Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chef Jamie Oliver recognized by TED as a (Global) Social Innovator

Just announced!!!

JAMIE OLIVER, the chef who's transforming the way we feed our children, has become the 2010 winner of the TED Prize.

The TED prize grants him $100,000 and "a wish to change the world". Mr. Oliver will unveil his wish on February 10 at TED2010 and the TED community, will work together over the course of 2010 to make this wish come true.

Some of Jamie Oliver's key achievements:
- 12 television series, seen in 130 countries
- 10 cookbooks, translated into 29 languages, and sold almost 24 million copies in 56 countries
- His School Dinners/Feed me Better campaign pressured the UK government to invest $1 billion to overhaul school lunches.
- Founded the Fifteen Foundation, a social enterprise & chef apprenticeship for 18-24 yr olds. Based in London, it has been replicated through franchising in Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne.
- A new TV series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution USA, is to air on ABC in 2010, bringing Jamie's unique vision to America.

At the heart of Oliver's work is an assault on the obesity epidemic:
The CDC states that one in four Americans are considered obese. It is estimated that 43 percent of Americans, or 103 million people, will be obese by 2018. The cost of this epidemic, anticipated to reach $344 billion per year. It currently accounts for almost 10 percent of the yearly US health care costs, and that rate will rise to 21 percent by 2018. WHO’s latest projections indicate that globally in 2005 approximately 1.6 billion adults were overweight and projects that by 2015, that figure will rise to 2.3 billion.

From the New York Times...
“…this British celebrity chef has made it his mission in recent years to break people’s dependence on fast food, believing that if they can learn to cook just a handful of dishes, they’ll get hooked on eating healthfully. The joy of a home-cooked meal, rudimentary as it sounds, has been at the core of his career from the start, and as he has matured, it has turned into a platform.”

Just one winner?

Those who've followed the TED Prize in recent years will know that in prior years TED announced three winners not just one. For 2010, the fifth year anniversary of the launch of the prize, they are doing things differently.

When they first created the prize, TED envisioned supporting projects that could be completed in 12 months. In actuality, TED winners have dreamed up wishes more powerful, more wonderful than ever could have been imagined, and they have found that they simply don't want to wrap up and close off the projects that fast. Members of the TED community are getting passionately engaged in these projects, and they're not shy about stating that changing the world can take more than a year... To effect real impact, it's right to stay involved and sustain the effort.

There are already 15 TED Prize projects, and at least half of them still require ongoing engagement. Adding too many to the workload risks dilution of effort.

For information on some of the other TED winners from previous years, please visit the TED Website, where you can find out about all about the various winners recognized over time and their respective wishes.

Read up on the inspirational stories of people like Bill Clinton and Bono, but also lesser known social innovators like Dave Eggers, author, philanthropist and literary entrepreneur, and his wish to inspire you, me and every creative person or organization to find a way to directly engage with a public school in your area, and that you’ll then tell the story of how you got involved so that within a year we will have 1,000 examples of innovative public-private partnerships.”

As an amateur chef and a social innovation evangelist, it's exciting to see Jamie Oliver join the line-up of innovative change makers at TED. It is truly wonderful to know that Jamie and the rest of the TED winners are going to stay at the heart of the TED community on an ongoing basis as they continue their ground breaking work and collaborative approach to realizing an inspirational vision for a better future.

Do you know anyone who you think deserves to be singled out for an outstanding contribution to your community and the world at large? Do you know someone engaged in social purpose work—a true social innovator that deserves recognition and assistance to help carry his or her vision forward? Let us know, maybe there is something we can do to help them carry their vision forward.

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