Mel Young is a social entrepreneur and has been for most of his life. He is a change-maker and believes passionately that homelessness around the world can be ended.
He currently has three roles:
President of the Homeless World Cup, which he co-founded in 2003. Under his leadership, the organisation has expanded all over the world and now has partners in 74 countries, touching the lives of over 100,000 homeless people every year – more than one million people in the last decade.
There have been 15 annual events across the world since 2003. Last year’s event was in Oslo. Previous venues include Rio, Paris, Mexico City, Amsterdam, Santiago, Melbourne and Milan.
Chairman of Sportscotland – the national agency for sport in Scotland. Sportscotland sees a country where sport is a way of life, at the heart of society, making a positive impact on people and communities.
Mel is passionate about the role of sport in changing the world for the better. He believes that the values which underpin sport can bring communities together and create a positive culture for society. Sport in itself is inspiring and there are hundreds of stories about how high-performance athletes have encouraged the wider community to get involved.
Mel is also a writer, blogger and speaker about social innovation and the power to make change. His new book about the Homeless World Cup (Home Game) was recently published by Luath Press and further books about social innovation are planned. Social innovation will continue to be Mel’s main focus of interest, including his latest project – the Million-Seater Stadium.
Previously, Mel worked as a journalist and editor with a social conscience. He co-founded multiple publications, including The Big Issue in Scotland. He is the former President and Honorary President of the International Network of Street Papers which he co-founded. He was also co-founder of Senscot (Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland). He is a former member of the World Economic Forum Sports Agenda Council and former non-executive director of Glasgow Life.
Mel has five honorary degrees from Scottish universities, and was awarded the Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award from the United States Sports Academy in 2016. In 2017, he was awarded an MBE.