About / Our People
Youth Advisory Group
The SEWF Youth Advisory Group consists of young experts and social entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds, regions and sectors. They ensure that the plans and programming for SEWF 2021 and the Youth Forum are inclusive, relevant and engaging for young social enterprise leaders, practitioners and other young people around the world.
Shomy Hasan Chowdhury
Co-Founder & Co-Chair
Shomy Hasan Chowdhury
Shomy Hasan Chowdhury is a multi-award-winning Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activist from Bangladesh. Shomy is the Co-Founder of global youth-led org Awareness 360 and also a Global Changemakers Fellow. She has addressed keynotes and inspired millions across 5 continents, also receiving many recognitions for her social work of over a decade, notably the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold) from President Barack Obama, the Putra Icon Award, and the Princess Diana Legacy Award.
Most recently, she has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 and highlighted as the Featured Honoree for Social Impact. She is also the first Bangladeshi citizen to sit on the 2021 Diana Legacy Award Judging Panel alongside Princess Diana’s brother Lord Spencer, and many esteemed figures.
Azima Dhanjee is a Child of Deaf Adult (CODA), Co-founder/CEO of ConnectHear, the National Youth Delegate at the Commonwealth Youth Council and a member of the National Youth Council (an initiative by the Prime Minister of Pakistan). She is an alumna of the Institute of Business Administration (Class of 2020), with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
Azima is raised by Deaf parents and Pakistani Sign Language (PSL) is her mother tongue. Growing up, she was always troubled by how simple communication was a challenge for the Deaf due to the language barrier. The lack of awareness and accessibility with regards to the Deaf community led her to initiate and manage “ConnectHear” along with her two high school friends. “ConnectHear” is a social enterprise that strives for sign language accessibility and Deaf inclusion of the Deaf community in Pakistan by utilizing technology.
Social Enterprise Ethiopia
Melat Gebregiorgis is a passionate and supportive youth working at Social Enterprise Ethiopia, where she contributes to the creation of an inclusive economy for social entrepreneurs. Melat loves helping others develop and reach their full potential and volunteers in different spaces to do so.
Jessica is the current Managing Director of PhysioQ, a non-profit organization that creates affordable and easy-to-learn research tools for anyone to conduct health research and further their passion for health science. As a former educator, Jessica is passionate about STEM learning and engagement with youth, and an advocate for the Women and Girls in STEM movement. Most recently, she led the expansion of their health research platform, providing high school students with the ability to participate in health research and data science using wearable technology.
Co-Founder & COO
Jordan is Co-founder & COO of Kiipo, a global health-technology company aimed at leveraging tech innovations—AI, Machine Learning, IOT—to tackle the world’s healthcare disparity. He is also Co-founder of nonprofit organization PhysioQ aimed at democratizing access to health research by creating affordable research tools. It is well known for its research platform LabFront, and was recognized as one of the world’s top COVID-19 innovations by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In 2021, he was recognized by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business as one of the Top 50 Canadian Leaders creating change. Jordan is widely recognized as a Technology Leader for Good and prior to founding Kiipo, Jordan was one of the founding team members of Nordic Medical Centre, located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During this time, he also led the successful creation and launch of Ethiopia’s first full-circle Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system.
Erupt Art Inc.
After a horrific experience as an adolescent when his parents separated, James Okina turned to the streets for a sense of belonging. Inspired by an unprecedented turnaround, at age 15, James founded Street Priests Incorporated. This social enterprise is transforming street children’s lives through a youth-led movement.
Street Priests currently operates the only community center in Nigeria that provides all-round developmental support to children on the streets daily. Over 11,000 children and counting have benefited from this program. He currently serves as Strategic Advisor to the SAP/UNICEF partnership to bring digital skills to over 1.5 million students in India, Turkey, and Vietnam and a Young People’s action Team Member for Generation Unlimited. James is also the founder of Erupt Art and holds a B.sc in Social Entrepreneurship as a Watson Scholar.
Nine van der Poel
Social Enterprise NL
Nine van der Poel
Nine is the programme manager at Social Enterprise NL, the driving force behind social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. Nine has been working at Social Enterprise NL for almost two years now and wants to continue working with inspiring social entrepreneurs for the rest of her life and make as much impact as she can. During her work, she is in frequent contact with various social entrepreneurs, which gives her a lot of knowledge about their needs. She is happy to use this knowledge to create an interesting programme for SEWF 2021.
Outreach & Communications Coordinator
Although Sarah has lived in Halifax for 10 years, her spark to do good for others within the community has not diminished. She is the president at Enactus Dalhousie and creator of the New Venture Marketplace, a one day market for new entrepreneurs from traditionally marginalized groups. Sarah was chosen as a 2020 Social Connectedness Fellow with the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness, where she wrote a comprehensive report on refugee experiences in smaller Canadian Cities and created The Postcard Project, a storytelling initiative designed to create a positive narrative around forced migration to Canada.
She looks forward to being a part of the SEWF Youth Advisory.
Tegan is the Communications Lead at Social Shifters, where she’s passionate about helping people around the world start and grow their social change ideas. When not creating new content and tools for Social Shifters, she’s working on initiatives related to SDG 13.
International Community Coordinator
Social Enterprise Academy
Since joining Social Enterprise Academy in 2019, Kiera has worked with 14 SEA Hubs across the globe to provide transformational learning and development opportunities to social entrepreneurs. Intrinsic to the Academy is the belief that the people stepping forward to affect social change need support. SEA programmes enable learners to learn together, at all stages of personal and organisational growth. Kiera’s role as International Community Coordinator is largely to build on the collective strength of the SEA global network, through bringing this community of change makers together to share and learn in return.
In 2019, Kiera graduated from Central European University in Budapest with a Masters in Women’s and Gender History and has since contributed to projects that examine transnational political movements of the early 20th century.