The Emzingo LeaderSHIFT Award

The Emzingo LeaderSHIFT Award recognizes the efforts and achievements of purpose-driven responsible leaders, who are aligned to the Emzingo values and committed to responsible business practices that create positive impact and are sustainable in social, environmental and financial terms.

How it Works

Every month, we nominate an individual whose personal and professional achievements represent the Emzingo values and show a strong commitment to responsible leadership practices.

Then, once a year, we get together with our team and Board of Advisors to review the nominees and select the one who best represents our values and vision to build a world where business leaders and organizations are committed to social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial success.

How it Works

Please Meet…

Concepción –Conchita– Galdón, the new Director & Academic Lead for IE’s Social Innovation division and Co-Founder of the Social Venture Puentes Global.

At IE she has the mandate to promote Social Innovation academic content across all IE Schools and Programs, encourage more research in Social Innovation and reach out to organizations and partners interested in Social Innovation… But, Why?, we asked her…

“According to neuroscience research, our brain learns best in the presence of an emotion. Social Innovation generates intense emotions and content related to social innovation not only helps our students become more conscious leaders but actually helps them learn more.”

Learn about Conchita Galdón’s experience and why she is promoting Social Innovation at IE.

What is LeaderSHIFT?

LeaderSHIFT a Broader Context
LeaderSHIFT a Broader Context

LeaderSHIFT is the lens through which an individual views personal leadership and embraces long-term responsible leadership by committing to working always in the right PLACE:


Long-term focus

Authentic & Values-Based


Embraces change, uncertainty, and ambiguity

Why an Emzingo LeaderSHIFT Award?

At Emzingo, we want to celebrate commitment to responsible leadership throughout the world while actively working to:

  • Inspire others to embrace LeaderSHIFT
  • Prepare responsible leaders by facilitating the tools and platforms required to share knowledge and expertise
  • Connect responsible leaders around the world by celebrating the work they’re doing, and linking them to other leaders with shared interests in similar organizations.
Why a LeaderSHIFT Award


True leadership isn’t something that can be taught solely in a classroom or quietly sitting in a computer; we need to get ourselves out there!

Nominee for April 2017


Lesley Williams, co-founder of the Impact Hub Joburg. The Impact Hub Joburg is part of the world’s largest network of inspiring workspaces, vibrant learning communities, and entrepreneurial incubation programs working around the world, in places as distinctive as Amsterdam, Singapore, San Francisco and, of course, Johannesburg. The Impact Hub has evolved into a rapidly expanding, diverse global network of over 15000+ members in 80 locations.

Part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community centre, Impact Hub Joburg offers members a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration, and collaboration opportunities.

‘Impact Hub Joburg was born out of the co-created vision of many ordinary people who re-imagined what society could be and were willing to roll up their sleeves to do the work in creating the change they want to see.’  

Learn about Impact Hub Joburg co-founder, Lesley Williams’ experience in this exclusive interview:

Nominee for March 2017

ma sinbogile - emzingp award march 2017

Ma Sibongile, Founder and Director of Nanga Vhutshilo (Choose life), an organization founded in April 2006 with a clear mission: to empower orphans, vulnerable and HIV/AIDS affected children and their families to become self-sufficient, educated, and healthy adults by focusing mainly on early childhood development.

Today, eleven years after its foundation, Nanga provides high-quality early development curriculum and accompanying programs to children in one of Soweto’s most vulnerable communities, where they hire a staff of 51 employees and offer more than 8,000 meals every month.

At Nanga we believe that struggling communities will progress only when their most vulnerable children –those severely impacted by poverty, disease, or poor family circumstances– are able to succeed.”

After a long collaboration with the organization through our different programs in South Africa, we have enjoyed a long conversation with Founder and Director, Ma Sibongile about her passion and thoughts on responsible leadership.

Nominee for February 2017

John Lewis

John Lewis, President and Founder of Intelligent Futures, a social enterprise working at the intersection of urbanism, community engagement, strategic planning, and capacity-building to create lasting and meaningful sustainability solutions for communities and organizations in Calgary, Canada.
John was identified as one of Calgary’s “Top 40 Under 40″ in 2010 and was selected to an international group of emerging leaders invited to the “Global Environmental Governance Forum” in Glion, Switzerland in 2009.
He is a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, an instructor at the University of Calgary, the President of LEAD (Leadership in Environment and Development) Canada and a member of LEAD International’s training team.
Learn more about John and Intelligent Futures in this exclusive interview.

Nominee for January 2017

Shelley Danner, Co-Founder and Program Director of Challenge Detroit, an organization focusing on leadership development, social impact, and community empowerment.

Since launching Challenge Detroit in 2012, Shelley has scoped and led over 40 community impact projects for Detroit nonprofits and developed 120 next-generation leaders in the city.

In May 2016, she completed a leadership coaching graduate certificate through the Institute of Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University.

Shelley is immersed in the innovation and social enterprise landscape in the city, and is passionate about design thinking, education and leadership, sustainable cities, food, the arts, and travel. She is originally from the Detroit area and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business from Miami University in Ohio.

Nominee for December 2016

Lauren Walters

Lauren Walters, a social entrepreneur with a strong belief in the power of the right networks of individuals to do amazing things collectively, who’s proven the value of collaboration throughout his career as a lawyer, entrepreneur, NGO leader, venture capital investor, and volunteer.

Lauren most recently acted as Co-Founder and CEO of 2 Degrees Food, a food enterprise operating between 2010 and 2016 working to directly connect consumer purchase decisions in the U.S. to hungry children’s ability to eat around the world. During their operations, 2 Degrees Food committed nearly 3 million meals.

With a career ranging from politics to public service, business and entrepreneurship, Lauren Walters currently acts as Chairman of The Concord Consortium and is a Board Member in several organizations, including PDI, Copley Retention Systems, and the Consensus Building Institute.

Learn more about Lauren Walters here.

Nominee for November 2016

Isabel Medem - Leadershift November 2016

Isabel Medem, co-founder and CEO of X-Runner, a social enterprise that provides a dry sanitation product and service to low-income homes in the outskirts of Lima, Peru.

Isabel has a master’s degree in International Business Management from ESCP Europe, where she focused on social issues related to economic development and wrote her master’s thesis on economic empowerment through mobile technology in Sub-Saharan Africa.

She worked as a financial advisor for a microfinance bank in Tanzania, Madagascar, and Tajikistan, and today she leads an 18-person team in X-Runner, the first Peruvian enterprise to be certified as a B-Corporation.

Nominee for October 2016

Roeland Donckers, a serial social entrepreneur with over 13 years of hands-on experience in creating and managing start-ups in emerging markets.

He is nominated for his trajectory, and as co-founder of  iungo capital,  an Impact Investment company focused on financing small and growing businesses in frontier markets in East Africa.

Learn more about Iungo Capital and read our exclusive interview here.

Nominee for September 2016

Jose Alfredo, Alberto, Adrian, and Pablo, nominated as co-founders of  Apadrina un olivo, an organization working to transform and preserve neglected rural areas and develop a sustainable and social economy through the recovery of over 100,000 abandoned olive trees in Oliete, a small town in Teruel, Spain.

To this date, they have recovered 1.500 olive trees, generated two permanent and 6 part time jobs, and achieved full integration of people with disabilities in the workplace through a collaboration with local organization ATADI.

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