Sex, crime and unlikely heroes

by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:04 GMT

Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO takes the stage at TEDx Houses of Parliament

‘Sex’ and ‘heroes’ are not two words traditionally associated with each other. But then again, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa has never been afraid to challenge convention. So when she took the stage at a sold-out TEDx event in London in June, she found an audience eager and intrigued.

In her powerful speech, Monique argued that the world is changing and that crimes against humanity are increasingly well financed. She spoke of a digital world without borders, where mobile phones and the internet are both the hallmarks of innovation and the tools of modern-day criminals.

Monique called for the philanthropic world to quickly adapt to the new reality, and to use data in the battle for social good. She demonstrated how a New York banker dismantled a sex trafficking network by analyzing clients’ data. She introduced the audience to the pro bono work of an attorney who had used data to sue traffickers on behalf of the victims. And she gave a gripping example of how two polls made by the Thomson Reuters Foundation had become a game-changing tool in the hands of women’s rights activists in India.

“It’s no longer follow the money, it’s follow the data,” she told the audience, “and I believe that we in the philanthropic arena have the responsibility to fight back by enlisting a new set of allies.”

Against the backdrop of the recently launched Foundation-led alliance to fight against trafficking, Monique called on a new set of ‘unlikely superheroes’–including bankers, lawyers, and reporters–to “suit up” and join the global fight against crime and injustice. “Save the world from your desk,” she said. “This is your chance.”

Watch Monique’s TEDx talk here and help us make sure the video is seen by the highest number of people.

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Check out pictures from TEDx here

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