And the 2019 Bernie Glassman TrailBlazer Award Goes to ...
Meet Jean Oelwang
Jean is the founding CEO and President of Virgin Unite. Over the last 15 years, she has worked with partners to lead the incubation and start-up of several global initiatives, including: The Elders, The B Team, The Carbon War Room (successfully merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute), Ocean Unite, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, 100% Human at Work, The Virgin Unite Constellation and The Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship. She also played a key partner role in the incubation of many other initiatives such as The Audacious Project and The New Now.
As part of her work over the last three decades, Jean has helped corporations put the wellbeing of people and the planet at their core, including working with over 25 Virgin businesses across 15 industries to help embed purpose in all they do. Jean also served as a Partner in the Virgin Group leading their people strategy, the heart of Virgin.
Jean spent eighteen years living and working on six continents to start and help lead mobile phone companies in South Africa, Colombia, Bulgaria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. She was the joint CEO of Virgin Mobile in Australia prior to starting Virgin Unite.
Jean has long explored the overlap of the business and social sectors and has been involved in both, having worked for the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife in Australia, and in numerous volunteer roles, including a stint as a VISTA volunteer where she worked with – and learned from – homeless teens in Chicago.
Jean holds a number of advisory board roles, including The Elders, The NewNow, the Sara Blakely Foundation and the Boards of Rocky Mountain Institute, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, Ocean Unite, Ocean Elders and Just Capital. For the last five years, she was also a Senior Partner helping to lead the B Team.