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This Year's Inspired Leadership Award Highlighting the New 'Breed of Leadership Business Needs'

Last week, seven young nominees were announced for the 2015 Inspired Leadership Award (ILA), an annual prize recognizing leaders with the potential to positively impact lives on a global scale for generations to come.

The ILA, now in its ninth year, is presented annually at The Performance Theatre (TPT), an yearly forum that brings together some 100 global business and thought leaders, politicians, academics and social innovators to discuss the most pressing leadership challenges of the day — covering everything from geopolitics, inequality and climate change to the energy transition, the definition of value, and more.

The Inspired Leadership Award has previously recognized global business pioneers such as Melinda Gates, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, and Virgin head Sir Richard Branson. However, starting this year, the ILA will focus on younger leaders who have shown the potential to achieve positive change on a global scale. This year, the recipient will be mentored by senior leaders from the TPT community in a tailored, 12-month winner’s package.

This year’s nominees include entrepreneurs Tom Szaky (of Terracycle fame), Jeremy Heimans, Ben Knelman, Kajsa Li Paludan, Alec Loorz, Alejandro Maza Ayala and Siya Xuza. Their businesses range from crowdsourcing social movements, financial-inclusion platforms and climate change awareness to evaluating public programs and smart energy.

“The nominees for the 2015 Inspired Leadership Award are inspirational in every way imaginable. They have all built successful operations and in some cases large businesses with values and purpose at their core,” said ILA chairman Jeremy Hillman. “Their success flows from a drive and determination to deliver growth and positive change on their own terms. Inspirational leadership can be a hard thing to define but it’s something we all need more of. We hope the ILA will play its part in fostering it wherever we find it.”

The winner will be announced at The Performance Theatre in Lisbon on June 26-27, 2015.

Sustainable Brands also recently announced its Innovation Open semi-finalists, which include a crop of similarly ambitious entrepreneurs, who produce everything from cricket flour baked goods and disappearing ink to sustainable air filtration solutions. The group will be narrowed down to four finalists on June 2, with winners announced on the main stage at SB ’15 San Diego on June 3.

The power of entrepreneurs to shape a sustainable future is being recognized worldwide: In December, a report from the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) asserted that socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurs are “critical” to London’s future as a world leader in the economy of the future; the report estimated that London's low-carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sector has the potential to give an annual market value of £69bn by 2025.

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