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7 Leaders Creating Impact in 2018

From providing needed medicine to people in the most underprivileged places in the world to a digital platform device to detect the early onset of respiratory disease, 2018 saw YPO members creating powerful, purpose-driven businesses with real social and economic value beyond profit.

Here are some extraordinary leaders creating a world of impact:

The Breath of Life

So, what to do if you suffer from a respiratory disease, can’t monitor yourself at home and can’t afford health care? Until the launch of X-halo, a digital platform device to detect the early onset of respiratory disease before systems appear, many were out of luck. Co-created by Harjit Gill, X-halo connects to the user’s smartphone and tracks their lung health by measuring breath temperature.

Learning How to Dream Big

Following the massive earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, YPO member, CEO and Co-Founder of Special Aerospace Services Heather Bulk and her husband Tim helped children there regain a sense of normalcy and opportunity by establishing the Who Dreams Wins Foundation. Not only were they able to successfully build a school but they also replaced the knocked-out hydro plant, providing the community with two essentials — education and power.

Create Purpose and Business Will Follow

Each year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) invites 100 of world’s most promising artists, business leaders and social entrepreneurs to join the World Economic Forum’s community of Young Global Leaders (YGL). One of 2018’s nominees is Riad Armanious who provides medicine to people in underprivileged places in the world, creating a purpose-driven business with real social and economic value beyond profit.

Sowing The Seeds Of Tomorrow’s Fashion Stars

Voted one of the top 50 Most Influential Young Ghanaians in ranking poll by Avance Media, at 35-years-old, Roberta Annan has already created an unparalleled legacy of change. Since starting Roberta Annan Capital Partners in 2016, one of Annan’s most indelible milestones is launching Africa Fashion Fund (AFF). The non-profit investment vehicle offers seed funding to emerging luxury brands manufactured in Africa, with women at every level of the value chain.

The 5-Minute Social Business Guide

Saskia Bruysten, CEO and Founder of Yunus Social Business, offers leaders guidance on how to create a business that considers social problems as part of their plan while also generating a profit. She co-founded Yunus Social Business in 2011 with Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and Sophie Eisenmann after seeing the success of a social business model in Bangladesh, India.

Breaking The Mold

Co-founder of ThirdLoveHeidi Zak’s company has donated more than 50,000 bras to I Support the Girls, an organization that sends donations to women and girls in homeless and domestic violence shelters, refugee settlement homes, foster care agencies, and homes for pregnant teens. In tandem with The Unmentionables, ThirdLove reaches girls and women in refugee camps globally.

Sampling Success

“I wake up every day looking forward to solving problems,” says Carmen Sample, the Founder and CEO of Sample Supports. Her social services agency offers comprehensive programs to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially those who have dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse as well.

Mary Woods is a content strategist, an award-winning storyteller and editor in chief of YPO's Ignite digital magazine. She has the pleasure of telling the engaging stories of some of the most influential young business leaders who are making an impact across the globe.