​One Heart World-Wide Founder, Arlene Samen, and Chairman of the Board, Jay Blumenkopf, attend the London Global Thinkers Forum

​​​​The Global Thinkers Forum, a non-profit organization founded in 2012 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordon, held its 2016 Gala Awards for Philanthropy and Positive Change on December 8 at the Institute of Directors in London.  Tobias Ellwood MP, UK Minister for the Middle East and Africa, officially opened the Gala recognizing the powerful force of the organization.  

According to its founder, Elizabeth Filippouli, the Global Thinkers Forum is not merely about financial wealth, but about the wealth of the heart.  “It is about developing our ethical intelligence to create a world of accountable leaders and empower women and youth.”  Miss Filippouli explains that the genesis of her project “is that we live in a world that is so inter-connected and inter-dependent that we need to have a perspective that can benefit larger society while at the same time promote good governance and ethical business practices.”

The Global Thinkers Forum is a platform that brings together a diverse network of thought leaders to effect positive change in the world.  It was created to help our societies and leaders navigate a very complex world, and celebrates organizations and individuals promoting positive change in the world.  Miss Arlene Samen, who founded One Heart World-Wide at the request of the Dalai Lama, accepted the Excellence in Women’s Empowerment award in behalf of One Heart World-Wide, which has over 15 years of experience implementing maternal and neonatal mortality prevention programs where women often die alone at home giving birth.  

The aim of One Heart is to improve access to and utilization of healthcare services to reduce the risk of maternal and neonatal mortality in the most remote areas of the world.  It operates on the belief that all women and newborns can receive the quality healthcare services they deserve during pregnancy and childbirth, anytime and anyplace.  Past Global Thinkers Forum Award Honorees include some of the biggest names across business and public life, including Ariana Huffington, Sir David Frost, the late Zaha Hadid and Nouriel Roubini.

This year a Special Award for Contribution to Humanity was received by the Alwaleed Philantropies.  Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has pledged his entire fortune to philanthropy. HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed AlSaud, Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies, accepted the award.  The International Committee of the Red Cross received the Excellence in Positive Change Award for its worldwide helping of people affected by conflict and armed violence.  Elif Shafak, an award-winning novelist, woman’s and LGBT rights advocate and inspirational public speaker, received the Excellence in Promoting Gender Equality Award.  Lord John Alderice, Chairman of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in Belfast, received the Excellence in Peace and Collaboration Award.

Mr. Blumenkopf, a member of the Board of Directors of One Heart since 2003, is serving his third term as Chairman of the Board of the recipient of the Excellence in Women’s Empowerment Award.  In behalf of One Heart, he has traveled on humanitarian missions to such remote areas of the world as Tibet, Nepal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the jungle of Ecuador.  

In the Congo, Mr. Blumenkopf stared down a Congolese soldier pointing a Kalishnikov at his heart until the soldier’s commanding officer arrived and ordered the soldier to stand down.  The elders of the indigenous Achuar Tribe in the jungle of Ecuador said they saw the heart of a great warrior in Mr. Blumenkopf and made him a member of the tribe.  That way he could only war with the Achuar, and not against them.  “Some warrior” said Mr. Blumenkopf, “I was crying during the ceremony.  I do have an Achuar name, Yanquam, and a magnificent set of Achuar war beads.  I have just not found the right occasion on which to wear them in the United States.”

Source: One Heart