Last updated: 15:19 / Wednesday, 8 May 2013
American Express and Ashoka

Campaign to support 45 leaders of social change

Campaign to support 45 leaders of social change

American Express, in partnership with Ashoka Changemakers, is recognizing 45 social entrepreneurs as top innovators in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They are most likely the next generation of leaders that will work to solve some of the world's most critical challenges.

"The strength of our global society depends on the work of passionate innovators who can respond to the needs of our communities," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of American Express Foundation. "These 45 young entrepreneurs have channeled their empathy and commitment to create solutions that are currently changing lives throughout North America."

The innovators will attend the American Express Emerging Innovators Leadership Boot Camp in their respective countries where they will have the opportunity to seek guidance from leaders including president of American Express' U.S. Consumer Services Group, Josh Silverman; Ashoka Fellows Charles Best, Molly Barker, Tonya Surman, George Roter and Ai Jen Poo; author and entrepreneur, Seth Godin; and Huffington Post Media Group Chief of Staff, Koda Wang.

The two-day Boot Camps in New York City, Toronto, and Mexico City are part of the American Express Emerging Innovators campaign, which aims to accelerate and highlight the ideas of tomorrow's leaders through training, mentorship, promotion, and collaboration. An online campaign which can be accessed here will feature videos, interviews, and insights from the 45 innovators, as well as notable thought leaders who will share their knowledge and advice about leadership, social change, and entrepreneurship. The campaign will be translated into both Spanish and English.

The American Express Emerging Innovators are:

United States:

  • Adam Lowy , Move For Hunger
  • Andrew Posner , Capital Good Fund
  • Cristi Hegranes , Global Press Institute
  • Curt Bowen , Semilla Nueva
  • Danielle Miller , Cell-Ed
  • Dante Cassanego , Juntos Finanzas
  • Jason Young , Mindblown Labs
  • Kalsoom Lakhani , Invest2Innovate
  • Lisa Curtis , Kuli Kuli
  • Manjula Dissanayake, Educate Lanka
  • Maurya Couvares , ScriptEd
  • Sara Potler , Move This World
  • Shivani Siroya , InVenture
  • Sombit Mishra, QMedic
  • Tinia Pina , Re-Nuble


  • Abid Virani , Hope in The Fight Productions Inc.
  • Asha Suppiah , Enviro Spinnovations
  • Athena Theny , Athena Atelier
  • Corey Cook , Mino Bimaadiziwin "The Good Life"
  • Katie Jeanes , A Little More Good 
  • Kelly Lovell , My Clean City
  • Patrick Shannon , Project Gwali
  • Robyn Ashwell , Shift Delivery
  • Saksham Uppal, Social Spark 
  • Scott Oldford, FundUni
  • Simon Pickup , Youth Hydrogen
  • Sonam Swarup , Fusion Kitchen
  • Tara Mahoney , Gen Why Media Project
  • Taylor Conroy , Change Heroes
  • Yang (Linda) Liu , Sprouts


  • Alejandro Maza , Yo Propongo
  • Ana Lucia Cepeda , VidaMujer
  • Areli Rojas , Quien Habla por Mí
  • Citlali Salas , Mision Planeta
  • David Hernandez , CAPTAS
  • Gregorio Desgarennes , Hub Oaxaca
  • Hector Elizondo , yoReciclo
  • Jesus Gastelum , GC Ingenieria Social
  • Jesus Herrera , Conciencia Hídrica y WETnology Challenge
  • Juana Jurado , tuOla
  • Marco Vinicio Barcena , Red Mexicana de Debate
  • Marisol Campos , Fundacion Rayuela para la Cultura A.C.
  • Monica Seoane , NUSCAA TIERRA NUEVA
  • Nancy Amado , Trascendiendo con Resilencia y Dignidad A.C.
  • Pedro Agustin Gomez , Proyecto METAS

One of American Express' three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and sectors, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.  The Academy brings together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and Open Growth platform,  Ashoka is the global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs—more than 2,500 men and women with system-changing solutions for the world's most urgent social problems.