“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