Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Mercy Corps leader addresses global social change at Korbel Dinner

More small and large corporations are taking an active role in addressing some of the greatest issues currently facing the world, Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer told guests gathered at DU’s 12th annual Korbel Dinner Aug. 20. He also encouraged the audience to find their own way to get involved.

Keny-Guyer was the keynote speaker at the dinner, which honors Josef Korbel, a Czechoslovakian diplomat and DU professor who established the University’s school of international studies in 1964. Korbel’s daughter, Madeleine Albright, served as the 64th U.S. secretary of state.

“There is a new era for global social change and progress emerging,” Keny-Guyer said. “Whatever we call this new era, it’s all about bringing the power of innovation and entrepreneurship — the key drivers of success in the market sector — to target the marginalized and suffering segments of society.”

He said social entrepreneurs look at challenges such as poverty and affordable renewable energy, and leverage the power of business, social networks and markets to have a transformative impact on society.

Mercy Corps is a Portland, Ore., based nonprofit with a mission to “alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.” The group works in dozens of countries worldwide.

Also at the dinner — held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel — awards were presented to Christina Gold, CEO of the Western Union Company, and John and Pat Livingston, Denver business leaders and community volunteers.

Gold received the International Bridge Builders Award, recognizing her achievements in connecting Colorado with the world. Western Union is based in Englewood, Colo., a Denver suburb.

Pat Livingston, a member of the DU Board of Trustees, and her late husband, John, received the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award for their work in the community. Pat has served as a trustee for nearly 30 years, and John volunteered with local organizations and served as chair of the board for the Denver-based Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

More than 600 people attended the dinner, which raises money for scholarships at the Korbel School.

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