People Doing Well By Doing Good
These 12 Individuals have inspired us with their courage and passion
by blazing new trails toward the goal of making the world a better place.
The Ralph Nader of Credit & Debt
Harvard Professor of Law Warren’s goal is to level the playing field in finance for ordinary consumers by eliminating the “tricks and traps” of the credit markets. Warren is a relentless and courageous warrior in the battle for fair market finance. She has singlehandedly and successfully challenged the big bank and bank lobbying industry by inspiring the new consumer financial protection bureau.
2. Jon Stewart
The Fourth Branch of Government
Stewart provides crucial checks and balances on the official 3 U.S. government branches with wit and brilliance. He continues to educate the public by interviewing countless authors on the financial crisis and economic recovery. Seriously unfunny for a passionate cause, Jon did what no politician could do and helped 9/11 heroes get urgent medical care approved by a partisan Congress.
The People’s Professor
MIT Economist Johnson blows the lid off financial industry smoke screens by translating complex economics into accessible everyday language. His book “13 Bankers” is a thorough and remarkably breezy read on the financial crisis and the American economic system. Simon consistently battles the “money trust” and blogs, writes and speaks on fair and balanced capitalism.
The Market Maker
Halla and her partner Kristin Petursdottir bested their male colleagues at their own investment game as the “old boy’s club” collapsed in her native Iceland. After two decades of international business and banking, Halla and Kristin created a new financial services firm based on a return to “Feminine Values” of transparency, integrity, reliability and honor. Says Halla, “We believe in profit with principles…profits plus positive social benefits.”
5. Raj Sisodia
The Conscious Capitalist
Management guru and co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism Institute, Raj’s mission is to transform traditional business models to embrace “enlightened self-interest” in the bottom line. He states that the search for meaning has reached the workplace. Says Raj, “Indeed, we believe it is changing the very soul of capitalism.” His personal passion and vision for conscious leadership in business has become an international movement.
6. Sheila Bair
The Responsible Banker
FDIC Chairwoman Bair is intent on insuring honest banking practices and improved lending standards for working people. Three of Ms. Bair’s areas of focus include help for troubled homeowners, alternatives for discriminatory payday loans, and restructuring the too-big-to-fail banks. She was instrumental in pushing for passage of financial reform under the new Dodd-Frank bill.
Wall Street Wonder
A former Goldman Sachs bond salesman who quit the firm in 2002 rather than betray a client’s trust wrote the book on ethical investing. Before GS, he was a managing director at Lehman Brothers. The terminally ill Murray has been a brave and proactive proponent of re-establishing, “our word is our bond” and “good ethics as good business” into the financial industry model.
The Woman’s Crusader
As President of the United Nations Security Council in the year 2000, the Ambassador sponsored the 1325 Resolution igniting global participation in the fight for equal social, political, and economic rights for women. He continues to be a tireless champion for women’s educational and economic advancement throughout the world.
Social Venture Capitalist
With an MBA from Stanford, Jacqueline went straight to Wall Street as a banking analyst for Chase. Soon disenchanted with her role, she created the Acumen Fund in 2001, a powerful social enterprise fueled by investment banking and hedge fund millions. The fund is dedicated to “solving the problem of poverty through market mechanisms” and to fulfill Jacqueline’s goal of bridging the gap between rich and poor with market-based philanthropy.
10. John Ruggie
Humane Business Activist
In 2005, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan appointed Harvard Professor Ruggie to work with the UN Global Compact to establish a framework for human rights in business. Facing challenging environmental, labor, and corruption issues, Ruggie has recently completed an internationally acclaimed treatise outlining standards and solutions for the global business community to “protect, respect, and remedy” basic human rights.
11. Melinda Gates
The Giving Mogul
It is said that, “behind every great man is a great woman.” These days, she walks by his side. Through their foundation and new “Giving Pledge” initiative, Melinda and Bill Gates prove that “noblesse oblige” is not dead and that the super rich do have conscience and a heart. Together they are combining the wealth of the world to tackle some of humanity’s biggest social problems like extreme poverty, epidemic disease, malnutrition, starvation, and inadequate education.
12. Mary Robinson
Climate Change Leader
For former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, securing basic rights of “decent” work, healthcare and economic opportunity for “the poor, disempowered and marginalized” is a top priority. After serving as Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN, she created Realizing Rights to encourage corporate responsibility and women’s empowerment around the world. Her new initiative, Climate Justice, focuses on “global justice for those many victims of climate change who are usually forgotten.”
The For-Profit, and Non-Profit endeavors of these extraordinary individuals inspire us to be our better selves.
© 2010 Good Business International, Inc.