FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2011) —
H.R.H. Princess Mathilde of Belgium applauded Darell Hammond, Founder & CEO of Washington D.C. based non-profit KaBOOM!, as a recipient of The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship 2011 United States Social Entrepreneur of the Year on Tuesday.
H.R.H. Princess Mathilde, a Schwab Foundation board member, met with Hammond during a visit to the KaBOOM! headquarters in Washington D.C. H.R.H. Mathilde is currently visiting the U.S. as part of a Belgian Economic Mission of more than 300 delegates, including H.R.H. Prince Philippe.
Hammond becomes the 15th recipient of the award from the U.S. and joins a prestigious group of social entrepreneurs throughout the world. Previous U.S. winners include Habitat for Humanity’s Millard Fuller, Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp, College Summit’s J.B. Schramm and First Book’s Kyle Zimmer.
“I am extremely humbled to receive an honor of this magnitude and am grateful to Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde for taking time away from her delegation’s mission to the United States to learn more about our work and impact,” said Hammond, who founded KaBOOM! in 1996 and released The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play earlier this year. “As KaBOOM! celebrates our 15th birthday and recently led the construction of our 2,000th community-built playground, this recognition further validates our long-held belief that every child throughout the world deserves to have a great place to play within walking distance.”
As a recipient, Hammond will attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions Sept. 14-16 in Dalian, China. The Schwab Foundation is the sister organization of the World Economic Forum. Hammond will speak at a session entitled “Recharging Science in Society” during the conference, which will feature nearly 2,000 social entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the world.
Hammond was selected based on the span and scope of his career and the estimated number of lives affected by his work. In 1996, Hammond founded KaBOOM! after reading a story in the Washington Post about two children who suffocated while playing in a car because they did not have a safe place to play.
Since founding KaBOOM!, Hammond has raised more than $200 million to fight the Play Deficit and save play for America’s children by ensuring that every child has a great place to play within walking distance. Under Hammond’s guidance, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to inspire more than 1 million volunteers to build more than 2,000 playspaces across North America that serve more than 5.5 million children.
Social entrepreneurs identify practical solutions to social problems by combining innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity. Deeply committed to generating social value, these entrepreneurs identify new processes, services, products or unique ways of combining proven practice with innovation, driving through pattern-breaking approaches to seemingly intractable social issues. Most importantly, they act as social alchemists, converting under-utilized resources into productive assets by working with, and motivating, groups of people and communities.
There are five criteria for selection:
The term "social entrepreneurship" refers to a distinct approach to catalyzing social transformation that is independent of sector or discipline. Whether they focus on health, enterprise development, education, environment, labor conditions or human rights, social entrepreneurs are people who seize the problems created by change as opportunities to transform societies.
About the Schwab Foundation
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in over 50 countries around the globe. Social entrepreneurs implement innovative and pragmatic solutions to social problems by tackling the root causes and creating social transformation. Selected social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation network participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders. http://www.schwabfound.org.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.