of viable local farming markets in developing countries. Unlike the field of development that has traditionally been charity-focused and culturally skeptical toward economy-oriented projects, Yvonnick has focused his efforts on small businesses as the key facilitator in development.

    Christophe Dunand has changed the way the Swiss social sector operates - making it more collaborative, bottom-up and oriented toward changemaking.

    Isolation and inactivity among marginalized communities – from refugee camps to underprivileged neighborhoods – can have dramatic consequences such as violence and physical and mental health problems in communities. In response, Jérémy is defining a new standard for libraries in the 21st Century, repositioning their role in communities as key vectors of economic and human development.

    By working with the Mexican Government, Daniela is creating a new legislative framework that guarantees basic working and social standards to inmates in prison and incentivizes companies to formally employ convicts. Moreover, Daniela combines dignified, well-paid labor opportunities and a personal development program to incarcerated women to improve their quality of life in prison and upon release.

    Silvia is working to balance social development and community-building with environmental conservation, focusing on sustainability over the long term. Working from this vision, she is the first Brazilian to address biological imbalances caused by foreign plant species. Unlike the United States and Australia, which carefully control nonnative vegetation, Brazil has neither public policies nor legal limitations on the growth of species that degrade the quality of soil and crops.

    Edward Edilbi is introducing a new way to empower, integrate and build social capital in scattered, immigrant populations that have been affected by a political crisis or natural disaster. Using diaspora networks, he enables refugees to play an active and productive role, thus changing their status from helplessness to independence and promoting positive perceptions of refugees.

    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.