The Global Wealth and Society programme seeks to identify the important role that the privileged have towards their respective society. In building this programme, we measure wealth, not by the amount of financial assets individuals amass but by the positive impact they create on society through sustainable projects. Projects that are close to their hearts and which they believe to affect their immediate society in a deep and profound manner.

Based on this philosophy of contribution and giving back to the society, we identify these individuals as “Champions of Philanthropy” as part of our Global Wealth and Society Awards Programme.

Over the next few weeks until early October, our research team will be adding new names to the list and will be reaching out to them as part of the awards evaluation process.

The list below profiles selected Champions and their shortlisted projects across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East . In doing so, the list also tracks the way they are investing and deploying their wealth to bring about positive impacts on the society that they operate in.

Mohamed Al Fayed

Owner, Hotel Ritz Paris - Egypt

The foundation's work focuses on improving the lives of traumatised, impoverished and very sick children. It extends from supporting world-renowned children’s hospitals, to children’s hospices, schools and individuals.

Fred Swaniker

Co-founder,African Leadership Academy - Ghana

African Leadership Academy seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of over 6,000 leaders who will work together to address Africa's greatest challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact, and accelerate the continent's growth trajectory.

Chen Yidan

Honorary Adviser Tencent Holding Ltd. - Hong Kong

Founded in 2016 by Charles Chen Yidan, Yidan Prize has a mission to create a better world through education. Yidan Prize consists of two awards: Yidan Prize for Education Research and Yidan Prize for Education Development. Yidan Prize Laureate receives a gold medal and a total sum of HK$30 million (around $3.9 million) including a cash prize of HK$15 million (around $1.9 million) and a project fund of HK$15 million.

Robert Ho Hung Ngai

Founder and Chairman,Robert H N Ho Family Foundation - Hong Kong

Established in 2005 by Mr. Robert H. N. Ho, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization based in Hong Kong. The Foundation's dual mission is to foster an appreciation of Chinese arts and culture to advance global learning and to cultivate a deeper understanding of Buddhism in the context of contemporary life.

Eric Xu Yong

Co-Founder, Baidu - Hong Kong

The Foundation was founded in July 2012, is a non-public grant-making foundation registered in Hong Kong, China, with initial funding of $22 million. The Foundation subsidizes public welfare programs and non-governmental public welfare organizations which are in line with social welfare, promote social justice or conductive to social development. The Founder Dr. Xu Yong, founded the Foundation on the basis of practicing corporate social responsibility. Dr. Xu is dedicated to promoting development of social welfare charity in a professional and in-depth manner, supporting public philanthropy, and promoting the development of positive and sustainable welfare organizations as well as projects.

James Chen

Co-founder, Adlens - Hong Kong

The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation is a Hong Kong based charity foundation with a strategic focus on early childhood literacy, library development and education enhancement. We support organizations on innovative, cost effective and high impact projects in Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Neil Shen

Founding Managing Partner; Sequoia Capital China - Hong Kong

The fund will operate under the Yale Centre Beijing to help train children ages 3 to 6 years in emotional intelligence.2016, he donated $7.3 million to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he had earned his undergraduate degree before heading to Yale for a master's, to set up a medical-research fund.

Azim Premji

Chairman,Wipro Limited - India

Azim Premji Foundation is a not-for profit organisation that has been working since 2000 with the elementary education system in rural government schools. The Foundation began by implementing various programmes to improve educational quality across the country. By 2010 however it became clear that working on a project mode was inadequate and it takes continuous effort over many decades for any deep-rooted change to happen.Today, the Foundation with 1000+ employees has field institutes in 40+ districts across 6 states and 1 union territory (Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry) reaching more than 3,50,000 schools across the country.

Anand Mahindra

Chairman Mahindra Group - India

Naandi Foundation has spawned three for-profit social businesses. The first is a joint venture with danone.communities to set up low-cost drinking-water plants across the country, serving more than 700,000 customers. His second, in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, offers afterschool support to students in city slums through a tech platform. The third, Araku, works with tribal farmers by connecting them to global markets. It has helped farmers convert wasteland into plantations producing premium coffee.

Vineet Nayar

Former CEO, HCL Technologies and Anupama Nayar, Founders, Sampark Foundation - India

Sampark Foundation is one of the world's largest primary school transformation initiatives by a Foundation. The foundation tries to change the scene of education in India frugal innovation in the critical domain of teaching practices, tools and methodologies, thus fostering their holistic development, and therefore, enabling them adequately to contribute towards the progress of humankind.