Announcing The Impact Heroes Class of 2024

Following the changes made to the Impact Heroes selection process last year, Earth Company has selected its next cohort of changemakers to support this coming year.

The application process attracted changemakers with great vision and energy, who are driving forward life-changing projects. And after a rigorous five-month process of assessing, interviewing, and shortlisting candidates from an outstanding pool of 96 applicants, it is with great pleasure that we announce the Impact Heroes Class of 2024.

Our One-Year Commitment: Nurturing Regenerative Leaders

These 9 exceptional individuals will become part of our Impact Heroes Class of 2024, who for the next 12 months will be taking part in our Lead-to-Regenerate (L2R) Changemaker program. 

The L2R Program provides each member of the with a unique opportunity to hone their skills and knowledge, to network and get access to resources, and be mentored to become regenerative leaders in their respective work. The program consists of:

  1. Online Sessions

From January to June, Earth Company will organize a series of online sessions (approximately once a month) where heroes will learn and delve into the concept of regenerative leadership as well as practical knowledge needed to accelerate their impact and organizational development.

  1. Heroes Camp in Bali

An all-expense paid 5-day camp in Bali, gathering all the heroes to meet each other, the Earth Company team, as well as potential collaborators and supporters. Click here to read about last year’s camp.

  1. Mentorship

Based on the support needs of each hero, Earth Company will connect them to a mentor with expertise in business development, marketing, leadership, etc.

  1. Opportunity Building

Based on the needs shared by each hero, Earth Company will try to introduce as many opportunities as possible whenever occasion arises within our network.

Get to Know IMPACT HEROES CLASS OF 2024
Deepak Ramola

Focus geography India, the USA, Europe
Organization Project FUEL
Mission  Developing a new paradigm of education that draws from life lessons, making them tangible and applicable in building fulfilling lives for individuals and society at large.

Story: Deepak Ramola, a wisdom historian and educator, weaves a tapestry of lifelong learning. A Harvard GSE alum, he served as UNESCO MGIEP’s Kindness Ambassador. Deepak’s journey began at 14, inspired by his mother’s wisdom of “”Life is a classroom””,  shaping Project FUEL’s unique approach to education. Project FUEL pioneers a transformative educational approach, gathering and archiving “”life lessons”” from real experiences. Channeling this wisdom, they address social issues, while emphasizing well-being. This innovative method imparts essential life skills crucial for crafting not only a livelihood but also a fulfilling life.

For 13 years, Deepak’s Project FUEL collected life lessons from 195 countries, recognized globally as a top 100 innovator in education and has been adopted globally across five continents. With a focus on well-being education, he imparts life skills to 400,000+ people worldwide, building richer lives and meaningful livelihoods.

Surya Karki

Focus geography Nepal
Organization UWS Nepal
Mission 
Offering high-quality and inclusive educational opportunities to marginalized children residing in remote areas of Nepal to uplift communities’ prosperity.

Story: Raised by a single mother, Surya overcame economic hurdles, traveling two and a half hours daily just to go to school. Now, Surya Karki is a global education leader, embarked on an extraordinary journey from a poverty-stricken village to co-founding UWS Nepal, impacting over 13,950 children across 76 schools in 5 districts, where currently 12,000 students are enrolled.

Recognized with prestigious awards, including the Prince of Wales Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Award and Forbes 30U30, Surya co-founded UWS Nepal in 2015, to bring quality education to the most marginalized of communities in Nepal.  Surya envisions education as a catalyst for lifting Nepalese communities from poverty to prosperity, embodying resilience and dedication.

Lian Thangvung

Focus geography India
Organization QONECT
Mission Providing same-day small loans for medical expenses to underserved low-income individuals and reshaping India’s healthcare landscape through a FinTech business.

 

Story: Lian Thangvung, a compassionate leader with a decade of medical billing expertise, transforms tragedy into a mission. Fueled by the loss of his father to cancer, Lian pioneers a social impact Start-Up, driven by empathy and a deep understanding of healthcare struggles. Having witnessed the barriers to medical access for low-income Indians, he tackles the issue head-on. 

Through his initiative, QONECT, Lian provides same-day small loans for medical expenses to those living on less than $4 a day. With a vision to reach 200,000 impoverished individuals by 2030, Lian breaks down financial constraints, ensuring everyone, regardless of economic status, receives timely, quality medical care. His commitment aims to reshape India’s healthcare landscape, addressing the disparity in insurance coverage and high medical expenses.

Robert A. Chan

Focus geography Philippines
Organization Palawan NGO Network (PNNI)
Mission Championing tangible actions for sustainable development among local communities to safeguard Palawan’s natural resources against illegal logging and fisheries.

Story: Atty. Robert “Bobby” Chan, a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University and a qualified environmental lawyer in the Philippines, has devoted his career to protecting Palawan’s rich natural resources. With a Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo School of Law, he began as a Legal Staff at the Environmental Legal Assistance Center, later leading the Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI) as its Executive Director since 2009. 

Known as the “chainsaw man” of Palawan, Bobby safeguards over 700 confiscated chainsaws and equipment, along with several dynamite fishing boats and mining equipment fighting against illegal logging and fisheries. Beyond titles, he’s an advocate of deeds, emphasizing tangible actions over mere words. Through PNNI, a network of 39 environmental organizations, Bobby works towards sustainable development, empowering local communities through education and resisting environmental destruction, aiming to balance resource use and protection in Palawan.

Ayesha Vera-Yu

Focus geography Philippines
Organization ARK
Mission Empowering small farmers through a community-wide vegetable exchange program, to solve hunger and create climate-positive economies and self-sustaining futures.

Story: Ayesha Vera-Yu, CEO and Co-Founder of ARKSolves.org (ARK), is a visionary social impact innovator transforming communities in the developing world. Through Feed Back, a 16-week program developed by ARK, she breaks the chains of systemic binds, empowering small farmers to achieve food security and economic resilience. Families transition from monocropping to cultivating their food, fostering a community-wide vegetable exchange that not only satisfies local needs but also generates surplus for market sales. Ayesha’s low-cost solutions create self-sustaining and resilient economy in addressing hunger, and climate challenges.

Recognized as a World Economic Forum YGL, Ashoka Fellow, and leader in Facebook and Morgan Stanley’s accelerator programs, Ayesha leverages her expertise as a former Director at BNP Paribas. With an MBA from Columbia and a BA in Biochemistry from Mount Holyoke, she pioneers lasting impact in agricultural transformation.

Millicent Barty

Focus geography Solomon islands
Organization Kastom Keepers
Mission Documenting ancestral traditions and wisdom, and storing them on digital platforms, in order to preserve the cultural roots and foster a bridge to the succeeding generations in fighting against climate change.

 

Story:  Millicent Barty, the visionary founder of Kastom Keepers, blends indigenous wisdom with modern innovation to champion climate resilience in the Solomon Islands. As a versatile designer, social entrepreneur, oral historian, and tech enthusiast, Millicent employs design thinking to bridge generations and safeguard traditional knowledge and practices across Melanesia. 

Recognized as an Emerson Collective Fellow, Obama Scholar, and Queen’s Young Leaders award-winner, she spearheads cultural preservation to combat climate challenges. Having experienced displacement due to ethnic disputes, Millicent returned to her roots, and uses digital platforms to ensure the legacy of cultural identity, amid climate crises, does not disappear. Kastom Keepers empowers communities facing rising seas, providing a vital link to indigneous wisdom, securing a resilient future for generations to come.

Sakdiyah Ma’ruf

Focus geography Indonesia
Organization Our Voice Comedy for Change
Mission Using comedy as a healing force to empower women and youth in challenging societal norms, one voice and one laughter at a time.

Story: Sakdiyah is known to be the first Muslim female comedian in Indonesia. Raised in a conservative Arab community, she experienced domestic violence as a child. For Sakdiyah, comedy helped her find comfort amidst her trauma. Realizing the trauma-relieving potential of humor, she launched the “”One Voice: Comedy for Change”” campaign to bring emotional rehabilitation through laughter and comedy to as many women as possible who have experienced the same things she did.

Through shows like Comedy Jihad and Born A Woman, she challenges societal norms, bringing joy and empowerment. As the founder of Our Voice Comedy for Change Collective, Sakdiyah empowers women and youth to find their voice for freedom and equality. Currently residing in a bamboo house in Batang, Central Java, she’s creating a community space for women and children.

Scott Alfaz

Focus geography Indonesia
Organization hayVee
Mission Inspiring people living with HIV (PLHIV) to overcome stigma and eradicate prejudice towards sexual and mental health.

Story: Alfaz, living with HIV since 2012, turned his lowest point into a triumph. While overcoming depression, he graduated cum laude and pursued education in the Netherlands. Upon returning, he became a beacon of hope, sharing his journey on social media and actively educating about HIV. His story inspires people living with HIV (PLHIV) to live their best lives, challenging societal stigma. 

Alfaz founded HayVee, providing a prejudice eradication program for sexual and mental health, reaching over 1,500 youth in Indonesia. Now, his vision expands, aiming to create a platform offering a safe space for those battling sexual and mental health issues. Alfaz, a resilient advocate, transforms his personal journey into a powerful force for change, fighting stigma and discrimination one story at a time.