With a mission to develop socially-responsible young leaders and empower them to make a positive impact today, the Resolution Project has been showing tangible results. Most recently, 4 Resolution Fellows were recognized across two Forbes “30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs” lists for 2017: one featuring Americans and an inaugural list featuring Europeans. “The Resolution Fellows that were selected represent the broader group of young people that are leading a surging movement of social entrepreneurship as a career choice and an impact driver,” said George M. Tsiatis, CEO & Co-Founder of the Resolution Project. “Congratulations to Annie, Bonnie, Kristina, and Liana on this achievement and recognition! They are examples of the incredible power of young people to create lasting change in their communities and the world and to be examples of the socially responsible leaders we hope to see in all sectors.”
Inclusion on an “under 30” list is quite an accomplishment: For the American list, less than 4 percent of 15,000 nominees make the final grouping of 600 people across 20 industries, according to the Forbes website. Similar ratios support the inaugural European list, but it features 300 people from 51 countries and 6 continents, representing 10 industries. For both lists, the category of Social Entrepreneurs features 30 game-changing individuals whose ventures are attempting to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. “Annie, Bonnie, Kristina, and Liana represent the extraordinary leadership potential of their generation. Whether breaking new ground in the food and agriculture sector, or changing the face of eating disorder treatment and recovery, they are showing the way and changing the world today,” said Oliver Libby, Chair and Co-Founder of the Resolution Project. “In working with each of these powerful young entrepreneurs, I’ve witnessed firsthand how they stand out among their age group and far beyond that!”
Resolution Fellow Annie Ryu’s Jackfruit Company, part of Global Village Fruits, aims to promote healthy eating, provide livelihoods for Indian farmers, and reduce the carbon footprint created by meat consumption. In a July 2016 article in National Geographic, Annie said, “…we need to resolve the fact that meat is the second largest contributor to global warming, [next] to the energy industry.” Jackfruit offers an allergen-friendly meat alternative with a texture akin to pulled pork. On a college trip, Annie recognized that India is the largest producer of jackfruit, but 75 percent of the crop is wasted without adequate processing infrastructure. Annie’s venture, the Jackfruit Company, addresses this issue by building international supply chains for jackfruit and raising awareness about jackfruit’s health benefits. As part of each lifetime Fellowship, Resolution offers seed funding and mentorship. Annie recently shared that, for her, “The Resolution Project has been an incredible support and guiding force from the earliest and loneliest days of building The Jackfruit Company. Advice, connections, and morale support from my Resolution mentors have helped the company and me to grow, and to succeed.” Indeed, The Jackfruit Company is now the #1 jackfruit brand in retail stores nationwide.
Another pressing issue, in the realm of physical and emotional well being, is the growing prevalence of eating disorders. According to statistics from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders website, approximately 30 million Americans of all ages and genders will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetimes. Yet, treatment can run upwards of $30,000 per month and insurance companies often offer insufficient coverage. Fellows Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran seek to remedy this problem with Project HEAL, which provides scholarships for people with eating disorders to receive treatment. Since the organization was founded in 2008, it has launched 40 chapters worldwide that assist with healing, raising awareness, and fundraising for treatment. As part of their Resolution venture, Liana and Kristina (along with Ashley Tritt), sought to expand Project HEAL by developing a support network for the families of individuals suffering from an eating disorder.
In many corners of the world, the stories and hardships of underprivileged women go untold. Fellow Bonnie Chiu’s venture, Lensational, offers a camera, training and a platform for these women to sell their work and be represented in a dignified way. In fact, 50 percent of the proceeds from photo sales go directly back to the women. Many of the images challenge gender stereotypes—for instance, a young Pakistani woman is seen driving a motor taxi, which is not a traditional role for women to be viewed in Pakistan. To date, Lensational has served 300 women and girls from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Bhutan, Cambodia, Thailand and Kenya. Bonnie now manages 50 volunteers spanning across 18 countries, and Lensational has received global media coverage in the Guardian, TEDx, Mashable and the South China Morning Post. She notes, “I am extremely honored to be named Forbes ‘30 Under 30′ in Europe, especially as I moved only to London three years ago. It wouldn’t have been possible without the Resolution Project. Thanks for believing in me and other young leaders, and never giving up on us!”
One thread connecting all 4 Fellows is that each benefits from the mentorship of a Resolution Guide. The Guides empower Fellows to become true entrepreneurs by advising them at every step along the way, without providing prescribed instructions or action steps. For example, Kristin and Liana recently cited the importance of Guides in the development of Project HEAL. “Resolution has been instrumental in the growth of Project HEAL. My Guide mentor is my go-to, both for Project HEAL and also as I grow as a social entrepreneur personally. When I have an important question, Resolution is the first stop,” notes Kristina. Further, Liana offered, “Project HEAL would not be where it is today without the support and mentorship that Resolution provides. My mentor’s leadership and example have helped me grow into my potential.” Resolution is always seeking Guides to mentor young people like Annie, Bonnie, Kristin and Liana as they strive to improve the world—for more information about becoming a Guide, please visit the Mentoring section of the Resolution website.
Resolution CEO & Co-Founder George M. Tsiatis provided closing thoughts on the achievements of these 4 fellows: “The indomitable spirit of young people to see injustice and pursue it tirelessly is embodied throughout these lists and throughout the Resolution Fellow community. Congratulations to all of winners, and especially to our 4 Fellows who were recognized.” Tsiatis added, “The good news is that for every 4, there are another 400 doing the same—and that gives us hope for overcoming the many challenges and injustices our world is facing!”
Of course, these 4 Resolution Fellows join Rose Wang, who was previously named on the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs’ list for her venture Six Foods, which seeks to normalize use of protein derived from insects with snack foods like Chirp Chips. To learn more about the 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs’ lists for 2017, visit the Forbes websites for the America list and the Europe list.