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.

"Niklas Zennstrom

CEO, Atomico, Former Founder, Skype " - United Kingdom


Zennström Philanthropies was founded in 2007 by Niklas and Catherine Zennström. Its mission is to support and engage with organisations that fight for human rights, work to stop climate change and encourage entrepreneurship in order to protect our natural environment and allow those who live in it to realize their full potential. Engaging passionately, Zennström Philanthropies human rights work focuses on Europe and Central Asia where their focus is on raising awareness about rights and working towards long term sustainability of local human rights communities.

Sean Parker

Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Brigade - USA


Starting in 2016, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy scientists funded a clinical trial to test the next wave of cancer-fighting T-cells engineered using the CRISPR gene-editing technology. The trail was the first in the United States to test CRISPR-modified cells in humans. The trial is led by the University of Pennsylvania and is also conducted at UCSF and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In November 2017, Science published a study from Parker Institute researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center showing that melanoma patients who have specific types of bacteria and a greater microbial diversity in their gut microbiome responded better to an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor versus those with less diversity. Based on this work, the Parker Institute is collaborating with MD Anderson and industry partner Seres Therapeutics to launch a microbiome-cancer immunotherapy clinical trial for advanced melanoma patients.

Aliaune Akon Thiam

Co-Founder, Konfidence Foundation - USA


Founded by Akon and Ms. Kine Gueye Thiam in 2007, the Konfidence Foundation is dedicated to empowering youth in Senegal, West Africa and the United States by promoting health and education, and supporting impoverished families.Their vision shares the philosophy tthat one day the concentrated efforts in Senegal and the United States will serve as an international platform to unite these two great nations and help build the Africa of tomorrow. In 2007, Akon turned his attention, energy, and love to launch the Konfidence Foundation. Drawing upon his recognizable celebrity combined with pride of his heritage and passion for philanthropy, Akon formed the Konfidence Foundation to improve the quality of life for people in Africa and the United States.

Naveen K. Jain

Co-founder and Executive Chairman,Moon Express; CEO, Viome


The Anu & Naveen Jain Women's Safety XPRIZE challenges teams to leverage technology to keep women and communities safe. Inviting and inubating innovation, the winning team's solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds. The winning technology will cost no more than US $40, to help ensure it is affordable. In a bid to make the world safer for women and having recognised that one in three women have faced violence in some form and at least one in five women are assaulted on college campuses in the United States alone, the goal of the prize is to use technology to find a solution which would allow communities to rapidly respond to threats against any of its members, ensuring that help is always available.

Pierre Morad Omidyar

Founder, eBay - USA


Democracy Fund: is a bipartisan foundation created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in 2011. It has been an independent private foundation since 2014. Its stated aim is to improve the democratic process in the United States so that it better benefits voters. Its activities include awarding grants to organizations it believes will further its goal. It also created the Voter Study Group, a collaboration of ideologically diverse scholars and analysts that surveyed 8,000 American voters on their political and social views. Humanity United: a foundation dedicated to bringing new approaches to global problems that have long been considered intractable. It works to encourage experimentation, innovation, co-creation, and adaptation to maximize impact. Our tools go beyond traditional financial support and include network development, advocacy, strategic communications, and HU-led initiatives.

"James Harris Simons

Founder, Renaissance Technologies"


The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Co-founded in New York City by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation exists to support basic — or discovery-driven — scientific research undertaken in the pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world. The Simons Foundation’s support of science takes two forms: We support research by making grants to individual investigators and their projects through academic institutions, and, with the launch of the Flatiron Institute in 2016, we now conduct scientific research in-house, supporting teams of top computational scientists.

"Steve Anthony Ballmer

Ex-CEO, Microsoft;, Co-founder, The Ballmer Group"


The foundation supports efforts to improve economic mobility for children and families in the United States who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. Through their donation and and civic activism, the foundation focuses on four levers of change that, together, hold promise to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, collaborating with different parties including government, non-profit, community-based organizations to tackle problems

"Lyda Hill

Chairman, L H Holdings Inc. "


The Lyda Hill Foundation is a private foundation committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature, empowering nonprofit organizations, and to improving the North Texas and Colorado Springs communities. The organizational ethos of the Lyda Hill Foundation reflects a mix of entrepreneurial vigor and a commitment to balancing profit with purpose.The foundation is committed to investing in solutions, as opposed to incremental change, seeking to invest in transformational initiatives that have the potential to impact global issues such as food safety, ocean conservation, medical research, and other related efforts.

Pham Nhat Vuong

Chairman,Vingroup - Vietnam


The Kind Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Vingroup to undertake humanitarian and charity missions and “most promptly and efficiently transfer Vingroup employees’ kindness to the community.” Established in 2006, with the entire operating budget funded by Vingroup and its management, the Kind Heart Fund has implemented practical projects and actionable programs for the development of many communities, with priority given to benefiting disadvantaged families and families with meritorious service to the revolution. These include: taking care of women awarded the “Heroic Vietnamese Mother” honour, supporting beneficiaries of social welfare and preferential government programs, helping poor but studious students, supporting economic development for poor provinces, assisting victims of natural disasters, and underwriting charitable and humanitarian projects that construct educational, cultural and public health centres.

"Strive Masiyiwa

Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless " - Zimbabwe


Higherlife Foundation is a social impact organization raising young African leaders through education by providing platforms for them to fulfil their God given purpose. Founded by Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa in 1996 out of their personal convictions, heartfelt compassion as well as their personal experiences of orphan-hood, we are contemporary Africans moving the African continent forward through education and opportunities.

Daniel S. Aegerter

Chairman and Founder, ARMADA Investment AG - Switzerland


Energy for Humanity is a UK-and Switzerland-based non-profit organisation with a global outlook focused on solving climate change and enabling universal access to modern energy services. The Foundation strongly advocates for evidence-based, whole-system, and technology-inclusive solutions in pursuit of the best (fastest, most cost-effective, most feasible) outcomes for people and nature. Our goal is to address these themes and to inspire meaningful action.

Dr. Charly Kleissner

Co-Founder, Toniic - USA


The KL Felicitas Foundation was created in 2000 with a mission to enable social entrepreneurs and enterprises globally to develop and grow sustainably. With a strong impact investing strategy at its core, the foundation works to match the entrepreneurial spirit and business discipline of social enterprise with the significant capital being made available through a growing network of impact investors. The foundation has worthy contributions in making valuable investments and identifying most promosing innovations for positive social and environmental change.