#ubuntupeople: Meet our Judges

October 30, 2015 in Ubuntu People

As the entries to #ubuntupeople begin to stack up, it’s the perfect time to turn our attention to the people who will decide who will be going to Ghana and Merit360

Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group


Ubuntu means that we are at our best when we all work together for each other. I have always believed in the power of passionate youth and now combined with considerate capitalism, we have a great opportunity to build a better, fairer world for the next generation.

Since starting youth culture magazine “Student” at aged 16, Richard has found entrepreneurial ways to drive positive change in the world. In 2004 he established Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, which unites people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world. Most of his time is now spent building businesses that will make a positive difference in the world and working with Virgin Unite and organisations it has incubated, such as The Elders, The Carbon War Room, The B Team, Ocean Unite and Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. He also serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and supports ocean conservation with the Ocean Elders.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz – Author, Speaker and Silicon Valley Innovator

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 09.30.01To me, Ubuntu is about being human, working together, and sharing with one another to better ourselves.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz (@claire) is an author, speaker and Silicon Valley innovator who was an early employee at Twitter.

Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, she holds an MBA and other degrees from Stanford and Oxford and has been featured widely in print and broadcast media. She writes a popular business blog at ClaireDiazOrtiz.com.

Duncan Goose – Founder of the One Brand

‘The global goals are set of 17 sustainable development goals, agreed by the leaders of 190 countries, which will accelerate the reduction in extreme poverty to zero, and the protection of our planet and all humanity, by 2030. It is a phenomenally ambitious task, costing over $3 trillion a year, but one the world seems willing to take on – indeed, has to take on. If ever there were a better time for the world to unite behind a single word, like Ubuntu, now is it.’

ubuntu-judge-duncan-gooseDuncan Goose is Founder and CEO of Global Ethics Limited, The One Brand and The One Foundation.

Formerly a director of a marketing agency, and having ridden a motorbike around the world, Duncan launched One after being caught in Hurricane Mitch in Honduras in 1998 – a
natural disaster responsible for killing 20,000 people, and experiencing life without access to drinking water.

Driven by his passion for helping those without clean, drinking water and committed to making changes to the global water sector, Duncan is now building on the expertise acquired over the past decade venturing into new areas of international development, in addition to overseeing the daily running of One.

One exists with the single objective of raising funds for water projects in Africa and it does this primarily through selling One drinks, which are stocked by retailers and corporate organisations, as well as being present at events that share Duncan’s goal of wanting to make a difference to the global water crisis.

Duncan has celebrated numerous milestones during One’s ten-year history, including a Great Briton Award, European Entrepreneur of the Year, UK Entrepreneur of the Year, the Beacon Fellowship award and an International ‘Hero’ award in recognition of his role and continuing efforts to bring clean, drinking waterto the 663 million people without access to it, but his proudest remains celebrating having donated over £12m to funding African water projects, changing the lives of over 3 million people.

His current projects include launching a new, bank, called One for Money aimed at students, first time bankers and the ‘unbankable’ and launching a new Global Fund for Water which could raise over $3bn a year for water and sanitation projects globally.

 Luke Lang – Founder of Crowdcube


‘For me Ubuntu means I am who I am because of how my forefathers’ experiences have shaped me.’
Luke Lang co-founded Crowdcube in February 2011. Crowdcube enables everyday investors to fund British businesses in return for a share in their company. Since launch, over 200,000 savvy investors have registered with Crowdcube, helping raise more than £100m for over 300 businesses.


 Sherilyn Shackell – Founder of The Marketing Academy

 ‘For me, Ubuntu embodies the idea that everything that I do both personally and professionally should in some way enable others around me.’Sherilyn-Portraits-11-X2

Sherilyn Shackell is the irrepressible Founder of The Marketing Academy, a unique non-profit organisation dedicated to the development of leadership talent in the world of marketing & advertising. She launched the Academy in the UK in 2010 and Australia in 2014 bringing together some of the world’s best known & popular brands to provide world class learning from young leaders to CMO level through the programmes and the best bit… they are free!

Sherilyn is also a Director of Plant for Peace and Trustee of its Foundation, an awe inspiring organisation bringing peace, food security and sustainable income to post conflict countries such as Afghanistan through the creation of horticultural cooperatives; planting pomegranates not poppies!

A highly popular and engaging speaker she’s also in demand as a business coach and you’ll often find her delivering lessons in leadership via the Living Leader Programme of which she’s a licensed trainer. When she gets the chance, she writes about talent engagement & development (a particular passion) and all things ‘leadership’ featuring in many articles in The Sunday Times, FastCo, Telegraph, AdNews, Marketing Week, Marketing Magazine, Management Today and CMO.com.

 Jan Owen – CEO of FYA

The message of Ubuntu resonates so powerfully in a world dominated by “i”. Ubuntu reveals the truth of the matter. There is no “i” only “we”. There is no change except with a commitment from us all!

A pioneer of the youth sector in Australia, Jan has dedicated most of her working life to social change and encouraging young people to give back and invest their talents in their communities and things they are passionate about.

Jan Owen 1In March 2014 Jan received the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of Sydney, in recognition of her significant contribution to young people and policy in Australia. In 2012, Jan was named the inaugural Australian Financial Review & Westpac Group ‘Woman of Influence 2012’. In 2000 she was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for services to children and young people and in 1999 received a fellowship for leadership and innovation to the Peter Drucker Foundation in the US. Jan is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).
Before joining FYA, Jan was Executive Director of Social Ventures Australia, which aims to increase the impact of the Australian social sector. Prior to this, Jan founded the CREATE Foundation, the national consumer body for children and young people in out of home care.

Jan has contributed to the establishment of many social change organisations in Australia and served on a wide range of Boards. She is currently Member, RMIT College of Business Industry Advisory Board; Chair, Melbourne Social Equity Institute (University of Melbourne) Advisory Board; Member, Malthouse Theatre Board; a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) and Patron of Vanish and Children’s Ground.

 Nick Jenkins – Founder of Moonpig.com and ‘Dragon’ on ‘Dragon’s Den’


‘Waking up each morning wanting to make the world a better place.’

Nick Jenkins is the Founder of Moonpig.com. When the business was sold to Photobox in 2011 Nick spent a year as the CEO of Ark, the international educational charity, where he remains a trustee. He now splits his time between social projects and investing in the start up businesses.

Nick is on the investment committee of Impact Ventures UK and is a Patron of Shivia, a charity that aims to equip some of the poorer families in West Bengal to lift themselves from poverty. He is also a panelist on the BBC2 business programme “Dragons’ Den”

Neale Godfrey – Family Financial Expert and Author

‘We can never solve our global challenges until we get over ourselves as being more important as individuals than we are as part of the whole world’s consciousness.’

Neale is the author of 27 books that deal with money, life skills, and value issues, and has been honoured with a #1 New York Times Best Seller, Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children.

Neale’s, ECO-Effect®: The Greening of Money, combines ECOnomics and ECOlogy to show adults and children how they can save money while also saving the environment. This Financial Literacy and STEM program consists of a book, web site, blog, lessons for school, lessons for home, games and activities to link parents, children, businesses, schools, communities . . . and the world so that together we can raise our consciousness and change habits.ubuntu-judge-neale-godfrey

Neale has often appeared as a financial expert on programs like The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNBC, CNN, etc. She also starred in the PBS
special Your Money, Your Children, Your Life. She is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, among other sites.

Neale has been honored with awards such as “Woman of the Year”, “Banker of the Year”, “Child Advocate of the Year”, and the Femme Award from the United Nations. Neale was recognized as one of New Jersey’s “50 Best Women in Business”, was National Winner of w2wlink’s Ascendancy Awards for Business Women, and has been awarded Garden State Woman of the Year for 2011. She was the recipient of UNCF’s Outstanding Community Service Award in 2012 and received the 2013 Women of Influence Award from the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

Neale has served on White House and Governor’s Task Forces, as well as on the Board of Directors of The NY Board of Trade, UNICEF, University of Charleston, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, and YPO. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors of U.S. National Committee for UN Women. She also serves on NJ’s State Employment and Training Commission Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education as well as NJ’s Science and Technology Workforce Subcommittee.

Neale represents North America on a YPO Global Taskforce called RISE, which is creating an international ecological movement, and serves on the Advisory Board for environmental sustainability, Applied Sustainability Center at the Sam M. Walton School of Business, University of Arkansas. She is also a faculty member of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). Neale has been honored with a recognition from the White House via her program, LIFE, Inc., sponsored by Deloitte Foundation.

Chris Arnold – CEO and Founder of World Merit

‘Ubuntu means that together, we can reach our fullest height. Only if we see ourselves as a whole, and as a community, can we combat the world’s most complex issues.’

ubuntu-judge-chris-arnoldChris founded his first company, Camp Leaders in 1999. It is market leader in its niche and sends over 5500 young people each year to work on cultural exchange programs in the United States.

With over 50,000 people applying to Camp Leaders, a new company, Smaller Earth, was founded in 2006 to offer options to people who wanted to travel with a purpose. The company vision is ‘to positively impact 20 million people by 2020’.

One initiative that became increasingly important to Chris was Your Big Year. This was an official international event of Global Entrepreneurship Week that Chris had been asked to create by Enterprise UK and the Kauffman Foundation. www.yourbigyear.com. With over 100,000 young people from almost every country competing in Your Big Year in its first two incarnations.

The bigger outcome of Your Big Year, however, has been the redoubling of Chris’s determination to improve the prospects for young people from any background. Many talented and hardworking people had provided a huge sense of optimism about what could be achieved with the right support and facilitation. This support and facilitation has manifested itself in Chris’s latest organization, World Merit. This is now Chris’s entire focus and he says that it is the most ambitious project of his career so far. It is designed to provide opportunity for people who demonstrate they deserve it and raise aspirations in everyone else. Humankind has evolved with an incredible reservoir of talent and fantastic diversity, World Merit is here to ensure that we utilise more of it.

Paul Robinson – CEO and Founder of Alquity

‘Ubuntu means that no individual has a lock on great ideas, we all need each other to truly succeed. We have big issues to solve if we want to create a society where truly everyone has the opportunity to succeed and the spirit of Ubuntu holds the key. My belief is we will achieve this through the inspirational ideas of the younger generation, who better understand the interconnectedness of our world. I am always blown away by how smart and Ubuntu savvy our younger generation is and am so excited to hear the amazing thoughts and visions of our articulate Ubuntu Ambassadors.’

Paul passionately believes in a business model that sees companies interacting more closely with society to create real beneficial change, by ensuring everyone gets sufficient support to be able to make a positive contribution to their economic well being.

Paul RobinsonPaul has spent the last 20 years building businesses, mainly within the financial services and fund management sector globally, living in Asia for 10 years. He has founded and led fund management businesses since 1999, initiating development and change through building experienced teams. These businesses have ranged from traditional fund management businesses, to private equity funds that have commercialised UK Ministry of Defense Research IP.

In between building businesses Paul has spent considerable time in Africa and in getting to know and understand the needs of developing communities. This has included spending time volunteer teaching in Tanzania and spending time with the Masai in their villages.

Paul is a keen social entrepreneur, having funded and helped build Global Ethics, an ethical goods company operating businesses under the One Brand, where 100% of the profit is given to charitable causes. Since 2005 they have donated over £10m and transformed more than 2 million lives.

Paul realised that this model could be taken across to the fund management arena, where his career started, and he is now focused on building Alquity and its unique business model.

Alquity is already making an impact in the investment space. Its model is based on a Virtuous Circle which delivers attractive investment returns, enhanced by focusing on companies who respect Environmental, Social and Governance issues, and then builds up the economies from the grass roots by donating up to 25% of fee revenue to support microfinance projects and create jobs.


The deadline for submissions is Friday 13th November. Join the conversation and apply here.

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