Alison Lawton

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Biographical Information

"Alison Lawton is an accomplished business executive, social innovator and founder of Mindset Media Society. She has been using her financial, social and intellectual capital to influence change makers. Lawton started her business career in private equity sales in the areas of syndicated software, film, television, real estate and tax shelter offerings. In 1996 she founded the investment company Winfield Venture Group, an angel investment and corporate finance boutique. In 1998 she was one of three founding partners of ideaPARK, a leading technology business incubator, which was sold to Ian Telfer to form itemus inc. She presently is an investor of Vision Critical Inc., an Angus Reid company as well as other startup technology ventures.

"Today Lawton has turned her passion for investing and her interest in social development into a Foundation, Mindset Media, which uses mass media campaigns to influence social change. As a socially conscious, non-partisan media company, it identifies, produces and presents stories and issues that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in current mainstream media outlets. The most recent production, a documentary film titled "Uganda Rising", chronicles the 20-year civil war raging in Northern Uganda. "Uganda Rising" has screened in over 25 film festivals worldwide and was the recipient of Best Documentary Awards at several film festivals. The awareness campaign included a press conference at the United Nations, a policy forum for various stakeholders (government, civil society and NGO sectors) and a media lobbying effort which was successful in getting exposure of the crisis in Vanity Fair Magazine, on CNN, BBC and in print publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among others.

"As a social venture philanthropist, Lawton has worked with Lloyd Axworthy, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Canadian Government. She also toured Africa with UNICEF and The Clinton Foundation and has held private audiences with other global stewards such as President Bill Clinton, Stephen Lewis, the Dali Lama, Bill Gates and Nelson Mandela.

"Lawton, a humanitarian driven by passion and social conscience, is currently the Chair of the Unite for Children Unite Against Aids Campaign for UNICEF Canada. Her campaign initiatives include producing World Aids day concerts as well as UNICEF's first Canadian art tour and auction, "Unite With Art for HIV/AIDS". These events raise funds for UNICEF as well as consciousness around HIV/AIDS and how it has redefined childhood for millions of children worldwide. Performers at last year's concert included Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, John Mayer, Angelique Kidjo and others emceed by Ben Mulroney.

"Lawton has an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from Concordia University and a Masters of Arts in Applied Science from Simon Fraser University. She has been appointed to the John F. Kennedy School of Government Women's Leadership Board at Harvard University, an external group that advises the Dean and supports women's initiatives at the school, including the Women and Public Policy Program. Lawton has been a keynote speaker for the International Leadership Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals and various universities on topics including social innovation, philanthropy, social justice communications and the media's influence on grassroots movements. She is also very honoured to have received UNICEF's Champion for Children Award, the Business in Vancouver top 40 Under 40 Award and the 2007 Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumni Award for Community Service."[1]

Formerly married to Frank Giustra .

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References

  1. renewalpartners Alison Lawton, organizational web page, accessed November 29, 2013.