unusual pioneers @ 2020
all rights reserved
to build a new
world, we need
unusual pioneers
“In order to go in a different
direction, we need to
build new roads”.
Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Are you an Intrapreneur?

Contact Us Apply Now Nominate a Social Intrapreneur

the world is
changing - again

Industrial Era
as a
Optimize output by
exploiting human and
natural resources
Shareholder Value
Digital Era
as a
Create disruptive
innovation and capture
market share as quickly
as possible
Winner Takes All
Relevance Era
as a
Create meaningful
products and combine
financial and societal
Stakeholder Value

A Global Platform for
Corporate Social Intrapreneurship

Unusual Pioneers is a joint program by Yunus Social Business, Porticus, and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, sister organisation of the World Economic Forum. The program starts and ends with the World Economic Forum and takes intrapreneurs and their executives on a journey to impact.

  • Porticus
  • Porticus
  • World Economic Forum
  • World Economic Forum
  • 01Participate in a Global Community of Peers and leading Partners

    We help social intrapreneurs connect with like-minded peers, experts and high-profile mentors to develop new skills, test, iterate and grow their ideas into business. Through the expertise of a global network of partners and social intrapreneurs, they are able to benefit from years of social business experience to cut corners and gain strength as purpose-driven leaders.

  • 02Generate Concrete Results for your initiative

    The program helps bring social initiatives to their next key implementation milestone. A network of mentors, coaches and experts are there to provide personalized mentoring and hands-on support on various topics including organizational readiness, impact management, storytelling and more. Connections with powerful stakeholders in the global economy will increase visibility and scale the impact of the social intrapreneurship initiative.

  • 03Operationalize & drive Organizational Transformation

    The program connects intrapreneurs and companies with world-class sector organizations in social innovation, impact and technology. Through the Executive Circle, corporate leaders get to meet and exchange experiences with like-minded visionaries on their pathway to start a revolution from within and drive transformation towards societal impact. This represents a unique opportunity for global visibility and for positioning the organization as leaders in purpose-driven innovation.


  • community Connect your company and intrapreneurs to a curated community of peers

  • transformation Frameworks to unlock transformative benefits for the entire company

  • knowledge Spill-in expertise on social innovation, Bottom of the Pyramid customers and impact management

  • partnerships Establish meaningful partnerships with other companies, NGOs and public actors

  • visibility Create visibility through leading event formats and a global media platform

  • meaning Connect with a community of changemakers who can truly reshape business as usual

  • impact Accelerate the implementation and scale of your company’s impact


The program systematically addresses topics that have proven to be critical to quickly scaling social innovation projects and inspiring transformation in your company.

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Contact us to learn more

Take your company into
Social Business Mode

Social Business Mode

of Social

“The project was so disruptive and innovative for our company. We felt the excitement from decision-makers on the ground even before it was approved and backed by the top management. During the process, I would have loved to talk to other social intrapreneurs and exchange ideas.”

Social Intrapreneur Global Infrastructure Company

Program Roadmap

The full program journey convenes corporate social intrapreneurs for 5 program weeks and regular check-ins spread over the course of nine months. Keeping in mind the intrapreneur's busy time, the program is designed to be completed alongside a day job. The program weeks consist of half-day sessions with breaks of several weeks to allow time for inputs to be digested and implemented by the teams.

In parallel, the Executive Circle comes together for 3 half-day meetings during the program weeks to exchange amongst peers.

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Intrapreneurs Purpose
The Journey
WEF 2021 Program Launch
During the World Economic Forum 2021 the cohort and CSI awardess come together for the first time to position their initiatives with world leaders and get an opportunity to anchor it with NGOs, policy leaders and public institutions.
Remote Weeks Making Progress
The cohort comes together around the local WEF meeting in North Africa
Day 1: Being Mindful on a tough Journey
Day 2: User Research & Piloting
Day 3: Storytelling & Strategic Alignment
SDI 2021 Connecting
The program is closed during the World Economic Forum 2022 in Davos
Day 1: The Business Case for Impact
Day 2: Exciting & Managing Stakeholders
Day 3: Closing Ceremony
WEF 2022 Closing
During the World Economic Forum 2021 the cohort and CSI awardess come together for the first time to position their initiatives with world leaders and get an opportunity to anchor it with NGOs, policy leaders and public institutions.

Who can

The Platform is made for Corporate Social Intrapreneurs who...

First-Time Intrapreneurs

Built/Founded a Corporate Social Business

Corporate social intrapreneurs that have created a social business model and are looking for visibility, scale as well as systemic transformation of their parent company.

(e.g., Product Owners of Social Innovation Initiatives, Founders of Corporate Social Businesses).

Experienced Intrapreneurs

Established Support Structures for Social Innovation

Social intrapreneurs that are driving change and organizational transformation through social intrapreneurship initiatives. They are looking for systemic change through innovative strategy, HR and other initiatives.

(e.g., Initiators of Sustainable supply-chain initiatives, Managers of Social Intrapreneurship Programs).


The Unusual Pioneers
Program Tracks

We are offering two program tracks to cater to the needs of both early-stage and experienced social intrapreneurs. Depending on your experience and development stage, receive tailored support by applying to the “Full Growth Journey” or the “Customized Growth Journey”

01Full Growth Journey

  • 9-month ExperienceCome onboard for 5 program weeks, which represent 20 working days of personalized support to your initiative.
  • Growth JourneyValidate and scale your solution, work on organizational readiness and grow as a leader. Learn and execute, build a network and grow your reach.
  • Expert SupportGet support from a dedicated lead mentor and experience a tailored mix of coaching, training and practical mentoring by sector and industry experts. Get insights from experienced social intrapreneurs to leapfrog your initiative.

02Customized Growth Journey

  • Global Network Join relevant events that build your network, grow your reach, and expose you to the social intrapreneurs community and key partners.
  • “Pick and Choose” Model Attend modules and mentoring sessions that deepen your knowledge and support you through the key challenges you are facing.
  • Peer to Peer Exchange Collaborate with other seasoned social intrapreneurs to grow your ideas, share insights and receive implementation support


Our diverse team covers four continents and 12+ countries in a network organization of dedicated professionals. For each project, we hand-pick experts to maximize impact.

Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus Co-Founder & Chairman YSB Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Founder Grameen Bank
Saskia Bruysten
Saskia Bruysten CEO Yunus Social Business Former BCG Consultant, LSE Alumna, Bold Women Award, Forbes 30 under 30.
Lisa Guggenmos
Lisa Guggenmos Program Lead ex-MAN Truck & Bus, ex-Rockt, ex-de:Hub, social intrapreneur, MAN Impact Accelerator
Francois Bonnici
Francois Bonnici Head of Schwab Foundation Physician & Professor, WEF, Bertha Centre (Cape Town) & Skoll Centre (Oxford)
Carolyn Breitenstein
Carolyn Breitenstein Head of Strategy ex-Roland Berger, ex-Startup CMO, ex-World Food Program, ex-Danone
Sergio Lopez-Ramos
Sergio Lopez-Ramos Head of Programs 10y+ corporate impact experience, ex-Impact Director at Ericsson
Daniel Nowack
Daniel Nowack Managing Director Entrepreneur, ex-Startup CFO, ex-Merck & Co. Inc., Google Mentor, Lecturer
Aminat Musa
Aminat Musa Venture Builder Boston Consulting Group, financial industry, food industry, impact investing
Solene Tsitos
Solene Tsitos Venture Builder ex-Sheridan & Co., Thought & Action Leadership for regenerative agriculture
Aarti Wig
Aarti Wig Managing Director India 10y+ corporate impact, ex-JP Morgan, LSE alumni, Asia 21 Leader
Alexander Pirkebner
Alexander Pirkebner Venture Builder Social Entrepreneur, ex-KPMG, Enactus Alumni
Tulio Notini
Tulio Notini Head of Programs 10y+ corporate impact experience, ex-Mondelez, ex-Vale
Emil Lamprecht
Emil Lamprecht Programs Serial Entrepreneur, ex-Google, Customer Researcher, Program Expert


“We were the only ones inside the company to build this social business initiative!
I had my experience and personal network but otherwise, I had to do it all by myself.
I would have loved to have support from fellow intrapreneurs and mentors.
That’s an amazing value-add!Social Intrapreneur

This 9-month program helps you to accelerate, scale, or ramp-up your initiative. The exchange with fellow intrapreneurs and experts saves thousands of Euros in consulting fees from external service providers.

At the same time, the program significantly enables your personal growth as an intrapreneur. You will become more effective in leading teams, more knowledgeable about best practices in corporate impact and more resilient in your daily work and life.

Last but not least, the program offers tremendous opportunities to create visibility for your initiative at leading events and fora.

“Unusual Pioneers goes beyond a traditional learning program for social intrapreneurs. The vision is to create a global platform that collaborates with a myriad of stakeholders to mobilise core capabilities and resources of corporates. The exchange on best-practices and how to overcome hurdles on the ground, nurtures essential networks to support social intrapreneurs in their journey to wider corporate and societal transformation. We can only do this together. This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and part of this global movement for change.”

Click here and know more
about the Executive Circle

Find out more

Impact of Purpose on
Financial Performance

Purpose-driven companies are more ambitious, attract the best talent, inspire richer innovation, make faster decisions, have greater loyalty, are more resilient against shocks, and attract more investment.

Why do purpose-driven companies do better
Deep Dive: Why do purpose-driven companies do better
by peter fisk

Become truly
purpose-driven through

Social Intrapreneurship
Social Intrapreneurship

Market-based innovation that is driven by a deep understanding for and radical focus on social or environmental problems

Entrepreneurial employees who develop profitable new products, services, or business models