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Posts Tagged ‘Community and Individual Development Association’

Sally Osberg’s Rotman Magazine Piece: How Social Entrepreneurs Unleash Human Potential

July 5, 2013 by

Sally Osberg’s 4-page Rotman magazine article, “How Social Entrepreneurs Unleash Human Potential,” has hit newsstands. Below, we have included some highlights.

On Ambition: 

“Without ambition, I would argue, dreams risk remaining ethereal and untethered to reality.  Ambition moves human beings from wanting to improve their lives to taking the actions to do so.  Social entrepreneurs harness that force, creating ventures explicitly designed to help people help themselves.  For the disadvantaged populations served by most social entrepreneurs, tangible goals—more income, good jobs, and the dignity that comes with improved social status—matter.”

On what defines social entrepreneurs:

“As Roger Martin and I argued in “Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition” [Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2007], social entrepreneurs see and seize opportunities to crack the code on systems that hold human potential in check, setting their sights not just on incremental improvements to a status quo, but on equilibrium change.”

On Tim Hanstad of Landesa:

“Tim Hanstad is under no illusions as to the scale of global poverty.  Landesa, the organization he leads, has done the math and carried out the analysis: of the estimated 2.47 billion barely scraping by on less than $2 a day, three quarters live in rural areas and are dependent upon land they farm to survive.  More than 1 billion of these subsistence farmers, however, are not in control of the land they cultivate, a condition that perpetuates their poverty and exacerbates their vulnerability.  For families as for markets, uncertainty quashes ambition.  Faced with the real possibility that their property can be seized or redistributed, farmers won’t risk investing even the tiny sums needed to diversify crops or increase  yields.  But with title comes security and with security a more stable foundation for development. For four decades, Landesa has partnered with governments throughout the world in order to secure land rights for the rural poor, knowing that title is catalytic, setting in motion a virtuous cycle of development.”

On ambition as key to social entrepreneurship:

“Ambition can seem invisible, but its energy is undeniable.  To social entrepreneurs like those featured herein, no resource is as vital to prosperity as that of human potential.  Throughout the world, the ambition of women and men seeking freedom, self-determination, and opportunity is gathering force. Social entrepreneurs grasp the enormity of this momentum, appreciating the vast human potential underlying every data point on poverty, disease, environmental degradation and human suffering. They know that in the decades to come, this veritable tsunami of ambition will change countries, transform societies, and remake the world.”

Read the full article:


Sally Osberg’s Op-Ed in the Financial Times’ “This is Africa” Magazine

December 26, 2012 by

“Social entrepreneurs see possibility where others see problems. They are unapologetically ambitious, setting their sights not just on incremental improvements but on systems-level transformation. And to achieve their audacious ends, social entrepreneurs enroll those most vested in that transformation — people oppressed, marginalised, or constrained by an existing reality.”

Those are Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg’s words in This is Africa, a new publication from the Financial Times that “seeks to examine African business and politics in a global context and to make sense of the relationships that Africa is building with the rest of the world.” read more


Skoll Awardee Taddy Blecher and Maharishi Institute Wins ‘Seedling of Success’ Award

November 16, 2010 by

Maharishi Institute was honored with the ‘Seedling of Success’ Award, presented the final day of the Global Education Summit in Bahrain. Dr. Taddy Blecher, a Skoll Award winner, and The Maharishi Institute picked up the accolade as voted by the audience, more than 60 speakers and 600 summit delegates from 48 countries gathered in Bahrain to address challenges, solutions and opportunities within the global education system. read more


The week at CGI

September 26, 2008 by

This was my first time at the Clinton Global Initiative, and it turned out to be a really unique time to be in New York, with the financial crisis, the twists and turns in the presidential campaign, and the UN General Assembly in session down the street.  Needless to say, it made for some interesting conversations.

As a communications guy, I’ve been spending my time here talking to media and others about the social entrepreneurs we support (we ended up with 22 here in various capacities), as well as about the Skoll Foundation’s work in supporting social entrepreneurship.  We’ve talked with writers and editors from BusinessWeek, the Economist, Fast Company, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and others that I’m probably forgetting.  This list is a pretty impressive indicator of the interest that social entrepreneurship is garnering these days.  Many of these journalists are diving deeply into studying emerging philanthropy and development models.  Matthew Bishop of the Economist launched his new book, Philanthrocapitalism, here this week.  Steve Hamm of BusinessWeek has been blogging frequently on social enterprise, including a piece this week on measuring impact (the New York Times also covered this here).  Rob Guth of the Wall Street Journal has published stories this week on a new African agriculture program supported by Gates-Buffett money, as well as a piece on the new Global Malaria Action Plan. These are top business writers – often technology writers – writing on development issues in major business publications.  This is a good trend.

At CGI, itself, Skoll social enterpreneurs has good visibilty.  Six had their commitments highlighted from the stage: Afghan Institute of Learning, Aflatoun, CIDA City Campus, Fundacion Paraguaya, IDE-India and Root Capital.  Root Capital’s commitment gives a good idea of the impact these organizations are shooting for:

To provide financial services to 430 businesses and nearly one million producers; develop financial expertise among the leaders of 150 grassroots businesses; and, build the field of development finance for small- and growing-businesses so that grassroots businesses become a significant engine for economic and social development.

By 2012, we will provide financial services to 430 businesses annually representing nearly one million producers and helping to build sustainable livelihoods for approximately five million rural people, including one million women and three million children.

Other commitments are equally ambitious.

All in all, I found the week to be a great opportunity to hear, and tell, stories of progress in meeting important social challenges.  Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg will guest blog next week on some of her thoughts from CGI 2008.


CIDA City Campus – Uncommon Heroes

August 13, 2007 by

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