Social Enterprise & Time Magazine's Persons of the Year

This may be the year of social enterprise awakening.

With megadisasters Katrina, Rita, the Asian Tsunami, the Pakistani Earthquake, Avian Flu, the AIDS Pandemic... there is a swelling urgency to find fast, effective business models to respond to--and possibly prevent--such wide-spread devastation.

Time Magazine has selected a trifecta of megastars in this field: rock band U2's frontman Bono alongside Bill & Melinda Gates.

The accompanying suite of articles gives an intimate glimpse of daily life for these three who are focused on massive systems, namely health and economics.

From Persons of the Year By NANCY GIBBS

And so another alliance was born: unlikely, unsentimental, hard nosed, clear eyed and dead set on driving poverty into history. The rocker's job is to be raucous, grab our attention. The engineers' job is to make things work. 2005 is the year they turned the corner, when Bono charmed and bullied and morally blackmailed the leaders of the world's richest countries into forgiving $40 billion in debt owed by the poorest; now those countries can spend the money on health and schools rather than interest payments--and have no more excuses for not doing so. The Gateses, having built the world's biggest charity, with a $29 billion endowment, spent the year giving more money away faster than anyone ever has, including nearly half a billion dollars for the Grand Challenges, in which they asked the very best brains in the world how they would solve a huge problem, like inventing a vaccine that needs no needles and no refrigeration, if they had the money to do it.