Skoll Awardees advance innovations in the following issue areas:
- Environmental Sustainability: The only way to achieve environmental sustainability is to employ a powerful two-pronged approach. Destructive practices like deforestation and pollution that are the cause of skyrocketing global greenhouse emissions must be dramatically reduced and eliminated. At the same time, we must work to catalyze more sustainable lives and economies, including improved water management and access to sustainable shelter, clean water, and clean energy.
- Education: Adequate preparation for, and access to, quality education unlock the economic opportunities that make a rise out of poverty possible. Conversely, a lack of education significantly increases a child’s chances of leading a life of hardship and unrealized potential, with little or no access to the opportunity to pursue a peaceful and prosperous life.
- Economic Opportunity: Opportunity—for education, employment, income, raising a family—divides those with a promising, prosperous, and peaceful future from those without. The unprecedented levels of global inequality are alarming and inexcusable. But even before being able to close the gaping hole between those who live in prosperity and those who live in poverty, we must drive toward creating a world in which every person has the opportunity to pursue happiness, peace, and prosperity.
- Health: A focus on diseases and cures can mask a systemic, underlying issue: lack of access to quality healthcare. Inadequate access results in millions of preventable deaths every year. Developing countries are served by one-tenth as many doctors and nurses per capita as high-income areas. To solve this problem, innovations must be supported that enable access to and ensure use of reliable, affordable, and appropriate healthcare that leads to improved health outcomes in disadvantaged populations.
- Peace and Human Rights: Conflicts and crises shatter nations and lives. From Haiti to Syria, it is both a challenge and an imperative to turn conflict into collaborative, workable political, legal, and social solutions that ensure the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Freedom, stability, and prosperity–including transparency, government accountability, citizen mobilization, and functioning markets–are the critical building blocks to lasting peace.
- Sustainable Markets: With an over-focus on the short term, today’s markets do not reflect the real costs of degraded natural resources and unjust labor practices, or the hidden opportunities for long-term value creation. Governments and civil society cannot win this battle alone. Markets need to mobilize resources to speed this transformation, with supply and demand geared toward generating sustainable products, services, and practices. Innovations that harness the power of markets to drive change by considering all long-term costs and opportunities are the key to creating sustainable economies.