Stuart Wilson

Co-founder and director of litigation: Socioeconomic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri)

Don't be fooled by Stuart Wilson's British accent or Oxford University education. He's about as grassroots as they come. As director of litigation at the Socioeconomic Rights Institute of South Africa, 31-year-old Wilson offers legal services to community-based organisations and advocates for better policies and practices on behalf of the poor. Occasionally he even gets to address the highest court in the land (the Constitutional Court) on behalf of its most vulnerable citizens, like the time he fought to have 450 people moved out of an unsafe building and into safe and affordable accommodation in the city centre. He won the case and the occupants won the legal right to call somewhere "home.� When Wilson is not drawing on every legal precedence to "persuade the unpersuadable�, you'll find him shaping legal minds as a visiting senior fellow and part-time lecturer at the Wits Law School. This is one man you want speaking legalese on your behalf. � Cat Pritchard

Website: seri-sa.org