Introducing Asia's Most Influential: The Impact List 2020
While forthcoming features in 2021 will focus on style, culture and taste, we begin with a subject that is at the heart of our brand—philanthropy. Here are the most impactful philanthropists from around Asia who are making a positive change this year.
Locsin, an actress who launched a campaign to provide tents to hospitals to address overcrowding caused by Covid-19, has helped raise more than 11 million pesos, funding 225 isolation tents and 21 sanitation tents.
Profession: Chairwoman of MDI Group
A pioneering force for women in technology, Myla Villanueva is the chairperson of the digital transformation company MDI Group and of Novare Technologies. MDI Novare, as it is known in tech circles, has a roster of blue-chip tech clients aiming to modernise their Big Data, Cloud and API and Security platforms. She’s also a founder of five start-up companies.
As the national chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), she is recognised for her non-profit work in securing the integrity of the Philippines’ voting process, which developed over the last decade since the introduction of automated elections. “There needed to be a new poll watchers education protocol and conversely, a primer on how to cast a vote so that every ballot is counted,” she said prior to preparations for the 2019 midterm elections.
Villanueva has widely been praised for her management skills, which have echoes in both her technology business and her work on clean and honest elections. To attract more young people, PPCRV volunteers have developed digital platforms focused on youth mobilisation and raising their political awareness. “I am so happy we had an outpouring of support from the Youth in 2019, and that we have quite a number of millennial mayors who felt that they can contribute better and participate in public service. It is, after all, their time and their future,” she said.
Profession: President and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corporation
Ramon Ang has, without a doubt, created a huge wave of impact this 2020. “We, in San Miguel, are very proud to be part of our country’s growth story. Seven months in, we continue to help,” he says. “Our businesses were also affected, but our commitment to our country and our countrymen is as strong as ever.”
As the helmsman of one of our country’s most successful businesses, Ang wields a rare and extraordinary power: he is able to create a visible impact on the macro level. The conglomerates under Ang’s leadership are credited for the super infrastructure project Skyway 3 that links the south and the north expressways. His RSA Foundation continues to provide support, including the building of a hospital and a research centre to help the country’s health care system.
In all this, Ang diverts the credit to the people and the experiences that have shaped him. “My parents instilled in me the values I continue to live by. Our late chairman, Eduardo Cojuangco Jr, also made a big impact in my life,” he says.
The death of Ang’s son earlier this year had also affected the business leader’s outlook. “In the short time that he was with us, he made a big impact on the lives of so many. We are in this world for only so long so we have to give importance to what really matters in life.”
Profession: Founder, CEO and president of Agrea Agricultural Systems International
Cherrie Atilano always follows a simple lesson her mother taught her when she was 6: “The shortest distance in life is from the brain to the heart”. By this, she wanted Atilano to not only be successful but make a difference in the lives of people.
For almost 22 years, Atilano had carried out her love for educating people through various projects in the agricultural sector because she values farmers as major contributors to the country’s economic growth. “We have been training people to read and write the most practical and sustainable ways to develop their land [and] teaching them financial literacy,” she shares.
She institutionalised this involvement by founding AGREA in 2014. A coinage of the words Agriculture and “Gaea” or environment in Greek, AGREA is a Filipino agriculture-focused, for-purpose, inclusive business that empowers farmers and their communities as impactful agents of change. Through AGREA, Cherrie aims to bring sustainable agricultural practices to farmers and provide farmers fair prices for their produce.
Her work has likewise made an impact on her life as a person and a social entrepreneur. She says, “The poorest of the poor in the farming communities are my brightest teachers; they teach me life and what matters most in life. In AGREA, our business is not transactional but transformational. We have a mantra of ‘ecology of dignity’. [We dignify] the food producers by making sure that they are educated, supported and respected.”
Recently, the AGREA Rescue Kitchen that was established during the pandemic won a grant from Food Solidarity Fund by the Social Gastronomy Movement in Brazil. Atilano was also awarded by the Cultural Vistas USA as the Most Impactful Alumni and appointed United Nations Global Champion for Food Systems Summit.
For all her work, initiatives and achievements in the agriculture sector, Atilano was recently appointed Philippine Ambassadress on Food Security by the Department of Agriculture.
Profession: Co-founder and CEO of Teach for the Philippines
“We are doing everything we can to directly ensure [that] learning continues in the Philippines,” says Clarissa Delgado, CEO and co-founder of Teach for the Philippines (TFP).
Since the pandemic broke out in the middle of March, the Filipino non-profit has been busy creating a strategy both effective and responsive to the times. Given the technological constraints of our country, that is no easy feat and Delgado, a humanitarian at heart, stands at the centre of the movement. “The organisation has been tremendously busy supporting our public-school teachers and administrators to ensure that learning continues this school year,” she says.
Through her organisation, this 2016-2017 Gen T honouree, has made an impact around the country. “Teachers everywhere are frontliners. As a community, Teach for the Philippines has directly taught almost 100,000 children nationwide over the past eight years alone and we will not let Covid-19 keep us from our vision,” she shares.
The impact she’s made doesn’t just ripple around her. The goodness that the organisation achieves goes back and inspires Delgado to further the TFP mission. “Working with the staff and participants has given me profound moments of joy and my most significant struggles to date. They have fundamentally changed me for the better,” she shares.
Profession: Founder of Liter of Light
Illac Diaz believes that we can make the world a better place, one litre of light at a time.
As a child, Diaz was taught by his mum that success can be measured by the impact it can make or has made on people’s lives. Though coming from an affluent Italian family, his mother always made sure that their house was open to all, that there was no barrier between their home and those around them.
Growing up, Diaz made friends with those belonging to families involved in blue-collared labour. These friends taught him the manual skills that would come in handy later in his life. “They taught me to use my hands as they helped their parents in upholstery shops, machine service shops and car repair—also giving me the confidence and love for technical work.” And he started to develop the passion to build the things that would bring aid to hundreds and thousands of families across the world.
In 2011, Diaz launched his Liter of Light project. What started as a local initiative turned into a global campaign that aims to bring light into the homes of disadvantaged families in more than 30 countries. He did not stop at lighting homes but went on to encourage and mobilise the youth to “invest time and courage [in] making the world a little bit more equitable and a better place for all of us to live in”.
Diaz continues to encourage everyone, including friends and influencers, to make a change even in the midst of a global pandemic. One of his suggestions is to build solar lights by hand, like what he has made in the villages. While watching the movie Pay It Forward, Diaz was inspired to launch his Light It Forward campaign to engage people to make a difference in solving energy poverty from the safety of their homes. To this day, more than 400 celebrities, around 1,500 doctors and school children have contributed to Light It Forward. The goal? To make 3,000 solar lights before Christmas.
Profession: Founder of Save Philippine Seas
Mermaids are real and they’re here to save the Philippine seas—and Anna Oposa is one of them. As the co-founder and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas, Oposa is dedicated to conserving the country’s marine resources through education and various community-based projects.
Oposa has founded other leadership programmes and served different organisations that help preserve environmental resources. Her passion and dedication have been growing as her inspiration is right in front of her. “The youth leaders and community champions [whom I’ve had the privilege to work with] continue to inspire me, make me laugh, sometimes cry and give me hope,” she says.
Hope, in fact, has greatly helped lead her towards the many achievements of the programmes she has participated in. One of which is the training of nearly 300 youth leaders by the SEA Camp in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia. Oposa is hopeful that more can be achieved through existing projects by Save Philippine Seas.
Three new programmes are currently being conducted. Change the Current is a campaign dedicated to educating and encouraging seatizens (citizens), teachers and students to make a change for the sake of climate action. Another project is Earthucation which is a programme created to help the educators of the Philippines improve their capacity to educate their students about the environment. Lastly, the Haquathon and Marine Accelerator Program are programmes for the new leaders in the region to help develop projects that bring awareness to marine conservation issues.
Enrique K Razon Jr
Profession: Chairman of International Container Terminal Services and Bloomberry Resorts
For the “Port King”, to be recognised for his philanthropic efforts is the least important, if at all. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Razon said, “There is no thinking of whether you should help or not; we need to keep firing away to beat this thing.” He believes that more than a health crisis, the pandemic has taken its toll on the economic and social condition of most Filipinos.
Through his Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc (BCFI), he constructed and turned over a mega quarantine facility with 600-bed capacity to the government—the biggest Covid-19 isolation facility in Metro Manila. The foundation has also funded the retrofitting of quarantine facilities at the Rizal Memorial Complex and Ninoy Aquino Stadium, the distribution of PPEs to public hospitals and grocery packs for marginalised communities. Meanwhile, with the ICTSI Foundation, he secured the safety and financial security of his employees and continuously aided the foundation’s scholars, day-care teachers, social workers, tricycle operators’ and drivers’ associations, as well as adopted public schools and hospitals.
Also through the ICTSI Foundation, he supported government relief efforts for the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption; in the development of Aeta communities in Tarlac; in the animal conservation project in Palawan; and in combatting human trafficking among the youth, to name a few.
Profession: Chairman of SM Prime Holdings and China Banking Corporation
Apart from leaving us with the country’s largest conglomerate, the late tycoon Henry Sy’s impact on his children is his heart for the Filipino people. All his children imbibed this, such as his son Hans, the scion in charge of SM Prime Holdings.
From his late father, Hans learnt the importance of fairness, integrity and hard work. From his mother, he acquired the virtues of humility and simplicity, learning as well that actions speak louder than words especially when it comes to helping others.
“I believe philanthropy, whether by an organisation or an individual, stems from having a sincere heart to do good for others, and to keep the good of others in mind,” Hans said. SM Foundation was established in 1983 by the Sy patriarch with his wife Felicidad and is committed to serve by supporting and empowering communities through education, healthcare, shelter, disaster response, farmer’s training, environmental programmes and care for persons with special needs.
Hans aligns his advocacies with sustainability and disaster resiliency, conscious of the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters. After the SM Makati fire of 1988, he became very much involved with developing several disaster-resilient features in their properties. “As we aim for better ways to serve the Filipino people, we will keep working on making sure that disaster preparedness and resiliency become part of their daily lives,” Hans said.
Dee-Anne Hora-Zobel and Mercedes Zobel
Profession: Zobel Foundation
Dee and her stepdaughter Mercedes, through the Enrique Zobel Foundation, enrich the lives of disadvantaged children through reforms in the public education system.
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Fernando Zobel de Ayala
Profession: The Ayala Foundation
Brothers Jaime and Fernando are major donors to various charities and also lead The Ayala Foundation, which supports the arts, environmental initiatives and educational programmes.
Profession: CEO and co-founder of Prenetics
Location: Hong Kong
Yeung, co-founder and CEO of the genetic testing company Prenetics, distributes rapid coronavirus testing kits that are critical to re-establish travel and live events.
Profession: Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of New World Development (NWD) and founder of the K11 Group of cultural-retail complexes
Location: Hong Kong
Cheng, executive vice chairman and CEO of New World Development and founder of the K11 group of cultural-retail complexes, produces and donates hundreds of thousands of high-quality and affordable masks as part of his Covid-19 response. He is also spearheading the transformation of the State Theatre, a historic former cinema, into a cultural hub.
See also: The Future Of Retail Is Now: Adrian Cheng And His Team Of 100 Creatives Debut K11 Musea
Profession: Founder and Director of Animals Asia
Location: Hong Kong
Robinson, founder and CEO of Animals Asia, fights the practice of bear bile farming and improves the welfare of animals throughout Asia.
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Profession: CEO of Mother's Choice
Location: Hong Kong
Eyres, CEO of Mother’s Choice, provides support to teen mothers and young children without families.
Profession: Founder of Green Monday and Green Common
Location: Hong Kong
Yeung, a plant-based food pioneer who is founder of Green Monday Group, makes vegan and vegetarian food accessible to people around the world.
See also: SaladStop, Corner Tree Cafe, And More: Vegan And Vegetarian Restaurants That Deliver In Metro Manila
Profession: Founder of Room to Read
Location: Hong Kong
Wood, founder of Room to Read, focuses on improving child literacy and gender equality in education.
Profession: Head of the Social Enterprise Business Centre
Location: Hong Kong
Tam, business development manager of Social Enterprise Business Centre, Hong Kong Council of Social Service, drives social change and advocates for social innovation through fundraising efforts.
Profession: Co-founder of Crossroads Foundation
Location: Hong Kong
Begbie, founder of the Crossroads Foundation and director of Crossroads’ Global Village, provides humanitarian aid and relief to vulnerable individuals and families that are experiencing poverty.
Profession: Founder of Light Be
Location: Hong Kong
Yu, founder of Hong Kong’s first social housing enterprise, Light Be, aims to solve the city’s housing problem by providing social housing projects.
Profession: Founder of Redress and The R Collective
Location: Hong Kong
Dean, founder of Redress and The R Collective, aims to reduce waste in the fashion industry and creates sustainable clothes using luxury brands’ waste materials.
Profession: Founder of It's Raining Raincoats
Swaminathan, founder of It’s Raining Raincoats, helps migrant workers with legal claims, care packs and by strengthening their integration into the community.
Lee Swee Lin, Kim Lin and Suzanne Ling
Profession: Founders of PichaEats
Lee, Lim and Ling, founders of PichaEats, help refugees become financially independent by training them to become chefs.
Profession: Environmental lawyer and director of the Centre for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims
Wang, a professor who founded the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, holds corporations accountable for environmental damage.
See also: Burberry Launches Reusable Face Masks
Isabel and Melati Wijsen
Profession: Founders of Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Isabel and Melati Wijsen, founders of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, lead the fight against plastic bag use in Indonesia. They successfully lobbied their local government in Bali to ban single-use plastics, and subsequently founded Youthtopia, a platform connecting young changemakers around the world.
See also: See All Honourees On The Gen.T 2020 List
Profession: Freelance journalist and filmmaker
Ito, a journalist and filmmaker, won a landmark civil case accusing a prominent reporter, who had close ties to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, of rape, making her the face of the #MeToo movement in Japan.
Ko Swe Win
Profession: Editor-in-Chief of Myanmar Now
Swe Win, editor of Myanmar Now, provides critical in-depth reporting on human rights and social justice issues.
Profession: Founder of The Population and Community Development Association (PDA)
Viravaidya, founder of Population and Community Development Association, is known as “Mr Condom” for his promotion of family planning programmes and advocacy for safe-sex measures.
Profession: Inventor and retired professor at the University of Tennessee
Tsai, the inventor of filtering technology used in N95 masks, came out of retirement to help speed production of reusable masks for healthcare workers.
See also: Tatler Heroes: Individuals Around Asia Leading The Fight Against Covid-19
Profession: Founder and CEO of the Wildlife Alliance
Gauntlett, founder and CEO of the Wildlife Alliance, fights for the protection of the rainforest and wildlife.
Profession: Co-founder of Song Saa Foundation
Hunter, co-founder of the Song Saa Foundation, protects the habitat and marine life of the Koh Rong Archipelago.
Profession: Founder of Black Soil Group
Chang, founder of Black Soil Group, promotes a modern agriculture business with improved productivity by consolidating land and scaling up operations.
Charles Chen Yidan
Profession: Co-founder of Tencent
Chen, one of the co-founders of Tencent, whose Yidan Prize Foundation established the world’s largest education prize, provides educational innovators and pioneers with recognition and support.
See also: Behind The Scenes: Tencent Co-Founder Charles Chen Yidan's Generous Spirit
Profession: Lawyer, author and human rights activist
Guo, a lawyer, author and human rights activist, provides thousands of disadvantaged women in China with free legal aid and counselling. She was also awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2019 for her pioneering work on women’s rights.
Profession: Singer and founder of Han Hong Love Charity Foundation
Han, a singer and founder of the Han Hong Love Charity Foundation, focuses on relief work across China. During the pandemic, the foundation launched a fundraising initiative to donate and distribute medical resources to workers fighting the coronavirus.
Profession: Award-winning science fiction writer and founder of the Tonxing Academy
Hao, an award-winning science fiction writer and founder of the Tonxing Academy, aims to provide education to children in poverty.
Profession: Founder and publisher of Caixin Media Group
Hu, founder and publisher of Caixin Media Group and its Caijing business magazine, upholds journalistic integrity by publishing groundbreaking reports on corporate fraud and government corruption, including illegal trading practices on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the extent of the Chinese government’s cover-up of the 2003 Sars epidemic.
Profession: Science writer and co-founder of Curekids
Li, a science writer, uses the pen name Pineapple to create accessible materials that help demystify the topic of cancer. He is also co-founder of Curekids, a charity that provides parents with reliable information about children’s cancer treatment.
Jack Ma and Pony Ma
Profession: Founder of Alibaba Group (Jack Ma), founder, chairman and CEO of Tencent (Pony Ma)
Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group, and Pony Ma, founder, chairman and CEO of Tencent, are central figures in the Paradise Foundation, a charity that focuses on the conservation of the natural environment.
Profession: Founder of GoalBlue
Mei, founder of GoalBlue, inspires long-lasting environmental change by promoting sustainable lifestyle practices.
Profession: Conductor and founder of Shanghai Angels Salon
Peng, a conductor who founded the Shanghai Angels Salon, provides free musical education to autistic children.
Profession: Founder of Serve for China
Qin, founder of Serve for China, alleviates poverty by sending top university graduates to work in remote villages, promoting development and social entrepreneurship.
Profession: Former investment banker and co-founder and chairman of the Chi Heng Foundation
To, a former investment banker and co-founder and chairman of the Chi Heng Foundation, supports the education and care of orphaned children whose parents have fallen victim to Aids.
Wang, director of Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011) and Plastic China (2016), documents unsustainable waste practices in China. His films prompted the Beijing municipal government to invest 10 billion yuan to regulate the waste disposal industry.
Wu Yuangang and Wu Yanxi
Profession: Chairman of Hangking Group (Wu Yuangang), Chairman of Green City Group (Wu Yanxi)
Property tycoon brothers Wu Yuangang, chairman of Hanking Group, and Wu Yanxi, chairman of Green City Group, gave US$49 million to build new campuses for two high schools in their hometown of Shanwei.
Profession: Founder of BN Vocational School
Yao, founder of BN Vocational School, the first private, tuition-free vocational secondary school in Beijing, provides education for impoverished youth and migrant children.
Profession: Former basketball player and founder of the Yao Ming Foundation
Yao, the basketball player and founder of the Yao Ming Foundation, provides educational opportunities to children in the United States and China.
Profession: Founder and CEO of Zoom
Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, provides free videoconferencing tools to students from kindergarten through to 12th grade to continue their education while schools have been closed this year.
Profession: Pulmonologist, leads China's National Health Commission expert panel
Zhong, a pulmonologist who was one of the leading medical experts during the 2003 Sars outbreak, now leads China’s National Health Commission expert panel investigating Covid-19. He was also awarded the Medal of the Republic, China’s highest state honour, this year.
Profession: Urogynecologist, founder and managing trustee of Armman
Hegde, a urogynecologist and founder and managing trustee of Armman, leverages technology to expand access to medical treatment for pregnant women, mothers and children.
Azim H Premji
Profession: Founder and chairman of Wipro and the Azmin Premji Foundation
Premji, founder and chairman of Wipro and the Azim Premji Foundation, has donated US$7.6 billion to his education-centred foundations.
Profession: Women's right activist and CEO and founder of Study Hall Educational Foundation
Sahni, a women’s rights activist and CEO and founder of Study Hall Educational Foundation, provides educational programmes to vulnerable groups like girls, disabled children and rural children.
Profession: Chairman of Tata Trusts
Tata, chairman of Tata Trusts, alleviates poverty by providing grants to help vulnerable groups.
Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina
Ahmad and Slavina, entertainers, raise funds to purchase medical equipment and supply daily-need packages to those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.
Profession: Founder and CEO of the Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa Foundation
Colondam, founder and CEO of the Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa Foundation, improves the welfare of underprivileged youth through education and economic access.
Profession: Co-founder and executive director of Coral Triangle Centre
Djohani, co-founder and executive director of Coral Triangle Centre, works closely with local communities and the government to provide protection to coral reef ecosystems by promoting sustainable practices.
Hendrika Mayora Victoria Kelan
Profession: First openly transgender public officer
Kelan, the first openly transgender public officer in Indonesia, fights for transgender rights by trying to enact more inclusive policies that will empower the community.
See also: Top Filipino LGBT Supporters That Inspire Us
Profession: Founder of Go-Jek
Makarim, founder of digital payment platform Go-Jek and Indonesia’s minister of education and culture, gave up his career in start-ups to dedicate himself to public service.
Profession: Co-founder of Sokola Rimba
Manurung, co-founder of Sokola Rimba, an alternative education system designed for indigenous people in Indonesia, teaches modern literacy skills to help them integrate smoothly into society without forgetting their roots.
Profession: Co-founder and CEO of Greenhope
Tjiptadjaja, co-founder and CEO of Greenhope, a green technology company that produces biodegradable plastic, works with local and national governments to reduce plastic consumption.
Profession: Director of The Wahid Institute
Wahid, director of The Wahid Institute, an Islamic research centre founded by her father, the late Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, improves welfare for those in poverty and facilitates understanding between Muslims and other religious people.
Profession: Founder of Artha Graha Peduli Foundation and Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation
Winata, founder of Artha Graha Peduli Foundation and Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, provides humanitarian aid to vulnerable groups in Indonesia and runs a rescue centre that aims to protect the endangered Sumatran tiger.
Profession: Executive director of the Social Impact Investment Foundation
Kudo, executive director of the Social Impact Investment Foundation, supports sustainable development. She also convinced the Japanese government to build a department in the cabinet office to advocate for impact investing.
Syed Mokhtar Albukhary
Profession: Founder of the Albukhary Foundation
Syed Mokhtar, founder of the Albukhary Foundation, specialises in community development and heritage preservation. The foundation donated more than RM$15 million in medical equipment to parties fighting the coronavirus.
Profession: Transgender rights activist and co-founder of Seed Foundation and Justice for Sisters
Nisha, a transgender rights activist and co-founder of Seed Foundation and Justice for Sisters, works to repeal laws that discriminate against transgender people.
Profession: Children's rights activist and co-founder of PuakPayong
Syed Azmi, a children’s rights activist and co-founder of PuakPayong, provides a safe space for children, including troubled youths and unwed pregnant women.
Profession: Founder and chairman of Sunway Group and founder of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation
Cheah, founder and chairman of Sunway Group and founder of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, awards scholarships to disadvantaged students. In response to the pandemic, Cheah also donated RM$34 million and provided free Covid-19 tests.
Profession: Founder of Pertiwi Soup Kitchen
Munirah, founder of Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, provides food aid to the homeless in Kuala Lumpur.
Lee Kim Yew
Profession: Founder and chairman of Country Heights Holding
Lee, founder and chairman of Country Heights Holding, provides humanitarian aid through the Bantu-Bantu Malaysia initiative to combat the pandemic.
Profession: Founder and CEO of Epic Collective
Oei, founder and CEO of Epic Collective, promotes collaborative social impact initiatives. Its flagship, Epic Homes, aids Orang Asli families by helping them build homes and obtain higher-value jobs.
Samsul, a photojournalist whose work highlights marginalised communities, raises awareness of prejudice and discrimination.
See also: Still Life: 6 Filipino Photographers Share Experiences And Realisations While In Quarantine
Profession: Executive chairman of YTL Group and YTL Foundation
Yeoh, executive chairman of YTL Group and YTL Foundation, champions the use of technology in education. This year the group launched Learn From Home to provide free online resources and mobile data to all students in government schools.
Profession: Managing director of Chaudary Group and the Chaudhary Foundation
Chaudhary, managing director of Chaudary Group and the Chaudhary Foundation, strengthens communities and improves livelihoods. The organisation focuses on education, economic empowerment and healthcare.
See also: How Binod Chaudhary Became Nepal's Only Billionaire
Profession: Co-founder and chief executive director of Invest2Innovate
Lakhani, co-founder and chief executive director of Invest2Innovate, helps match investors with social entrepreneurs who aim to help low-income communities and alleviate poverty.
Profession: Founder of Women on a Mission and HER Planet Earth
Amour-Levar, founder of Women on a Mission and HER Planet Earth, leads all-female teams on expeditions to empower women who have experienced violence or abuse, or have been affected by climate change
Goh Wei Leong
Profession: Doctor and chairman of HealthServe
Goh, a doctor and chairman of HealthServe, provides migrant workers with affordable healthcare, counselling and social assistance.
Hsieh Fu Hua
Profession: Chairman of ACR Capital Holdings and founder of BinjaiTree
Hsieh, chairman of ACR Capital Holdings and founder of BinjaiTree, helps local charities and social enterprises, focusing on issues of mental health and the development of the arts and social services.
Koh Choon Hui
Profession: Chairman of Singapore Children's Society and Singapore's Pools
Koh, chairman of Singapore Children’s Society and Singapore Pools, protects children’s welfare by providing homes, workshops, counselling and educational services.
Profession: CEO of National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
Kwee, CEO of National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, facilitates partnerships in Singapore with a vision to build a City of Good.
Nizar Mohamed Shariff
Profession: Founder of Free Food for All
Nizar, founder of Free Food for All, provides halal food to vulnerable groups like the elderly, migrant workers, disabled and impoverished.
Profession: Founder of the World Toiler Organisation
Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organisation, raises the standards of public restrooms and promotes proper sanitation.
Profession: Co-founder of Transformational Business Network
Tan, co-founder of Transformational Business Network, connects entrepreneurs with investors to create impactful businesses.
Profession: Chief investment officer and founding partner of Dymon Asia Capital, chairman and co-founder of The Majurity Trust, and founder of Yong Hon Kong Foundation
Yong, chief investment officer and founding partner of Dymon Asia Capital, chairman and co-founder of The Majurity Trust, and founder of Yong Hon Kong Foundation, connects donors and charities. He is also the founding donor of the Sustain the Arts Fund.
Profession: Founder and CEO of Root Impact
Location: South Korea
Chung, founder and CEO of Root Impact, invests in social enterprises and supports entrepreneurs who create solutions for social issues.
Profession: CEO and managing director of Yellowdog
Location: South Korea
Je, CEO and managing director of Yellowdog, a venture capital firm, invests in start-ups that address social problems including discrimination, climate change and education.
Profession: Doctor and the first female commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency
Location: South Korea
Jung, a doctor who is the first female commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, leads South Korea’s antivirus efforts.
Profession: Chairman and CEO of Amorepacific Group and founder of The Suh Kyung-bae Science Foundation
Location: South Korea
Suh, chairman and CEO of Amorepacific Group and founder of The Suh Kyungbae Science Foundation, annually gives financial support to the research of five biotechnology scientists, such as developing models of the human alveoli that are used to study respiratory viruses.
Profession: Chairwoman of the charity foundation of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
Chang, an artist who is chairwoman of the charity foundation of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, promotes women’s and children’s rights, education, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.
Profession: Civil rights activist
Chi, a civil rights activist, championed a successful campaign to legalise same-sex marriage in Taiwan in 2019.
See also: Tim Yap And Javi Martinez On Love, Marriage, Pride, And Overcoming Challenges
Profession: Lawyer and advocate for women's rights
Lai, a lawyer and advocate for women’s rights, focuses on cases involving domestic or sexual abuse.
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Profession: Founder of Paper Windmill Culture Foundation theatre group
Lee, founder of Paper Windmill Culture Foundation theatre group, provides free performances for children in rural communities.
Sunny Yi-han Lin
Profession: Founder of Social Enterprise Insights
Lin, founder of Social Enterprise Insights, provides information about social innovation, entrepreneurs and businesses.
Profession: Founder of Teach for Taiwan
Liu, founder of Teach for Taiwan, places skilled teachers in remote communities.
Profession: Co-founder and CEO of Gogoro
Luke, co-founder and CEO of Gogoro, makes electric scooters that embrace green technology.
Profession: Co-founder of ASUS and president of Pegatron
Tung, co-founder of ASUS and president of Pegatron, helps farmers and supports disadvantaged communities.
Benson Ping-Cheng Yeh
Profession: Professor at National Taiwan University and co-founder of PaGamO
Yeh, a professor at the National Taiwan University, is co-founder of PaGamO, a multi-student social gaming platform that incentivises learning and provides insight into students’ abilities.
Profession: Journalist and founder of ThisAble.me
Krairiksh, a journalist and founder of ThisAble.me, focuses on human news stories about disabled people and their rights in Thailand.
Profession: Human rights activist
Neelapaijit, a human rights activist and the wife of human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit who was dragged from his car and disappeared in 2004, demands accountability by exposing abuses by police and government.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao
Profession: CEO of Vietjet Air and founder of Wings of Love
Nguyen, CEO of Vietjet Air and founder of Wings of Love, is Vietnam’s first self-made female billionaire and provides scholarships and clothing to underprivileged children.
Pham Nhat Vuong
Profession: Chairman of Vingroup and founder of Kind Heart Foundation
Pham, chairman of Vingroup and founder of Kind Heart Foundation, provides housing, education, healthcare and other aid to the poor.
Hall of Fame
Profession: Chairman of Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society, co-chair of Asia Society and co-founder of Morningside Foundation
Location: Hong Kong
Chan, a co-chairman of Asia Society, promotes partnerships between people and businesses in Asia and the US. He is also co-founder of the Morningside Foundation which donated US$350 million to Harvard University.
See also: How Ronnie Chan And Ruth Shapiro Are Promoting Excellence In Asian Philanthropy
Linda Agum Gumelar
Profession: Founder of Yayasan Kanker Payudara
Gumelar, a breast cancer survivor and founder of Yayasan Kanker Payudara Indonesia, works with the government to offer free mammograms and promote breast cancer counselling services.
Koh Seow Chuan
Profession: Art collector and philatelist
Koh, an art collector and philatelist, donates thousands of historical artefacts and artworks to the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum and National Library Board.
See also: 50 Biggest Art Collectors In Asia
Profession: Founder and chairman of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and the Kuok Foundation
Kuok, founder and chairman of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and the Kuok Foundation, offers scholarships and loans, provides aid to the poor and supports hospitals and medical institutions.
Profession: Founder of Li Ka-shing Foundation
Location: Hong Kong
Li, founder of the Li Ka-shing Foundation, has pledged to donate one-third of his assets to charity and has called on other entrepreneurs in Asia to do the same. His foundation promotes positive and sustainable change through educational reform, medical research and aid.
See also: What You Need To Know About The Li Ka Shing Foundation
Profession: Co-founder and CEO of Asia Philanthropy Circle and chairman of the Lien Foundation
Lien, co-founder and CEO of Asia Philanthropy Circle and chairman of the Lien Foundation, encourages entrepreneurs to engage in philanthropy by building a membership platform to support collaborative efforts to tackle social issues and challenges.
See also: 50 Philanthropists In Asia Who Are Changing The World
Profession: Director of Hong Kong Design Centre and PMQ Management Company, Chairman of the M+ Board
Location: Hong Kong
Lo, director of Hong Kong Design Centre and PMQ Management Company, and chairman of M+ under the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, promotes development and design in Hong Kong.
Anita Ratnasari Tanjung
Profession: Co-founder of the CT ARSA Foundation
Tanjung, co-founder of the CT ARSA Foundation, offers educational opportunities to children from marginalised communities. Since the 2004 tsunami, the organisation has established 35 high schools across Indonesia that offer students free facilities and living expenses.
Joseph and Clara Tsai
Profession: Co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Alibaba Group (Joseph), founder of The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation (Joseph and Clara)
Joseph Tsai, co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Alibaba Group, and his wife Clara, together founders of The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, have donated US$2.6 million in medical supplies to hospitals in the US, and also pledged US$50 million to social justice and economic equality initiatives for people of colour.
The 2020 Impact List was created by Tatler editors along with a committee of experts on philanthropy, including Ronald Arculli, the former chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, former chairman of Hong Kong Jockey Club and vice-chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; Ruth Shapiro, co-founder and CEO of the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society; Jean Sung, the head of The Philanthropy Centre, JP Morgan Private Bank; and Kevin Tan, founder and CEO of Tri-Sector Associates.
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