2015 Ignite+Inspire Gala: An Evening of Beginnings

Guests from around the world joined with Give2Asia at the Mark Hopkins InterContinental Hotel in downtown San Francisco on September 30 to celebrate a growing network of charitable investors and doers. Thanks to everyone who was able to take part in the event. Here are some of the highlights!

Dr. Muhammad Yunus' Lifetime Achievement Award

  Dr. Ta-lin Hsu , Give2Asia Chairman of the Board, presents Dr. Muhammad Yunus with Give2Asia's Lifetime Achievement Award.  Photo credit: Kathryn Rummel | Kreate Photography

Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, Give2Asia Chairman of the Board, presents Dr. Muhammad Yunus with Give2Asia's Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo credit: Kathryn Rummel | Kreate Photography

A recipient of Give2Asia's Lifetime Achievement Award, Professor Muhammad Yunus shared his story of how his charitable investments have led to a lifelong commitment to social good. His comments were inspiring and truly the highlight for many guests.

The Give2Asia Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Professor Yunus for his tireless work over nearly 40 years helping to lift people out of poverty. In addition to the Grameen Foundation being a Give2Asia grant recipient, Professor Yunus has inspired many others to create nonprofit and for-profit organizations with a social mission ... many of whom are also partners of Give2Asia. 

During his speech, Professor Yunus shared the story of the Grameen Bank's creation, his move into Social Business, and ideas for how we can all make the world a better place. 

"There is selfishness in human beings; this is part of human beings. At the same time there is selflessness in human beings. But economic theory does not recognize selflessness. They only commemorate selfishness. ... That’s where we went wrong, that’s where we created so many other problems," said Professor Yunus." Read a full transcript of his acceptance keynote speech here.


September 30, 2015 Proclaimed Muhammad Yunus Day in San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee proclaimed September 30, 2015 to be Muhammad Yunus Day in the city.  The Mayor joined the gala in person to welcome Professor Yunus, and to share with him why his visit means so much to San Francisco, a city of innovation.  In addition, the Chief Protocol Officer for both the city and the State of California, Charlotte Shultz, was in attendance. Both she and husband former United States Secretary of State George Shultz sat with Professor Yunus during the evening's events, and were both part of the event's Honorary Host Committee.


Seven Program Partners From Across Asia Recognized with Program Excellence Awards

    Photo credit: Kathryn Rummel | Kreate Photography

  Photo credit: Kathryn Rummel | Kreate Photography

Also during the evening, seven of Give2Asia's long-term partners working across Asia were received Give2Asia Program Excellence Awards. Five of the awardees were able to send the leaders to receive the awards in person during the gala.

In the photo here, from left to right: Mr. Liu Wenkui, secretary general of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation in China; Birger Stamperdahl, Give2Asia's CEO; Dr. Isaac Bekalo, president of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in the Philippines; Mr. Saeed Malik, founder of Bright Star Mobile Library in Pakistan; Dr. K. Thiagarajan, COO of Agastya International Foundation in India; Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, board chairman of Give2Asia; Dr. Marge de la Cruz, founder of the Guiuan Development Foundation in the Philippines; and George SyCip, board director at Give2Asia. 

Learn more about our Program Excellence Award recipients. 


Amazing & Inspiring Performances from Cambodia & China

The evening was started and capped off with two performances.

On their first-ever U.S. tour, Phare Cambodian Circus (of Phare Ponleu Selpak) treated the guests with a thrilling performance and jaw-dropping stunts. Truly the audience gasped as feats of incredible precision and daring were carried out on the main stage to kick off the the evening's celebration.

And near the end of the evening,  a virtuoso of traditional Chinese music, Xin Zhang graced the audience with a performance on her erhu, a Chinese instrument that created a warm celebratory atmosphere leading into the Program Excellence Awards ceremony. 


Gala Photo Gallery:  See our photo gallery at our Facebook page to for all the images from the Ignite+Inspire Gala. 

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors:

  • Bill & Mary Kim

  • Ta-Lin & Joyce Hsu


  • Michael Chang

  • Raymond Leung

  • Safi & Anita Qureshey


  • William P. Fuller & Jennifer Beckett

  • William J. Perry

  • Leslie Tang Schilling

  • George & Barbara SyCip

  • Steve & Anita Westly


  • In Honor of Dr. Quratul ain Bakhteari & IDSP, Pakistan

  • John & Barbara Bohn

  • Pamela Calvert

  • Michael Chiou

  • Eugene & Jenny Hong

  • Gwong Lee

  • Bo Shao & Jenny Pao

  • Cynthia Shen

  • Paul & Mary Slawson

  • Birger & Juliet Stamperdahl

  • David Tsang

  • Carter Tseng

  • Alice Wu & Albert Lam

Thanks to the generosity of our in-kind supporters: