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#BringBackOurGirls: Visayan Forum Foundation’s Statement

May 15, 2014 by
 
 

Skoll Awardee Visayan Forum Foundation rescues human trafficking victims in the Philippines, and shared with us their thoughts on the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

“Visayan Forum strongly condemns all forms of modern-day slavery. The abduction of over 200 school girls in Nigeria for purposes of ransom, sale, political negotiation, or forced marriage is morally reprehensible. The statement of Boko Haram’s leader, that ‘there is a market for selling humans’ and that girls would be sold into marriage because they are ‘slaves’ is a painful reminder that human trafficking and modern-day slavery continue to thrive in our world.

The ease with which a group of bandits can curtail the right of children to access education is appalling. It reveals the need for stronger collective action to protect the right of children, especially girls, to education. When children are educated, their life outcomes improve dramatically and their vulnerability to forced marriage, sex trafficking, and dangerous forms of child labor is decreased. We must not allow anything to stand between our children and their education.”

Visayan Forum continues its rescue operations alongside government partners, operating shelters and safe houses to rehabilitate victims, and is running campaigns calling on the Philippine government to protect Filipino overseas workers. They recently co-hosted a national seminar on human trafficking and modern-day slavery with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Visayan is looking for signatures for their new online campaign to stop human trafficking in Kuwait:

 http://campaigns.walkfree.org/petitions/tell-government-to-prevent-the-exploitation-of-ofws-in-kuwait-2

 

Skoll Awardees Advancing Girls’ Education

May 12, 2014 by
 
 

A recent Nick Kristof column about the plight of the kidnapped Nigerian girls brought to light how readers can help support girls’ education there and around the world. First Lady Michelle Obama, like Kristof, mentioned Skoll Awardee Malala Yousafzai this weekend (listen to her Mother’s Day Address).

Here’s an excerpt from Kristof’s New York Times column, “What’s so scary about smart girls?”

“…That’s when a nonprofit called the Campaign for Female Education, or Camfed, came along and helped pay for Angeline to stay in school. She did brilliantly in high school and is now the regional director for Camfed, in charge of helping impoverished girls get to school in four African countries. She’s paying it forward. Educating girls and empowering women are also tasks that are, by global standards, relatively doable. We spend billions of dollars on intelligence collection, counterterrorism and military interventions, even though they have a quite mixed record. By comparison, educating girls is an underfunded cause even though it’s more straightforward. Readers often feel helpless, unable to make a difference. But it was a grass-roots movement starting in Nigeria that grabbed attention and held leaders accountable to address it. Nigeria’s leaders perhaps now realize that they must protect not only oil wells but an even greater treasure: the nation’s students. Likewise, any of us can stick it to Boko Haram by helping to educate a girl. A $40 gift at Camfed.org buys a uniform so that a girl can go to school.”

Besides Camfed, Skoll Awardees Tostan, The Citizens Foundation, The Afghan Insitute for Learning and Girls Not Brides all have primary or secondary focuses on girls’ education. The Visayan Forum Foundation helps prevent girls from being sold into human trafficking and teaches them life skills, entrepreneurship and IT so they can get jobs or pursue further studies. Watch our blog this week for more about these Skoll Awardees helping make sure girls around the world attend school.

 

Watch Sally Osberg’s Global Philanthropy Forum Leadership Panel

April 25, 2014 by
 
 

Yesterday, Skoll Foundation President and CEO moderated a great plenary panel on leadership at the Global Philanthropy Forum conference.  Panelists included Hakeem Belo-Osagie, chair of Etisalat; Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International, and Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership Academy.

Panelists were very thoughtful, covering topics from how important it is to have people around you who will tell you the truth (even if they disagree with you) to what made them start their organizations (their “tipping point”).

Sally noted that they may not realize it, but that they were all “what we at the Skoll Foundation call social entrepreneurs, not working on the margins, but working to disrupt, to right what’s wrong.”

Earlier in the day, Sally led a very popular working group session called Philanthropy: Busting Myths of Logic and Scale.” Speakers included Chase Adam, co-founder of Watsi; John Kania, managing director of FSG; Paul Niehaus, co-founder of GiveDirectly; and Jeri Eckhart Queenan, head of global development practice at The Bridgespan Group.

Watch the plenary at the video above.

 

Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson on Climate Change: Who Will Lead?

April 22, 2014 by
 
 

The Elders have published a blog by Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson, Climate change: who will lead?, urging youth to mobilize ahead of the Paris climate conference in December 2015. An excerpt:

“With the latest warnings delivered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past few weeks, no world leader will ever be able to claim that they were caught off-guard by climate change.

As former heads of state ourselves, we’ve experienced global crises from within the corridors of power. Some may take the world by surprise, but sometimes the warning signals are such that there is no excuse not to act. The IPCC report is such a signal.

The report of Working Group II of the IPCC is the most sobering assessment, to date, of the risks posed to humanity by climate change, describing a range of threats in a clear yet measured tone. Around the world, people’s crops and homes are in danger already. This will only get worse if nothing is done. Economic shocks and worsening poverty, exacerbated by a warming planet, will also increase the risk of armed conflict. It is the world’s poorest who are the most vulnerable. The report does not dictate exact scenarios but tells us, with unprecedented authority, what we must be ready for.

For this reason, it is a compelling call to action for governments. We hope it can trigger decisive action – notably on greenhouse gas emission reduction and financing for climate adaptation – on the road to December 2015, when world leaders will meet at a major conference in Paris to agree a new climate deal.

This week we are coming to Paris, as Elders, to help build momentum towards this deadline. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this process. Climate change ignores national borders. Multilateral negotiations remain the best approach for the world to reach a comprehensive solution. We are calling for a robust, fair, universal, and legally-binding agreement in Paris in 2015.”

Read the rest: http://theelders.org/article/climate-change-who-will-lead

 

Skoll Awards Ceremony Highlights

April 15, 2014 by
 
 

By Deanna Zandt

Thursday, 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

 

Sally Osberg on Bloomberg TV Talking about SPI Launch

April 8, 2014 by
 
 

Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg appeared on Bloomberg TV’s “Countdown” show this morning, the day’s breaking news in the countdown to the opening of the Euro markets. She discussed the Social Progress Index 2014 launch. Later in the morning, Professor Michael Porter delivered a keynote at Deloitte in London, talking about SPI and the connection between social and economic progress and the opportunities gained if all sectors recognize the importance of both. Sally Osberg joined a  panel to debate how we can use the Index to galvanize collective action to unlock true growth and progress.

 

Skoll World Forum Highlights and Tickets

April 4, 2014 by
 
 

The Skoll Foundation staff is headed to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, so please follow us online at SkollWorldForum.org for the live-stream, real-time articles covering a wide variety of sessions, and live photo galleries. If  you want to attend in person, $25 tickets to the plenaries and awards ceremony are still available and open to all.  Highlights include Sir Richard Branson, who will speak on April 9 at 5 p.m. on a panel called “Profit and Progress,” and Malala Yousafzai, who will speak at the April 10 Skoll Foundation awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on the right for every child to receive an education. Above, watch a video shown at last year’s Skoll World Forum.

In advance of the Forum, we asked delegates to share their insights. The full collection of pieces are on SkollWorldForum.org.

Some ways to participate online and via social media: 

• On Twitter, follow the official Forum account at @skollworldforum, and the hashtag #SkollWF.

• Join our #CSRChat on Intrapreneurship with @SusanMcP1 and @ontheroadwithiv on Twitter Apr 8, 3-4pm ET.

• Our Facebook page will feature highlights and events throughout the week.

Some of the thought-provoking panels at the Forum include:

More ways to follow us online:

• We’ll also be joining forces on Facebook with the Thomson Reuters Foundation to do daily live Q&As with special guests–stay tuned for more details.

• And, we’re new to Instagram! Follow us at @skollworldforum, as well as the hashtag #SkollWF.

 

 

 

ECONOMIC GROWTH DOES “NOT AUTOMATICALLY” LEAD TO SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT: NEW SOCIAL PROGRESS INDEX

April 2, 2014 by
 
 

The Social Progress Imperative (SPI) just launched a major new global index.

The Social Progress Index 2014 ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance across nearly 60 indicators, and shows that economic growth doesn’t automatically lead to social advancement. The US, for example, ranks 16th overall, despite having the world’s 2nd largest per capita GDP, finishing behind other countries with lower per capita GDP. On measures of health and wellness, the US ranks lower than Peru, Ecuador and Albania.

The Social Progress Imperative is led by a team including Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg (a Founding Board Member), representatives from Deloitte and others. “Making social progress a true imperative means putting the progress of humanity and our wellbeing on an equal footing with GDP,” Osberg said.

As the first global framework to disaggregate social from economic progress, the Index is designed to complement GDP to provide leaders with a more complete picture of society’s progress as well as a new tool to guide policies and programs.

See the executive summary and the data and watch the panel discuss the findings.

Social Progress Index Launched to Enable Better Understanding of Worldwide Progress and Growth

(02.00am BST, April 3rd 2014)–Economic growth does not always result in social progress, according to a major new global index published today by US-based nonprofit the Social Progress Imperative, and released at the 2014 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. The Social Progress Index 2014 ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance. Higher GDP per capita does bring benefits, particularly on ‘Basic Human Needs’. But rising incomes do not guarantee improvement on ‘Ecosystem Sustainability’, ‘Health and Wellness’ and ‘Opportunity’. read more

 

Water.org on ABC News “This Week”

March 26, 2014 by
 
 

Matt Damon and Gary White of Water.org were on ABC News’ “This Week,” talking about Water.org’s innovation.

“‘Every 20 seconds, a child dies because they lack access to clean water and sanitation — not here,’ Damon said. ‘Our kids aren’t going to die from diarrhea. That’s just an inconvenience to us in the West. But it is a stark, terrifying reality to billions of people on the planet.’

Through a hands-on, community driven approach, Water.org works with the local communities through the entire building process, starting with a loan, or what they refer to as WaterCredit.

‘Instead of just drilling a well and giving it to somebody for free, what we’re looking at is how do we help them get access to a small loan, so that they can get a water connection at their home from the local utility and become a customer,’ Water.org co-founder Gary White said.

Their approach is working. Damon said that of the roughly 250,000 loans Water.org has provided, 98 percent have been paid back in full. As loans are repaid, funds can be redistributed to others in need, reducing the need for subsidies, and allowing parents to work and children to go to school instead of spend their days fetching water. Those who are affected most, Damon said, are girls.”

 

Jenny Bowen on Good Morning America

March 23, 2014 by
 
 

“Now the incredible story of a woman who adopted a baby girl from China and ended up reforming an entire orphanage system,” the Good Morning America anchor began. “One mom proving you really can change the world.”

That introduction was for Skoll Awardee Jenny Bowen and her new book, Wish You Happy Forever. Watch the GMA segment featuring Jenny and her book above.

 

Water For People Forges Partnership With Toms To Bring Safe Drinking Water To More Communities

March 12, 2014 by
 
 

Congratulations to Water for People on this big news, featured in Forbes and The New York Times:

Water For People and TOMS announced a strategic partnership to provide safe drinking water in developing countries. With an estimated 1.8 billion people living without access to safe drinking water, this partnership will help to support sustainable water systems that are locally run, built, and maintained to last for generations.

TOMS, known for its One for One shoe and sight ventures, is now entering the coffee market with TOMS Roasting Co. Under the guidance of a master brewer, TOMS Roasting Co. will offer six premium coffee varieties with beans sourced across the globe. For every bag of coffee purchased, TOMS Roasting Co. will work with Water For People to provide sustainable water systems to the countries from which the beans are sourced – Rwanda, Honduras, Peru, Guatemala, and Malawi. read more

 

Jenny Bowen’s Book Available Today

March 11, 2014 by
 
 
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The second book in the Skoll Foundation-HarperOne partnership released today, and we’re very excited! Wish You Happy Forever is a new memoir that tells the story of China’s momentous progress in its treatment of orphaned and abandoned children.

When social entrepreneur Jenny Bowen launched Half the Sky in 1998, it seemed impossible that China would allow a foreigner to work inside government orphanages, let alone try to bring meaningful change. But gradually, after witnessing Half the Sky’s quiet perseverance and miraculous success, the Chinese government now partners with Half the Sky to make children’s’ lives better.

Jenny is in New York today, and her book tour continues to Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, California, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Austin, Chicago and Minnesota—see the exact dates.

Jenny has written a five-part series on SkollWorldForum.org: “Half the Sky: A Voice for the children, Taking it to the Road,” “Millions of Forgotten Children, No Longer Forgotten“, “Half the Sky Foundation Founder and CEO Talks About ‘Wish You Happy Forever’“, “Half the Sky: A Rainbow for China’s Children” and “Half the Sky: Taking Our Solution to Scale.”

View the book trailer above.

 

Khan Academy to make SAT prep materials open and free

March 6, 2014 by
 
 

You likely heard the news that the SAT is undergoing major changes (no more essays, for one). What we are most excited about is Skoll Awardee Khan Academy’s game-changing role in the news: a partnership with College Board, the makers of the test.

“The partnership between Khan Academy and the College Board directly addresses one of the greatest inequities around college entrance exams: the culture of high-priced test preparation,” the Khan Academy says on its site. Now, for the first time, all students have the opportunity to practice for the SAT with completely free, best-in-class materials. We will work in close collaboration with the College Board to create thousands of in-depth practice problems and instructional videos available spring of 2015 – a full year before the launch of the redesigned SAT.”

Talk about system-level change!

Watch the above video of Skoll Awardee Sal Khan talking with College Board CEO David Coleman above to learn more, and visit Sal’s blog at http://www.khanacademy.org/about/blog/post/78670138358/lets-level-the-playing-field-for-sat-prep

 

ARZU’s Work Featured on Al Jazeera America

December 30, 2013 by
 
 

The Afghan women used to sign their names with a thumbprint. Now, they can read and write—and their signatures are, of course, written. “What we’ve done, how we transformed their lives, it’s inspirational,” says Angela Attento, creative director of ARZU, in a story that recently aired on Al Jazeera America. Watch the rest, above.

 

Kiva Receives $3 Million Google Global Impact Award to Launch Kiva Labs

December 13, 2013 by
 
 

Some great news from Kiva: 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

 

Remembering Nelson Mandela: CNN and BBC Interviews with The Elders

December 9, 2013 by
 
 

Nelson Mandela was the founder of The Elders, which Skoll Foundation Founder Jeff Skoll and CEO Sally Osberg sit on the Advisory Council of. Several of the Elders have been speaking about Mandela in the media since his passing. Here are two interviews we’d like to share today.

Mary Robinson remembers Mandela on CNN:

“I think it’s extraordinary that the thoughts on the world are on one man that most people who feel very acutely about haven’t met, and yet they know he was an extraordinary man. I hope we will think more about, ‘What is the compelling nature of our sense that this man was the best of us? Because he was.  He did represent those values. He also was great fun, had wonderful comic timing and was very humble.”

Watch the rest above.

Jimmy Carter interview with Justin Webb, who asks “Could the Mandela template properly be used elsewhere?” on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme:

“Nelson was very pleased with what we [as the Elders] tried to do. The last time he went out in public to meet with The Elders in Johannesburg and he came to our hotel so we would have a photograph together. Nelson carried to his grave his total commitment to resolve issues peacefully, forgive those who hurt him personally,  and try to look at the best side of people with whom he had differences.”

Listen to the rest at 1 hour and 16 minutes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03kp2rx#programme-broadcasts

 

The Skoll Foundation Mourns the Passing of Nelson Mandela

December 5, 2013 by
 
 

The Skoll Foundation mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela and expresses its deepest sympathy to his family.

“Madiba leaves behind a long legacy of compassion and an unwavering commitment to justice,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “He inspires us all to continue to drive toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.”

As advisory council members for The Elders—a group of global leaders founded by Mandela—Skoll Foundation Founder and Chairman, Jeff Skoll, and Sally Osberg have had the privilege of benefiting from and supporting Mandela’s vision for peace, justice, and human rights.

The Elders have issued a statement commemorating Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy.

See it here:

http://theelders.org/article/elders-honour-memory-their-founder-nelson-mandela

 

Jeff Skoll on 60 Minutes

November 17, 2013 by
 
 

Our founder Jeff Skoll was part of a 60 Minutes segment tonight about The Giving Pledge. Charlie Rose talked to Mr. Skoll about some of his films, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, and more. Watch it above.

 
 

© 2014 Skoll Foundation.