The Purposeful 50 2023

Written by
Actual Team

Actual Agency, a global strategic communications consulting firm, today announces the 2023 Purposeful 50 nominees. Recognizing leaders and influencers in sustainability, corporate purpose, and ESG, the inaugural list published by Actual Agency in 2021 was a powerful exercise that included Fortune 500 corporate executives, nonprofit leaders, activists, academics, educators, journalists, influencers, and strategists. The selected individuals on both lists are true changemakers who deliver on social justice, environmental protection, diversity, inclusion, racial equality, and gender and pay equity. 

While certainly not all-encompassing, those on the 2023 list are driving measurable and impactful results that educate, shift ways of thinking, make lives better, open doors, facilitate inclusion, and help ensure the long-term viability of the planet.

Over the past several years, we have watched ESG and purpose evolve from a reporting structure to global, consensus-based standards initiatives that determine how and what organizations report at a very granular level. The work of the innovators who drive these missions is now viewed as an interconnected web of dynamic decisions that work collectively to make a big difference. 

Without further ado, we are pleased to present the 2nd Purposeful 50 influencers of 2023 in alphabetical order. Take the time to get to know these individuals. Follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter. Learn about their work, and unique perspectives and help amplify their thinking to celebrate their contributions. 

Anne Adler

Anne Adler, CEO of Oregon Business Academy, has over 20 years of success leading nonprofits through rapid, sustainable growth and has raised millions in funds to date for educational organizations. Currently, Anne spearheads the organization’s “Business Week in Summer” program, which serves 150 students in grades 9-12. The Academy enrolls at least 50% of students from low-income backgrounds and traditionally underrepresented and minority communities. Through teamwork, program cohorts discover leadership and collaboration skills by learning how to create and grow their own businesses. Previously, Anne spent more than a decade in New York City serving vulnerable children and youth as Executive Director of the Student Leadership Network and Founding President of the READ Alliance. 

Christine Arena

Christine Arena is the Founder of Generous Films and a 20-year veteran in the social impact space. She authored some of the industry’s first books on purpose-driven brands and has since produced award-winning creative work for clients including 3M, Google, AT&T, HP, Earthjustice, The Sierra Club, and others. Christine is the producer of the 3M docuseries "Not the Science Type," which is a 2022 SABRE Award winner. She serves on the advisory board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and is a founding member of the Clean Creatives campaign. She devotes pro bono time to help break down climate disinformation and greenwashing through collaborations with researchers, scientists, journalists, and lawmakers. Her efforts work to track and assess evolving problems, develop interventions, and execute public messaging. Christine has been featured in TIME, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Adweek, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Fast Company, and The New York Times.

Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa

Olufunmilayo (“Funmi”) Arewa is the Shusterman Professor of Business and Transactional Law at Temple University Beasley School of Law. The author of the highly acclaimed book, Disrupting Africa: Technology, Law, and Development, Olufunmilayo discusses how many African countries sit at the crossroads of a potential future that will be shaped by digital-era technologies with existing laws and institutions constructed under conditions of colonial and post-colonial authoritarian rule. She examines this intersection and shows how it encompasses existing and new zones of contestation based on ethnicity, religion, region, age, and other sources of division. She demonstrates how lawmaking and legal processes during and after colonialism continue to frame contexts in which digital technologies are created, implemented, regulated, and used in Africa today. Olufunmilayo is a board member of VillageReach, a non-profit global health innovator that develops, tests, implements, and scales new solutions to critical health system challenges in low-resource environments. 

Jennifer Astone

Jen Astone, Principal at Integrated Capital Investing, is nationally recognized for her integrated capital work that champions people and planet-centered businesses, communities, and entrepreneurs. After 20 years of foundation leadership, where she supported human rights, gender justice, and health and environmental issues with grants and leadership, Jen created a model to incorporate investing into strategies for equity and transformation. These include cross-cultural applications, climate solutions, agroecology, and initiatives that support the development of indigenous communities. Before launching Integrated Capital Strategies, Jen led the Swift Foundation for over eight years. She also curates the Transformative 25 List of Funds, an annual list of integrated capital funds transforming finance for people and the planet.

Afdhel Aziz

Afdhel Aziz is one of the most inspiring voices in the global movement of business as a force for good.​ ​After a 20-year career as a visionary marketer at Procter and Gamble, Nokia, Heineken, and Absolut Vodka, creating groundbreaking partnerships with everyone from Lady Gaga to the TED Conferences, Afdhel quit his job in corporate life after he found his Purpose in tackling one of the biggest problems facing both individuals and companies in the 21st century: how to find Purpose and meaning in their work to unlock the enormous power of business to do good in the world.​ The global purpose consultancy that he co-founded, Conspiracy of Love has been privileged to work with tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook, and cutting-edge lifestyle brands like Adidas, Red Bull, The North Face, Oreo, and Sonos. On the Corporate Purpose side, clients include Sephora, Akamai, American Family Insurance, A2 Milk, and many others. Afdhel is the co-author of 'Good is the New Cool: Market Like You A Give a Damn' and follow-up 'The Principles of Purpose', a handbook for CEOs who want to transform their companies into purpose-driven ones.

Aja Barber

Aja Barber is a writer, stylist, and consultant focusing on the intersections of sustainability, fashion, and the textile industry. Her work explores the traditions of privilege, wealth inequality, racism, feminism, and colonialism and how these systems of power affect our buying habits. Her debut book, Consumed is a treatise on the state of fashion, climate change, and social justice. The book reveals the endemic injustices in our consumer industries, the uncomfortable history of the textile industry, and how these oppressive systems help create a lack of diversity and equality in the fashion industry. Aja has written for The Guardian, CNN, Selfridges, Eco-Age, and many other publications.

Tarika Barrett

Dr. Tarika Barrett is the CEO of Girls Who Code, an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology by inspiring, educating, and equipping young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Previously, she led the organization's free Summer Immersion Program and after-school Clubs Program, which has reached 500,000 girls around the world to date. Tarika has served on the boards of CSforALL, Eskolta, AT&T’s Accelerator Advisory Board, and McGraw Hill. Currently, she serves as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), as chair of the New York University Steinhardt Dean's Alumni Advisory Board, the New Visions for Public Schools Board of Directors, and as a member of the Eniac Ventures network. Tarika is the recipient of the New York University Steinhardt School Dorothy Height Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and the New York City Bar Association Huntington Bank’s Her Hero Lifetime Achievement Award. She was named one of Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York in 2021, to the PoliticsNY and amNewYork 2022 Power Women list, and City and State New York’s “Power of Diversity: Women 100 List.”

Andrew Behar

Andrew Behar is CEO of As You Sow, the nation’s leading non-profit practitioner of shareholder advocacy and engagement. With a 30-year track record of success,  As You Sow advances values-aligned investing and uses shareholder power to compel companies to reduce material risk on issues including climate change; toxins in the food system; ocean plastics; diversity, equity, and inclusion; racial justice; and wage equity. Previously Andrew was a documentary filmmaker and entrepreneur founding start-ups developing an innovative physiological monitoring medical device and grid-scale fuel cells. He is currently on the board of the Responsible Sourcing Network. His book, The Shareholders Action Guide, was published in November 2016 by Berrett-Koehler.

Lenora Billings-Harris

Lenora Billings Harris, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is a CPAE (Council of Peers Award of Excellence) Hall of Fame speaker and an internationally recognized authority in the areas of inclusion, diversity, and bias. The President and CEO of her company, UbuntuGlobal, Lenora helps organizations create inclusive cultures by reducing unconscious bias. She has been included as one of the 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by the Society of Human Resource Management and was named by Diversity Woman Magazine as one of the twenty top influential diversity leaders in the U.S. Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Council of the Nido Qubein School of Communication, High Point University, as well as on the adjunct business faculty of two other universities. She has presented to audiences in over 41 countries and six continents, including such places as Dubai, Israel and South Africa, and Malaysia.

Lesley Slaton Brown

Lesley Slaton Brown is SVP and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and is responsible for driving ongoing DEI efforts for the NBA and its teams. Lesley works with the league’s CPO and the teams’ diversity and inclusion leaders to implement and advance DEI processes, including the recruitment and retention of diverse talent, the development and enhancement of employee resource programs, and setting and assessing metrics for success. Previously, Lesley was HP’s Vice President and Chief Diversity where she developed the company’s 10-year DEI and Racial Equality and Social Justice strategy, yielding the internal movement and advancement of more than 78 percent of underrepresented employees. She was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise, a Top Influential Woman in Corporate America by Forbes Magazine, and DEI Trailblazer by Business Insider. Most recently, she was named Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year by Girls in Tech.

Sheri Byrne-Haber

Sheri Byrne-Haber is a changemaker in the disability and accessibility sector. An accessibility program innovator, Sheri successfully architects strategic global accessibility programs in a Fortune 200 environment. Currently, she is Senior Staff Architect, Accessibility at VMWare, Sheri deploys corporate policies and facilitates accessible digital property design and remediation using LEAN and AGILE software development techniques, analytics, and maturity modeling. Sheri is a member of the International Associate of Accessibility Professionals Global Leadership Council and Certification Committee, Information Technology Industry Council VPAT subcommittee, and W3C Silver and Maturity Model committees. LinkedIn named Sheri as a “Top Voice for Social Impact” in 2022. Her writing is frequently featured in diversity, design, accessibility, and equity publications, and in 2020, she was the winner of the 2020 Medium UX Collective Author of the Year award.

Myla Calhoun

Myla E. Calhoun is Vice President of the Alabama Power Birmingham Division. She is responsible for economic and community development and external affairs activities that touch more than 430,000 customers across six counties in north central Alabama. Myla previously served as president of the Alabama Power Foundation and Vice President of Charitable Giving for Alabama Power, helping support nonprofits, educational institutions, and community organizations across the state. Before joining Alabama Power, she was general counsel and Senior Vice President of Regional Development and Public Policy for the Birmingham Business Alliance where she led diverse teams focused on regional revitalization, workforce development, education, and engagement.

Kathleen Caliento, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathleen St. Louis Caliento, President and CEO of the Cara Collective has spent the past two decades committed to urban education, student success, and dismantling social injustice. Kathleen spearheads the mission of Cara Collective, which works to build an inclusive economy by developing employment pathways to advance transformative individual and community success. The organization fuels a courageous national movement to eradicate relational and financial poverty by engaging job seekers, employers, and other organizations across the country, to break the cycle of poverty through the power and purpose of employment. Since its founding in 1991, Cara Collective has helped more than 8,000 people get placed into more than 13,000 jobs. Kathleen is a published author and serves on the Board of Adler University and the Leadership Greater Chicago LFA Board. 

Aarti Chandna

Aarti Chandna is an impact angel investor and advisor. She currently co-leads Impact Investing for Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, has been a guest lecturer for an Impact Investing course at Stanford, and teaches a seminar series course in Impact Investing at the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU. Aarti mentors social entrepreneurs and invests in companies driving social change with a technology focus and has supported MIT's D-Lab accelerator, Stanford GSB Startup Garage, Stanford Sensa Labs, and Miller Center, Santa Clara University. She serves on the boards of Case Western Reserve University, Peninsula Bridge, and Teen Success Inc., and is also a member at MIT-Solve. Previously, Aarti led global IT teams at companies at Oracle, Hitachi, Coherent, Autodesk, and Nikon. 

Heather Clancy

As Editorial Director of GreenBiz, Heather Clancy chronicles the role of business model innovation and technology in enabling corporate climate action and transitioning to a clean, inclusive, and regenerative economy. An award-winning journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation related to corporate climate action, her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune, The International Herald Tribune, and The New York Times. She co-authored the Amazon best-seller for entrepreneurs, "Niche Down, How to Become Legendary By Being Different." She also serves on the boards of the WSLA Alumnae Group, a mentorship organization dedicated to nurturing feminine leadership in the corporate sustainability movement, and EcoAthletes, a collective of collegiate, professional, and amateur athletes, dedicated to using their voices to surface solutions to climate change.

Beth Cobert

Beth Cobert is the Acting President of the Markle Foundation, where she leads the Rework America Alliance, a partnership that aims to open up the path for millions of people from low-wage roles to move into higher-wage jobs. The alliance aims to assist individuals who have developed skills through experience but do not hold a bachelor's degree, with a specific focus on people of color and those encountering systemic barriers in the labor market. Beth Cobert's expertise in talent management and partnership development, alongside her prior roles at McKinsey & Company, OPM, and OMB, make her well-suited to lead this effort. She is also a member of the board of directors of CBRE Group and serves on the Princeton University board of trustees.

Nalleli Cobo

Nalleli Cobo became an activist at age nine after experiencing health problems caused by oil drilling operations in her South Los Angeles apartment complex. She and her neighbors created a grassroots campaign called People Not Pozos, which fought AllenCo's poisoning of the neighborhood and led to the company's temporary closure in 2013. Nalleli is now a co-founder of the South Los Angeles Youth Leadership Coalition, which has sued the City of Los Angeles for environmental racism and violation of CEQA. She is also a member of STAND LA, which seeks to establish a buffer between oil extraction and sensitive land. Nalleli balances her activism with dance classes at Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles.

Amie Collins

Amie Collins is a firm believer in the power of collaboration and community-driven solutions. As the Executive Director of Comfort Food Community, she oversees an organization that addresses food insecurity in rural New York through a holistic approach. Amie's extensive background in managing organizations, consulting for rural communities, and working in small businesses brings a unique perspective to her role. With a master's degree in community and regional planning and nonprofit management, she combines her expertise with her passion for social justice and equity to drive positive change. Amie is dedicated to building resilient and sustainable communities that prioritize the well-being of all its members.

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper is an Associate Partner in McKinsey's Sustainability Practice, where he is passionate about serving clients in the public and private sectors on strategy for net zero transitions. He is a leader in their work on emergent decarbonization technologies, green growth, negative emissions, sustainable cities, and socioeconomic diversity within McKinsey. Peter is particularly focused on the orchestration of just transitions that produce high-quality jobs, competitive positions in green exports, and ultimately improve the quality of life of citizens involved. He also researches the benefits of improving social mobility in society and having more socio-economically diverse workplaces. Peter's Engineering Doctorate focused on the role of smart city concepts in facilitating sustainable cities.

Maia Corbitt

Maia Corbitt is a passionate environmental activist with over two decades of experience in advocacy. As the president of Texans for Clean Water, she brings her expertise in waste and water systems to Texas and beyond. Maia has been at the forefront of recycling advocacy and industry trends, leading her organization to achieve significant milestones. She played a key role in the Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Litter Study, which showed that states with rebate and/or deposit systems had significantly less litter on roadways and waterways. Through her leadership, Maia is driving change and making a positive impact on the environment.

Emma Cox

Emma Cox is a seasoned executive and a Global Climate Leader for PwC, responsible for driving the delivery of their client-focused global climate strategy. With over 100 experts in her team, she previously led PwC UK’s Sustainability and Climate Change practice, advising clients in the UK and internationally on sustainability, urbanization, and climate change-related issues. Emma is an engineer and accountant by training and has held several leadership positions in PwC, including Head of People for the Advisory business and UK’s Head of Purpose. She is also a Trustee of the UK’s PwC Foundation and a founder member of PwC UK’s Diversity Council. Emma's expertise in sustainability and climate change is recognized by several key platforms, including the WEF, WBCSD, SBTi, SMI, and UNFCCC COP.

Kristina Francis

Kristina Francis is an accomplished executive and activist, currently serving as the executive director of JFFLabs. She is passionate about education, empowerment, and wealth building and is dedicated to ensuring that everyone, especially women, has access to opportunities for economic mobility. As chair of the board of Black Girl Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Black and Brown women entrepreneurs with access to mentorship and opportunities, and a member of the board of CivStart, Kristina is actively involved in supporting innovative and equitable solutions for communities. She is also a co-host of the Get Found Get Funded podcast and a managing member of The Marathon Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund.

Shari Friedman

Shari Friedman is the Managing Director of Eurasia Group’s Climate and Sustainability practice. Shari Friedman is a prominent figure in climate and sustainability activism. Having amassed more than 25 years of experience, Shari has worked in various roles, including for the US government during the Kyoto negotiations, in venture capital, consulting, and banking. Her most recent role was with the International Finance Corporation, where she led the organization's corporate-wide climate strategy and managed a team of industry specialists who focused on areas such as renewable energy, green buildings, and low-carbon cities, as well as emerging technologies like hydrogen and CCSU. Shari and her team collaborate across regions and sectors to guide clients in comprehending evolving policies and how they will impact their businesses presently and in the future.

Jaime Gloshay

Jaime Gloshay is a dedicated activist, co-leading efforts in access to capital, fund design, partnership, advancement, and policy advocacy. She is the Co-Director & Co-Founder of Native Women Lead.  Her work also includes program design, international development, and data and evaluation oversight. Jaime is a certified coach focusing on leadership and healing for Indigenous women and is currently working toward certification to teach about the “Trauma of Money.” She is a board member of UpTogether, a SHEEO Activator, and an Advisor for Angels of Impact. Jaime is a recipient of several awards, including the 2020 Boston Impact Initiative Fellow, the 2020 National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development “40 under 40” award, and the 2019 Angel Tank, Audience Choice Award Winner. She is a citizen of the Navajo, White Mountain Apache, and Kiowa Nations and a proud mother of three residing in Tiwa Territory.

Lauren Grattan

Laura Grattan is a co-founder and the Chief Community Officer of Mission Driven Finance, where she leads the design of community-based strategies to reconnect capital and community. With a background in nonprofit development and nearly 10 years of fundraising experience, Laura is passionate about activating capital for social change. She is an alumna of Punahou School in Honolulu and Columbia University and is a 2019 Social Venture Circle Innovation Entrepreneur. Laura has served on the steering committee of the Inclusive Capital Collective at Zebras Unite and on the board of Business for Good San Diego. She is also an active member of various philanthropic initiatives and enjoys applying emergent strategies to her work.

Christa Gyori

Christa Gyori is the CEO of Leaders on Purpose, an organization that helps businesses become more purpose-centered. She believes that the world has the resources and potential to change things for the better, from COVID to climate change. Gyori's upbringing exposed her to diverse situations and taught her the power of leading by example. With 20 years of experience working as a senior international executive for various organizations, she understands that positive change happens when people come together in a spirit of invention informed by ethics. Co-founding Leaders on Purpose, Gyori is in an ideal position to bring global CEOs together to promote a sustainable economy and address the SDGs. She is looking to connect with leaders who have the courage, to tell the truth, and make transformative changes.

Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson, the President and Co-CEO of Ariel Capital Management is a recognized voice in financial literacy and investor education. Along with managing over $15.5 billion in assets under management, she serves on the board of several civic and professional institutions, including The Chicago Public Library, The Field Museum, and The Sundance Institute. Mellody is also a director of three public companies: DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., and Starbucks Corporation. Additionally, she is chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit providing Chicago teens with high-quality, out-of-school time programs. As a financial contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America, Mellody advocates for the importance of financial education and actively works towards creating equal financial opportunities for all.

Stephen Ibaraki

Stephen Ibaraki is a renowned activist with a focus on advancing research, innovation, and sustainable investments. As the Chairman and Founding Managing General Partner of REDDS Capital, Founder Chair of Outreach ITU ACM XPRIZE AI for Good Global Summit, and Founding Chairman of the Technology Advisory Council FinTech Ideas Festival, he has held globally unique roles in business, finance, entrepreneurship, science organizations, UN innovation programs, industry think tanks, and top summits. With over 300 senior executive roles and global awards and recognitions, Stephen Ibaraki is a multiple award-winning educator, researcher, speaker, writer, serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and investor, dedicated to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ITU World Summit on the Information Society Action Lines.

Ellen Jackowski

Ellen Jackowski is a renowned sustainability and social impact activist. She holds the position of Chief Sustainability Officer at Mastercard where she concentrates on instilling ESG practices throughout the company and advancing global sustainability initiatives. Previously, Ellen led HP's Sustainable Impact team and was instrumental in incorporating sustainability into HP's 2030 vision and strategy. She established an integrated operational framework to drive progress toward HP's 2030 agenda, which involved setting, measuring, and reporting comprehensive goals. Ellen's leadership contributed to HP being recognized as America's Most Responsible Company for three consecutive years and the first tech company worldwide to be awarded a quadruple A rating for Climate, Forest, Water, and Supplier Engagement Leader. Throughout her career, Ellen has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to sustainability and social impact, reflecting her lifelong dedication to creating a fairer and more sustainable world.

Ana Arriola-Kanada

Ana Arriola-Kanada is a queer Latine Mother of Trans and non-binary experience. Currently, she serves as the Director of Product Design and Research at Microsoft leading Design & Research for Microsoft's Physical Operations Cloud (PhysOps). Ana identifies herself as a servant leader with a unique balance of narrative, strategic thinking, technical expertise, and tactical execution. As a global creative and accomplished craftswoman with decades of experience in brand, human-centered product design, and product management, she has brought award-winning products and services to market. Before Microsoft, Ana was the Director of Product Design for AI, working across Meta's Artificial Intelligence Research/FAIR, Applied Machine Learning/AML, and Society & AI Lab/SAIL, where she is passionate about the advancement of AI technology in the service of people and power and responsibility that comes with it for Meta's 2 billion+ users.

Alice Korngold

Alice Korngold is the CEO of Korngold Consulting based in New York. As an expert on sustainability, board governance, and measurement, her firm’s clients include multinational companies and global, national, and regional nonprofits. Korngold and her team provide strategic advisory services and facilitate leadership strategy retreats for board members and executives from multinational companies and global, national, and regional nonprofits. The firm’s expertise is in board governance; sustainability; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and measurement and ratings. She is a published author having written two books including A Better World, Inc. (2014) and Leveraging Good Will(2005). Alice has led the way in non-profit board training and matching while developing diverse and inclusive business leadership for a just, equitable, and sustainable future.

Niamh Kristufek

As Head, U.S. Business Banking at BMO, Niamh Kristufek is a nationally regarded executive in the banking sector and has served as a leader and changemaker at BMO and within the industry for over a decade. Driven by BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion strategy, Niamh believes financial institutions play a critical role in fostering an inclusive economy that creates opportunity, sparks innovation, and drives economic growth nationally and within our local communities. As part of BMO’s $40 billion EMpower commitment, in 2020, she spearheaded the pilot launch of Zero Barriers to Business: BMO for Black and Latinx Small Businesses, which has seen tremendous success and since then, the program has expanded to include Women and Native-owned businesses. The program takes a transformative approach to addressing the racial wealth gap through direct investment in marginalized communities, offering better access to working capital, educational resources, and networking partnerships. To date, BMO has provided nearly $65MM to Black, Latinx, Native, and Women entrepreneurs and they have delivered over 500 hours of educational webinars, and workshops in collaboration with community partners to hundreds of business owners.

Mette Lykke

Mette Lykke is the CEO of Too Good To Go, the world's largest B2C marketplace for surplus food. Mette is driven by purpose as she leads a team of more than 1,100 talented “Waste Warriors”. Her team works with 120,000 supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries, and hotels including any food retailer with a surplus of food at risk of going to waste at the end of a business day. She believes in inspiring and empowering people to take action against food waste. In 2007, she co-founded her first passion project Endomondo - a fitness community with more than 35 million users across the world. She has now dedicated her purpose to fighting food waste around the world.

Michael McAfee

Michael McAfee is the President and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. Michael’s mission is to achieve equity in the United States and through PolicyLink, he helps to ensure American children and youth in most distressed communities have a pathway into the middle class. He has partnered with local leaders in more than 60 communities which contributed to significant improvements in the educational and developmental outcomes for more than 300,000 children. Michael is also the catalyst for the creation of the Corporate Racial Equity Advantage, the first comprehensive tool to guide private sector companies in assessing and actively promoting equity in every aspect of their business operations and strategy. Outside of PolicyLink, he serves on the boards of Bridge Housing, Independent Sector, North Lawndale Employment Network, One Degree, and Sweet Beginnings, LLC. He is a U.S. Army veteran with a bachelor's degree from Harvard University's Executive Program in Public Management and earned his doctorate of education in human and organizational learning from George Washington University.

Kwasi Mitchell

Kwasi Mitchell serves as the Chief Purpose Officer of Deloitte Consulting, LLP where he is responsible for driving a firm-wide strategy around Deloitte’s commitments to include but not limited to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Sustainability and Climate Change, and Education and Workforce Development. As CPO, he advises clients within both the Government and Commercial sectors. He also previously served as the Strategy Offering Leader for the company’s Government & Public Services (GPS) practice. Passionate about addressing systemic societal issues, Kwasi supports his clients on their Purpose journey to form alliances with key partners to co-create solutions. Before joining Deloitte, he was the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader and the Pro Bono and Social Impact lead for our +50,000 person Consulting practice. With a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, he sits on the board of several national and global nonprofits.

Sandra M. Moore

With more than 30 years of experience at several notable non-profits, as well as a seat in a governor’s cabinet and time as an administrative judge, Sandra Moore serves as the Chief Impact Officer and a Managing Director at Advantage Capital—a leading impact investment firm with more than $3.8 billion in capital deployed to more than 800 businesses supporting more than 66,000 jobs. In her role, she helps to ensure the firm’s investments are delivering tangible, trackable community impacts across the country. Since joining the firm, Sandra has built Advantage Captial’s Impact practice, which creates data-driven initiatives to track and expedite portfolio growth. She also established the firm’s marketing and communications function to ensure they are actively engaging important stakeholders to move their mission forward. In addition, Sandra has led the development of fundraising efforts for the Empower the Change Fund—a growth fund that seeks to provide capital to minority-owned businesses and close the racial wealth gap.

Tracy Palandjian

Tracy Palandjian, a native of Hong Kong, is the CEO and co-founder of Social Finance, a national impact finance and advisory nonprofit building innovative partnerships and investments to measurably improve lives. Along with her leadership in Social Finance, Tracy is a member of the Harvard Corporation and serves on the boards of The Surdna Foundation and The Boston Foundation. Previously, Tracy was Board Chair of Facing History and Ourselves, Co-Chair of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Vice Chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers. She also served on the boards of Milton Academy and Mass General Brigham. Tracy has been recognized for her efforts to improve the lives of children and families–receiving the Embracing the Legacy Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in 2018. She is also a 2019 recipient of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Achievement Award.

Sunil Paul

As an experienced entrepreneur and investor, Sunil Paul is the CEO and co-founder of Spring Free EV, a financial technology company built to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) through innovative fintech products. Sunil has a love for innovation and making ideas a reality. Previously, he co-founded and ran Sidecar where his team invented modern ridesharing. His expertise also goes back to when he incubated Getaround and made many successful investments including several IPOs like Linkedin. He co-founded and ran companies like Brightmail which pioneered anti-spam, and early web pioneer FreeLoader. Sunil is an active voice in the non-profit and political space where he has worked with organizations like Gigaton Throwdown, Clean Energy for Biden, Cleantech for Obama, and others.

Adam Penny

Adam Penny is the co-founder and CEO of The Beautiful Truth Group, a magazine that celebrates the individuals and businesses who are embracing life with purpose. The magazine covers the psychology of purpose for individuals; what purpose means for leadership; and how when it's correctly harnessed, it can shape better businesses and a better world. Adam and his team work on purpose-driven projects for some of the largest and most impactful organizations in the world – including British Airways, Cargill, Pfizer, Glencore, ArcelorMittal, the UN, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and many more. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Connected Pictures, a film studio focused on purpose-driven films. Both businesses were born out of a belief that companies can realize their full potential by understanding the values and intentions of the people at the heart of the business and then using this as the starting point for purpose-driven action.

Maia Sharpley

Maia Sharpley is the Founder and Managing Partner of Odonata Ventures, a venture capital firm that is committed to investing in revolutionary technology-enabled education companies. She has been at the forefront of innovation in the education, EdTech, venture, and start-up arenas since the early days of education reform. Maia has a proven track record of conceptualizing, developing, optimizing, and investing in businesses and has built and run multiple educational start-ups. A Kauffman Fellow, Maia’s rigorous 2-year executive education in venture capital and innovation leadership was led by the world’s top 1% investors, educators, and innovation leaders. Maia currently serves on the board and/or is a member of multiple (non-investment related) education organizations, including colleges, research think tanks, EdTech accelerators, and start-ups. She is a founder of Innovation for Equity, a nonprofit dedicated to improving outcomes for Black learners of all ages.

Myriam Sidibé

As one of the world’s leading experts on brands that drive health outcomes through mass behavioral change, Myriam Sidibé has worked in over 20 countries in Asia and Africa for both public and private sectors where she advocated the need for businesses to gain growth and profits from engagement in social and health issues to build more sustainable, effective interventions. During her 15-year career at Unilever, Myriam spearheaded a movement to change the handwashing behavior of one billion people globally (achieved in 2019). Her approach to pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo has been pivotal to leading a paradigm shift in the way public-private partnerships for health and well-being are managed and funded. She has been recognized by the United Nations for conceiving and helping establish the multi-award-winning Global Handwashing Day – now celebrated annually in over 100 countries. Her 2014 TED Talk “The Simple Power of Handwashing” has been viewed more than a million times. Myriam’s book “Brands on a Mission” provides the operational framework for her new movement ‘Brands on a Mission’ which was developed to catalyze and generate a US$1 billion investment in sustainable business models that address health and well-being, contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Ayo Sokale

Ayo Sokale a Project Manager at the Environment Agency where she is responsible for leading a team of project-focused team members on the River Thames Scheme and Assets below required condition (ABRC) sub-program in the Thames Area and the western part of the Environment Agency's Collaborative Delivery Framework Eastern Hub (Thames Valley, East Anglia, Herts, and NorthLondon). As a Chartered Civil Engineer and graduate of Plymouth University, Ayo has been nominated for the Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35 (WE50) initiative run by The Telegraph in partnership with The Women's Engineering Society (WES) (June 2017). She has also raised funds for several charities and previously used her platform as a beauty queen to support this (Miss Plymouth 2012/2013, Miss Sussex 2013/14, Miss East Sussex 2014/15, and finalist for Miss Galaxy England, Miss Earth and Miss Great Britain). She is a TV Presenter and speaker represented by Riva Media. She has presented for BBC reels, the Smithsonian Channel, BBC Bitesize, and now presents for Cbeebies.

Anthony Stephan

For more than 30 years, Anthony R, Stephan has guided businesses on the verge of transformation, leaning in with aspirations to inspire change and drive balanced growth through strategic initiatives. He currently serves as the US Consumer Industry Leader for Deloitte Consulting, LLP, where he inspires businesses to amplify the human experience, transform the enterprise, and disrupt traditional boundaries. While leading effective teams and serving clients are his highest priorities, Anthony also invests heavily in the growth of others. He is the Executive Leader for Project 120, a $1.4 billion investment in advancing technology and leadership skills for our people. This is a bold transformation of the approach to learning and development (L&D), setting a new industry standard for how L&D should be designed, delivered, and experienced. 

Jérôme Tagger

Jérôme Tagger is CEO of Preventable Surprises, a company that works with professionals who share aspirations for a sustainable and ethical financial system. An innovator in the areas of long-term ESG trends and systemic risks, before joining Preventable Surprises, he served as a Director at the Global Impact Investing Network, the founding COO of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, Head of Research at Eurosif and Chief Revenue Officer at ImpactAlpha. He co-hosts a podcast with Alison Taylor, called “Breaking the Fever.”

Alison Taylor

Alison Taylor is executive director of Ethical Systems at NYU Stern School of Business, a research collaboration between leading academics working on behavioral science, systems thinking and organizational psychology. Alison works on challenges at the intersection of corporate integrity, risk and responsibility, with a long history of consulting for multi-national organizations on sustainability, political and social risk, culture, stakeholder engagement and other business and ethics issues. With approaches based on credible research, Ethical Systems aims to help companies build more ethical and effective cultures beyond functional ESG silos or disclosure requirements.

Dr. Gillian Tett

Gillian Tett serves as the Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, U.S. of the Financial Times. She writes weekly columns covering a range of economic, financial, political, and social issues. She is also the co-founder of FT Moral Money, a twice-weekly newsletter that tracks the ESG revolution in business and finance, which has since grown to be a staple FT product. In 2020, Moral Money won the SABEW best newsletter. Previously, Tett was the FT’s U.S. managing editor from 2013 to 2019 and has served as its Tokyo bureau chief, London-based economics reporter, and reporter in Russia and Brussels. Tett is the author of The Silo Effect, which looks at the global economy and financial system through the lens of cultural anthropology. 

Alison Thompson

As CEO at Borealis and Kitselas Geothermal, Alison Thompson has stood on both sides of what sometimes seems like a deep divide between renewables and fossil fuels. Previously, she is a Métis Settlements Development Director, was an Alberta Energy Futures Lab Fellow, and served on the board of Alberta Innovates. Alison also sat on the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency’s Geothermal Implementing Agreement and was an Expert Evaluator for the European Commission and U.S. DOE's geothermal programs. Through her diversity of experience, she has developed ecosystem mastery of the renewable energy political landscape and business culture of energy in Canada and beyond. She has dedicated a substantial part of her career to demonstrating that Canada doesn't have to choose between the economy and the environment. Alison enthusiastically leans into Borealis’s B Corp certification and B Corp Best for the World (Top 5% Governance) designation and uses the company as a force for good. She is proud that Equal by 30 globally recognizes Borealis’s diversity and inclusion leadership.

Suzanne Timmons

Suzanne runs Google’s internal tech support team, and is London’s Executive Sponsor Site Lead for Pride at Google UK. Half of Suzanne’s organization is staffed by a learning and development junior talent program which serves as a career-launching pipeline, and has reached unprecedented representation levels in tech. Suzanne continues to drive improvements to wellbeing, diversity, equity & inclusion, workplace community outreach, and culture at Google. As Executive Sponsor for the Pride at Google UK ERG, Suzanne provides guidance and strategic planning to the intersectional team ensuring Google hires, develops and includes LGBT+ Googlers.

Matthieu Vegreville

As the co-founder and COO of Greenly, a company whose mission is to allow people to track their carbon footprint, Matthieu Vegreville is a Data Scientist passionate about the awareness of climate issues. Greenly is a free app that links to a user’s bank account, allowing them to calculate their carbon impact. A recognition technology allows each expense to be assigned a CO2 coefficient. The app also provides tips for users to change their consumption behavior. Matthieu has previously worked at Withings, a start-up that designs connected objects regarding health. At Withings, Matthieu created algorithms to automatically detect, classify, and detail sports sessions on Withings' activity trackers range.

Sevetri M. Wilson

Sevetri M. Wilson is the founder and CEO of technology SaaS company, Resilia. As a leader in communications, public policy, and technology, she also owns Solid Ground Innovations, LLC, a full-service strategic communications and management firm. Her work and that of her clients have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, and ESPN. Sevetri has also been named a 40 under 40 recipient, 2013 Business Woman of the Year by the La Legislative Women's Caucus, Inc. Magazine’s 100 Women Building America’s Most Innovative Companies, and Resilia to Forbes 100 Cloud Rising Stars list and Venture Beat’s Companies to Watch Outside of Silicon Valley. In 2010, Sevetri's work received the National Nobel Prize for Public Service from the Jefferson Awards. Her passion for helping first-generation college students has been recognized by elected officials including New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, and the U.S. Senate.

Maayan Ziv

Maayan Ziv is the founder and CEO of AccessNow, a social enterprise that shares information about the accessibility of places worldwide. Not only is she an entrepreneur, but Maayan is a passionate disability advocate who has created a powerful shift in thinking about the importance of accessibility, from accessible technologies to infrastructure, public policy, media, and more. As an internationally acclaimed voice for the disability rights movement, she has been recognized with several awards, including Canada’s Top 40 under 40, MIT’S Top 35 Innovators under 35, the Governor General’s Innovation Award, Toronto’s Communicator of the Year Award, and WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.