Skoll Foundation

 

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.

 

Skoll World Forum Press Coverage: The Telegraph, Globe and Mail, The Guardian and More

April 23, 2014 by
 
 

Journalists from all over the world attended the Skoll World Forum. Here are some highlights of their press coverage.
The Daily Telegraph

Geoff Lean—one of the earliest pioneers of environmental reporting—attended and wrote an article that captured the unique power of the Skoll World Forum. Geoff weaved together a story about how diverse ecosystem players come together to drive solutions to a range of the world’s most pressing problems.

“…Scarcely an aid agency or a green pressure group was to be seen – brought together in the university city, for the past decade, by Jeffrey Skoll…his foundation finances their efforts, once they have established that they work and have reached the point at which they could take off given extra funds. And, just maybe, it has given Oxford, famously the home of lost causes, one that succeeds, even in remotest Amazonia.”

His story: Harvesting the Industrial Fruits of the Amazon Rainforest

The Globe and Mail

Doug Saunders provides analysis on the Skoll World Forum session on small farms and food security. (Watch the panel: http://skollworldforum.org/session/skoll-world-forum-2014/sessions-2/farm-plate/?play=450-million-farmer-opportunity-large-scale-change-smallholder-finance#videos) read more

 

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

 

Sally Osberg Moderating Two Sessions at Global Philanthropy Forum Conference

April 21, 2014 by
 
 

On Thursday, Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg is moderating two sessions at the Global Philanthropy Forum Conference in Redwood City, Calif.

She will moderate the plenary at 2:30 p.m. on “Redefining Leadership.” Panelists include Hakeem Belo-Osagie, chair of Etisalat; Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International, and Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership Academy.

Earlier in the day, she will moderate a working group on “Philanthropy: Busting Myths of Logic and Scale.” Speakers include 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.

Learn more about the sessions: http://philanthropyforum.org/gpf-2014/agenda/

The plenary will be live-streamed at http://philanthropyforum.org/gpf-2014/

 

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, 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.

 

iPass and Skoll Foundation Announce Strategic Partnership

April 8, 2014 by
 
 


Global Wi-Fi Provider to Help Social Entrepreneurs Drive Social Change through Mobile Connectivity

OXFORD, England, April 8, 2014 – iPass Inc. (NASDAQ: IPAS), providing cost-effective Wi-Fi access around the world for enterprises and telecom service providers, and the Skoll Foundation, the world’s leading social entrepreneurship and social innovation organization, today announced they have joined forces to provide mobile connectivity solutions to help Skoll Social Entrepreneurs tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The iPass-Skoll Foundation initiative is being introduced at the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, which runs from April 9 through April 11 in Oxford, England. The Forum brings together nearly 1,000 distinguished leaders from the business, government, and civil society sectors for three days and nights of debates, discussions, and work sessions designed to promote innovative solutions to global challenges. High-profile speakers include Malala Yousafzai, the renowned human rights activist who was shot by the Taliban at age 15 and later established The Malala Fund, dedicated to promoting education for girls around the world.

At the Forum, iPass will provide more than 100 Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurs with iPass Wi-Fi service free of charge for one year. With the iPass service, entrepreneurs will be able to stay connected wherever their work may take them as they tackle critical social issues and visit beneficiaries and stakeholders. During the coming year, several Social Entrepreneurs will share their stories through blogs detailing how iPass Wi-Fi and other technologies are helping them stay connected while they travel.

Skoll Social Entrepreneurs who will be blogging about their respective organizations and use of technology during the year include:

  • Bart Weejens, Corporate Affairs of APOPO—APOPO is a social enterprise that breeds and trains Mine Detection Rats (MDRs) to provide a cheap, efficient, and effective solution to the global landmine problem. APOPO also trains rats to swiftly and efficiently evaluate sputum samples for tuberculosis. A trained rat can evaluate a lab technician’s daily output in 10 minutes. APOPO is a Belgian NGO, with headquarters in Tanzania and operations in Mozambique, Thailand, Angola and Cambodia.
    http://www.skollfoundation.org/entrepreneur/bart-weetjens/
  • Jim Fruchterman, President, CEO & Chairman of the Board of Benetech—Benetech is a different kind of tech company—a non-profit—with a pure focus on developing technology for social good. Benetech leads multiple program areas and initiatives to advance technology solutions that work and have the potential to become financially self-sustaining. http://www.skollfoundation.org/entrepreneur/jim-fruchterman/
  • Andrea Coleman, Co-Founder and CEO of Riders for Health—Riders for Health is an international non-profit organization that provides health care to rural African villages using motorcycles and motorcycle ambulances. The project has resulted in reducing disease and illnesses by getting patients much-needed medicine in a reliable and cost-effective way. http://www.skollfoundation.org/entrepreneur/andrea-and-barry-coleman/
  • Willy Foote, Founder and CEO of Root Capital—Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. http://www.skollfoundation.org/entrepreneur/william-foote/
  • Ned Breslin, CEO of Water for People—Water for People is an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to improved water and sanitation systems and services in developing countries. Water for People brings together local entrepreneurs, civil society, governments and communities to establish creative, collaborative solutions that allow people to build and maintain their own reliable safe water systems. http://www.skollfoundation.org/entrepreneur/ned-breslin/

“Mobile connectivity is critical to our social entrepreneurs’ work around the world, in some of the most remote places on earth. Yet global access to mobile connectivity is still not as affordable as people might think,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “These entrepreneurs need to be connected with team members and partners, and communicate, share information, and make decisions in real-time. iPass will be an invaluable tool to keep them connected to what matters most. ”

“iPass strongly supports the mission of the Skoll Foundation to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs,” said June Bower, CMO of iPass. “The Skoll Foundation is at the forefront of innovation, and iPass is honored to play a role in assisting the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs in their efforts to accelerate and scale impact. Mobile connectivity can play a key role by allowing these leaders to work and stay connected as they travel across the globe.”

 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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/

 

The Skoll Foundation Announces Seven 2014 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

March 5, 2014 by
 
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Suzana Grego, Director of Communications, Skoll Foundation, sgrego@skollfoundation.org or + 1 650 331 1021

Recipients Should Be on Everyone’s Global Progress ‘Watch List’ 

PALO ALTO, CA, March 5, 2014—The Skoll Foundation today announced the seven 2014 recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

The Skoll Award distinguishes transformative leaders who are disrupting the status quo, driving large-scale change, and are poised to make an even greater impact on the world.

“These are not lifetime achievement awards,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “These are bets on the people who will create better futures for millions.”

The Skoll Award recognizes social entrepreneurs whose innovations have already had significant, proven impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems, and invests directly in the promise of even greater impact at scale. By investing in organizations when an innovation is ripe for accelerated and scaled adoption, the Skoll Awards help unleash the full global potential and reach of social entrepreneurs.

Each Awardee receives a $1.25 million, three-year core support investment to scale their work and increase their impact. They also gain leverage through their long-term participation in a global community of visionary leaders and innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

The 2014 Skoll Awardees represent seven organizations partnering with communities in 35 countries that are poised to crack the code on issues that matter the most to humanity.

“Ambition gives social entrepreneurs the vision and the fuel to do good things in smarter and better ways,” said Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation. “As they solve problems ranging from water and sanitation to health and global transparency, social entrepreneurs are driving toward creating a sustainable world of peace and prosperity.”

Driving transformation on a range of issues to maximize health, education, opportunity, transparency, and accountability in some of the poorest places on earth, these pioneers should be on the watch lists of everyone who cares about the future of the world:



B Lab

“Redefining Success in Business as Best FOR the World”

Co-founded by longtime friends and colleagues, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy, B Lab is fueling a global movement to redefine “success” in business, so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab is challenging the status quo by building a new sector, legal structure, and standards; empowering a community of certified B Corporations; and advancing public policies that enable companies to create financial, social, and environmental value for both its shareholders and for society. With 20 states having passed Benefit Corporation legislation, nearly 1,000 B Corporations certified, and 16,000 companies using its tools, B Lab is focused on accelerating the global adoption of this new model.


Fundación Capital

“Helping Millions Save Their Way Out of Poverty”

Half of the world’s adult population—2.5 billion people—are “unbanked,” lacking access to financial services. Founded by Belgian-born Yves Moury, Fundación Capital is a pioneer in inclusive finance innovation to help the poor save; grow and invest their assets; insure their families against risk; and chart a permanent path out of poverty. Already reaching three million people, Fundación Capital is working to reach eight million more in the next few years by expanding access to training, capital, and opportunity. Fundación Capital’s efforts to align advances in public policy, market mechanisms, and technology are building momentum and poised to reach 100 million poor families across three continents by 2030, enabling them to make their own financial decisions and live their ambitions.



Girls Not Brides

“Ending Child Marriage to Empower a Generation of Girls”

Every year 14 million girls are married as children, denied their rights to health, education, and opportunity, and robbed of their childhood. Mabel van Oranje has an inspiring vision of what the world could look like if there were no child brides, and initiated Girls Not Brides with the bold goal of ending child marriage in one generation. Child marriage traps girls and their communities in poverty. By ending the practice, the global community can start to address some of the most difficult challenges in development. Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 300 civil society organizations working across 50 countries. By joining forces and working at all levels—from grassroots to international—members of the global community can tackle this harmful social norm and end child marriage.



Global Witness

“Driving Transparency to Lift the ‘Resource Curse’ of Conflict and Human Rights Abuse”

Patrick Alley, Charmian Gooch, and Simon Taylor know that many of the world’s poorest people live in the most resource-rich countries in the world. Natural resources can incentivize corruption, destabilize governments, and lead to conflict and the looting of entire states. From 2002 to 2011, illicit money flows from corrupt deals in the developing world totaled nearly $6 trillion. Global Witness investigates and exposes the shadow networks underlying these deals that fuel conflict, corruption, and environmental destruction. They collect evidence and launch hard-hitting campaigns to find global solutions and end the “resource curse” by tackling corruption, protecting the environment, preventing conflict, and defending human rights.



Medic Mobile

“Building Mobile Communications Tools to Bring Health Care to Underserved Communities”

One billion people will never see a health professional in their lives. Yet 95 percent of the world’s population has access to a mobile signal. Josh Nesbit’s  Medic Mobile was created to improve health in underserved and disconnected communities using communication tools. Medic Mobile builds mobile applications for community health workers, caregivers, and patients to increase life-saving health care coverage. Across 20 countries, its tools support 8,000 frontline health workers and benefit approximately six million people with plans to double these numbers annually for a total of 200,000 health workers serving 100 million people by 2018.



Slum Dwellers International (SDI)

“Leading Slum Dwellers around the World to Improve Their Cities”

In 2008—for the first time in history—more people were living in urban than in rural areas. Today, more than one billion people live in slums. Founded by a collective of slum dwellers and concerned professionals headed by Jockin Arputham, a community organizer in India, Slum Dwellers International works to have slums recognized as vibrant, resourceful, and dignified communities. SDI organizes slum dwellers to take control of their futures; improve their living conditions; and gain recognition as equal partners with governments and international organizations in the creation of inclusive cities. With programs in nearly 500 cities, including more than 15,000 slum dweller-managed savings groups reaching one million people; 20 agreements with national governments; and nearly 130,000 families who have secured land rights, SDI has been a driving force for change for slum dwellers around the world.



Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

“Helping Cities Reach Everyone with Water and Sanitation Services”

Every five seconds, the world’s urban population increases by 10 people. Everyone needs access to clean water and sanitation, putting a huge pressure on city service agencies. In response, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor has turned the traditional charity model on its head by developing commercially-viable models to bring water and sanitation to nearly two million people in urban slums in six countries. Sam Parker, a former business manager, has led the organization since 2006. Offering a creative package of private-sector, nongovernmental-organization, and academic expertise, WSUP equips public and private service agencies with the capacity and incentives to serve all citizens in their city.

 

Over the past decade, the Skoll Foundation has invested more than $150 million in social entrepreneurs whose transformative innovations have disrupted the status quo, improved lives, and created a new social equilibrium.

The Skoll Award is a major milestone for social entrepreneurs and an investment in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, including: environmental sustainability, education, economic opportunity, health, peace and human rights, and sustainable markets.

The 2014 Skoll Awardees will be honored at the 11th Annual Skoll World Forum in Oxford, April 9-11. At the Forum, nearly 1,000 delegates from around the world will gather for three remarkable days of sharing, learning, and inspiration. While most delegates are practicing social entrepreneurs, a third of the community is made up of representatives from the public and private sectors—business, finance, media, academia, religion, the arts, philanthropy, and more.

Sign up to learn more and watch the Skoll World Forum live stream from Oxford here.

About the Skoll Foundation

Jeff Skoll established the Skoll Foundation in 1999 to drive large-scale change by connecting, celebrating, and investing in social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are society’s change agents—creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By identifying the people and programs already enacting positive change throughout the world, the Foundation empowers them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and drive toward a sustainable world of peace and prosperity.

 

Report from Sundance: Using stories to catalyze change

February 10, 2014 by
 
 

Sandy Herz, our Director of Strategic Alliances, recently returned from the Sundance Film Festival where the Skoll Foundation and Sundance Institute hosted the latest Stories of Change convening. The purpose? To help social entrepreneurs and filmmakers explore how stories can catalyze and accelerate social change.

Four social entrepreneurs—Health Care without Harm, VisionSpring, BasicNeeds, and Saude Criança—were paired with experienced filmmakers and storytelling advisors during the four-day event that involved hands-on working sessions and presentations on effective storytelling.

We were honored to have award-winning filmmakers as advisors, including Nicole Newnham (The Revolutionary Optimists), Cori Stern (Open Heart) and Pete Nicks (The Waiting Room), as well as design researcher and strategist Deborah Alden.

At the end of the convening, social entrepreneurs said that they had a new appreciation of using visuals—not just words—for scaling their work, and filmmakers expressed plans to be more intentional about developing impact frameworks for future storytelling projects.

In a recent op-ed, Sandy explained the powerful nature of these storytelling collaborations for amplifying social impact:

“Just as social entrepreneurs need to move people to understand and act on the issues, documentary filmmakers need to ground their stories in actionable solutions that can be executed at scale. Together, they are far more powerful than either can be in isolation.”

Read Sandy’s op-ed and learn more about Stories of Change.

 

FT article highlights Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

February 7, 2014 by
 
 

A new article examines the growing demand for meaningful enterprises among MBA students. Academics and entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking out sound business ideas that can also help the environment or benefit disadvantaged communities. The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship is highlighted as a resource for students at Oxford’s Said Business School to develop innovative ideas for social benefit.

Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre explains, ““Most MBAs no longer foster a distinction between social responsibility and entrepreneurship.” However, entrepreneurship isn’t the only way that students can do good. Says Hartigan,  “We have romanticised the concept of entrepreneurs and made them ‘heropreneurs’,” she says. “But you can be an innovative, resourceful, change-maker wherever you work.”

Read the entire article.

 

 

Renee Kaplan talks tech and philanthropy on public radio

January 23, 2014 by
 
 

On Thursday, Renee Kaplan, Chief Strategy Officer of the Skoll Foundation, joined a panel on technology and philanthropy on KQED’s radio program, Forum. Host Michael Krasny led a discussion on how philanthropists are using the approaches and technologies of the tech industry to help solve social problems.

The discussion covered topics ranging from how tech professionals are giving at a younger age to how new technologies are being used by innovative social entrepreneurs to tackle complex issues like deforestation.

Listen to the entire program online.

 

The Social Progress Index and its connection to early British poverty research featured in The Guardian

January 9, 2014 by
 
 

It’s the 125th anniversary of a pioneering study of poverty in Victorian London and in a fascinating post in The Guardian, Michael Green, of the Social Progress Imperative, explains how that research paved the way for modern measures of social progress.

Green explains, “A century and a quarter on, in a globalised world and an age in which data collection is greatly facilitated by advances in technology, we are starting to see the creation of new measures of social progress on an international scale, which can undoubtedly trace their origins to Booth’s work. The Social Progress Index launched last year is the most comprehensive global measure of social progress ever created.”

Read the entire blog post here.

See previous Skoll Foundation coverage on the Social Progress Index here.

 

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

 

The Skoll Foundation Mourns the Loss of Greg Dees

December 23, 2013 by
 
 

Greg Dees“Rest in peace, Greg Dees: your life’s work will continue to inspire all who value social entrepreneurs, all building a better world.” Those words are from Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg, who also talked about Professor Dees’ contributions in his obituary, published by Duke University, below.

“DURHAM, NC – J. Gregory Dees, a Duke University professor recognized internationally for developing social entrepreneurship as an academic field, died at Duke Hospital Friday. He was 63.

Dees was professor of the practice of social entrepreneurship, Rubenstein Senior Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship with Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (I&E) and the founding faculty director of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. In 2007, the Aspen Institute and the international organization Ashoka presented him with their first lifetime achievement award in social entrepreneurship education.

The author of two books, dozens of articles and other scholarship, Dees helped show how the theory and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation could be blended with social missions to tackle poverty, pollution and other global challenges in new, high-impact ways.

“Greg Dees was the pioneer in building social entrepreneurship as an academic field of study,” said Maya Ajmera, a Duke alumna and founder of the Global Fund for Children. “He was a superb scholar, a widely respected and well-known thought leader in the field of social entrepreneurship, and a great mentor and friend to countless students, professors and entrepreneurs around the world. But most importantly, he was a very kind and compassionate human being. It is a great loss.”

Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, called Dees “the rarest of academics. For two decades, his scholarship and teaching have been seminal to the field of social entrepreneurship; no one has been more influential, no one more inspiring. We mourn his loss, even as we know his legacy lives on in the determination of women and men the world over to build a better world.” read more

 
 

© 2015 Skoll Foundation.