Meet the judges of the 2019 Social Innovation Challenge

World Vision Canada is pleased to announce the esteemed judges of this year’s Social Innovation Challenge.


Adam SpenceAdam Spence is the founder and director of SVX at MaRS. He is also the co-founder of both the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario.

He has spoken to audiences across Canada on issues related to education, poverty and social finance. And he has been featured in numerous media outlets, including CNN, TVO, CTV, CBC, BNN, Global TV, Forbes, the Toronto Star, the Financial Post, and The Globe and Mail.

In 2002, Adam was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, and in 2012 he was named one of McMaster University’s 125 People of Impact.


Vanessa Rementilla

Vanessa Rementilla is an Experience Design Strategy leader and innovation adviser. She is passionate about solving human-centred problems through the creation of products, services, and business design. With over 15 years of leading design practices, she has applied design-led innovation to start-ups, social enterprises and corporations facing disruption.

Today, she regularly advises early career professionals and speaks at schools and conferences on design-led innovation and futures.

Vanessa has a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University. Originally from the Philippines, she is excited to judge the innovation challenge for the Visayas region, where her family is from.


Rommel Fuerte

Rommel V. Fuerte is currently the Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF), where he began as Community Development Worker more than 18 years ago.

Rommel is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) from the University of Mindanao, Davao City and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Eastern University’s School of International Leadership Development, Pennsylvania, USA.

He is currently Board Chair of the Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI), a micro-finance institution with head office in Tagbilaran, Bohol.


James Pothirajulu

James Pothirajulu oversees a $350M annualized global portfolio of program commitments and advocacy initiatives as World Vision Canada’s VP of Programs and Policy.

James brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role, built through over 30 years in international development with a focus on child rights and justice issues.

Behind this experience, James has a master’s degree in International Development from University of Pune, India.
James and his wife, Tina, live in Mississauga, Ontario and have 3 daughters, Shilpa, Deepika and Myrah.