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Posts Tagged ‘Skoll Foundation’

Sally Osberg and Jessica Jackley on Social Entrepreneurship, Kiva and More

August 25, 2015 by
 
 

Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg recently sat down with Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva. Their thoughtful and impactful discussion at the Commonwealth Club of California focused on Jessica’s new book, Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs who do the Most with the Least. 

Topics included Jessica’s time in the field while at Kiva and what she learned from the entrepreneurs she met, the trend of savings, the story behind the title of her book (hint: it’s about an entrepreneur), the importance of providing for families, microfinance, crowdfunding, how Jessica decided to include her personal life in the book, managing risk based on a bad experience, and making decisions with the “head and heart.” Jessica says she is now consulting with companies on how to support working mothers, is on the board of nonprofits and has another project in the works she can’t share yet.  “I want to get back to alleviating poverty,” she says.

A short excerpt:

Sally: Kiva is approaching $1 billion and in sharing many metrics about borrowers, lenders and reporting repayment rates consistently on its web site, that doesn’t tell the story of Kiva’s impact. How are you going about the challenge of seeing whether Kiva’s loans actually alleviate poverty?

Jessica: Kiva does a great job of providing a window of how the field partners actually work. There are a handful of markers of social impact and the organizations explain what that looks like to them, such as training, prioritization of women…Change happens in ways we can measure quantitatively. Not just repayment rates. I get excited about the touchy-feely story stuff; I love seeing the stories speak for themselves.  I have met people whose businesses failed after getting the loans but their lives are still changed for the better and they are grateful for that opportunity…Maybe they are now much better equipped to take a bigger swing at things and get it right…I’ve seen changes in their confidence because of going through the training and the program that goes along with a loan…It’s in the mission that poverty alleviation …but I also think about the impact in the lives of lenders. To participate and believe great things are possible is a good thing for the world…

 

Sally Osberg to Accept NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 Award

July 31, 2015 by
 
 
 

We’re pleased to announce that our President and CEO Sally Osberg was honored with the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 award.  She will receive the award Sept. 17 in Washington, D.C.

As the NonProfit Times says, “Sally is a systems visionary…she understands the past, can envision a future and put it together.”

Sally, who co-authored the upcoming book, Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works, has been an agent for social change throughout her career. As our President and CEO, she partners with Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and heads the Skoll Foundation’s team in identifying and supporting innovators pioneering scalable solutions to global challenges. She is a well-known proponent of thought leadership, research, and alliances that advance the work of social entrepreneurs solving the world’s most pressing problems. She founded the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, the largest gathering of innovators around the world.

Other winners of the NonProfit Times award include Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen, Darren Walker, President and CEO of the Ford Foundation, Diana Aviv, President and CEO of Independent Sector, Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Alberto Ibarguen, President and CEO of the Knight Foundation, and many more luminaries.

See the full list of winners here.

 

Prioritize, Capitalize, Right Size and More: 5 Insights from the Skoll Foundation on Monitoring and Evaluation

July 28, 2015 by
 
 

Ehren Reed, the Skoll Foundation’s Director of Evaluation, was recently asked what matters when he is looking at the measurements social entrepreneurial organizations use.

“Organizations have the power to achieve the change donors are looking to make,” he says. Here are some of his “izes,” as he calls them:

  1. Contextualize. It’s helpful when I can see clearly how the work is contextualized within an organization’s efforts. Whether it’s Kevin Starr’s 8- Word Mission Statement or a theory of change, there needs to be clear description of their goals, and the actions they are doing to lead to that. I want to know how those metrics you’re sharing connect with that core strategy.
  2. Prioritize. There are a ton of things that you could be measuring. The fact that you have gone through an exercise to winnow it down to meaningful measures is a good sign. Those measures should be influenced by what you are able to do with that information. If you are collecting something you are not making use of, you are wasting time and money.
  3. Capitalize. Don’t answer a question that you need not answer. There are certain outcomes and indicators that are critical to your work, and more attributable to your efforts. Concentrate on those. There are others that you can say, ‘We made a contribution to those.’ Leave those alone. For example: Citizen Schools increases graduation rates of students who attend their program by 20 percent over a control; that’s the compelling story. I don’t need to know whether that leads to greater income generation after high school graduation; there are studies that already show me that. Be efficient with the way you are spending your dollars.
  4. Right Size. Not everyone in the organization needs to look at all the same data. At One Acre Fund, workers in the field pay attention to which farmers are attending trainings, what types of uptake are they having with particular techniques they are being taught, and types of repayment rates. That’s the type of information they need to know to see if they are doing their job effectively. Middle managers look at aggregated data. Leadership looks at only a key set of performance indicators. So right size your approach accordingly.
  5. Systematize. The idea that we see M and E as a separate report gives me pause; it’s a dangerous misnomer. It needs to be part and parcel of your programmatic activity. If it’s all focused on a report which comes out once a year, and there is not a lot behind the scenes leading up to that report, that gives me pause. An example: Your car dashboard metrics allow you to know if your car is functioning effectively. You look at the dashboard every day. It’s only when you get to the selling of the car that you say, ‘It gets a lot of miles per gallon,’ or ‘It’s been in two minor accidents.’

Hear more from Ehren: http://skollworldforum.org/session/skoll-world-forum-2015/seminars/the-dark-side-of-me/

 

Jefferson Awards Foundation Names Jeff Skoll a National Award Recipient

June 2, 2015 by
 
 

The National Service Awards Ceremony will be Held June 18 in Washington, D.C.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation, America’s most prestigious and longest standing organization dedicated to activating and celebrating public service, will honor America’s most outstanding philanthropic achievers in 2015 at its annual gala in Washington, D.C. Taking place in the Grand Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on June 18, 2015, the organization will honor this year’s recipients for their exemplary achievements in service.

During the gala, which is sponsored by Target and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Jefferson Awards Foundation will present awards to the top schools in its Students In Action program as well as award more than 50 local Jefferson Awards winners who have made a difference in their individual communities nationwide.

“Our mission at the Jefferson Awards Foundation is to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement in public service. A testament to this mission, we are honored to recognize these amazing individuals and organizations for their incredible work in service,” said Hillary Schafer, Executive Director of The Jefferson Awards Foundation. “We continue to believe in, and activate their causes and look forward to sharing impact on a national level through our ceremony.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will receive the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official at the ceremony for her continued dedication and concern for fair process in the criminal justice system, calls for reform of the criminal justice system and dissents on issues of race, gender and ethnic identity. Previous recipients of the award include: former Arizona politician Gabrielle Giffords, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and politician and sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The Kid President team, consisting of Brad Montague and Robby Novak, will be awarded the award for Outstanding Service by an Individual 25 or Under. Through their work, Robby and Brad hope to foster creativity and compassion in young people while making the internet a more joyful place. Previous recipients of the 25 or Under award include 2015 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Patrick Ip and Vision For and From Kids founder Lillian Pravda.

Philanthropist and social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll will be presented with the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen. Skoll created the Skoll Foundation in order to bring to life his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. He will join the ranks of previous recipients of this award including comedian Bob Hope, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and founder of DonorsChoose.org Charles Best.

Lauren Bush Lauren will be presented with the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 or Under for co-founding FEED, a social business which donates a portion of each sale to feed children around the world, through giving partners such as the United Nations World Food Programme, UNICEF and Feeding America. This award has been given to politician Bobby Jindal and football player Peyton Manning in past years.

Laysha Ward, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of Target, will be present to accept the award for Outstanding Service by a Major Corporation for Target. The Jefferson Awards Foundation continues to recognize Target for its commitment to integrate corporate citizenship into its daily operations, with direct responsibility for sustainability, diversity and inclusion, service and philanthropy and other key reputational strategies.

About the Jefferson Awards
The Jefferson Awards Foundation (JAF) is the country’s longest standing and most prestigious organization dedicated to activating and celebrating public service. Through its programs, JAF trains and empowers individuals to serve and lead in their communities, amplifying their impact through the organizations vast network of media partners, mentors and volunteers. To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation, visit: JeffersonAwards.orgor engage on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

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Nepal Earthquake, GoodWeave, and “Getting Beyond Better”

May 8, 2015 by
 
 

In Nepal, where handwoven carpets are the No. 1 export, Skoll Awardee GoodWeave has been tremendously affected. In a new Nonprofit Chronicles story, reporter Marc Gunther writes,”…All of this is a work in progress, and the Nepal earthquake is a reminder that the best-laid plans can be rocked, literally, by forces beyond anyone’s control. A GoodWeave day care center and an office have crumbled. A staff member lost his immediate family. If, in the years ahead, Nepal’s carpet industry collapses, much of the progress made by GoodWeave will be undone. ‘This industry is going to have to be rebuilt, sustainability,’ GoodWeave founding executive director Nina Smith says. ‘Otherwise the buyers are going to go elsewhere.’ That would be terrible not just for the children of Nepal, but for the entire nation.”

Gunther quotes Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg and her “Getting Beyond Better” book coauthor:

“As Sally Osberg and Roger Martin, a foundation director, write in the current issue of the Harvard Business Review: ‘When enough consumers vote with their wallets, retailers and suppliers get the message—and entire systems are forever altered.’ It’s far from an easy solution, though, because it relies on consumers, retailers, suppliers and NGOs to do what governments ought to do–protect children. Try marketing that.”

The article also mentions GoodWeave’s short video, Stand with Sanju, which was Winner of a Stories of Change award from Skoll Foundation and Sundance. The three-minute video depicts the real and triumphant journey of an 11-year-old girl named Sanju.

Read the rest: http://nonprofitchronicles.com/2015/05/03/child-labor-carpets-and-goodweave/ and how you can help GoodWeave and other Skoll Awardees affected by the earthquake: http://www.skollfoundation.org/how-to-help-skoll-awardees-working-in-nepal/

 

 

 

 

Skoll Foundation and UN Foundation Grants Fuel Partnerships Between Social Entrepreneurs and UN Agencies

April 17, 2015 by
 
 
 

The Skoll Foundation and the United Nations Foundation today announced the winners of a unique set of grants—totaling US$1 Million—that will enable partnerships between social entrepreneurs and United Nations agencies, funds, and programs designed to drive impactful social innovations. This first-time grants application process encouraged Skoll Awardees to partner with UN agencies. This pairing combines the expertise of the world’s most successful social entrepreneurs with the multinational scale of UN agencies’ work.

The announcement of the Skoll Foundation / UN Foundation Scaling Social Innovation Grants was made at the Skoll World Forum, being held this week in Oxford. Three programs will receive grants that will enable the partners to scale up innovative programs to benefit people around the world:

Bringing Books to People with Print Disabilities – Benetech and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will partner to use technology to bring written content to millions of visually impaired people in India. The partnership will support expanded production of books in accessible formats in local languages, and make accessible books available through the cloud-based Bookshare library and the International Book Exchange service of the WIPO-hosted Accessible Books Consortium (ABC).

Increasing Financial Inclusion and Social Protection for the Rural Poor – Fundación Capital will provide advisory services to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and government partners to implement models that enable the rural poor to build savings, increase incomes, and improve living standards. Fundación Capital has adapted and deployed these models with governments in 12 Latin American countries. Marking the first expansion of Fundación Capital’s work into Africa, this partnership will enable knowledge sharing between African, Latin American, and Caribbean governments.

Greening Procurement of Health Care Products—Health Care Without Harm, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the secretariat of the UN Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector, will collaborate to drive the procurement of sustainable health care products across the UN system, representing US$3.4 billion in annual health care purchasing. The grant will be used to develop tools to guide procurement of safer alternatives to hazardous chemical products in order to protect health care workers, patients, communities, and the environment.

Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, said, “Helping social entrepreneurs increase the reach of their transformative innovations is central to the Skoll Foundation’s approach to driving solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The ability of social entrepreneurs to see opportunity where others see only challenges, combined with the global reach of UN agencies, has the potential to tip the scale toward a more just, peaceful, and prosperous world.”

“Innovation and partnership are key to solving today’s biggest global challenges,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “The United Nations is working with innovators around the world to drive progress and improve lives. By bringing together entrepreneurs and the UN, we can scale up innovative ideas for a better world.”

 

 

What the Press is Saying about the 2015 Skoll Awards

April 13, 2015 by
 
 
 

Earlier today, the Skoll Foundation announced the four new Skoll Awardees. Here is some of the day’s news coverage:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy interviewed winner Alasdair Harris, quoting him as saying, “Mr. Harris believes the attention and monetary support from the Skoll Foundation will help Blue Ventures achieve its goal of replicating its programs in other areas to reach 3 million people by 2020.”

The publication opened with: “Most people are taught at an early age that it’s wrong to cause a disruption. But the Skoll Foundation celebrates that kind of behavior. The four recipients of its 2015 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, announced today at the foundation’s annual world forum in Oxford, England, have one habit in common: They all disrupt the status quo.”

Trust.org‘s article, called “From saving oceans to empowering girls, Skoll Awards honor social entrepreneurs,” talked a little about each of the winners, then quoted Skoll Foundation Founder Jeff Skoll:

“Within every social entrepreneur is an unwavering belief that big, seemingly intractable problems offer unsurpassed opportunities,” said Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation.

“By instigating seismic change in our society where it is desperately needed — in the education of girls and the protection of resources like our air, oceans, and public lands — these four entrepreneurs are giving us good reason to believe in a radically better future.”

 

GOVERNMENTS, BUSINESSES & NGOS URGED TO INVEST IN SOCIAL PROGRESS TO “UNLEASH ECONOMIC SUCCESS”

April 9, 2015 by
 
 
 

Inclusive growth must be focused on delivering economic + social progress

World earns “a failing grade” on progress say experts

Norway ranks top in this year’s Index, Canada is top of G7; Brazil is the top BRIC nation

The most effective way to improve people’s quality of life across the world, in both rich and poor countries, is to invest in social progress. This is according to the Social Progress Index 2015 published today by US-based nonprofit, the Social Progress Imperative, and released at the 2015 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. The Index, ranked 133 countries based on their social and environmental performance and, including countries for which partial data was found, measured the social progress of 99% of the world’s population – using 52 separate indicators to arrive at a ranking for the issues that matter most to people.

The Index found that the world performs strongest in the areas of ‘nutrition’ and ‘basic medical care’ but weakest in ‘access to advanced education’ and ‘ecosystem sustainability’. The findings also show that many aspects of social progress improve with income. Wealthier countries, such as Norway – which achieves the top ranking this year – generally deliver better social outcomes than lower income countries.

But researchers say that GDP is far from being the sole determinant of social progress.

“Inclusive growth requires achieving both economic and social progress. A striking finding is that GDP is far from being the sole determinant of social progress. The pitfalls of focusing on GDP alone are evident in the findings of the 2015 Social Progress Index,” Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, who chairs the Index’s Advisory Board, said. “Countries must invest in social progress, not just economic institutions, to create the proper foundation for economic growth.”

Costa Rica (28th ranking) with a GDP per capita of $13,431 achieves a much higher level of social progress than both Italy and South Korea, which have more than twice Costa Rica’s GDP per capita ($34,167 and $32,708 respectively). On the other hand the US, with a GDP per capita of $51,340, scores relatively poorly across many of the components measured by the Index, including on ‘health and wellness’, finishing behind countries with a lower GDP per capita including Canada (6th) and the UK (11th).

Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, said: “This year’s Social Progress Index reported the world’s progress, rolling up the collective results from 133 countries. Sadly, as a whole, the world earned a failing grade, ranking in the bottom 40 percent of countries. Of particular concern is the world’s performance on ‘opportunity’, which very closely correlates to personal well-being. This is a wake-up call rich and poor countries alike should heed!”

Financial Support

The Social Progress Imperative is registered as a nonprofit organization in the US, and is grateful to the following organizations for their financial support: Cisco, Compartamos Banco, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. (Deloitte Global), Fundación Avina, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation.

Read more about the 2015 Index, and the rest of the press release: http://www.socialprogressimperative.org

 

 

Jeff Skoll to Receive Arbuckle Award at Stanford Tonight

March 5, 2015 by
 
 

Congratulations to our founder and chairman, Jeff Skoll, who will be presented with the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award at Stanford University tonight.

Sponsored annually by the Stanford GSB Alumni Association, the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award recognizes excellence in the field of management leadership. The award was created in 1968 in honor of the late Business School dean whose name it bears. Recipients demonstrate a commitment to both managerial excellence and to addressing the changing needs of society.

Learn more: http://alumni.gsb.stanford.edu/events/arbuckle and watch past videos: https://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DE7D6BE0D622DA2A

 

Spreading the Social Progress Index Across the World

February 25, 2015 by
 
 
 

I just wrapped up a 1.5 day training seminar at MIT in Boston with individuals from around the world who are adopting, adapting and running social progress networks in their cities, countries and municipalities.

This was the Social Progress Index (SPI) team’s first formal training session for members of the growing SPI network.  The training was a “how to” for catalyzing a local SPI network, developing a subnational index and building agendas and action plans within local contexts.

Teams from Spain, several countries in Latin America and the U.S. attended, including academics, government staff, technical experts, non-profit leaders and foundation staff.  It was a roll-up-your-sleeves event with exercises, sharing best practices and a deep dive into the rigorous, thoughtful and inspiring methodology.  Scott Stern, the MIT economist behind SPI, engaged with attendees. read more

 

Experiencing the Global Innovation Summit—with “Scorecards”

February 24, 2015 by
 
 
 

The Global Innovation Summit – one of a seemingly endless number of meetings in the Bay Area with the name “innovation” in the title —  might well serve its namesake.  As part of my job as director of the Skoll World Forum, I am required to seek out the best ways to bring people together, either in serendipitous or engineered ways, that create significant value for those attending.

And so, I and 1,000 others from over 50 countries attended this event February 17-19 in San Jose. Speakers included Skoll Awardee Sakena Yacoobi of Afghan Institute of Learning, Founder of Aramex Fadi Ghandour, Director of Case University’s Innovation Investing Cathy Clark, and many others.

The Summit’s focus on bringing to the proverbial table a challenge, an opportunity, or both, led people to be very clear about what they are looking for in the hopes to find innovative solutions. Most discussions were in the round without a formal stage.

In my first Design Lab, we were assigned to small teams in a massive real-time, hands-on “laboratory.” Every participant contributed their Rainforest Scorecard data to build the first-ever mapping of global innovation ecosystems onto Rainforest Radar charts. Judging by my table, people couldn’t help one another fast enough.  It struck me that this small bit of pre-work unlocked clarity and focus for those attending…thus allowing for relationships and productive conversation to happen rapidly and with purpose. read more

 

What 30 Foundations Have Learned from Media Projects They Support

February 5, 2015 by
 
 
 

How does a foundation decide if a documentary is successful? What about digital outreach campaigns—how do you know if they have worked? A new report from Media Impact Funders (MIF) features 30 staff members at foundations, including our very own Sandy Herz.

“Funders such as Sandy Herz, Director of Global Partnerships at the Skoll Foundation, are eager to compare notes with other funders who share their transformative vision for media impact. The foundation has developed a model shaped like a funnel moving target audiences from awareness (of social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the significant world problems) to engagement (with individual social entrepreneurs addressing specific issues) to impact (on those issues).

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‘At the wide end of the funnel we target awareness, and there are standard measures you can apply across a number of partners: How many stories were created? How many people did it reach? How much did you pay for it? But then from those broad audiences, you can move down the funnel and engage specific subsets around targeted media initiatives. When it works, those efforts spawn very specific opportunities to drive impact, sometimes with a target audience of just a few people at the narrow end of the funnel. But that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day,’ said Herz.”

The clear takeaway? Funders are eager to learn from, and build tools with, one another. We’ve included some of the report’s info graphics for a sneak peek inside.

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Renee D. Kaplan to Speak on Women in Philanthropy Panel

January 14, 2015 by
 
 
 

If you’re in Seattle, don’t miss Women Leaders in Philanthropy on February 5 at the Harbor Club downtown.

Skoll Foundation Chief Strategy Officer Renee D. Kaplan will speak alongside Sandra Archibald, Dean and Professor, University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs, and Rosario Pérez, President and CEO of Pro Mujer. The panel moderator is Melissa Merritt, Vice President, Waldron. The panel is sponsored by Global Washington, which supports the global development community in Washington state that is working to create a healthier and more equitable world, and Waldron.

“We will hear the candid stories and points of view of three successful women from different areas of the social sector,” Merritt says. “They will describe their journeys to leadership. We will ask them about their biggest barriers or struggles, the importance (or not) of mentorship and from where that should come, generational differences in the desire to lead, whether the concept of “leaning-In” is a myth or real, how to achieve balance and the effect of all this on the state of women in leadership in the future of the sector.”

Merritt formed the group “Women Leaders In Philanthropy” three years ago to provide a peer support group to women coming to Seattle to run organizations as the result of Waldron’s searches. They meet quarterly in round-robin fashion for round table discussions and informal conversation. Some valuable connections and collaborations have come from these gatherings.

To register, visit http://globalwa.org/events-center/upcoming-global-washington-events/#post-24590

 

Sundance Institute Expands Support for Filmmakers Spotlighting Urgent Social Issues with a $2.5 Million Grant from the Skoll Foundation

January 13, 2015 by
 
 
 

Sundance Institute | Skoll Stories of Change Initiative Adds Feature Film and New Media Project Support 

Panel during Sundance Film Festival with Laura Poitras, Jehane Noujaim,  Orlando Bagwell, Carne Ross and Jess Search

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute, in collaboration with the Skoll Foundation, will broaden the scope of the Sundance Institute | Skoll Stories of Change initiative, which connects independent storytellers with renowned social entrepreneurs to support the creation of films that shine a spotlight on solutions to urgent social issues.

With an additional $2.5 million grant from the Skoll Foundation, the initiative will expand to include feature film and new media artists as well as documentary filmmakers.

Over the past seven years, Stories of Change has supported 66 social entrepreneurs, 50 documentary filmmakers and storytellers, 11 documentary films, 11 multi-platform media projects, and 20 convenings, workshops, and labs.

Highlights include the Academy Award-nominated film Open Heart, which spurred the government of Rwanda to make eradication of Rheumatic Heart Disease a priority for their country, and the documentary Rafea, broadcast around the world as part of the Why Poverty initiative.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Through the generous support of Jeff Skoll and the Skoll Foundation, we look forward to supporting brave documentary, narrative, and new media artists working to improve the world around them through storytelling. The evolution of this collaboration will build on the greatest strengths of the existing program, increase its reach, and enable us to bring vital independent stories to broader audiences.”

“The Skoll Foundation lives and breathes Jeff Skoll’s unwavering belief in the power of storytelling,” said Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “Sundance Institute, as led by Robert Redford, is a leading voice for independent storytelling and whose community of world-class storytellers share with Skoll a deep commitment to highlighting injustice and shining a light on solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We’re proud and excited to expand our support to broaden the reach of these stories and their potential to help us envision and work toward a better world.”

The renewed Sundance Institute | Skoll Stories of Change initiative will kick off an exciting new phase with a reception at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, January 25. The event will feature a panel discussion looking at timely, issue-driven stories focused on democracy and accountability with Laura Poitras (Director, CitizenFour), Jehane Noujaim (Director, The Square), Orlando Bagwell (Director, UC Berkley J-School, Eyes on the Prize), Carne Ross (Founder, Independent Diplomat), and Jess Search (Chief Executive, BritDoc).

Stories of Change is a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative of Sundance Institute and the Skoll Foundation. The partnership began in 2007 with the goal of bringing together the power of storytelling with the impact of social entrepreneurship. The partnership includes global gatherings of leading filmmakers and social entrepreneurs, including at the Skoll World Forum and the Sundance Film Festival, as well as investments in a portfolio of documentary film projects featuring social entrepreneurs and their innovations.

The Skoll Foundation was established by Jeff Skoll in 1999 to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. The Foundation’s mission is to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating 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. Join the Skoll Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about the 2015 Skoll World Forum.

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

Renee Kaplan’s Video Lessons on “Disruption for Social Good”

November 11, 2014 by
 
 
 

Skoll Foundation Chief Strategy Officer Renee D. Kaplan just released a series of short videos called “Disruption for Social Good” on Zana.

Zana is an online platform providing “free access to the resources, experts, and community you need to grow—no matter where or who you are.” Renee’s series takes us through ten topics: Disruption, Innovators, Convergence, Means, Unrestricted, Evaluation, Good Tech, Equilibirum Change, The Story, and Impact.

Here’s an excerpt from Renee’s first lesson, “Disruption: Why the World Needs Social Entrepreneurs”:

“Social entrepreneurship is really different from what people think of non-profit work.  It is more analogous to a entrepreneur to the for-profit space.

They see a problem they want to solve, and they go after it in a way that’s very disruptive. It’s systems disruption; it’s not just doing great work for people, seeing a problem and addressing it intermittently. It’s saying, I am going to crack open this system and I am going to solve it.”

Hear more: https://zana.io/lessons/disruption-for-social-good/disruption/

And be sure to read her three top tips (my favorite: Dream big, and be prepared for others to misunderstand you.)

 

 

WATCH: Raymond Guthrie’s Water Panel

November 5, 2014 by
 
 

Skoll Foundation Principal Raymond Guthrie, who works on our Innovation Investment team, just spoke on the Philanthropist and Funder Panel at the 2014 Water for Food Global Conference. He spoke alongside David Bergvinson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In response to a question, “What areas of water are you looking at investing in and where do you see innovative database solutions?”

Raymond answered, “Our foundation…doesn’t take a sector or a region and look for portfolio.

Our investments stem from our social entrepreneurs. I will give two social entrepreneurs as examples.

Water for People…has an innovation called FLOW that can monitor real-time water points and to ensure water is being served sustainably adn cleanly. They cover 2 million people and 7,000 water points now using mobile technology and geomapping. Another example is One Acre Fund, which works for subsistence farmers in primarily east Africa and partner with governments… and that’s driven by their own data. They spent years finding out what works to… ultimately get the farmers a higher income.”

Watch the rest of the panel above, and learn more about Raymond: http://www.skollfoundation.org/meet-the-skoll-foundation-raymond-guthrie/

 

The Skoll Foundation launches second annual Social Entrepreneurs Challenge

October 27, 2014 by
 
 
 

Challenge offers $3 million in prizes and match funding for innovative organizations 

PALO ALTO, CA, October 27, 2014 – Today the Skoll Foundation is launching the second annual Social Entrepreneurs Challenge. Hosted on CrowdRise, the Challenge is designed to provide some of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs with an innovative platform to raise funds. This year, more than $3 million in prize and match funding will be available to participants. Organizations participating in the Challenge are recipients of the “Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship” and represent some of the most successful entrepreneurial organizations in the world.

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. “With recent news and events, many people may feel discouraged about the state of our world,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “But these social entrepreneurs give us hope. They are making progress on the world’s most urgent problems, and the Social Entrepreneurs Challenge gives us all an opportunity to support their work—and be part of their success.”

The Challenge gives individuals the ability to support and fundraise for social entrepreneurs, and helps leverage their gifts by providing match and prize funding to the organizations. This year, the Challenge will coincide with Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving held the week after Thanksgiving on December 2. Giving Tuesday gives donors an opportunity to support these organizations as part of their holiday and year-end giving plans. The Social Entrepreneurs Challenge will run from October 27 through December 5, 2014.

Donate and learn more about the Challenge at www.crowdrise.com/skoll.

Press Contact: Suzana Grego, sgrego@skollfoundation.org, 650.331.1021         

 

Roger Martin and Sally Osberg’s New Article in Rotman Magazine

September 21, 2014 by
 
 
 

Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg and Roger Martin, academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, just published an article in Rotman magazine. The piece, called “Moving the World Forward: The Quest for a New Equilibrium,” is drawn from their forthcoming book, A New Equilibrium: Harnessing the Power of Social Entrepreneurship. “By combining elements from government policy and business entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurs are moving the world forward in creative ways,” their article begins.

An excerpt:

“Social progress, by which we mean transformation of the prevailing conditions under which most members of a society live and work, is almost always the result of a successful challenge to an existing equilibrium. The path to change, however, doesn’t always run smoothly…

…every once in a while, backed by revolutionary rather than normal thinking, the world moves forward in a big leap to a fundamentally new equilibrium. The existing equilibrium is shattered, even if it appeared relatively stable, and even if many powerful people and organizations were invested in it. Over the course of history, such paradigm shifts have typically been driven by two entities: government policy innovation and business entrepreneurial creation.

…Social entrepreneurship is a much newer form of positive equilibrium transformation that occupies and utilizes key features of the two poles in myriad combinations. The ability to draw from the principles and tools of both government policy innovation and business entrepreneurial creation produces the potential for endless powerful combinations.

The most exciting part is that social entrepreneurship makes possible equilibrium shifts that neither of the traditional forms can achieve on their own.”

Read the rest of the article: http://hbr.org/product/moving-the-world-forward-the-quest-for-a-new-equilibrium/an/ROT243-PDF-ENG

 

 

Skoll Foundation and Kielburgers called Canadian Social Enterprise “Champions”

July 28, 2014 by
 
 
 

Jeff Skoll, The Skoll Foundation and Skoll Awardees Craig and Marc Kielburger were called social enterprise “champions” by the Ottawa Citizen. The article cited the growing trend of social entrepreneurship and featured several examples. An excerpt:

 “All of them have been drawn by social enterprise’s heady promise: social good that’s financially sustainable. Its champions include some prominent Canadians, including former eBay executive Jeff Skoll, who established the Skoll Foundation in 1999 to fund and encourage social entrepreneurship, and Craig and Marc Kielburger, who have built one of this country’s most successful social enterprises, Me to We, which sells eco-friendly clothing, accessories, jewelry, greeting cards, books and international volunteer trips. Half of Me to We’s net profits are turned over to the international charity Free The Children, while the other half is poured back into the enterprise to broaden its social impact — spinoff benefits that include full-time employment for 800 Maasai artisans. Across Canada, social entrepreneurs have found compelling ways to marry money and mission.”

Read the rest: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/can-a-kinder-gentler-business-make-cold-hard-cash

 

Salon.com: “We Need a B Lab for Sports”

July 1, 2014 by
 
 
 

Skoll Awardee B Lab was just featured in a Salon.com article about ethics in sports. Salon.com interviewed B Lab co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert and wrote that “we need a B Lab for sports.” An excerpt:

“Moving forward, how do we find out if our sports teams – beneficiaries of antitrust exemptions and taxpayer subsidies for their palatial stadia – actually share our values?

The answer is simple: we need a B Lab for sports. B Lab is the nonprofit started in 2006 by three successful one-time college buddies, two of whom were founders of AND1, the groundbreaking basketball apparel company that had $250 million in sales at its peak and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2005.  This year, B Lab received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for jump-starting what is commonly referred to as the ‘B Corp’ movement. B Lab’s insignia – the B stands for Benefit — confers a type of Good Housekeeping seal of approval when it comes to social responsibility for over 1,000 companies, including well-known brands such as Patagonia and Revolution Foods. ‘Many companies say they’re socially responsible,’ says co-founder Jay Coen-Gilbert, a self-described pragmatic idealist and capitalist. ‘But how do you know if that’s just marketing? A company could be in a LEED certified building, but if they’re not paying their employees a living wage, are they really socially responsible?'”

Read the rest: http://www.salon.com/2014/06/29/embarrassed_by_my_favorite_team_heres_how_we_stop_buffoonish_owners_racist_team_names_and_more/

 
 

© 2015 Skoll Foundation.