My 9 Best-Loved Local and International Thought Leaders

Leadership has a multitude of definitions. But, for me, leadership is simply someone who has a heart, a good listener, and straightforward.


Or someone who knows “teamwork.”

With how leadership is demonstrated lately here and abroad, we need concrete help from people with ingenuity and could churn brilliant ideas into reality: thought leaders.

Leadership 2

What is a Thought Leader?

A thought leader is someone who is an expert, visionary, and revolutionary. In short, a “game changer.”


A game changer is someone who stands out for his or her rights and encourages others to join a common effort. Ultimately, they provide unique processes, concise guidelines, and impeccable methods to achieve a successful foundation. (

In a succinct manner, a thought leader cultivates someone to become thought leaders in their own field.

Allow me to introduce to you my 9 best-loved thought leaders here and abroad. Let’s get to know them better, shall we?

1. Patrick Hollingworth

Mr. Hollingworth is a Perth-based motivational speaker, who specializes in dealing with organization’s uncertain environment. Being a high-altitude mountaineer and has summited multiple 8000-metre peaks, including Mount Everest, his 15-year experience in the expedition is advantageous to corporations, people, or companies that are full of ambiguity and uncertainties.


Screenshot from his TEDx talks in Perth

Why should you follow Patrick Hollingworth?

Patrick believes that it is only when you get out of your comfort zone, you’d know who you truly are. It may sound like a broken record, but it’s true. For him, an effective leader isn’t complacent. S/he must continue to discover things. And that “change” shouldn’t be a hindrance for success. If you want to make a difference and having a hard time stepping out of your comfort zone, I suggest starting reading his books and articles on his website (

2. Matt Church

If there’s someone I’d want to speak and teach our current leaders here it would be Matt Church. He has the ability to inspire others without feeling doubtful. Matt Church is the founder and chairman of Thought Leaders Global and is consistently voted as one of Australia’s top conference speakers. In addition, he is last year’s Speaker of The Year.


Source: Corporate Entertainment

Why should you follow Matt Church?

I’ve heard him speak via podcasts and he is absolutely effective. He specializes in delivering proper communication, as well as, helping you choose what’s best for you in the future. His website address is

3. Michael Porter

The first time I’ve known him was when I was asked to read his book called “Harvard Business Review on Advance Strategy” and summarize it. After reading it, he got me hooked and started reading his other books and eventually added 3 of his books to my arsenal. Porter is an American academic known for his theories on economics, business strategy, and social causes. He is known for addressing the pressing problems in health care delivery in the US and other countries. Moreover, he received the highest recognition award for a faculty to get, which is  University Professor at Harvard on 2000. (Source:

Source: SAS

Source: SAS

Why should you follow Michael Porter?

His popular quote says: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Need I say more?

Local Thought Leaders

4. Marika Callangan

Marika Callangan is the founder of Woman, Create, a local arts platform that aims to engage and empower women through art, creativity and open discourse on relevant women-related issues such as body positivity, domestic violence, breast cancer, and reproductive health. She is also the creator of 365 Wonders, a creative planner that encourages creative productivity and self-empowerment in everyday life.

Why should you follow Marika?


Recently, she spearheaded a creative collage art school called School of College and has channeled creativity by holding Art Immersions as a means to connect and raise awareness for children in need.

5. Jess Española

Jess is a multi-award-winning animator based in Los Angeles, California, who has worked for studios like Fil-Cartoons (a subsidiary of Hanna-Barbera), Warner Bros., Burbank Animation Studios, and L.A. Animation.


Why should you follow Jess?

In 2008, he became the first Filipino to win an Emmy award when an episode of “The Simpsons” entitled “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind,” for which he was Assistant Director, he was awarded “Outstanding Animated Program (for programming less than one hour).”

6. Arizza Nocum


Arizza is the Overall Head of KRIS Library, a non-profit organization that builds libraries and gives scholarships to young people living in poor and conflicted areas of the Philippines. Her leadership has led her to receive numerous awards such as the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines-NCR, the Gawad Tsanselor Para Sa Natatanging Mag-aaral, and the global Young Women for Public Affairs Award from Zonta International.

Why should you follow Arizza?

She has also been nominated for the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World. She is presently one of 10 young leaders worldwide hand-picked by the Kofi Annan Foundation to counter violent extremism. She is also an ambassador for One Young World – the eminent summit for young leaders from 196 countries.

7. Aisa Mijeno

Aisa Mijeno is an award-winning inventor and entrepreneur who co-founded Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt), the LED lamp powered by a salt water solution which serves as a renewable and environment-friendly alternative light source. Her love for hiking brought her to the mountains of Kalinga where her journey began. The product concept was formed after living with the natives of the Butbut tribes who rely only on kerosene lamps.

Why should you follow Aisa?

This game-changing invention has garnered her various awards and recognition from organizations in the Philippines, Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

9. Adeline Setiawan

Adeline is the Chief Creative Officer of Saturday Kids, a programming school for kids in Singapore. She is an anthropologist who cares deeply about how people use technology to solve humanity’s problems.

Why should you follow Adeline?

Together with the team of Saturday Kids Changemakers, she designs experiences for kids to have fun while engaging meaningfully with tech. She was also a design researcher at Frog Design, a documentary producer, and is co-founder and Design Director of FabCafe Singapore.

These thought leaders have diverse knowledge and skills that are available to everyone who wants to become an effective thought leader. If you’ve got the chance to meet or even talk to the above-mentioned thought leaders, go for it.

In fact, the above-mentioned LOCAL thought leaders will be speaking on November 12, Saturday, at the home of Game Changers, iACADEMY Plaza in Makati City. The conference is called: MOVE: “Ideas for Change and Progress.” It is an initiative by TEDx, a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers.

Just so you know, Patrick Hollingworth already spoke on TEDx, as well as, other brilliant minds like Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

Once again, if you are interested in becoming a thought leader, join the TEDx conference on November 12 at iACADEMY Plaza, Makati City.

So, are you ready to be a thought leader? Who is your favorite? Share them with us so we can include them on the list!