2015 Social Innovator of the Year

Gary Hirshberg Social Innovator of the year UNHThe Social Innovator of the Year Award recognizes a New England leader with a demonstrated commitment to social innovation.  Social innovators combine the passion and purpose of a social or environmental mission, with the rigor and accountability of a financially sustainable, scalable model for change.


Gary Hirshberg, Founder and Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, received the 2015 Social Innovator of the Year Award and delivered the keynote address, “Inventing the Future: How Social Entrepreneurship Can (and Will) Save Our World!”  

Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe, with organic brands in Ireland and France. Gary serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including Applegate, Peak Organic Brewing, Late July, Quantum Design, Glenisk, the Danone Communities Fund and the Danone Livelihoods Fund. In 2011, President Obama appointed Gary to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He is Chairman and a founding Partner of “Just Label It!,” the national campaign to label genetically engineered foods, and is co-author of Label It Now – What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods. He is the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Gary has received twelve honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2015 Champion for Children Award from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.

UNH’s Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise is honored to recognize Gary Hirshberg as a pioneer and role model for the business community, demonstrating an alternative to business as usual by building a thriving and profitable company that considers the impact of everything it does. His commitment to make lasting systemic change to address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems inspires all of us.