Pacquiao Named 2015 Asia Game Changer Of The Year

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (JGL) – Manny Pacquiao will lead the honorees as the 2015 Asia Game Changer during the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the United Nations in New York city on Oct. 23 for “making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world.”

Asia Society President Josette Sheran said “The Asia Game Changer Awards address the lack of recognition for Asians who are transforming ideas into action and improving lives. This year’s honorees could not be more different from one another. They include a group of scientists, a comedian, a dancer, a fighter pilot and a boxer. What they share in common is that they all fight for a better today and inspire the world to do things differently.”

Manny Pacquiao’s award comes in the heels of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, who took the honors in 2014. Jack Ma or Ma Yun is a Chinese business magnate and philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of highly successful Internet-based businesses. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes.

While all honorees received widespread support, “one individual rose to the top of our list,” said Sheeran. “Manny Pacquiao achieved his remarkable success after a childhood of extreme hunger and poverty. Today, Manny is a major humanitarian force, directing his philanthropy toward numerous causes, including education and the fight against human trafficking. He is a remarkable inspiration and demonstrates the power of giving back to transform people’s lives.”

Pacquiao and the other honorees will attend the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the United Nations on October 13, 2015. Pacquiao will also address the gathering. Among the Asia Society trustees presenting the awards will be Citi CEO, Global Consumer Banking Stephen Bird; renowned opera singer Renee Fleming; PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi; veteran broadcaster Charlie Rose; former Australian Prime Minister and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute Kevin Rudd; and Asia Society Co-Chairs Ronnie C. Chan and Henrietta H. Fore. The evening will also feature a special live performance by global music movement Playing For Change, recipient of a 2014 Asia Game Changer award.

Honorees are selected through a global survey of more than 1,000 thought leaders. The 2015 awardees are:

Asia Game Changer of the Year: Manny Pacquiao (The Philippines): Humanitarian, world-famous boxing champion, and member of the Philippines House of Representatives,  for using his sport, and his star power, as sources for good;

  • Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura (Japan): 2014 Nobel Laureates in Physics and inventors of a new energy-efficient light source — the blue LED,  for lighting our world in a groundbreaking and sustainable way;
  • Chanda Kochhar (India): CEO of ICICI Bank and the first woman to head an Indian bank, for breaking the glass ceiling, transforming an industry, and empowering the masses;
  • Lei Jun (China): Founder & CEO of Xiaomi, China’s leading smartphone vendor, for changing the game of communication in China and beyond;
  • Li Cunxin (Australia/China): Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet, known as “Mao’s Last Dancer”,  for his art, his courage, and his cultural diplomacy;
  • Aasif Mandvi (United States/India): Comedian, activist and powerful spokesperson for Muslims and Asian Americans, for using comedy to challenge perceptions, and work for good;
  • Mariam al-Mansouri (United Arab Emirates): Fighter pilot, UAE Air Force and role model for women throughout the Arab world, for battling stereotypes, and terror, from the air; and
  • Kiran Bir Sethi (India): Founder, Design for Change and The Riverside School, and champion of youth volunteerism, for empowering children to change the world.

In 2014, in addition to Jack Ma and Playing for Change, other Asia Game Changers were Japanese architect Shigeru Ban; Pratham co-founder and CEO Madhav Chavan; MyShelter Foundation and Liter of Light founder lilac Diaz; the charitable organization Fashion Girls for Humanity; former Indonesian Minister and disaster relief specialist Kuntoro Mangkusubroto; MOBY Group chairman Saad Mohseni; Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz; Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy; groundbreaking neuroscientist Pawan Sinha; education activist Malala Yousafzai; and Chinese education reformer Zhang Minxuan.


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