NEW YORK, April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the launch of a first of its kind organization, Helena, was announced. Formed to spearhead a new generation of thought and action, Helena brings together global influencers to create positive world change. Half of the group is under 25 years old and half is over 25, marking a significant departure from prior efforts of its kind. Each Helena member also represents a different field, resulting in a powerful platform of diverse thinking and innovative solutions.
The group features Selena Gomez, General Stanley McChrsytal, Brian Grazer, Deepak Chopra and Chloe Moretz, as well as Nobel and World Technology Prize winners, Fortune 500 executives and other global influencers. Helena meets and collaborates to create breakthrough ideas, then leverages its collective reach to make them happen. A full list of members can be found below.
"Helena represents a new model for change," argues founder Henry Elkus. "Tomorrow's problems demand different kinds of solutions; we want to be prepared for that."
"Helena is about making great people of different ages and experiences come together to create positive change on a sustained basis," says Elkus. "Every day, we have the privilege of being challenged by some of the world's brightest minds. It makes us all optimistic that tomorrow's problems are solvable, and that we might be lucky enough to be part of some of the solutions."
Half of Helena is under 25 because over half of the world is under 25. The millennial generation is influencing, innovating, and creating more rapidly than ever before. They are tasked with solving monumental global dilemmas, yet they are not given a representative voice in the world's most powerful organizations. Breaking with this tradition, Helena establishes one of the strongest cohorts of young global influencers to date. The result is a unique bridge between generations and a powerful environment for innovation.
With each Helena member representing the pinnacle of accomplishment in a separate field, the group covers a sweeping range of professional activities, networks of influence, skillsets, and philosophies. Helena members have fought diseases, created currencies, and commanded armies. They have disrupted industries, overcome oppression, and discovered technologies. They are actors, linguists, economists, biochemists, activists, technologists, explorers, financers, filmmakers, and much more.
Helena is led by 20-year old founder and CEO Henry Elkus. A second-year Yale student and Wall St. Journal contributor, Elkus aims to disrupt traditional ways of change-making by forming a bridge between the brightest minds of multiple generations. He is one of the youngest leaders in the field, where organizations are led by older individuals and lack involvement from key millennial influencers. He attended Stanford University's Online High School while competing for four years on the international ski racing circuit. His interests in futurism, impact investing and the social impact of technology have led him to join a few boards, including the advisory board of the Hult Prize.
Joining Elkus are fellow Yale Sophomores Noah Steinberg (Vice President) and Samuel Feinburg (Vice President).
A former World Champion public speaker and debater, Samuel Feinburg has spoken at dozens of Universities and oration chambers around the world, including the English Speaking Union in London, The United Nations in Bangkok, and the world-famous Oxford Union. Noah Steinberg was the youngest founding board member of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Detroit's North End.
Helena members meet together and individually throughout the year, collaborating on a sustained, ongoing basis. Their relationships are organic, forging paths that might otherwise never cross. When Helena's members collaborate, their diverse abilities, generational experiences and influence come together to address issues, advance technologies, and guide movements in previously unexplored ways.
Helena members under 25 include:
- Vitalik Buterin (winner, Fortune's 2014 World Technology Award, IT Software)
- Nick D'Aloisio (WSJ Magazine Technology Innovator of 2013)
- Tim Doner (world's youngest hyperpolyglot, speaks 23 languages).
- Selena Gomez (singer, actress, philanthropist)
- Timothy Hwang (Founder and CEO of FiscalNote, valued over $100M)
- Nanxi Liu (one of world's most successful young female entrepreneurs)
- Yeonmi Park (human rights activist and North Korean defector)
- Arjun Mehta (Co-Founder of PlaySpan: sold to Visa for $200m).
- Chloë Moretz (actress, model, designer)
- Divya Nag (Apple's secretive "Special Projects" division)
- Sheel Tyle (Principal and co-head of seed practice at one of largest VC firms in the world)
Helena's senior members have led and pioneered today's most powerful organizations, most influential policies, and most dominant philosophies and include:
- Deepak Chopra (Founder, The Chopra Center; bestselling author)
- Beth Comstock (Vice Chair, General Electric, founding team of Hulu, Board of Nike)
- Sylvia Earle (Time Magazine Hero for the Planet)
- Brian Grazer (Academy Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning producer, bestselling author)
- General Stanley McChrystal (former Commander: ISAF and JSOC)
- Jarl Mohn (CEO of National Public Radio, creator of E! Entertainment Television)
- Myron Scholes (Nobel Laureate: Economics)
- Jochen Zeitz (Former CEO: Puma, Director: Kering)
Several of the 30 Helena member positions have been intentionally left open to be filled in the coming months.
Helena's Brain Trust is made up of individuals of extraordinary achievement, influence and leadership including: Dwayne Betts (bestselling author, poet, and human rights activist), Wade Davis (National Geographic Explorer In-Residence), Tim Fain (violinist), Shaolan Hsueh (creator, Chineasy language platform), James Levinsohn (founding Director of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University), Jennifer McCrea (Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University), Casey Neistat (filmmaker, producer, entrepreneur), Esther Perel (psychotherapist), Robert Shrum (political strategist), Karen Tse (human rights activist), Captain Don Walsh (academic, oceanographer and marine policy expert), and Camilla Webster (journalist).
Helena's board of advisors collaborates with its management and members to aid in all aspects of the organization. Those members include Ray Chambers (United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and the UN Special Envoy for Malaria), Rachel Gerrol (Co-Founder & Global Curator of the Nexus Global Youth Summit), Lindsay Hadley (producer of major non-profit events including Global Citizen Festival), Anjali Jain (Senior Associate Dean, Yale School of Management), Raymond Ravaglia (father of online education & Founder, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies), and Bob Roth (Executive Director, David Lynch Foundation). Helena was co-founded by Henry Elkus and Zachary Bohn in 2015.
Helena brings together a group of global influencers to spur large-scale change. Led by Henry Elkus, the organization spearheads a new, intergenerational and cross-sectional model for discovering, disseminating and implementing solutions to global problems. Half of Helena's 30 members are under the age of 25, and each is an exceptional leader of a distinct field. The group features a Nobel Laureate, environmental activists, Fortune 500 executives, a hyper-polyglot, a biochemist, a military commander, entertainment industry personalities, bestselling authors, and more. To learn more, please visit http://www.helena.co
Rogers & Cowan for Helena
Matthew Lawrence | Los Angeles
Sallie Olmsted | Los Angeles
Nicole Lewis | South Florida