Feb 2015 24

Career: political theorist, author of bestseller ‘Jihad vs. McWorld’ and ‘If Mayors Ruled the World’; defender of “strong democracy”
Interests:  Theater, Opera and Film (active as playwright, lyricist and film-maker)
Hometown: living and working in New York City (where he was born in 1939)


Benjamin R. Barber burst into the media spotlight on 9/11 when his book Jihad Vs. McWorld, published in 1995, assumed newly horrific relevance. With his prophetic analysis of the emerging collision of tribalism and globalism, Barber established the parameters for 21st Century political debate.

Prof. Barber is a Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, President and Founder of CivWorld/ the Interdependence Movement, and Walt Whitman Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Rutgers University and initiator of The Global Parliament of Mayors Project. He was an outside adviser to President Bill Clinton and a foreign policy adviser to Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential campaign. Barber has advised political parties and political leaders in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Italy on civic education and participatory institutions, and has done the same, more controversially, with civil society and government leaders in Turkey, the Emirates, Libya and China.

Barber’s 17 books include Strong Democracy (1984), Jihad vs. McWorld (1995 translated into thirty languages), How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, (2007), If Mayors Ruled the World (2013).
A passionate advocate of democracy’s power, Barber continues to explore solutions for dysfunctional systems and political paralysis.  Barber shows how decentralized local governments can be more flexible – and more in tune with their constituents – than their federal counterparts.

Benjamin Barber on Wikipedia
Benjamin on Facebook and Twitter 
The Interdependence Movement
Global Parliament of Mayors on Facebook
If Mayors Ruled the World on Facebook
Benjamins books on Amazon

Other articles/videos:
TED Talk: Why mayors should rule the world (TEDGlobal 2013)
Richard Florida in CITY LAB: Why Mayors Need a UN-Like Organization of Their Own
The European: Nation states no longer work (03/2014)
Video: Opening of Global Parliament of Mayors Planning Session on 19 Sept. 2014
Video: Benjamin Barber at Falling Walls Conference in Berlin in 2013

Dec 2010 12

Career: Scientist, Serial Entrepreneur, Non Profit Angel
Interests: Cross Skiing Marathon, Squash, Crazy Foodie, Writing Restaurant Reviews
Hometown: New York City, USA

Jack D. Hidary, after studying philosophy and neuroscience at Columbia University, became a most successful serial entrepreneur in finance, technology, internet and clean sectors. He co-founded Smart Transportation, a nationwide organization dedicated to encouraging clean technology in the transportation sector, which has, among other achievements, led a coalition to establish thousands of hybrid taxis in New York and other cities. He also currently serves on the advisory board to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is board chair of Americans for Clean Energy. Recently, Jack launched Global Solar Center – a business platform for solar power. Jack is the co-founder of the Automotive X Prize and the Chairman of freedomprize.org and speaks at conferences around the world.

Smart Transportation is a coaliton of health, civic, business and environmental organizations working together to improve our lives through innovative transport solutions. SmartTransportation.org works on the local and national scale to create a better economy and environment. There are more than 2000 hybrid cabs in use in NYC (March 2009).

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity thereby inspiring the formation of new industries, jobs and the revitalization of markets that are currently stuck. Today, it is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition.

twitter: @jackhidary

Other articles/links/videos:
Video: DLD Conference 2010
Article: The Huffington Post: Jack Hidary

Jack introducing himself shortly:

Nov 2010 26

Career: Film Director and Producer (i.e.”Elizabeth”, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”, “Bandit Queen”) but simply calls himself “Adventurer”
Interests: Water, Nature, Social Business, Humanity, Future of our Planet
Hometown: Mumbai, India; born Lahore, British India (nowadays Pakistan);lived many years in New York City, USA

Shekhar Kapur, born 6 December 1945 in British India (in an area which became part of Pakistan) is a renowned filmmaker from India. His works include Elizabeth (1998), a semi-historical account of the early reign of Queen Elizabeth I; it was nominated for 8 Oscars. In 2000, he was awarded the Padma Shri. Some scenes of the movie Joshilaay (1989) which starred Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Meenakshi Sheshadari were directed by Kapur. He was accused of being Anti-British by British tabloids, by the way he portrayed the British Army and the Empire in the movie The Four Feathers. Kapur also executive produced the Hollywood film The Guru and Bollywood-themed Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams, which has been running in the West End, London since 2002, and on Broadway in New York City since 2004. Projects include Long Walk to Freedom, Water, The Last Full Measure, and Golden Age, a sequel to Elizabeth.

In June 2005, Kapur and his friend, guru Deepak Chopra launched a discussion blog with a select group of their friends and family. The purpose of the blog is to promote original discussion by voices from South Asia, and especially India. Kapur posts regularly on the blog, often writing short personal poems. Shortly after, Kapur also started his own personal blog on his official website. In January 2006, it was reported that Kapur and Chopra would be collaborating with Richard Branson on a Bangalore-based animated film company.

His most recent projekt is PAANI (which means ‘water’ in Hindu) which aims to ring the alarm bell for the global water crisis. In November 2010, when the above interview was taped, Shekhar Kapur signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Grameen Creative Lab to create an investment fund for water-related social businesses in India. Being passionate about water-related issues he will act as ambassador for the fund. Kapur signed the MOU together with Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank Prof. Muhammad Yunus.

Shekhar on Facebook

Wikipedia: Movie “Elizabeth”
YouTube: Tailer of “Elizabeth”

Wikipedia: “Elizabeth – The Golden Age
YouTube: Tailer of “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”

Other articles/links/videos:
YouTube: Business of Cinema: Shekhar Kapur raises alarm bell for water conservation (10/2010)
Global water crisis gets Bollywood Sci-Fi treatment
Realbollywood News Shekhar Kapur rings the alarm bell for water conservation (09/2010)
DNA: The water divide, Shekhar Kapur’s magnificent obsession (05/2010)
Indian Express: Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Paani’ to seek solution for water shortage (05/2010)
YouTube: I’m not a professional filmmaker: Shekhar Kapoor (07/2010)
Vimeo: Paolo Coelho: Social Business – An issue close to society’s heart?

Jul 2010 14

Career: CEO and Founding Member of Grameen Creative Lab
Interests: Social Business, Politics, Dance
Hometowns: Frankfurt, Germany

Saskia Bruysten is CEO and Strategic Director of The Grameen Creative Lab GmbH (GCL). She was one of the founding members of the GCL, along with Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Previously she worked at The Boston Consulting Group as a senior consultant (Munich and New York). She completed her Bachelor and MBA at the European Business School (ebs), and went on to graduate with a distinction, MSc in Theory and History of International Relations from the London School of Economics. Saskia comes from a German / Canadian background, and has studied in the USA and Argentina.

The Grameen Creative Lab (GCL) was founded at the end of 2008 by Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Its goal is to fight poverty through the spread of the model of social business. A social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company aimed at achieving a social goal. As such, it exists only for the purpose of solving a social problem, such as hunger, disease, etc. It addresses this issue very much like a conventional business would. However, the social business can make money, but investors don’t take money out of it. Profits get reinvested to further the social goal. The GCL undertakes two main activities; 1. Creating awareness to social business through events; 2. Providing consulting services to companies, entrepreneurs and organizations interested in founding a social business.

The GCL has consulted or is in the process of consulting and partnering with the following companies, universities, governments and organisations: BASF, Otto Group, SAP, adidas Group; EBS University, Kyushu University, McGill University, Istituto Europeo di Design, Finance University of Moscow; Government of Caldas, Colombia, Government of Albania, City of Wiesbaden; World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, Sing for Hope, Erste Stiftung. Additionally, the Grameen Creative Lab has initiated the setup of social business funds in Mumbai and Haiti.

GCL Facebook
GCL on Twitter
GCL on Vimeo

Twitter: @saskiabruysten

Wikipedia: Social Business
Wikipedia: Muhammad Yunus
Yunus Center
Grameen Bank

Other articles/links/videos:
TruthDive.com: Mohammad Yunus and Social Business. Poor people are more socially conscious and honest.
Fora.tv: Muhammad Yunus – The Social Business Model
YouTube: Microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus speaks at the University of Virginia
Book by Muhammad Yunus: Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs
Book by Muhammad Yunus: Creating a world without poverty

Short intro to Grameen Creative Lab: