For His Leadership in Creating Educational Opportunities for the Underserved
Digital technology is democratizing: good ideas that solve problems and make life better can come from anyone, anywhere, thanks to mobile computing devices and the new global language: computer code. The STEM/STEAM skills needed to excel in the Fourth Industrial Revolution can equip every citizen with the ability to have a career, versus a job, and to build companies and wealth that benefit entire communities versus just a few people.
Seven-time Grammy Award winner will.i.am is a multi-faceted entertainer and creative innovator. Known for his work with The Black Eyed Peas, who have sold 33 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide, he also works in the role of producer with some of the industry’s biggest names including Rihanna, Usher, Britney Spears, Sergio Mendes, David Guetta and film composer Hans Zimmer.
His songs and imagery have entertained and inspired millions, and the power of his words resonated deeply in his song “Yes We Can” that mobilized an entire generation to action during the 2008 presidential campaign. In recognition of his ability to harness technology to enhance entertainment, creativity and communication, he was appointed Chief Creative Officer at 3D Systems Inc. in January 2014. He served as Director of Creative Innovation at Intel Corporation from 2011-2013. He is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of i.am+, the developer of the first untethered smart watch.
In collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company, will.i.am is on a mission to elevate the importance of recycling and to turn waste into a valued commodity through his EKOCYCLE brand.
will.i.am advocates the importance and power of a good education through the i.am angel foundation. The i.am scholarship provides future leaders and innovators with comprehensive financial assistance to complete post-secondary education. The i.am.angel foundation has also created i.am. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), an elementary and middle school initiative to provide underserved students with learning and interaction opportunities beyond the classroom.
Recognized and honoured by numerous industry organizations, will.i.am was named Entrepreneur of the Year by UK Trade and Investment during BritWeek 2015. The World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader in 2013, in recognition of his role as a STEM education advocate.