The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, presented by Applied Materials, is given annually by The Tech Interactive to individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating critical global problems.
An accomplished entrepreneur, executive, and investor, Reid Hoffman has played an integral role in building many of today’s leading consumer technology businesses. He is the co-author of three best-selling books: The Start-Up of You, The Alliance, and Blitzscaling. He is the host of the podcast Masters of Scale.
Julie Packard is executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which she helped found in the late 1970s, and chairs the board of the independent Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Through her support of conservation, education and ocean research, she is helping sustain a world capable of supporting the next generation, one that will be prepared to care for their world.
Paul Hawken is an author and activist who has founded successful ecologically conscious businesses and consulted with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology and environmental policy. He is the executive director of Project Drawdown, an organization promoting 100 solutions to reverse climate change.
Khaled Hosseini is an international bestselling author and goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Inspired by a trip he made to Afghanistan with the UNHCR, he later established The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965, and his family was granted political asylum in the United States following the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Army. In 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, “The Kite Runner.” His debut became an international bestseller and beloved classic, sold in at least 70 countries and spending more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is also the author of bestsellers “And the Mountains Echoed” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns.”
You can read his full remarks on accepting the award at The Tech’s Medium blog here.
John P. Morgridge and Tashia Morgridge are the 2015 winners of the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, presented by Applied Materials.
John P. Morgridge joined Cisco Systems as President and CEO in 1998. Two years later he took the company public, transforming it into a tech powerhouse; he became chairman emeritus in 2006. Tashia Morgridge studied education at the University of Wisconsin before becoming a special education teacher. In their married life, they developed a passion for charitable giving.
“Jim Morgan is a good friend and we have the highest respect for his family because of the scope of their generosity, so it’s more than just an award for us,” John said.
The goal of the Morgridges’ philanthropy has been to improve education worldwide, and they have done much of that giving through the TOSA Foundation, named after the high school where they met. The Morgridges have supported the University of Wisconsin’s research facilities, special education programs and scholarships, founding the Morgridge Center for Public Service and establishing the Morgridge Institute for Research, a biomedical institute. They are also generous supporters of literacy programs in East Palo Alto, Calif.; Tashia has long devoted herself to improving educational opportunities in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Internationally they donate principally through CARE, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty, and The Nature Conservancy.
“Education is a powerful tool for improving lives around the globe,” said Gary Dickerson, president and CEO of Applied Materials. “The Morgridges’ passion and influence to expand educational opportunities in underserved communities is helping to increase living standards and combat poverty.”
Said Tim Ritchie, President and CEO of The Tech: “John and Tashia Morgridge’s decision to commit their lives and fortune to philanthropy is already having a profound impact on both the causes they support and the people they influence. If the world wonders whether Silicon Valley cares about creating a better future for others, it can look to John and Tashia Morgridge and know that a tide of philanthropic support is rising. Others will contribute to that rising tide because of them.”
In 2010, The Morgridges took the Giving Pledge, joining philanthropists like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg in a promise to give away the majority of their wealth in their lifetime.
Ted Turner is best known for creating CNN, the first all-news television network, and pioneering the live broadcast of breaking news from around the globe. His leadership in the world of philanthropy has been just as path-breaking. The Turner Foundation, established in 1990, has contributed almost $370 million and supported more than 3,000 groups in an effort to improve air and water quality, develop a sustainable energy future for our planet, safeguard environmental health, maintain wildlife habitat protection, and develop practices and policies to curb the population growth rate.
In 1997 Turner’s pledge of $1 billion to the United Nations resulted in the creation of the United Nations Foundation (UNF), which supports people, ideas and resources globally to further the U.N.’s work. UNF advocates policy changes, mobilizes resources and builds partnerships alongside businesses and nongovernmental organizations to tackle climate change, global health, poverty eradication and energy access.
Dean Kamen is the holder of hundreds of U.S. and foreign patents for medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. He is the founder of FIRST®, an organization dedicated to motivating youth to understand science and technology.
Kamen’s DEKA Research & Development Corporation is responsible for breakthrough inventions in medicine and clean energy, in addition to providing research for major corporate clients. While an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable infusion device to deliver drug treatments that previously required round-the-clock hospital care. Through DEKA, Kamen developed a portable dialysis machine, a vascular stent, and the iBOT — a motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs. Kamen also led teams in the development of devices such as the Segway® Human Transporter, an insulin pump for diabetics, portable energy and water purification devices for the developing world, and a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers.
N.R. Narayana Murthy co-founded tech services giant Infosys and served as its CEO for 21 years, becoming one of India’s most influential advocates for health care and rural development.
At Infosys, Murthy brought billions of dollars and countless software development jobs to India. Infosys established the Infosys Foundation in 1996; it works in partnership with nongovernmental organizations to help underprivileged rural communities in India that are focusing on five initiatives: health care, education, culture, destitute care and rural development. “This award honors leaders whose vision, passion and dedication are helping to change the world,” said Mike Splinter, former chairman and CEO of Applied Materials, Inc. “Narayana Murthy embodies the spirit of the Global Humanitarian Award. Through his leadership in business and philanthropy, he has improved the lives of many in India and beyond.”
Jeff Skoll was the first full-time employee and first president of eBay. He went on to create the Skoll Foundation in 1999, the leading foundation for social entrepreneurship; it has invested approximately $500 million worldwide. Its flagship program, the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, supports more than 100 leading social entrepreneurs whose work serves the neediest in more than 100 countries.
In 2009, Skoll founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund, focusing on climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East conflict.
Skoll also founded Participant Media, in 2004. Participant’s films partner with advocacy campaigns to engage social action on issues addressed in its award-winning films, including “The Kite Runner,” “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman,” which have collectively received four Academy Awards.
“Each year, the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award is given to a leader who motivates others to take action,” said Mike Splinter, former chairman and CEO of Applied Materials. “Jeff’s personal commitment to philanthropy and his passion for helping people by creating thought-provoking films is worthy of this high recognition.”
Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was selected for her leadership and efforts in protecting human rights around the world. She has led a relentless campaign for broader access to schools and higher-quality education for children, especially girls.
Queen Rania is considered one of the world’s most influential women and has held prominent roles such as Eminent Advocate for The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Honorary Chairperson for The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). Campaigning around the globe on behalf of children, she works to encourage organizations to improve classroom quality, teaching standards, computer access, community investment and health awareness. In Jordan, she has led initiatives to refurbish local schools and inspire teachers.
Her organization, The Jordan River Foundation (JRF), is highly regarded for its success in advocating for children and giving families the skills to become self sufficient by working themselves out of poverty.
Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore was selected for the 2009 Global Humanitarian Award due to his worldwide work on environmental affairs, in particular raising global awareness of climate change.
In 2007, he and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That same year, Gore was named by Time magazine as runner-up for its Person of the Year. In 2006, he won an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth,” a film focused on his unwavering campaign to curb global warming.
“Gore was among the first to bring the focus of average citizens to the environment and economic dangers that climate change poses to our planet,” said Mike Splinter, former chairman and CEO of Applied Materials. “In the spirit of Silicon Valley, Al Gore’s warning on climate change was accompanied by an urgent call to action that has helped to ignite passion and excite children, adults and entrepreneurs around the world to harness innovation and new technology toward constructive solutions to save our planet.”
In 1976, Professor Muhammad Yunus determined that a mere $27 loan could transform the lives of many of the poorest villagers in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He developed a benchmark microcredit application through his Grameen Bank, which gives the rural poor access to micro-loans for entrepreneurial enterprises such as purchasing livestock and procuring weaving materials. Yunus’ vision of a world without poverty has been the inspiration for his life’s work, culminating in 2006 when he and his bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their significant contributions in the field of microcredit. Since then he has also won the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) and the Congressional Gold Medal (2010).
Grameen Bank, which Yunus departed in 2011, has provided more than $10 billion in small loans to would-be entrepreneurs who would not qualify for such loans from traditional banks. Almost all of these borrowers are women in businesses such as street vending and farming.
Intel co-founder and technology industry luminary Gordon Moore has contributed more than $1 billion and countless hours toward the goal of improving the quality of life for future generations, primarily through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, whose mission is to achieve significant, lasting and measurable results in three areas: environmental conservation, science and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Gordon Moore’s vision and leadership made possible incredible technological innovations that have helped shape society today,” said James Morgan, former chairman of Applied Materials. “In the many years that I have known Gordon, he has always been passionate about technology’s potential to benefit humanity and the environment. Through his work at Intel, his foundation and his philanthropic efforts, Gordon has made a tremendous positive impact on many lives around the world.”
Through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates focuses his energies on global health issues, especially HIV prevention and treatment; improving education; and reducing poverty in the developing world. These challenges are so daunting, and so complicated by politics and global inequalities, that many people would say there are no solutions. But Gates believes that we cannot ignore suffering, even if it is caused by complex problems with no apparent solutions. He inspires us to continue innovating because, through his experience, he has learned that human ingenuity aided by science and technology can make the world a better place for all.
After meeting countless Rwandan children orphaned by AIDS or genocide, Kristine Pearson was inspired to develop a radio to help connect these children to news and on-air classroom lessons. The Lifeline radio was launched in April 2001 and later that year was awarded the first Tech Museum of Innovation Award — a precursor to the laureate award — in the education category.
Pearson’s sweeping vision led to a broadening of the organization’s mission as it began to focus on the larger issue of energy poverty. Today, the non-profit Lifeline Energy owns the for-profit company Lifeline Technology Trading, which designs, develops and manufactures the solar-powered and wind-up media players, radios and lights that Lifeline Energy distributes in support of the critically poor and vulnerable. Under Pearson’s direction, the non-profit has distributed more than 550,000 self-powering radios and reached more than 20 million listeners since 1999.
Lifeline Energy operates primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and is committed to retaining its focus on the needs of the poorest of the poor, especially women, girls and orphaned children, and remaining ready to address the problems of vulnerable groups anywhere.
James C. Morgan was the first winner of this award, which was later named in his honor. The former chairman of Applied Materials was honored for his seminal and exemplary leadership in creating and developing The Tech Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation that supports innovators in extending the reach of their life-changing applications of technology.
Morgan has been at the center of The Tech Awards since its inception in 2001. From the beginning, he stood behind The Tech Awards mission — to support and inspire technology that solves crises of humanity and our environment — and he contributed his tremendous energy, expertise, and influence to shaping and expanding The Tech Awards into a force for world-wide social change through innovation.
Morgan’s devotion to The Tech Awards is simply one piece of his larger commitment to technology as an agent for global good. He has been recognized innumerable times as a leader in industry, and has served as an advisor to Congress and U.S presidents on matters of international trade and technology.
He has offered his time and guidance to organzations as varied as the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University; Join Venture: Silicon Valley; World Presidents’ Organization; American Electronics Association; The Nature Conservancy and many more. In everything he does, Morgan demonstrates that technology can be much more than business. It can be a tool to unleash the potential in each of us, to turn our ideas into concrete solutions for a better, healthier, more just world.