At NextDayBetter, we scour the Earth for the boldest changemakers and creatives from the global Filipino diaspora. We found them and asked them to share their world-changing ideas on our stage. These leaders in entrepreneurship, civil rights, the arts, and more are helping to reimagine the capacity of global Filipinos to create impactful solutions, not just for the Philippines, but for the world.
#1: Jose Antonio Vargas
[San Francisco, United States] Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Founder of Define American, Advocate for Undocumented People
This Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist became the face of the immigrant rights movement when he outed himself on the cover of TIME Magazine. His documentary, “Documented”, tells his life story as an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S.
#2 Tara Abrahams
[New York City, United States] Global Policy Advisor at Girl Rising
This social entrepreneur champions girls education across the globe. As the Global Policy Advisor at Girl Rising, she led the worldwide launch of a documentary film of the same name. “Girl Rising,” from Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, captures the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.
#3: Francis Manapul
[Toronto, Canada] Award Winning Writer/Illustrator for DC Comics
This Filipino-Canadian is a New York Times bestselling comics creator and an award-winning writer. His past comic book works include Superman/Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Flash.
#4 Geena Rocero
[New York City, United States] Model, Founder of GenderProud, Advocate for Transgender Rights
Geena Rocero is known for her fierce runway and modeling experience. In 2014, she took a massive leap and came out as a Transgendered person at TED and NextDayBetter. Her TED talk advocating for Transgender rights has been viewed over 3,000,000 times.
#5: Reese Fernandez
[Manila, Philippines] Social Entrepreneur, President of Rags2Riches, Forbes Top 30 under 30.
This Forbes Top 30 under 30, social entrepreneur co-founded Rags2Riches — a fashion and design house empowering community artisans in the Philippines. Rags2Riches has trained 900 artisans and directly employs 50 people—professionals, in-house artisans, marketers, and strategists who are all working together towards the same goal.
#6: Nicole Ponseca
[New York, NYC] Restaurateur, Founder of Maharlika and Jeepney Restaurants
This restaurateur and tastemaker’s mission is to bring Filipino food to the global mainstream. Her New York City based restaurants have been celebrated by Top Chefs and have been featured in VICE, NBC, the Huffington Post, and more.
#7: Estelle Reyes
[Los Angeles, United States]Executive Director, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
This former banker combined her love of education and innovation as the Executive Director of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Estelle Reyes played a central role in launching entrepreneurship focused educational programs, reaching 10,000 students from low-income communities across the greater Los Angeles Area.
#8: Maria Ressa
[Manila, Philippines] Journalist, Founder of Rappler
Maria Ressa is a wonderwoman, garnerning positions such as CNN’s Bureau Chief in Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia. She is currently CEO and Co-Founder of Rappler, a social news network that combines professional journalism and citizen journalism with crowdfunding.
[Los Angeles, United States] Restaurateur, Founder of The Park’s Finest
Johneric Concordia is a true community organizer. Combining his love for Filipino Cuisine, BBQ, and community, he opened the doors to one of LA’s most renowned restaurants, The Park’s Finest. His foodie creations have been featured on the Food Network, helping to push forward Filipino-inspired cuisine into mainstream.
The search continues. We are looking for the most daring visionaries across the Filipino diaspora. Know somebody to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.
Learn more about our work unlocking the genius of the Philippines diaspora by watching the video below.
ABOUT: NextDayBetter is a storytelling platform for creative diaspora communities. We celebrate Filipino + Asian Pacific changemakers around the world and call them to action.