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
What’s most meaningful to me at this point is doing my part. We all have the ability to do our part. If you stick to doing what you can do, you never lose, you’re always winning.
What can make a difference in what we do is scale. I can put 10 water filters in my bag and save, potentially, thousands of lives. But if I get other people involved, if companies join in, and private donors and sponsors, then I’m going through a lot of the same motions, but scaling up the results.
What dawned on me at one point is that if I shoot for the stars and fall short, I still land on the moon.
I’ve always been somewhat socially conscious, or tried to be, though as a pro-surfer I had a pretty self-indulgent lifestyle. When my dad got involved in the water cause, I supported him in his passion. I saw what he was doing with Rain Catcher, the organization he started, and thought it was great. He worked in Africa, focusing on developing simple ways to catch rainwater and teaching people how to do that themselves so they didn’t have to walk five miles to a pond.
About six years later, when I was looking for a way to transition out of my surfing career, I thought, I can do that, too. I’d seen the need for it in all the places I’d surfed. Waves for Water was born out of realizing I could go to all the places I know from surfing and help. If I stuck to that list I’d be busy until I’m dead. That felt like a simple plan. Then the project transformed into more of a special ops mindset of providing urgent relief – not always in direct response to a disaster, like an earthquake, but in places that are disastrous day after day. We call this guerilla humanitarianism.
I tend to go full throttle. There are days when I’m more tired than others, but I still love it. It helps that my time as a pro-surfer gave me experience in learning to adapt to different cultures and traditions and in dealing with what we encounter when we’re out of our comfort zone.
When you’re on the right path you can’t make a wrong turn. I have a lot of passion for what I do. I do it because I love it. I’ve always done what I love to do. I’m not going to stop now.
- Jon Rose