8 Social Good Changemakers to Watch

Folks, just figured it was about time to highlight some more social good changemakers who really have their boots on the ground creating real change. These people are disruptors, they’re inspirational, and they’re the real deal.


  1. Jillian York

    // Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Her work is at the intersection of tech and policy, with a focus on the Arab world. Her Twitter feed’s been described as “Grim reality mixed with activism, humanism, feminism and a dash of humor.”
  2. Rinku Sen

    // President and Executive Director of Race Forward: the Center for Racial Justice Innovation, formerly known as the Applied Research Center (ARC) and Publisher of Colorlines.com. A leading figure in the racial justice movement, Rinku has positioned Race Forward to bring systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity through research, media, and practice. More about Rinku here.
  3. Van Jones

    // Senior Fellow at American Progress focusing on “green-collar jobs” and how cities are implementing job-creating climate solutions. Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy. He is a co-founder of three successful nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All.
  4. Amy Sample Ward

    // CEO of NTEN. Amy is a conversation-starter and thought-leader, writing about strategic uses of new technologies for communities and organizations on her blog and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is dedicated to educating and supporting nonprofit and community organizations in using technology to make lasting change. She is the co-author of the nonprofit best selling book Social Change Anytime Everywhere co-written by Allyson Kapin.
  5. James Rucker

    // Chairman and Co-founder of ColorOfChange.org and Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL). Founded in the wake of Katrina, ColorOfChange.org is the leading online citizen lobby for African-Americans and their allies. CEL was founded three years later to serve as an incubator and accelerator for online organizing efforts.
  6. Tinia Pina

    // Founder & CEO of Re-Nuble, an organics-to-energy social enterprise based in the D.C. area. Tinia founded Re-Nuble with a mission to “Redefine Waste” within local, urban communities. Nuble, Inc. increases recycling by the food service industry while providing employment to D.C. residents with criminal records.
  7. Rabbi Sarah Bassin

    // Executive Director of NewGround, a joint Jewish-Muslim organization training emerging leaders to collaborate and overcome entrenched conflicts. Deeply interested in interfaith relations, Sarah entered the rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College with the intention of pursuing a rabbinate in community relations. During the year in Israel portion of her rabbinic education, Sarah became both a participant and a facilitator for Encounter, helping Jewish leaders better understand the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
  8. Scott Beale

    // Founder & CEO of Atlas Corp, and an experienced social entrepreneur who has started three nonprofit organizations and helped thousands of people in his generation become agents for social change. He has worked on four continents, with nonprofit, government and business leaders from around the world. More about Scott here.

Who would you add to this list? Please share, and I’ll keep ’em in mind for a follow up post.

3 thoughts on “8 Social Good Changemakers to Watch

  1. 1) Elizabeth Warren
    2) Robert Reich
    3) Bernie Sanders
    4) John Perry of Stanford….

    Perry is amazing.. He created the Stanford Encyclopedia of {Philosophy) and the Stanford CSLI.. (Center for the Study of Language and Information.)…. , while all the while his main gig was Philosophy. He was head of that Dept, and brought in Ken Taylor from Notre Dame to succeed him… Then he and Taylor conceived and created “Philosophy Talk”… a weekly one-hour show, on a different topic each week… (KALW fm)


  2. I am honored to be featured on a list of notable change agents implementing principles of impact and responsible capitalism. In full disclosure, we actually have revamped Re-Nuble’s entire business model as of last summer and deviated from the two mission areas described above, renewable energy and helping the formerly incarcerated. We realized that it was extremely challenging for us, as an early-stage venture, to successfully deliver impact and optimize the missions of two very distinct areas. Today, we are still dedicated to social and environmental impact but in ways that increase resource efficiency, food access, and climate change mitigation.


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