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HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco awards the 2015 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy to Amitabh Shah of YUVA Unstoppable


The candidates shortlisted to receive the prestigious 2016 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy were announced today. This year’s prize-winner will be announced at a press conference following the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy in Paris on Tuesday, January 26, 2015 at the Institut de France.

The Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is a global initiative developed jointly by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Tocqueville Foundation in Paris, France. Its aim is to promote the most innovative and inspiring kinds of philanthropic initiatives. Last year, the second Prince’s Prize was awarded to Amitabh Shah, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of YUVA Unstoppable of India.

The Prize for Innovative Philanthropy results from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s close involvement in the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy, an annual closed-door discussion of leading international philanthropists which takes place in Monaco every year immediately following the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

The number of qualified candidates remained consistently strong this year, thanks to the distinguished group of leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, foundation directors, and academics who comprise its Nominating Committee. Of the five semi-finalists confirmed by the Prince's Prize Advisory Board, three were selected to be presented to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco by the Prince's Prize Jury, comprised of 13 internationally esteemed philanthropists. The Prince’s Prize Jury, Advisory Board, and the Nominating Committee can be found on the Tocqueville Foundation’s website.

Finalists for the 2016 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy include the following three individuals:

Shai Reshef is President and Founder of the University of the People (UoPeople), the world's first non-profit, tuition- free, accredited online university dedicated to opening the gates to higher education for all individuals otherwise constrained. The University embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring tuition-free undergraduate degree programs to qualified high school graduates around the world. UoPeople offers Associates and Bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science and is currently in the process of developing new Health Science and MBA degrees. The University has gained the widespread support of volunteers and leading academics around the world. To date, the University has enrolled more than 3000 students from 180 countries. In 2016, UoPeople anticipates doubling its enrolment.  Recently UoPeople opened its gates to offer full scholarships for 500 refugee students around the world, predominantly from Syria.  

Sanjit "Bunker" Roy is an Indian social activist and educator who founded the Barefoot College, a voluntary organization working in the fields of education, skill development, health, drinking water, women empowerment and electrification through solar power for the upliftment of rural people founded in 1972. The College has applied rural traditional knowledge and skills to build homes for the homeless, collect rain water in rural schools and community where potable water sources are scarce, as well as to spread socio-economic messages at the grassroots level through puppetry. Only technologies that can be understood and controlled by rural community have been introduced to improve the quality of life of the poor. Bunker Roy’s thoughts and approach not only inspire other social entrepreneurs around the world to find similar solutions and opportunities, highlighting the importance of finding a solution that is sustainable by that community itself, but impact a huge portion of those in developing countries toward a better future.

Lorna Solis started the non-profit organization Blue Rose Compass (BRC) with the mission of providing gifted young refugees the opportunity to develop their talents and become agents of change in the world. BRC travels to conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America to identify young adults – especially, though not exclusively, girls – who have exceptional academic talent and leadership qualities. BRC helps them to apply to top universities and to find work when they graduate. Among other criteria, candidates for BRC Scholarships must be either living in a refugee camp or otherwise displaced by conflict, and committed to finding ways in which they can use the opportunity of an education to contribute to peace and rebuilding in their region of origin.

Press are invited to register for the Press Conference on Tuesday 26 January 2016 at 9am at the Institut de France in Paris by contacting:


Tocqueville Foundation

Brenna Lundstrom, Director of the Prince’s Prize, + 33 6 43 54 84 18


Other Press Queries:


Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

Isabelle Peters, Director of Communications, + 377 98 98 43 27 (for enquiries in French)

Amélie Huré, Events Officer, +377 98 98 44 11 (for enquiries in English)