BY ABIODUN ABIOLA ALABI
The United Nations Foundation has honoured pathbreakers and unsung heroes who are charting a course toward a better world for all.
During our annual We the Peoples Global Leadership Awards held in New York City on November 16, the diplomatic community, along with philanthropic, corporate, and civil society partners, came together to recognize this year’s honorees.
“We gather this year to recognize global leadership and resolve at a moment of profound challenge and strife in our world,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “At a time when it is more important than ever to reaffirm our shared humanity, we are honored this year to recognize extraordinary individuals who embody the spirit of the UN Charter, and who are determined to fight for progress, even against the odds.”
Meet the 2023 Honorees
The 2023 honorees are changemakers and innovators in the arts, diplomacy, sustainability, and technology, connected by a common mission to push for progress, even against the odds.
Her Excellency Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General – Champion for Global Change Award
In recognition of her indispensable role in the creation and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, and her trailblazing work to elevate the voices of girls and women and ensure no one is left behind.
Jack and Laura Dangermond, President and Vice President of Esri – Goal 17 Innovation in Partnership Award
In recognition of their groundbreaking work to develop mapping technology, which helps the world locate issues and solutions.
Hickmatu Leigh, Photographer and Purposeful Artist in Residence – SDG Vanguard Award
In recognition of her inspiring use of art to reframe how girls and women are seen in Sierra Leone and beyond, and for her work championing girls’ education.
Sara Menker, Founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence – SDG Vanguard Award
In recognition of her innovative work harnessing the power of data and technology to transform how the world handles supply shocks, food crises, and climate change.
Dr. Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson – Leadership for a Better World Award
In recognition of his legacy of leadership for a sustainable, healthier planet with expanded opportunity for all.
Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and their teams – UN Heroes Award
In recognition of their diplomatic ingenuity and negotiations to release millions of tons of grain and other agricultural products; and for their work helping alleviate hunger, acute food insecurity, and hardship for millions.
In 2023, UN Foundation presented the following awards:
- The Champion for Global Change Award to recognize enlightened leadership in working towards a more prosperous and equitable world for us all.
- The UN Heroes Award to honor the extraordinary compassion, courage, and determination of UN frontline workers.
- The SDG Vanguard Award to recognize leaders whose work and impact reflects the urgency of the SDG agenda and the imperative to leave no one behind.
- The Goal 17 Innovation in Partnership Award to recognize the impact of strategic partnership toward achieving the Goals.
- The Leadership for a Better World Award honors extraordinary leaders across sectors, whose work creates a more sustainable world