Skoll Foundation

 

Ceres Responds to Somber New Report on Climate Change

May 6, 2014 by
 
 

Today, a new report showed that “the effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects,” according to the New York Times.

Skoll Awardee Ceres released this statement:

“Today’s report is a stark reminder of the urgency for expanding our efforts to curb the carbon pollution that is impacting every stretch of the United States, from extreme precipitation and flooding in the northeast, to drought, water scarcity and wildfires in the southwest. We simply can no longer afford to risk our children’s futures on the false hope that the vast majority of scientists are wrong. read more

 

Barron’s: Skoll Award Helps Benetech Business Model

May 5, 2014 by
 
 

One of the criteria of the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is impact potential, and a new story on Barron’s Penta blog about Awardee Jim Fruchterman of Benetech shares how the award helped Jim at an inflection point:

“From 2004 to 2006, the Skoll Foundation, started by former eBay president Jeff Skoll, awarded Benetech $1.5 million in grants, putting the upstart on the map. Before Skoll’s funding, Fruchterman had to defend his nonprofit work from the sneers of Palo Alto’s high-flyers. ‘Fifteen years ago, during the dot.com bubble, a lot of people in Silicon Valley said to me, ‘Are you nuts? You could be making $1 billion selling dog food over the Internet,’ he says.”

The blog also included a lengthy profile of Benetech—from its innovations to its history, including some stories of Fruchterman’s failed startups. Always inspirational to read of one’s resilience and, ultimate success as a social entrepreneur.

Read the piece: http://blogs.barrons.com/penta/2014/05/02/nonprofit-venture-fund/

 

“However Long the Night” Out in Paperback; Twitter Chat May 7

May 2, 2014 by
 
 

Next week, Tostan founder Molly Melching’s biography, However Long the Night: One American Woman’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph, will be released in paperback.

To celebrate, we’re hosting a Twitter chat with Molly and author Aimee Molloy on May 7 at 10 a.m. PDT. The hashtag will be #HLTNchat — please also follow @skollfoundation @aimeenmolloy and @mollymelching.

The book is part of a partnership with the Skoll Foundation and publisher HarperOne. Molly, a 2010 Skoll Awardee, was named as one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World” by Newsweek/Daily Beast in 2012. Since 1974 she has worked to bring an innovative, basic education program to thousands of rural villages in Africa, empowering communities to lead their own development. Through the Tostan program, she has helped these villages address Female Genital Cutting (FGC)—a violation of human rights and a practice which up to three million girls are at risk of undergoing each year in Africa.

Melinda Gates and many others have applauded the book.

Check out the book’s Thunderclap page.

 

New Book on Motherhood Benefits mothers2mothers

May 2, 2014 by
 
 

Last night, I went to a book reading in Seattle where I heard Jennifer Haupt read from her new e-book, “Will You Be My Mother? My Quest to Answer Yes.”

The 10 minutes I heard Haupt read, I was transported to Rwanda.  And listening to her made it clear why she partnered with Skoll Awardee mothers2mothers (m2m) to donate her profits of the memoir sales to the organization.

Jennifer’s journey began eight years ago, when a young girl at The Genocide Museum in Rwanda asked her to be her mother (Jennifer says she couldn’t find the courage to say yes). After the reading last night, Haupt shared with me that the book includes three stories from her own journey to love better and connect more deeply with her children, her own mom, and the world.

Robin Smalley, Co-founder and Director of m2m U.S., says: “This hauntingly beautiful memoir begins by linking the words ‘courage’ and ‘love.’ It is an appropriate beginning to three stories that are searingly personal and deeply courageous, all revolving around the true meaning of motherhood.”

The e-book is available on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com for $2.99. It can also be purchased through Amazon.co.uk and kobo.com for £1.84.

The book is published by Shebooks.net.

 

VisionSpring Awarded Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award

April 30, 2014 by
 
 

VisionSpring and Warby Parker were just awarded a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award at a ceremony in New York City. Jordan Kassalow accepted the award on behalf of VisionSpring.

Based on the studies of Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen and helmed by Tribeca’s Craig Hatkoff, The Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards (TDIA) celebrates those whose ideas have broken the mold to create significant impact. Christensen’s original Disruptive Innovation Theory explained how simpler, cheaper technologies, products, and services could decimate industry leaders. TDIA showcases applications of disruptive innovation which has spread far beyond the original technological and industrial realms into the fields of healthcare, education, international development, politics and advocacy, media, the arts and entertainment.

Learn more: http://www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com/warby-parker-visionspring/

 

Blogs from the Skoll World Forum

April 29, 2014 by
 
 

We recently shared some top media coverage from the 2014 Skoll World Forum—here are some highlights from major blogs.

Kimberly Sedmak, executive producer of Jane Pauley’s AARP show, focused on the speech of Yves Moury of Fundacion Capital, and Malala’s award.

“At the recent Skoll World Forum (SWF), inspiration hits the moment I arrive in Oxford, where the City of Spires forces you to look up and out. In its 11th year, this annual gathering now includes 1,000 delegates from 60 countries and is the site of intense, imaginative and innovative thinking by social entrepreneurs from around the world. I come looking for stories — people and ideas to profile. Inspiration is at the vortex of every exchange, smile and handshake. I’ve never attended a conference where the word “love” is invoked so often as a means to an end in doing business. That particular four-letter word is rarely associated with solving the world’s most devastating problems, such as modern slavery, poverty, child brides, water and sanitation, lack of health care and 61 million children with no access to education.”

Read the rest: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/04/23/at-skoll-world-forum-a-powerful-lesson/

Murray Newlands of Your Story focused on the Forum’s “Unlocking Entrepreneurial Women” panel.

“With entrepreneurial women taking charge of creating businesses in countries around the world, it’s important to highlight the skills, knowledge, and attributes that have made them successful and share them with other aspiring female entrepreneurs, which is exactly what the Skoll World’s ‘Unlocking Entrepreneurial Women’ forum focused on.”

Read the rest: http://yourstory.com/2014/04/skoll-world-forum/

Victoria Knowles of the Four Degrees Network focused on four tips from Richard Branson, which she gleaned from the opening plenary.

‘In some of these big dreams, we’ll fall flat on our face – but we’ll give it our best shot. In Virgin’s arguably most ambitious project to date, Virgin Galactic aims to make space travel more accessible, while innovating clean tech solutions that can make this possible without ‘costing’ the Earth.’”

https://www.2degreesnetwork.com/groups/2degrees-community/resources/frustration-what-spurs-us-start-businesses-says-sir-richard-branson-learn-how-virgins-founder-walked-off-plane-and-started-his-own-airline-and-his-vision-future/

Don’t miss the Skoll World Forum bloggers’ posts, which covered many panels and special parts of the forum: http://skollworldforum.org/debate/live-2014-skoll-world-forum-social-entrepreneurship/

 

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

 

Smallholder Impact and Risk Metrics: A Labyrinth of Opportunity

March 27, 2014 by
 
 

“The Skoll Foundation is proud to have worked with the Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) to approach the workstream of impact and risk metrics with thought and purpose, given the proliferation of related frameworks, metrics and data collection and evaluation efforts,” says Edwin Ou, Skoll Foundation lead of funder alliances. “What arose was this effort—including the creation of technology and intelligence tools—to de-clutter the landscape for prospective smallholder finance market entrants, rather than add to the clutter.”

Here’s today’s official announcement:

One reason only 3 percent of demand for smallholder agricultural finance has been met is because investors lack sufficient data about the benefits and risks of directing their funds to smallholder agricultural finance. A number of innovative and promising new impact and risk measurement tools have emerged, but it is challenging to understand their varying functions and how they fit together.

In light of this situation, the Initiative for Smallholder Finance has catalogued available measurement tools, documented the status quo, and researched the benefits of increased collaboration. This work is being launched as a briefing document, set of collaboration tools, and webinar, which together will:

• Clarify the current impact and risk metrics landscape

• Drive the industry toward greater collaboration in reporting industrywide impact

• Support the industry to set clear expectations about the impact of smallholder agricultural finance

• Push the smallholder community to develop coordinated metrics so that efforts can more efficiently grow the supply of smallholder agricultural finance

Read the full briefing: http://www.globaldevincubator.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Smallholder-Impact-and-Risk-Metrics-A-Labyrinth-of-Opportunity.pdf

On April 30 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EDT, join us for a Webinar on five new technologies to simplify data collection in smallholder finance.

Hear directly from the creators of important new technologies that are taking the pain out of smallholder finance data collection.

The free webinar will be moderated by Tom Carroll, the Director of the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, and CJ Fonzi, lead author of “Smallholder Impact and Risk Metrics: A Labyrinth of Opportunity.” Register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-five-new-technologies-to-simplify-data-collection-in-smallholder-finance-tickets-9558576961


 

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.”

 
 

© 2014 Skoll Foundation.