Chris Gruits: Curating Innovative and Groundbreaking Programs at the Annenberg Center

Chris Gruits: Curating Innovative and Groundbreaking Programs at the Annenberg Center

Chris Gruits is the executive and artistic director of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. His vision returns the Annenberg Center to its roots as Philadelphia’s premier curator of innovative and groundbreaking programs, and a wide range of collaborations in dance, music, theater and more. A signature of his leadership is the cultivation of partnerships across the community, reflecting the Annenberg Center’s commitment to serving the University of Pennsylvania, the surrounding West Philadelphia neighborhood and the Greater Philadelphia region.

Orit Kopel and Glass Voices: Striving for an Equal Voice in the Workplace & World

Orit Kopel and Glass Voices: Striving for an Equal Voice in the Workplace & World

Orit Kopel is a human-rights activist and founder of Glass Voices—an organization striving to empower women to pursue leadership roles in society and amplify their voices in the public sphere and the workplace.

Leonard Haas and the Wyncote Foundation: Carrying on the Legacy of Philanthropy

Leonard Haas and the Wyncote Foundation: Carrying on the Legacy of Philanthropy

Board Chair of the Wyncote Foundation, Leonard Haas serves with his brothers to carry on the legacy started by their father, John C. Haas, while expanding the foundation's impact in the greater Philadelphia area and in the Pacific Northwest via Wyncote Foundation Northwest by providing grants in arts and culture, education, the environment, health and human services, preservation, public media and journalism.

Safia Minney and PeopleTree: When Aesthetics Meet Ethics in Fashion

Safia Minney and PeopleTree: When Aesthetics Meet Ethics in Fashion

Safia Minney, MBE, is an award-winning social entrepreneur and internationally recognized for the company she founded, People Tree, the pioneer of sustainable fashion. She led the business as global CEO for 20+ years in Japan and the UK. Safia has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur and is a leading influencer in sustainability, anti-modern slavery and fair trade.

Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

Globally, it is estimated that 1.3 billion people live with some form of distance or near vision impairment. Prejudice about blindness is widespread; blind people do not have equal access to education and the labor market. Social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke was determined to do something about it. He founded Dialogue in the Dark—in which blind people lead the audience in small groups through a set of real-life scenarios in total darkness to share this experience.

Murali Krishnamurthy of the Sankara Eye Foundation: Bringing the Gift of Vision

Murali Krishnamurthy of the Sankara Eye Foundation: Bringing the Gift of Vision

India has the largest blind population in the world. Eight million people are totally blind, 55 million are visually impaired and 80% are either preventable or curable. The Sankara Eye Foundation brings quality and timely eye care to the doorsteps of rural India through its award-winning Gift of Vision outreach program.

Thom Collins and the Barnes Foundation: Advancing Education and Appreciation of the Fine Arts

Thom Collins and the Barnes Foundation: Advancing Education and Appreciation of the Fine Arts

Dr. Albert C. Barnes believed that art had the power to improve minds and transform lives. The Barnes Foundation's diverse educational programs are based on his teachings and one-of-a-kind collections—both his art holdings in Philadelphia and the rare trees, flowers and other plants at the Barnes Arboretum.

Carlos Pereira of Livox: Alternative Communication through Assistive Technology

Carlos Pereira of Livox: Alternative Communication through Assistive Technology

Carlos Pereira is the CEO and founder of Livox, and the father of an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy caused by a medical error. Since discovering his daughter’s impairment, empowering people with disabilities has become Carlos's passion, from which he created several initiatives to improve the lives of disabled people. He founded the software company Livox that enables non-verbal people to communicate and learn via tablets and smartphones. The software interprets the user's movements through intelligent algorithms that adapt to motor, cognitive and visual disabilities.

Heather Templeton Dill and the John Templeton Foundation: Advancing Our Understanding of Life’s Big Questions

Heather Templeton Dill and the John Templeton Foundation: Advancing Our Understanding of Life’s Big Questions

Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? Does evolution have an address? Are we are immortal? Was the universe created? What is love?
The Templeton Foundation is optimistic about the power of science and other discovery-oriented disciplines to advance our understanding of life's greatest questions.

Barbara Silzle and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund: Enhancing the City’s Cultural Life

Barbara Silzle and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund: Enhancing the City’s Cultural Life

Barbara J. Silzle is a mission-driven leader in Philadelphia’s arts and philanthropic communities. Since 2015, she has served as executive director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide grant funds to enhance arts and cultural organizations throughout Philadelphia.