In a gentle way, you can shake the world ― Mahatma Gandhi
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7 Key Behaviors of People Who Make a Positive Difference In the World
Look around you and you’ll see three kinds of people — those who hate their work, and complain bitterly, those who just tolerate their work and see it as a paycheck and aren’t looking for more (or feel they can’t have more), and finally, those who love their work, and relish it. The third category is a small subset of all professionals globally, but this group stands out because these are, most often, the people who change the world for the better.
In my work as a success coach and writer, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with people who’ve made a true and measurable impact in the world, including well-known experts, authors, researchers, journalists, scientists, innovators, business…
Alexi Nazem, a 34-year-old physician-turned-entrepreneur, has some ideas about how to bring American medicine out of the fax-and-landline age and into the 21st century. “Our goal is to be the Airbnb of health care,” he says of Nomad Health, the startup he co-founded and now leads as CEO. That oversells it a bit: Whereas Airbnb connects ordinary lodgers with spare rooms, Nomad is a business-to-business proposition. It does, however, bring doctors into the gig economy.
Suing big tobacco for the costs of smoking-related illnesses is on the radar of an organisation set up by billionaire iron ore magnate and philanthropist Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest. "We're aiming for a smoke-free Australia by 2025 and this sort of action by Andrew Forrest would put another nail in the coffin of the tobacco industry."
The multi-tasking entrepreneur and CEO of 23andMe, the personal genomics company she co-founded in 2006, spends a lot of time on her feet.
To make sure he is “hyperpresent” and ready to connect with his staff, he sleeps six or seven hours every night, exercises regularly and limits work to 60 hours a week. “I’m really good at understanding people,” he says—but that’s the easy part. Technological breakthroughs are “hard to predict. I don’t think anyone’s particularly good at it.”
Audra and Justin Wilford
A child’s cancer diagnosis makes even the strongest parents feel helpless. But one mom and dad turned their struggle into purpose, and they’re helping others do the same.
When he founded Toms, Blake Mycoskie reinvented the idea of a company that does well while doing good. So what's next for him? Doing that again.
Called “the woman who began the rebellion of Ethiopian women,” she helped thwart a barbaric practice that she had suffered and that had cost her sister’s life.
No one is entirely clear on how Brian Nosek pulled it off, including Nosek himself. Over the last three years, the psychologist from the University of Virginia persuaded some 270 of his peers to channel their free time into repeating 100 published psychological experiments to see if they could get the same results a second time around.
What if addiction is less about drugs and genetic propensities and more about circumstances? It's a question the powers-that-be might not be comfortable hearing, but for decades Bruce Alexander has worked to make addiction as we know it a thing of the past.
Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz
The duo are emblematic of a new generation of millennial philanthropists seeking to give far beyond their own communities and experiences.
Castulo de la Rocha
AltaMed Health Services Corp. Chief Executive Castulo de la Rocha, 69, has dedicated his life to the less fortunate, from his youthful participation in the Chicano civil rights movement to the present, running the largest community healthcare system in California funded under the federal Health Care Consolidation Act.
Chamath Palihapitiya shames industry’s shortage of women and minorities; ‘equal-opportunity’ aggressor.
He's thought about writing a book for young adults, urging them to break free from complacency and norms. He'd title it "Big fish, Big pond: Breaking the Dichotomy."
A robotics scientist aims to build models that speak to human emotions.
Through Inevitable Ventures and his own personal investment and advisory work, Wallach has aligned himself with start-ups like PicnicHealth, offering personal medical record aggregation; WiserCare, a personalized patient advocacy platform; and Iggbo, which likens itself to Uber for phlebotomy.
The scale of the future won't even tell you how much you weigh. It doesn't have a screen to display your weight because, if you ask behavioral economist Dan Ariely, weight is a metric of the past. Ariely has spent his career researching the invisible machinery of human choice: why we neglect to save money for things we know we need, why we lie to our friends, and to ourselves. Recently, he’s turned his focus toward the choices we make about our health. Why, Ariely wondered, do people have such a hard time making healthy choices?
If France is going through an ecological awakening, its spiritual center may be here in Langouët, a quiet village in Brittany, where the environmentalist mayor has become a folk hero to fellow small-town officials all over the country.
Davis Liu, MD is a board certified family physician, patient advocate, physician leader, blogger, and the author of two books, including The Thrifty Patient – Vital Insider Tips for Saving Money and Staying Healthy. He’s passionate about making healthcare more convenient, personalized, and affordable.
As an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable drug delivery device, a wearable infusion pump. Today he spends much of his time running DEKA, his New Hampshire based company, which has been focused on R&D since 1982. DEKA has helped develop the portable dialysis machine, the vascular stent, the iBOT a stair-climbing wheelchair, the Slingshot water purifier and the Sterling generator. Kamen is also behind FIRST, the non-profit behind the successful robotics competitions which last year saw half a million students participating. Most recently he was awarded $300 million and is building up ARMI to focus on regenerative medicine.
Dese'Rae L. Stage
Dese'Rae L. Stage runs an online archive of portraits and interviews where suicide attempt survivors can share their experiences.
Ed Stack bought Dick’s Sporting Goods from his cantankerous father. He has now turned it into an unlikely force in the gun debate.
This year’s crop of MacArthur “geniuses” included artists, writers, computer scientists — and one biomedical researcher: Gabriel Victora, an immunologist who’s studying how our bodies respond to foreign invaders.
Now, with The Case Against Sugar, Taubes launches his toughest crusade yet: to prove that we’ve been bamboozled into thinking that cookies and soda are simply “empty” calories and not uniquely toxic ones. That’s the result, he argues, of a long history of deception from the sugar industry and its support of shoddy science.
Beautycounter founder Gregg Renfrew is mobilizing her company’s legions of fans to push for federal oversight of the cosmetics industry.
Making “Unrest” gave Ms. Brea hope during the worst phases of her illness. “I think for me that type of pain felt totally useless, but when the camera was there, that moment could mean something and help other people,” she says. “I have found a new purpose in life that is far more valuable and meaningful than the path I might have taken had this not happened.”
As Dr. Doudna notes, the DNA modifications made to embryos could be transmitted to future generations. “It’s kind of a profound thing because if you really think about it,” she says, “it really means altering human evolution on some level.”
When I started Tampon Tribe, I was driven by not only the difference that we could make to women’s health by bringing affordable organic hygiene to the subscription market, but also the difference we could bring to making our society a better place.
FrontFundr’s Jill Earthy uses her entrepreneurial drive to bring more women investors into the venture capital world
One belief that he hasn’t tempered is his idea of “conscious capitalism”—mixing business with a higher purpose. (He co-wrote a book of that title in 2013.) In his company’s case, the cause is eating better and living more healthily.
With passion, purpose and your incredible will, you too can achieve the impossible. That includes finding a cure for pancreatic cancer - Julie Weiss
Justin Rudd is one little person in one little part of the world. But his work shows how one little person can make one big difference and provides a model that can be copied anywhere.
Ms. Osorio and her husband, also a scientist at P&G, have decided to use their family’s tragedy to promote the cause of child safety. This week, they are launching a public awareness campaign around the slogan “Bag in the Back.” By urging parents and caregivers to put a bag, wallet, shoe, cellphone or any other essential personal item in the back seat of the car, Ms. Osorio hopes to lower the number of children who die—nearly 40 every year—when they are left in cars, in most cases by accident.
Kevin Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, on the future of implants that use electrical signals to help the body heal itself.
She has already built one of the most recognizable portfolios in the tech world. And with the sale of two of her early investments last year—Jet.com to Walmart for $3.3 billion and Dollar Shave Club to Unilever for $1 billion—she’s become one of the most prominent players in venture capital, an industry dominated by men.
Laurie Punch MD
Trauma surgeon battles bullets in the operating room and the community.
Cycle Technologies deals with the cycle of family planning for women in 60 countries and is committed to addressing the fertility and contraceptive choices of 214 million women around the world who have an “unmet need for contraception” according to the Guttmacher Institute.
I also like people who’ve had to be somewhat independent in their life, and they’ve done something that’s a little bit off course — like they were an art history major but then decided to be a coder, and that’s their passion now. I like inconsistencies because I think they’re going to think more broadly.
Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens
Business partners Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens have conjured up just that by channeling years of hard work and their passion for making a difference into a successful, socially-minded company that’s been in operation for over ten years now. Lunapads International Ltd., a Vancouver-based company, manufactures and markets natural feminine hygiene products as reusable alternatives to disposables, as well as an underwear line called Lunapanties.
Dr. Tessier-Lavigne would like to see more done about sexual violence on campus. This year, the university added $2.7 million for expanded programs to address the problem, including support services and education. “I’m cognizant that there will be more that we have to do,” he says. “We should have been tackling these issues 20 years ago.”
Across North America, tainted opioids are killing people who use drugs. Vancouver’s Mark Tyndall says we should start dispensing safer pills using high-tech machines.
When women get together, they solve problems. We have roughly 800 members. It's very rewarding to be in a business where one can actually help so many people.
Meggan Hill-McQueeney, the president of BraveHearts, is an ardent advocate for the benefits of therapeutic riding, also known as equine therapy.
“We’re in a unique moment of time in the U.S., where infrastructure is again being weaponized,” Murphy says. “Architects are going to be asked to choose: Will you be complicit in the system of power, which can cause great injury, or are you going to fight for what you believe in?” For Murphy, there is no longer any doubt.
The AngelList co-founder is mastering a future-focused industry by living in the present.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Dr. Tyson has since become a tour de force in that cultural shift, a dauntless and likable crusader. Whether as the director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, the affable host of the “StarTalk Radio” podcast and “Cosmos” TV series, or the author of eminently accessible books like his latest, “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,” few can make abstruse scientific concepts as understandable—or as inspiring. “I’m an educator,” he said. “If you don’t know it, I’m here for you.”
Mr. Berggruen says he wants to nurture innovative thinking, not just donate to causes. His institute, he said, is “not just a money-giving operation; it’s an ideas and energy-producing operation.” Several scholars say that Mr. Berggruen’s interdisciplinary approach to philosophy is refreshing in an academic world that can be siloed.
Marrone's path from genetically modified organisms back to her original avocation — finding natural ways to fight agricultural pests — was about as nasty as feeding worms.
Peggy O’Neil Nosti
Her dream, she said in July 2013, was that the blue dot might one day become as universally recognized for maternal mental health awareness as the pink ribbon is for breast cancer.
The price of overspending can be counted not merely in the cost of each excessive or needless purchase, but also in how such a lifestyle cuts into your financial freedom. But a young retiree is looking to guide others in a different direction.
Philip A. Mackowiak
"Physicians are hungry for liberal arts outlets," said Mackowiak, who has published two books on historical medical mysteries. At the same time, students of the liberal arts "crave a way into an arcane field like medicine." Conducting postmortems on historical figures "seemed like the perfect opportunity" to enrich the lives of both communities, he said.
If every writer who got something wrong were to be excluded from canonization, there would be nobody left to canonize. Much of what Carson wrote to great controversy is now conventional wisdom. To read “Silent Spring” now is in part to understand how we got to where we are.
One of the 24 winners of the 2017 MacArthur Genius Award is an MIT Computer Science Professor who uses how machines learn, to teach them to spot signs of cancer earlier. Regina Barzilay is a leading research in machine learning and natural language processing, she's also now working on applying artificial intelligence to cancer research.
When you graduate, you have a lot of equipment for life. But it’s just a start. You’re still exploring, and you’re going to be a learner for your whole life. You should activate that impulse, and you should still be trying new things. Find a life calling that you can commit to in a wholehearted way because if you can love your work and make it meaningful, you’re going to have a happier life.
Together with her business partner, Stephen Gire, she has patented a method for capturing menstrual flow and transforming it into medical samples. “There’s lots of information in there,” Ms. Tariyal said, “but right now, it’s all going in the trash.” Why did Ms. Tariyal see a possibility that had eluded so many engineers before her? You might say she has an unfair advantage: her gender.
Sean Parker disrupted the music business with the creation of Napster and helped instigate a social-networking revolution as the first president of Facebook Inc. Now, the billionaire hacker-turned-philanthropist has set his sights on cancer. The new entity, called the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, is a consortium of six top academic centers and many of the field’s most influential scientists. They are joining forces in an unusual collaboration intended to speed development of treatments that enlist the power of the immune system against cancer.
We are a team of expert computer scientists with the singular aim of significantly helping society through artificial intelligence technologies, and are constantly on the lookout for high-impact projects.
Sheryl Sandberg's bestseller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead launched a national conversation on gender in the workplace and an online community of millions of working women ready to bulldoze the barriers they face, from being paid less and promoted less frequently, to carrying an uneven split of the housework and child care.
Removing pill anxiety is Sophia Yen’s, MD MPH primary objective. As the cofounder and CEO of Pandia Health, she has built a high volume, subscription model for birth control telemedicine plus delivery of medications to women’s mailboxes.
Susan L. Solomon
The co-founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation left a career in law and business for science. Her goal: A cure for diabetes.
Generosity is the right instinct, but not all giving is equally effective. Meet one man who's dedicated his life—including a significant portion of his modest income—to effectively helping both those in need and those who want to pass along the most philanthropic bang for their buck.
Werner has participated in 150 triathlons as well as several iron man competitions. "After you do one, you kind of get the bug," Werner said. He relies on the exercise to keep himself going, not only physically, but mentally. "You get more oxygen to the brain." Whether running a race or running a company, Werner had solidly set himself on a path as a leader and future head of SunPower.
Tristan Harris believes Silicon Valley is addicting us to our phones. He’s determined to make it stop.
In 2012, Dr. Kerry created the solution she had envisioned. "Seed Global Health helps train a pipeline of future doctors and nurses in partner countries with the idea that they become the future of health leadership...
“People intuitively understand, that if a mother is giving birth and needs a transfusion of a rare blood type, then drones are an obvious solution,” Mr. Hetzler explained. “Other cases are similar. Emergency vaccines, for example. Rabies is a condition that is outbreak driven.”
A conservative tough-talking Tennessee-based surgeon is an unlikely hero to gravely ill children in the world's most war-torn countries - Men's Journal.
He's somewhat reinvented tech investment strategies, but what this would-be physicist cares about most is the success of scientific endeavor. And he's putting his money where his mouth is.
Zubin Damania has a face for television, a mind for medicine and the sort of fearless personality required to be one of the internet’s most famous MDs. Damania, assuming the persona of ZDoggMD, began making music videos in 2010. He parodied songs by Notorious B.I.G and the Black Eyed Peas, in so doing addressing some of the serious problems he noticed while treating patients in the hospital
We believe in patient intervention well before kidney failure when there is still opportunity to improve quality of life, health outcomes, and control costs. We are combining and fully integrating traditional medical practices with new modes of technology-enabled education and telemedicine into one seamless experience leading to healthier patient outcomes.
FindZebra has a multidisciplinary team based in Copenhagen, Denmark. We work to help people live long, happy lives. FindZebra is selling commercial products to healthcare providers to help put the patient in the center and deliver better diagnosis services. Our company is developing ‘self-driving abilities’ to apply augmented intelligence into healthcare and become patients’ trusted healthcare assistant in the future.
Jane was among the first journalists to recognize that better health doesn’t happen in the doctor’s office — it’s rooted in the small decisions we make every day, like the foods we eat, the amount we sleep and whether we wear a bicycle helmet.
Labdoor is an independent company that tests supplements. We find out whether products have what they claim and if they have any harmful ingredients or contaminants. Then, we grade and rank those products, write reports, and publish that information for free, so consumers can confidently buy the best supplements for their health.
Médecins Sans Frontières
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) translates to Doctors without Borders. We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. Our teams are made up of tens of thousands of health professionals, logistic and administrative staff - bound together by our charter. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality. We are a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organisation.
We do health insurance differently — with more coverage, less hassle, and perks that give you the most value for your premium.
Paul’s basic belief was that all human beings deserve equal respect and care, especially when they are sick. His dream, he once told me, was to start a movement that would refuse to accept, and would strive to repair, the grotesque health inequities among and within the countries of the world.
Our mission is to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life saving skills to do just that…save lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Tesla, Inc., formerly Tesla Motors, Inc., incorporated on July 1, 2003, designs, develops, manufactures and sells fully electric vehicles, and energy storage systems, as well as installs, operates and maintains solar and energy storage products.
Virta was founded in 2014 with the goal of reversing type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025. Our mission is inspired by our founding story, and continues to guide us today.
Women in the World
Women in the World is a digital platform that features activists, artists, CEOs, peacemakers, entrepreneurs, and firebrand dissidents. They’ve saved and enriched lives and shattered glass ceilings in every sector.
7 Key Behaviors of People Who Make a Positive Difference In the World
It’s critical to note that people who’ve made a real difference aren’t all privileged, advantaged or “special” by any stretch. Many come from disadvantaged families, crushing circumstances and initially limited capabilities, but have found ways to pick themselves up and rise above their circumstances (and their genes) to transform their own lives and those around them.
Can one person make a difference? What the evidence says.
We learned that while many common ways to do good, such as becoming a doctor, have less impact than you might first think; others have allowed certain people to achieve an extraordinary impact. In other words, one person can make a difference, but you might have to do something a little unconventional.
Bogaletch Gebre, Foe of Female Genital Mutilation, Dies at 66
Through her efforts, the rate of female genital mutilation in the areas where KMG Ethiopia operated dropped to 3 percent from 100 percent over 10 years, according to a 2008 UNICEF study. In addition, some of these areas banned child marriage, bride abduction, polygamy and domestic violence. The UNICEF study recommended that the KMG model be replicated in other parts of Africa.
Hospitals Fund Potential Game-Changers in Health Tech
Startups receive support from hospitals hoping to find ‘the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs’.
The New Game Changers: 14 Healthcare Brands to Watch
Whether pushing the boundaries of what healthcare is or redefining the industry altogether, these brands are ones to watch.
This Survivor Works to End the Stigma for Those Who Tried to Kill Themselves
Dese'Rae L. Stage runs an online archive of portraits and interviews where suicide attempt survivors can share their experiences.
Trauma Surgeon Battles Bullets In The Operating Room And The Community
"The disease that bullets bring does not yet have a name. It's like an infection, because it affects more than just the flesh it pierces. It infects the entire family, the entire community. Even our country." Dr. Laurie Punch, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis
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Last Updated : Saturday, February 26, 2022