ACT II — Stepping Up: Entrepreneurial Leaders Gather in Aspen for Action Focused Dialogue

July 7, 2011

Contact: Jeff Harris
Senior Public Affairs Coordinator
The Aspen Institute

Abigail Golden-Vazquez
Deputy Director Leadership Initiatives
The Aspen Institute

Spotlight on leaders tackling problems and inspiring others to do the same

Aspen, CO, July 7, 2011–– The Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network (AGLN) today convened “ACT II”, the biannual gathering of Fellows from 12 leadership initiatives modeled on the Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship Program. This year’s theme is “Stepping Up” and more than 200 Fellows from 27 countries made the trip to Aspen to share experiences and inspire their colleagues to continue to “step up” and create meaningful change around the world. 

“The Aspen Global Leadership Fellows are tackling some of the foremost problems of our times,” said Aspen Institute Executive Vice President Peter Reiling. “They are fighting malnutrition in Central America, domestic violence in Nigeria, and educational underachievement across the US. They are using their companies to build medical devices and medicines that would otherwise never see the light of day. At ACT II, Fellows connect, re-energize, work on their projects, and gain important new insights that increase the impact of their work. The outcome could truly change the world.”

Fellows are, on average, 40 years old when they are selected and come primarily from the business sector– although their ranks also include members from government and nonprofits. All are entrepreneurs by nature and have proven themselves as leaders in their respective fields. In cohorts of 20, they commit themselves to four retreats over a two-year period in which they jointly explore how to become ever more effective leaders and how to stretch themselves to have a greater impact on the critical challenges facing the societies where they live. They take what they have learned back to their companies and organizations and put their ideas into action through a required leadership project built around an issue they are passionate about.

Fellows in attendance include …

Preeta Bansal, general council and senior policy advisor to the White House, led the development of a major White House report on “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being,” the first report of its kind since 1963. Washington, DC.

John Deasy, superintendent of Los Angeles Public Schools, left the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help the second largest school district in the country succeed.

Karla Gonzalez Carvajal, former secretary of transportation and public works, started a road safety and anti-drunk driving campaign saving tens of thousands of lives in Costa Rica. 

Chadia El Meouchi, managing partner of Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm, co-founded the Middle East Leadership Initiative to prompt successful entrepreneurs from across the region to step up and apply their skills to the challenges they see around them.

Seth Goldman, in addition to instituting environmentally friendly business practices as founder and president of Honest Tea, has led an initiative to turn Bethesda, Maryland into a green business zone.

Dele Olojede, pulitzer prize-winning founder of Timbuktu Media, is uncovering and shining a spotlight on corruption where ever it may be. Lagos, Nigeria

The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector — currently, more than 1300 “Fellows” from 43 countries — who share a commitment to effective, enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India and the Middle East.


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