Photo of Edu Lyra

Energy & sustainability

Edu Lyra

A social development ecosystem that works to accelerate the impact of favela leaders across the country.

Year Honored

Gerando Falcões


In Brazil, the reality of slums is a major social concern, with more than 17 million people living in these urban communities. These figures reflect a complex web of challenges faced by these populations, including limited access to basic services such as health, education, and adequate infrastructure. Slums are often characterized by violence, lack of basic sanitation, and limited economic opportunities.

That's why Gerando Falcões was created, a social development ecosystem that works to accelerate the impact of slum leaders from across the country who share a common dream: to put slum poverty in the museum. Founded in 2011 by Edu Lyra, the project provides education, economic development and civic services, and implements systemic change programs in communities like Favela 3D. In total, more than 5,500 favelas, 1,100 NGOs in the NGO ecosystem, 25 states, and more than 717,000 people have been impacted. In addition, in 2020, the NGO created Falcons University, the educational arm of Gerando Falcões, a talent accelerator with innovative and technological initiatives, human experiences, and aims to train leaders who want to expand and improve the structure of their own NGOs.

Eduardo Lyra spent his childhood in a shack in one of the slums of Guarulhos. He grew up visiting his father in prison, but also hearing his mother say, "Son, it's not where you come from that matters, it's where you're going." He turned the tables and wrote a book called Jovens Falcões (Young Falcons), which he sold door-to-door in the periphery and in the favela with a team of young people. With the money he earned, he founded the NGO. One of the most recognized social entrepreneurs in the country, Lyra is also a lecturer and has been invited to speak at universities such as Harvard and Babson College, as well as companies such as Google, Ambev and Accenture.