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
Courage has been the catalyst for success in my life. It’s made me a better person, a better businessman, and a stronger voice for progressive political change.
As a gay man growing up in East Tennessee, it would have been easy to settle with silence or fear. I chose not to let the things outside my control trump what I always knew was possible in my heart.
After graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, I secured the first ever participation of the People’s Republic of China in the World’s Fair at age 22. By 25, I had become the youngest executive ever hired by Occidental Petroleum—responsible for business, diplomatic and philanthropic endeavors in more than 30 nations, reporting directly to the CEO. I’ve gone on to manage an investment advisory firm in Russia, a Forbes 400 Family Office, and launched my own business consulting firm.
After rising to the top of the corporate world, I decided to take the most courageous leap of my life. I walked out of my job at Occidental, knowing that I had to work for myself. And most importantly, I chose to be honest with my family about my sexuality, open to enduring love, and re-committed to the cause of social and economic justice. No professional success could have paid richer dividends.
As a result, my family has never been closer. My relationship with Shaun has fulfilled me beyond words. And while I’m a long way from East Tennessee, I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing—working to empower others to make the same courageous choices I made.
After chairing Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign in California in 2003-2004, I co-founded Brave New Films, and later founded the Courage Campaign—an online activist network that has reached more than 700,000 members working for equality and progressive change across America.
I am living proof that where nothing is ventured, nothing is gained. But with the courage to act, all things are possible.
– Rick Jacobs