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Community Advocate & Social Entrepreneur
"Seeking to make actions speak louder than words, and inspired by Gandhi's quote: 'We need to be the change we wish to see in the world'."
Laurindo Garcia is a civil society advocate working in the Asia-Pacific region - based between the Philippines and Singapore who has founded a regional social-enterprise called B-Change.
After working in technology, media and communications for over 20 years he is regarded as an expert in harnessing technology for social change with a specialisation in social justice, diversity and health for marginalised groups, especially LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people and people living with HIV.
He is coordinator for two regional community networks that promote health for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
He was one of the architects of a multi-country community systems-strengthening initiative for men who have sex with men and transgender people that succeeded in Round 10 of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He led his organisation to convene a global gathering of HIV and social justice advocates for the Advocacy[2.0] Summit held in Washington D.C, in partnership with Levi Strauss Foundation.
In 2011, Laurindo was a delegate at the high-level AIDS Champions Meeting in Busan, South Korea and was called to be one of the civil society speakers at the opening ceremony of the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific making him the first gay, Asian man openly living with HIV to address an international plenary in 17 years. He was again called as the community speaker, joining Dr Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and U.S President Bill Clinton in the closing session of the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C in July 2012.
Laurindo’s advocacy work is complimented by broad public and private sector experience in consumer-products and service industries across 8 countries worldwide, including Australia, Japan, U.K and the U.S. He is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
He previously worked as HIV Program Manager and correspondent for Fridae.com. Since then he founded a regional social enterprise group called B-Change that published its five-year strategy for regional community engagement in 2013 called ‘Connecting The Dots’ - a collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and other global community partners.
In early 2014, the B-Change Group is set to launch a portfolio of web-apps designed to crowd-source peer support: firstly an app for gay men and other men who have sex with men living with HIV (PLUS), and the other for young people from sexual and gender minorities. (BE)