Dr. Marie Lisa Dacanay, president of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA), was conferred the Social Innovation Thought Leader by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship during the opening plenary of the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2019 of the World Economic Forum in New York, on September 23, 2019.
“The award is an affirmation of the pioneering multi-stakeholder initiatives that ISEA and the social enterprise sector in Asia are doing to accelerate the reduction of poverty and inequality toward sustainable development in Asia, a region that is home to two-thirds of the world’s poorest. Social enterprises have and are demonstrating innovative pathways in transforming the lives of the poor and need to be better supported by governments and the business sector to scale up for greater impact,” said Dacanay.
Dacanay is a pioneer in social entrepreneurship education and research in Asia. She is a coach and mentor of social entrepreneurship practitioners and resource institutions, and a bridging leader promoting dialogue and collaboration between social enterprise sector with government, business, civil society and academe to achieve greater impact.
Dacanay and ISEA played a lead role in the research and convening of stakeholders that resulted to the poverty reduction through Social Entrepreneurship bill which is pending in both houses of Congress. ISEA also led the research of social enterprise best practices to the development and promotion of a set of Benchmarks for Transformational Partnerships and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains (BTP-WEE in AVCs).
Dacanay was among the 40 awardees for social innovation in 2019. The list includes start-up founders and chief executive officers, multinational and regional business leaders, government leaders and recognized experts who are working to address social and environmental issues with innovations in areas ranging from water purification to financial inclusion to combatting hate.
For more than 20 years, the Schwab Foundation has recognized social entrepreneurs as a new breed of leader—values-driven, inclusive, compassionate and entrepreneurial, developing new sustainable models for business, human development and environmental initiatives—and embedded them in the platforms of the World Economic Forum.
Now in its third decade, the Schwab Foundation has introduced three new award categories along with the established category of Social Entrepreneur of the Year: Public Social Intrapreneur, Corporate Social Intrapreneur and Social Innovation Thought Leader. These new categories recognize and support an ecosystem of social innovation to accelerate the world’s collective progress.
The awardees were selected by Schwab Foundation board members in recognition of their innovative approach and potential for global impact. These members of the board include Helle Thorning-Schmidt, prime minister of Denmark (2011 to 2015); and social innovation expert Johanna Mair, professor of organization, strategy and leadership at the Hertie School of Governance in Germany.
“Social entrepreneurs are no longer working in isolation—the Schwab Foundation recognizes the champions of social innovation in the social sector, but also in business, government and academia. We see social innovation as an ecosystem of pioneering actors with a common purpose,” said Hilde Schwab, cofounder and chairman of the Schwab Foundation for social entrepreneurship. “We have introduced the new award categories based on the multistakeholder model of the World Economic Forum as we endeavour for this dynamic community to build platforms for greater and more sustained change.”
“The 2019 Schwab Foundation awardees represent a new ecosystem of leaders who are driving change and shifting organizations and systems toward a more just, inclusive, sustainable future,” said François Bonnici, head of the Schwab Foundation for social entrepreneurship. “Not only do they demonstrate alternative models that better serve our society and planet, but they also show that mobilizing and transforming society is possible by instilling innovation into the levers of policy, finance and research for greater inclusion and sustainability.”