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Vote for the winner of Skype Heroes 2012!

People around the world continue to surprise us with the innovative, exciting — and even heroic ways –they use Skype in their lives. We are so inspired by this, we are creating the first-ever “Skype Heroes” program. This year the winning Skype Hero will have the chance to have their portrait painted by renowned artist Sandro Kopp. Sandro himself is a Skype Hero who performs the traditional art of oil portraiture over the modern technology of video calling. His art is innovative and inspiring to us all.

After interacting with thousands of people throughout our global Skype community, we have shortlisted five Skype Heroes below. VOTE HERE to select a single winner who best exemplifies a positive way Skype is being used for the greater good of the world – and who get their portrait painted by Sandro Kopp himself!.

Without further ado, here are our Skype Hero nominees for 2012:

Mark Wood

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Mark is an intrepid explorer who lives in Nepal. His travels take him all over the planet and he uses Skype to share his adventures in real time. On his way to the North Pole, Mark spoke to school kids in their classrooms using Skype calls. Next, he’s planning a Skype call from the top of Mount Everest.

Eric Maddox

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Eric uses Skype to help people affected by conflict, particularly in the Middle East. His Virtual Dinner Guest project uses Skype to connect families from different cultures, giving them a chance to understand life on the other side of the struggle all while sitting around the dinner table in their own homes.

Jeremy Gilley

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Jeremy is the founder of Peace One Day, a charity devoted to establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. He and the celebrity supporters of Peace One Day are using Skype to spread the message of peace to students in all 193 member countries of the United Nations.

Dr. Maneesh Batra

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Maneesh uses Skype to pioneer a new era of global medicine for newborn infants in areas affected by malnutrition. Based at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, he coordinates regular Skype calls to support doctors, inspire volunteers and train medical residents at a rural hospital in Uganda and in remote areas of Kenya.

Cherrie MacInnes

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Cherrie is a teacher in the US state of Maine and is the leader of Chatting Across the U.S.A. She uses Skype to connect her pupils with others all over the US, giving them the chance to share ideas and learn from each other. Cherrie’s students have also chatted with authors, athletes, actors and influential politicians… all from their classroom.

These people are all role models and innovators, but only one will be our Skype Hero for 2012. Again, VOTE HERE for your top choice.

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