Celebrating 15 years of Virgin Unite

A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 23 September 2019

Delighted to join the Virgin Unite family in New York to celebrate 15 years of our entrepreneurial foundation and present some incredible people with our inaugural Wonder Awards.

Image from Virgin Unite
Image from Virgin Unite

As Virgin Unite’s President Jean Oelwang said, we are fortunate to work with extraordinary people (especially Jean!) who have committed their lives to tackling some of the world’s toughest challenges. We focus on systems change, not just symptoms, and lead through collaboration to help ignite a better future for humanity and the planet.

Our first Wonder Award winners embody all of those values and more. Congratulations to Nancy Lublin, the CEO of DoSomething.org and founder of Crisis Text Line, who won the Wonder of Never Accepting the Unacceptable. Well done to Abdalaziz Alhamza, the citizen journalist and human rights activist who was awarded the Wonder of Humanity.

Image from Virgin Unite
Image from Virgin Unite

Congratulations to Jules Kortenhorst, the CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, who was presented the Wonder of the Planet award. And a huge well done to Theresa Pham, a refugee, former Virgin Management employee and entrepreneur, who won the Wonder of People award.

Thank you to so many of the Virgin Unite community for joining us for a magical evening at Convene. It was wonderful seeing long-time Virgin Unite supporter Estelle perform, along with DJ Shoebox Moses and Butterscotch, and catching up with so many people who have contributed so much to our foundation’s first 15 years. Special thank you to Van Jones, of Reform & CNN, Kumi Naidoo of Amnesty International, Kathy Calvin of the UN Foundation and Amy Stirling from Virgin Group for presenting the awards to this brilliant group of leaders.  

Image from Virgin Unite
Image from Virgin Unite

There were so many moving words from so many fantastic people coming together to celebrate the people who make Virgin Unite unique.

Virgin Unite has always been a different kind of non-profit, committed to bringing together people and entrepreneurial ideas to create positive change for a better world. Here’s to the next 15 years.