Dell Shines A Light On How 100 World Changers Are Redefining Tech

This past weekend, I went to see the DreamWorks animation “Rise of the Guardians,” which follows the story of Santa Claus, the Tooth Ferry, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and Jack Frost as they come together to protect the children of the world against Pitch Black, aka the Boogeyman. Suffice to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and it got me thinking about the rise of human guardians roaming the real world–the change makers who dedicate their lives to improving society through entrepreneurship and philanthropy. There are many among us, and their stories are invaluable to us because they have the ability to inspire, educate, and spark movements.

That’s why I was thrilled when news about Dell’s #Inspire 100 list landed in my inbox a few weeks ago. As part of Dell’s “Inspired Giving” holiday campaign, which encourages shoppers to give the gift of inspiration, the tech giant curated a list of 100 cause crusaders who are using technology to empower others. Among the #Inspire 100 honorees are influencers such as Casey Rotter (U.S. Fund for UNICEF), Chrysi Philalithes ((RED)) and Penny Abeywardena (Clinton Global Initiative); Entrepreneurs including Gina Bianchini (Mighty Bell), Scott Gerber (Young Entrepreneur Council) and Jose Ferreira (Knewton); Creatives like Grace Bonney (Design*Sponge), Ross Martin (Scratch/Viacom Media Networks) and William Yan (; and Tastemakers including Dina Fierro (, Giuliana Rancic (E! News and FabFitFun) and Josh Rubin (Cool Hunting).

Last week, I caught up with Fara Howard, executive director of North America Consumer and Small Office Marketing, to find out how the company came up with the list, which is running through December 21st, and what the campaign goals are. Here’s what I learned:

Kids can fly.

Dell wants to promote how technology can help customers achieve their dreams.  ”It’s not about the technology itself – but about the experiences that customers have because of the technology they use,” said Howard. “They’re able to pursue their dreams, bring their passions to life, experience true success.” Case in point: young Annie – the 5th grader featured in Dell’s back-to-school advertising that ran earlier this year. She uses her imagination and Dell laptop to produce a video of her dream, flying, and proudly presents it to her class.  Dubbed “the girl who can fly,” the ad featured some of the latest innovations from Dell that inspire imagination, creativity and innovation.


At least 100 influencers are redefining tech.

The #inspire 100 are the thinkers, the designers and the risk takers. They’re the social entrepreneurs that sink their last dollar into making the world a better place, the writers who report on it, designers who use technology to innovate. Tech tastemakers are not influenced, they create influence and they do it through amazingly bold and inspiring action. They are redefining the world of tech and showing the world how tech tools can be used to empower dreams and change the world.

To develop this list, Dell brought together a group of judges to help curate the creatives that go above and beyond to make a difference every day. The judges include:

  •    Elliott Bisnow – Founder, Summit Series
  •    Josh Kopelman – Founder, First Round Capital
  •    Ingrid Vanderveldt – Entrepreneur in Residence, Dell
  •    Shauna Robertson – Partner, Crowdrise
  •    Tina Wells – Founder & CEO, Buzz Marketing Group


Here are a few change makers who made the list.

Alexis Ohanian, investor and entrepreneur and co-founder of social news website reddit, social enterprise Breadpig, which publishes popular web comic books like xkcd and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and donates its profits to charity.

Rakia Reynolds, Philly 360′s Fashion Ambassador and owner of Skai Blue Media, a boutique communications agency.

Adam Braun, Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, the nonprofit organization that has broken ground on more than 90 schools worldwide and delivered over 3 million educational hours in just over four years.


“Technology’s role in learning isn’t about what happens in front of the computer or tablet screen,” shared Howard.  ”It’s about how what you have learned is applied in the real world to drive real results – whether that’s flying, launching a global business or curing cancer. Think about the holiday season … and giving the gift of inspiration. Who doesn’t want to give and receive a gift that feeds passions and curiosity? A gift that inspires greatness – not just a present. A gift of technology can make a real difference for a kid, budding entrepreneur, or professional who wants to have a single device they can use to get their job done while keeping up with the demands of life. Dell’s #inspire 100 list of individuals personify the campaign and inspire us all.”

Check out the complete 100 #Inspire list on Dell’s Facebook page.


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