Skoll Foundation



We believe in the power of storytelling both to make vivid the world’s most pressing problems and to articulate specific solutions with potential for large-scale impact. Since 2005, we have cultivated a broad range of film and broadcast partnerships and content resulting in compelling journalistic coverage of and documentary films about critical issues and social entrepreneurs with proven innovations to address them. Broadcasts are available online in their entirety unless otherwise noted.

Uncommon Heroes

Representing a portfolio of 18 short films, these popular profiles of Skoll award recipients bring to life the work of social entrepreneurs around the world and illustrate the breadth and depth of social entrepreneurship models and the issues they address. Available online or on DVD upon request.


In 2012, the Skoll Foundation launched a partnership with HarperOne to publish co-branded narrative nonfiction books. Written about and often by recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the books tell dramatic first-person stories about individuals driving large-scale impact on the world’s most pressing problems. HarperOne has a long track record of publishing award-winning nonfiction by leaders in social and personal transformation. Learn more:

Sundance Stories of Change

Stories of Change is an initiative of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation to explore the role of film in advancing social entrepreneurship knowledge.  In January 2015, the Skoll Foundation made a $2.5 million grant to Stories of Change to expand it to include feature film and new media artists as well as documentary filmmakers. Click here to learn more.

PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour evening broadcasts feature more than 25 reports that examine the impact of social entrepreneurs and their work around the globe, focusing on innovative and effective individuals whose current work – and working models – have the potential to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Click here to watch NewsHour coverage of social entrepreneurs.
National Public RadioNPR is undertaking a multi-part exploration of key social entrepreneurs and the work they are doing to address the world’s most pressing crises, involving journalists covering foreign, domestic, economic, scientific, political, and cultural affairs and resulting in a series of 12-15 news stories in 2010/2011. Click here for NPR’s social entrepreneur stories.Public Radio International
Public Radio International’s engagement with social entrepreneurship started with its “Global Change: Informing America” initiative providing sustained coverage of social entrepreneurs on multiple programs across PRI’s portfolio and continues today with ongoing podcasts and stories developed for PRI’s The World. Since 2007, PRI has developed more than 200 stories for broadcast or podcast. Click here to listen to PRI’s social entrepreneur profiles.


FRONTLINE/World’s 18 “Heroes from a Small Planet” stories feature people whose ideas and organizations leap beyond charity to create new and sustainable markets and services that benefit under-served communities everywhere in the developing world. Click here to watch FRONTLINE/World’s social entrepreneur coverage.

Enterprising Ideas

Enterprising Ideas is a PBS website associated with NOW on PBS that features social entrepreneurial news, inspirations and tools. While NOW went off the air in April 2010, PBS is maintaining the web site, which profiles innovative projects and links to 18 broadcast shows profiling social entrepreneurs. Click here to watch NOW’s coverage of social entrepreneurs.

The New Heroes

Airing on PBS in 2005, The New Heroes was our first sponsorship of social entrepreneurship programming. Hosted by Robert Redford, this four-hour documentary series tells the dramatic stories of 12 social entrepreneurs who bring innovative, empowering solutions to the most intractable social problems around the world.  We hosted a concurrent house party campaign that resulted in more than 1600 house parties in 60+ countries raising more than $250,000 for the featured social entrepreneurs. Available on DVD for purchase from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Alvin’s Guide to Good Business
Our first foray into global commercial television, this series follows finance guru Alvin Hall as he visits eight different social entrepreneurs around the world, probing their business models, examining the potential impact of their work and exploring the challenges to scaling their innovations. Produced and directed by RockhopperTV. Click here to watch the series online.

PBS Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Fund
In 2006, we partnered with PBS to create the PBS Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Fund providing independent producers with grants on a competitive basis to develop original content for dissemination on PBS. The Fund was fully allocated across five projects including early programming on PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE/World and NOW on PBS, as well as providing funding for two independent documentary films: Milking the Rhino and The New Recruits.

For more information about these partnerships or to request permission to use Uncommon Heroes films in your work, please contact Please note that we work through partnerships and do not fund individual film projects.


© 2015 Skoll Foundation.