Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
I love making a difference in other people’s lives. It’s hard-wired into who I am. I’m my happiest and most satisfied when I’m helping other people. Even when I was growing up, I always made it a point to be helpful. I guess you could say my parents brought me up properly.
Sixteen months ago, when I was speaking at a summit in Zamboanga City, I heard about kids who needed to swim to school in a nearby village. After I returned to Manila, the capital of the Philippine, I couldn’t shake off the story. I shared the story of those amazing kids on Facebook. Little did I know then that friends and friends of friends would respond with donations that started a fundraising campaign to buy boats for those kids.
Since then, we’ve become known as the Yellow Boat Project, because we provide yellow school boats (instead of yellow school buses) that ferry kids to school. We’ve found two more communities that need boats and we’ve moved on to providing communities with school supplies, scholarships, medical and dental missions, and even livelihood programs. Our story is about heroic kids who face daily challenges just to be able to go to school. They’re our inspiration.
I feel like a lot of people don’t take the time to discover their true potential in life. They go about their life and work and don’t think about the bigger picture. I force myself to take a step back at regular intervals in my life and assess whether or not I’m doing what’s meaningful. For me, that’s helping others.
When I was invited to tell our story at TEDxMontpellier in France, I shared my Yellow Boat Theory of HOPE:
H stands for Harnessing your potential or finding your passion in life.
O stands for Opening your mind, your heart, and sometimes your wallet.
P stands for Perspiration or taking action.
E stands for Empowering others.
For me, that’s what HOPE really means. You can’t give hope without discovering yourself, without opening your mind and heart to what’s possible, without taking action, and without inspiring others to do the same.
– Jay Jaboneta