United Nations Foundation Announces New Class of Dynamic Community Leaders to Serve as +SocialGood Connectors and Champion the Sustainable Development Goals

The next class of +SocialGood Connectors represents 11 countries; Connectors will advocate for solutions to support the Sustainable Development Goals and UN causes

Washington, D.C.

August 14, 2019


Megan Rabbitt

Today, the United Nations Foundation announced its new class of +SocialGood Connectors — local leaders from around the world who will work individually and together over the next two years to advance solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to support the work of the United Nations.

Connectors are leaders in their local communities who are working on social good issues and committed to using their voices in support of global progress on the SDGs. They play a key role in the +SocialGood community, made up of changemakers who are sparking conversations and action on global progress in their local communities. 

Connectors will spearhead events, communications, and other projects to raise awareness of and build support for the SDGs. Past leaders have led social entrepreneur incubators, built groups dedicated to local grassroots action, led socially-conscious media companies, and more. 

“Local leaders are at the heart of global change,” said Rajesh Mirchandani, Chief Communications Officer at the UN Foundation. “The UN Foundation is excited to welcome this new class of Connectors and looks forward to working with them to connect their local projects with the movement for global SDG progress.”

This class of Connectors brings together local leaders from across five continents and 11 countries — from a 21-year-old Filipino social entrepreneur who empowers people with disabilities through her upcycled rubber shoe company, to a Kenyan man known as “The Digital Humanitarian” due to his work using social media to support frontline disaster response.

“I’m excited to join the +SocialGood community because I will get to collaborate with a diverse group of change agents across the world,” said young Nigerian leader Abraham Ologundudu. “I look forward to bringing together our expertise to support the work of the United Nations towards advancing the Global Goals movement and creating a better world by 2030.”

Meet the full class of 2019 connectors:

  • Abraham Ologundudu, Nigeria

Abraham Ologundudu is the co-founder and executive director of Social Good Lagos, a local chapter of +SocialGood that brings together professionals and thought leaders who are dedicated to using new media and digital technologies to enhance social good initiatives through partnerships, collaborations, and innovation. He passionately creates platforms to inspire local action and innovation towards the SDGs.

  • Alejandra Acosta, Spain

Alejandra Acosta is a social worker and entrepreneur who specializes in gender equity. She is the founder of Break The Silence, a non-profit that fights against human trafficking in Spain. She is a past TEDx speaker and is passionate about social justice and sustainability.

  • Ashley Bass, United States

Ashley Bass is a design and technology advocate who supports and develops K-16 education and city-wide programs for underserved communities. Her mission is to work in the area of education within urban public sectors: to help create, develop, and maintain programs and initiatives for social good. 

  • Clarisse Joy Mañabat, Philippines 

Clarisse Joy Manabat is the co-founder of Green Rubber – Grub Footwear, a social enterprise which upcycles scrap tires and old jeans to turn them into slippers. The company also aims to provide economic empowerment to persons with disabilities.

  • David Connor, United Kingdom

David Connor is the founder of 2030hub, the world’s first recognised UN Local2030 Hub. His mission is to stimulate business and city-level social good through entrepreneurship, communications, and collaboration. Other successes include the creation of the charitable foundation at Everton Football Club and managing the England amputee football squad. David is also a UK B Leader, supporting B Corp growth and certification to encourage businesses to measure what matters.

  • Federico Restrepo Sierra, Colombia

Federico Restrepo Sierra is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Impact Hub Medellin, an innovation center and impact business incubator. He is also a co-founder of Energía Vectorial, a business focused on decarbonizing mobility through infrastructure and conversion of cars.

  • Henriette Weber, Denmark

Henriette Weber is the head of Brand and Engagement at CARE in Denmark, where she is taking sustainability and her unique view on the SDGs to infuse more innovation into the NGO sector.

  • James Da Costa, United Kingdom

James Da Costa is a social entrepreneur, the co-founder of Mandala Group, which builds mobile applications in rural India and Kenya for underserved communities, and a Regional Director at the Hult Prize Foundation, the world’s largest student impact entrepreneurship platform. 

  • Nashilongo Gervasius, Namibia

Nashilongo Gervasius is a knowledge society specialist, media lecturer, communication specialist, and ICT4Dev analyst who is invested in the development narrative of Africa and is committed to upholding Africa’s position as the new frontier for new media, technology and innovation. She is a co-founder of the Internet Society Namibia Chapter

  • Neeshad Shafi, Qatar

Neeshad Shafi is an environmentalist, educator, and social change advocate based in Doha, Qatar. He is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ), the first and only registered, independent, non-profit, youth-led environmental association in the State of Qatar. Neeshad was named in the Apolitical’s List of World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy 2019 and he is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community, CoalitionWILD, and Youth Climate Lab. 

  • Philip Ogola, Nairobi, Kenya

Philip Ogola is an online networker known as “The Digital Humanitarian.” Using his platform, he works to raise awareness about local disasters and the need for mental health support.

  • Priyanka Jaisinghani, United States

Priyanka Jaisinghani is a social entrepreneur, journalist, and advocate with a passion for making an impact. As the co-founder of a global mentorship program, GirlzFTW, she works to connect high school and college girls to inspiring mentors. She is also driving impact through her work as Managing Editor of Conscious Magazine and as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper community.

  • Swarnima Shrestha, Nepal

Swarnima Shrestha is a development communications professional and co-founder of Snow Yak Foundation, which supports the education of marginalized children in remote parts of Nepal. She has led communication projects in Nepal and across South Asia region for different organizations. Currently, she is leading communications at International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law (IANGEL) through Atlas Corps Fellowship in San Francisco Bay Area, California. 


About +SocialGood

 +SocialGood is a community of changemakers dedicated to making local progress on the Global Goals. Members work together with the United Nations Foundation to inspire discussions around the SDGs and to forward a movement that will create a better world by the year 2030.  +SocialGood is led by its Connectors and Advisors, global influencers with a proven track record for bringing together big ideas and new opportunities and creating impact in their communities. Learn more at: http://plussocialgood.org/.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation acts as a strategic partner to help the United Nations mobilize the ideas, people, and resources it needs to drive global progress and tackle urgent challenges. We focus on issues at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and engage citizens who seek action. Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation works with philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual partners. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Serena Jiwani

Senior Communications Officer