Marking its tenth anniversary, the has announced Sam Goldman, founder of , as the winner of the 2014 prize.
The annual prize, which includes a $100,000 cash award, recognizes a humanitarian activist under the age of 50 whose work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world. Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Stephen Bronfman, along with their spouses, established the prize in their father's honor to bring public recognition to young, dynamic individuals whose Jewish values infuse their humanitarian accomplishments and provide inspiration to next generations.
After spending years conducting humanitarian work around the world, Goldman founded d.light, a for-profit social enterprise that works to bring safe, efficient solar technology to the two billion people in the world who lack reliable electricity and live by kerosene light. To date, the organization's solar lanterns have been used by thirty-three million people in sixty-two countries, dramatically expanding educational opportunities for more than eight million students, improving public health, and boosting the earning potential of entire populations. d.light solar lanterns also have led to nearly $1 billion in energy savings and have reduced the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere by about 2.5 million tons.
Prior to establishing d.light, Goldman founded and managed multiple ventures in Africa, including sustainable agriculture and construction businesses. After graduating with degrees in biology and environmental studies from the , he earned an MBA from . Goldman is both the first Canadian Bronfman Prize laureate and the youngest recipient of the prize, as well as the first honoree to be recognized for a for-profit social enterprise.
"Sam and Dad are so much alike. Like my father, he is unbelievably creative and he is making his mark on the world informed by his Jewish values," said Stephen Bronfman. "That is the essence of the Charles Bronfman Prize, and we are thrilled that Sam Goldman is joining the innovative family of laureates we’ve honored since 2004."