The people of Dig Where You Are come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, religions and life experiences. With limited resources they have been able to solve some of the big problems facing our societies today while bringing about change for the good in communities across the world. How have they been able to do this? What can we learn from their efforts? How are they a role model for the rest of us in our lives, our work and our communities?

They include:

Mechai Viravaidya, from a privileged Thai family, who studied to be an economist, then discovered his life’s mission by helping to curb the spread of AIDS to over seven million people, before reviving the economy of rural Thailand through education and entrepreneurship.

In the slums of Mumbai is Jockin Arputham, who has lived on the streets for most of his life and led the urban poor in India and elsewhere in the world to find their voice. From relative obscurity, in 2014 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nancy Harris, is an American doctor, educated at Yale and Stanford, who decided to leave a career in the U.S. to fight against enormous odds in order to cure Tibetans of malnutrition and tuberculosis in the face of political and social opposition.

Lily Yeh, is an American artist who was born in China and raised in Taiwan. She has helped to heal residents in the inner city of Philadelphia and survivors of the Rwandan genocide through art. She worked with them to rebuild their communities before returning to China to help develop a school for the children of migrant workers.

Börje Ehrstrand, is an educator from the north of Finland, who created a team of teachers, artists, social workers, students, parents and community leaders to rebuild a school in an immigrant ghetto outside Stockholm. The effort ultimately transformed a whole town.

In San Francisco, a criminologist and psychologist named Mimi Silbert has lived alongside convicted criminals and drug addicts for over forty years and put them in charge of their own rehabilitation.

Devi Shetty, is a heart surgeon in Bangalore, India, who was Mother Teresa’s doctor before she died in Calcutta. Forever influenced by his relationship with her, he developed a way to bring first-class healthcare to over three million of India’s poorest in less than a decade.