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New Report: Can Social Enterprises Really Solve Poverty?

April 17, 2014 by
 
 
 

Editor’s Note: Monitor Deloitte recently released Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scale, which can be downloaded at www.beyondthepioneer.org. One of its authors, Harvey Koh, shares why it’s important.

By Harvey Koh, Director, Monitor Deloitte

Half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. That’s over three billion people. Over a billion have inadequate access to water, and some 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Every third child in the developing world does not have adequate shelter. The sheer scale of the problems of global poverty are overwhelming.

In the fight against poverty, one of the most exciting developments in recent years has come in the form of a new kind of business. It goes by many names: social enterprises, inclusive businesses, market-based solutions to poverty, among others. These enterprises create sustainable social impact by providing the poor with beneficial products and services, while creating improved livelihood opportunities. These innovative models can be found today in a wide range of areas, from healthcare to education, sanitation to housing. The excitement around them is heightened by the belief that they will achieve scale by tapping investment capital—including from impact investors, which intentionally deploy capital to achieve social impact as well as financial return—just as mainstream, commercial businesses have done.

But while the proliferation of new market-based solutions is encouraging, not many have made a significant dent on the problems they are trying to address. When our colleagues studied 439 market-based solutions in Africa, they found that a mere 13% of them had achieved significant scale. read more

 

Skoll Awards Ceremony Highlights

April 15, 2014 by
 
 

By Deanna Zandt

Thursday at the Skoll World Forum closed with the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship at New Theatre, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house by the time the evening was over. The Skoll Foundation’s seven awardees– read more about them here– were each featured in short films that tell the story of their work, and what struck me most about these organizations was their commitment to community-led solutions: “by affected populations, for affected populations” could have been a rallying cry. That shift away from a more paternalistic, “we know what’s best for you” approach to change work has dramatic implications for collective elevation of humanity. We’re all in this together.

Finally, Malala Yousafzai was honored with the Skoll Global Treasure Award: a prize awarded only a few times before in Skoll’s history–to Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Yunus. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to hear and feel this powerful young woman speak. At just 16 years old, the depth of her wisdom has the ability to resonate with even the most cynical of observers. We could not be more thrilled than to support her and her work; Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg also asked the audience to congratulate her parents, who were in attendance as well.

A standing ovation for the incredible Yousafzai family then led us into a body-shakin’ dance out performance from the Playing for Change band. Music moves the soul, and we were ready to take on the world.

Watch the entire ceremony in the video above.

 

Sally Osberg to Speak at Inaugural “Magis” Dinner May 18 at Santa Clara University

April 15, 2014 by
 
 

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sally Osberg, the internationally respected thought leader in the field of social entrepreneurship, will speak about the future of social innovation and the challenges facing the next generation of innovators, on Sunday, May 18 at Santa Clara University.

“As we continue to scale our own work both locally – through a partnership with eBay Foundation – and globally – through a network of Jesuit and mission-aligned institutions – we are proud to call the Skoll Foundation a treasured partner.”

Osberg will be one of two honorees at Santa Clara University’s first annual Magis dinner, to benefit the University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. She will receive the Magis Global Changemaker Award, along with former social entrepreneur Graham Macmillan of Citi Foundation.
Magis will takes place at 6 p.m. at the University’s Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center. It aims to bring Silicon Valley together to introduce new people to social enterprise and advance the thinking of social enterprise leaders. read more

 

U.S. Agency for International Development and 29 Partner Organizations Launch U.S. Global Development Lab to Help End Extreme Poverty by 2030

April 3, 2014 by
 
 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers keynote address at launch event in New York

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah announced today the establishment of the U.S. Global Development Lab at an event in New York City. The launch event featured a keynote address by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been a strong supporter of the use of science, innovation and partnerships to further U.S development goals. The Lab and its 29 inaugural Cornerstone Partners will advance a science-and technology-based approach to development, creating a new global marketplace of innovations and taking them to scale to help end extreme poverty by 2030. 

A U.S. Global Development Lab was a key recommendation made in the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, a sweeping evaluation led by then-Secretary Clinton on behalf of President Obama to redefine diplomacy and development to deliver results for the American people. Secretary of State John Kerry has continued to underscore the importance of science, technology, and innovation as cornerstones of the American economy and invaluable tools for engaging our foreign partners.

The Lab will support breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, and climate change, reaching 200 million people in the next five years. To advance this approach, USAID is also increasing the number of scientists and technology experts in the Agency, including 65 fellows from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Reflecting the proven impact of science and innovation, USAID has increased its investments. In 2008, USAID spent roughly $127 million to support research and development. Today, the Agency spends $611 million—not only on research, but innovation and applied solutions in science and technology.

read more

 

Senators hail use of $1 million TED Prize to combat corporate secrecy

March 18, 2014 by
 
 

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan sponsors of a Senate bill to combat corporate secrecy that provides anonymity to terrorists, money launderers and other international criminals today welcomed the announcement that the advocacy organization Global Witness will use the $1 million TED Prize to campaign for corporate transparency around the world.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act, S. 1465, which would combat transnational crime by requiring U.S. states to include in their incorporation applications a question asking for the prospective corporation’s true owners. Cosponsors of the bill are Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

“Today, money launderers, arms dealers, drug lords, terrorists and tax evaders are too often able to conceal their misconduct behind a wall of corporate secrecy,” said Levin, who has introduced similar legislation in the past three congresses. “Our legislation already has the strong support of the law enforcement community, and Global Witness’ plan to use its $1 million TED Prize to fight for corporate transparency will add momentum to the calls by police agencies, anti-corruption groups, human rights organizers, business groups and labor organizations to pass our bill.”

read more

 

TED Prize Winner Charmian Gooch Announces Global Campaign to Abolish Anonymous Companies

March 18, 2014 by
 
 

Vancouver, Canada (March 18, 2014) –This year’s TED Prize winner – Charmian Gooch of Global Witness – has announced that she will use the prestigious million-dollar award “to make it impossible for criminals and corrupt dictators to hide behind anonymous companies.” The announcement was made live and online from the TED stage in Vancouver, with support from leading members of the business, political, law enforcement and campaigning community.

Delivering a powerful talk, Charmian described the abuse of anonymous companies as a “devastating problem that spans the globe…negatively affecting all of us.” Describing the ease with which people can hide their identities behind anonymous companies, Gooch recounted harrowing tales of the impact of this problem, particularly on some of the poorest people in the world. She called on leaders around the globe to make a simple commitment “to enact laws to create public registries which list the true owners of companies, and that can be accessed by all – with no loopholes.”

Describing the problem as “entirely fixable,” Gooch shared her 2014 TED Prize wish:

“My wish is for us to know who owns and controls companies, so that they can no longer be used anonymously against the public good. Let’s ignite world opinion, change the law, and together launch a new era of openness in business.” read more

 

Skoll World Forum Plenary Tickets Available Today

March 17, 2014 by
 
 

JOIN US for the Skoll World Forum Plenary Sessions on April 9, 10 and 11. Tickets are now on sale for $25 per event, and all are held at New Theatre in Oxford, England.  Share, learn, and be inspired by the best and brightest thinkers and practitioners from academia, media, corporate, government, philanthropy and funding communities.

Featured speakers such as Malala Yousafzai, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Ronald CohenTony Elumelu, Arif Naqvi, and Jeff Skoll take the main stage to discuss key issues.  With musical performances by hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari and the Playing for Change band.

Tickets are for sale for the following events:

Opening Plenary: Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  5:00 PM – 6:30 PM [View Details]
Awards Ceremony: Thursday, April 10, 2014.  5:30 PM – 7:00 PM [View Details]
Closing Plenary: Friday, April 11, 2014.  3:30 PM –  5:00 PM [View Details]

Global experts will explore how new, entrepreneurial approaches can build and support civil society, helping address endemic social issues like poverty, access to capital, youth engagement, sustainable capitalism, reframing aid and more.

For more details on speakers and to purchase tickets, please click here: http://forumplenaries.ticketleap.com/

 

Jenny Bowen Blogs on Her Book Launch

March 14, 2014 by
 
 

By Jenny Bowen, author of the new book, Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains

When I told writer friends that my first book was about to come out, just about everyone cautioned me kindly, “Don’t be too disappointed if nothing happens. Publishers don’t really do those big book tours for first-time authors anymore. Launch day can be like any other day, except, with luck, you’ll see your book for sale in an actual bookstore. That’s pretty exciting.”

It sure is. But as it turned out, my publication day bookstore visit was the cherry on top of an altogether spectacular 24 hours.

Monday Night, March 10: It was “pub day” eve. JPMorgan Chase, primary funding partner of our Rainbow Program initiative, hosted a gathering at their Park Avenue headquarters. I was delighted to be interviewed by Jane Pauley. My very first book event was painless, even fun, in her caring and experienced hands. read more

 

What will Crowdfunding Look Like in 2014? The Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge Raises the Bar

January 2, 2014 by
 
 

In recent years, crowdfunding models of the type that support a new product—like a prototype for a cool new watch, or a friend’s idea for a new genre of art, or an important cause, like a marathon runner’s mission to run in honor of a family member or friend—have swept the social change landscape.

With the successful close of the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, we saw crowdfunding embracing the age of the social entrepreneur. The Challenge raised $2.4 million—double the amount of any other Skoll Foundation crowdfunding campaign. Of the organizations participating, an average of $37,804 was raised. That’s more than three times the average raised by a charity participating in a CrowdRise Challenge.

Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge organizations are recipients of the “Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.” Working on the frontlines, social entrepreneurs fight disease, poverty, and injustice with their innovative approaches, proving that: health care, education, and basic needs can be delivered efficiently and equitably; that sustainability trumps depletion; and that large-scale impact is possible. Learn more about the winners here.

Embracing unique incentive structures, social media tools, and e-marketing strategies mimicking the most successful online retailers, CrowdRise Challenges like these have seen phenomenal leverage in turning seed money into an impact many times greater than even the best dollar-for-dollar matching campaigns. Skoll’s $250,000 prize money was leveraged 9:1 in the latest Challenge. Leverage and scale is not only important for enacting a socially disruptive idea, it’s also a growing way to drive financial support for those ideas. read more

 

New films bring community voices to the forefront on Human Rights Day 2013

December 10, 2013 by
 
 

In celebration of UN-recognized International Human Rights Day on December 10th, nonprofit organizations Tostan and Venice Arts, together with the Sundance Institute and The Skoll Foundation, will premiere a series of participant-produced films from community members in Senegal.

Through the three short films, which have been produced following training in participant-led media techniques and documentary filmmaking, community members share their own stories about how their lives are changing.

Earlier this year, Tostan was awarded a $20,000 grant by Stories of Change, a project of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP), supported by the Skoll Foundation, to train community members in participant-led filmmaking, which gives the power of the storytelling back to communities, providing them with the opportunity to share stories that are the most meaningful to them.

The training and technical support was undertaken by renowned filmmakers and trainers Venice Arts and additional funding for the project was received from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. read more

 

Friends of the Earth Middle East Holds “Good Water Neighbors” Conference

November 26, 2013 by
 
 

The Urgency of Shared Water Issues – Water Can No Longer Wait

FoEME’s annual ”Good Water Neighbors“ (GWN) conference, held this year on the occasion of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, brought together more than 300 Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian political officials, municipal representatives, water experts, local residents and civil society representatives in Herzliya, Israel, on November 13-14, 2013.

Against the background of the renewed Israeli / Palestinian peace talks, the conference was designed to highlight the urgency and opportunities for all sides of addressing the unresolved cross-border water and sanitation issues.

Conference panels gave stage to high officials from Israel, the PA and Jordan as well as representatives of the international community. A live video link up between the GWN conference in Tel Aviv and The Hague Institute for Global Justice conference also being held on the occasion of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation in The Hague, Netherlands closed the 2nd day of the conference. read more

 

Investors ask fossil fuel companies to assess how business plans fare in low-carbon future

October 24, 2013 by
 
 

Coalition of 70 investors worth $3 trillion call on world’s largest oil & gas, coal and electric power companies to assess risks under climate action and ‘business as usual’ scenario

A group of 70 global investors managing more than $3 trillion of collective assets today launched the first-ever coordinated effort to spur the world’s 40 top oil and gas, coal and electric power companies to assess the financial risks that climate change poses to their business plans.

Recent studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have suggested that, in order to achieve the international goal of limiting global warming to 2° C, the world will need to live within a set carbon budget, and a significant portion of proven global fossil fuel reserves will need to be left in the ground.

The world is currently, however, on a path toward global warming of 4°C or more, which the World Bank warned must be avoided in order to prevent catastrophic climate change impacts.

The investors, most of them based in the United States and Europe, sent letters to the fossil fuel companies last month, requesting detailed responses before their annual shareholder meetings in early 2014.  Investors signing the letters include California’s two largest public pension funds, the New York State Comptroller, F&C Management and the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. read more

 

Skoll Foundation and The Huffington Post Launch First Crowdfunding Challenge for Social Entrepreneurs

September 30, 2013 by
 
 

Up to $1 million in prize funding on Edward Norton’s CrowdRise

PALO ALTO, CA, September 30, 2013 – The Skoll Foundation, in partnership with The Huffington Post, is launching its first crowdfunding challenge designed to provide some of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs with an innovative platform to raise funds.

The “Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge,” hosted on Edward Norton’s platform CrowdRise, has the potential to leverage up to $1 million in prize funding from the Skoll Foundation, including $250,000 in dedicated prize money through daily and weekly challenges and up to $750,000 in additional matching funds to be shared by all participants as fundraising thresholds are reached during the campaign.

The prize funding will go to the groups that raise the most through the Challenge. The top fundraising organization will receive $50,000; the runner-up will receive $40,000; and the organizations in third place through fifth place will receive $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. Plus, an additional $100,000 in bonus prizing will be awarded throughout the Challenge. read more

 

Lots of Pennies: Free the Children Penny Drive Raises $1.4 Million, Providing 56,000 People with Clean Water

June 28, 2013 by
 
 

Proof is in the pennies: Elementary School Students Pull Wagons Filled with Pennies Up Bay Street to Celebrate Canada’s Largest Youth-Led Penny Drive

To mark the end of the school year, Free The Children and RBC celebrated the incredible fundraising effort of hundreds of thousands of youth and their schools through the “We Create Change” penny drive, yesterday announcing the final total, which outweighs approximately 64 elephants and more than five empty Boeing 747′s. Young people across the country raised 140 million pennies ($1.4 million), providing 56,000 people with clean water for life. All pennies collected were in support of Free The Children’s year-long Water Initiative to provide a permanent source of clean water to people in developing countries.

As Canada’s Largest Youth-Led Penny Drive comes to a close, a caravan of elementary school students pulled 50 red wagons filled with pennies up Bay Street in Toronto today. RBC president and CEO Gord Nixon and co-founder of Free The Children Marc Kielburger were there to welcome the students and their penny wagons into the bank’s Toronto main branch and to congratulate and celebrate their amazing fundraising drive.

“It’s great to be part of something that is truly creating change and I would like to thank all the students and schools who participated,” said Gord Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. “Our long-term commitment with Free the Children supports two very important issues – financial literacy and access to clean water. Today’s results demonstrate how a large-scale, positive impact can be made when we work together — no matter how small or simple those acts may seem.” read more

 

US2020 and Pres. Clinton Announce Competition to Spur STEM Mentoring

June 18, 2013 by
 
 

US2020 Signs New Partners Tata Consultancy Services and HP at Clinton Global Initiative’s “CGI America” Event

Last week at CGI America, a nationwide gathering hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced that US2020, a new initiative chaired by a Skoll Awardee that aims to engage one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals by the year 2020, will launch a city competition to increase the amount of STEM mentoring in communities nationally. New US2020 partners were also announced at the event, including Tata Consultancy Services and HP.

“We need these one million volunteers to ensure that we’re going to have students take the courses” that will inspire and prepare them for STEM careers, said President Clinton.

Joining current US2020 Founding Leadership Partners Cisco, Cognizant, and SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services and HP will collectively work towards US2020’s goal of mobilizing one million STEM professionals to mentor students by the year 2020. Through an online matching platform, US2020 will help place STEM volunteers into high impact mentoring opportunities with top nonprofits working across different grades, settings, and delivery models. As more companies join this effort, their early leadership will help catalyze a culture shift in which mentoring becomes the new normal for STEM professionals, much like pro bono work is in the legal profession. read more

 

Join Al Gore and Jeff Skoll for a Google+ Hangout on Climate Change

June 10, 2013 by
 
 

In 2006, An Inconvenient Truth opened the world’s eyes to climate change and sparked a worldwide conversation that continues today.

In the seven years since the film’s release, the world has seen a nonstop succession of new studies, reports, discoveries and headlines that have underscored just how urgent a threat climate change is to our planet.

For the film’s seventh anniversary, we ask, “What do we know now that we didn’t know then?” to keep the spotlight on this evolving and accelerating threat. read more

 

Reflections from Sundance: The Power of Data versus Story

January 30, 2013 by
 
 

I’ll Tell You a Story
By Tim Hanstad

A week spent at the Sundance Film Festival usually includes photo opportunities in your best mountain chic, mingling with celebrities, and getting a sneak peak at the world’s best films of the year.

That’s true for most visitors to Park City this time of year. But for a small group of social entrepreneurs, something even more magical happened last week in the mountains of Utah. Landesa, along with leaders from three other world-class nonprofit organizations (Fair Trade USA, GoodWeave, and Injaz), four award-winning documentary film makers (Cori Shepherd Stern, Patrick Creadon, Mona Eldaief and Kirsten Johnson) and experts from the Skoll Foundation and the Sundance Institute, explored how to better leverage storytelling to achieve large-scale social impact.

What did I learn? The best way to explain is, naturally, to tell a story. And mine begins with a confession of sorts.

read more

 

McDONALD’S USA FIRST NATIONAL RESTAURANT CHAIN TO SERVE MSC-CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE FISH AT ALL U.S. LOCATIONS

January 24, 2013 by
 
 

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification helps protect future fish supplies, ensures McDonald’s customers will continue to enjoy high-quality seafood

OAK BROOK, Ill. (Jan. 24, 2013) – In recognition of its ten year commitment to sustainable fishing practices, McDonald’s USA  (NYSE: MCD) announced today it would become the first national restaurant chain to adopt the Marine Stewardship Council’s blue ecolabel on its fish packaging in restaurants nationwide.

As one of the largest single buyers of fish in the US, McDonald’s scale will help assure that growing seafood demands are balanced with MSC’s responsible sourcing practices to maintain the health and sustainability of fish stocks for the future. Sustainable fish sourcing is part of McDonald’s broader commitment to sustainable sourcing and 100 percent of all fish sold in its US restaurants has been certified sustainable. read more

 

Tostan to use film and the ‘power of storytelling’ to encourage West African communities to tell their own stories of social change

January 17, 2013 by
 
 

17 January 2013, Dakar, Senegal: Tostan, an African-based NGO, has launched a new project to enable communities in West Africa to share their own vision of development, social change and peace-building through innovative filmmaking.   

Tostan was awarded a $20,000 grant by Stories of Change, a project of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP), supported by the Skoll Foundation for this project.

Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which is funding Tostan’s Peace and Security Project, is also supporting the training program for Tostan staff and local filmmakers.

read more

 

74 Finalists Selected in Race to Address Jobs Crisis

January 16, 2013 by
 
 

Girls Who Code, Jobs for the Future, and YouthBuild Among Groups Vying to Outraise the Field Starting Inauguration Day

*** full list of finalists at bottom ***

Palo Alto, CA – Jan 16, 2012 – On Inauguration Day, when politicians return to Washington to face the same jobs crisis, 74 organizations will begin a crowd funding competition to demonstrate who has the most promising, scalable employment solutions. They are finalists in the JobRaising Challenge, an innovative competition to help job-creating nonprofits raise money and publicity. The Skoll Foundation, The Huffington Post, and knowledge partner McKinsey & Company have selected the most innovative, feasible, and scalable candidates of the 210 applicants representing 31 states and 110 cities across America. Starting on Monday, January 21st, the American people can choose to donate to one or more of these organizations.  Top fundraisers will be eligible for $250,000 in prizes by The Skoll Foundation.

read more

 
 

© 2014 Skoll Foundation.