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Posts Tagged ‘Skoll Foundation’

Skoll Awards Ceremony Highlights

April 15, 2014 by
 
 

By Deanna Zandt

Thursday at 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.

 

 

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.

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


 

Skoll World Forum Plenary Tickets Available Today

March 17, 2014 by
 
 

JOIN US for the Skoll World Forum Plenary Sessions on April 9, 10 and 11. Tickets are now on sale for $25 per event, and all are held at New Theatre in Oxford, England.  Share, learn, and be inspired by the best and brightest thinkers and practitioners from academia, media, corporate, government, philanthropy and funding communities.

Featured speakers such as Malala Yousafzai, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Ronald CohenTony Elumelu, Arif Naqvi, and Jeff Skoll take the main stage to discuss key issues.  With musical performances by hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari and the Playing for Change band.

Tickets are for sale for the following events:

Opening Plenary: Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  5:00 PM – 6:30 PM [View Details]
Awards Ceremony: Thursday, April 10, 2014.  5:30 PM – 7:00 PM [View Details]
Closing Plenary: Friday, April 11, 2014.  3:30 PM –  5:00 PM [View Details]

Global experts will explore how new, entrepreneurial approaches can build and support civil society, helping address endemic social issues like poverty, access to capital, youth engagement, sustainable capitalism, reframing aid and more.

For more details on speakers and to purchase tickets, please click here: http://forumplenaries.ticketleap.com/

 

TED and the Skoll Foundation Honor Charmian Gooch and Global Witness with Two Prestigious Million-Dollar Awards

March 5, 2014 by
 
 
 

New York, NY (March 5, 2014)—TED and the Skoll Foundation are proud to join in making a unique announcement: each will direct their annual million-dollar prizes to Global Witness. TED will grant its award to Charmian Gooch, Global Witness Co-Founder and Director. The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship will honor all three Co-Founders and Directors – Patrick Alley, Charmian Gooch, and Simon Taylor – and the organization itself for its extraordinary innovation in disrupting an unjust and unsustainable status quo.

Though TED and the Skoll Foundation separately decided to honor Gooch and Global Witness with their 2014 awards, the organizations are making a joint announcement to highlight the value, merit and distinct contributions of this cutting edge investigative and campaigning organization. For 20 years, Global Witness has run pioneering analysis and campaigns against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses.

“I am thrilled to announce Charmian Gooch as the 2014 TED Prize winner,” said Chris Anderson, TED curator. “That both TED and Skoll independently selected Charmian and Global Witness as recipients of these prizes is a remarkable testament to their daring investigative and campaigning work. The TED Prize is granted annually to an inspiring individual with a world-changing wish – one that Charmian will reveal at the TED Conference in just two weeks’ time.”

TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, awards its annual prize to an extraordinary individual with a bold, creative vision to spark global change. The TED Prize leverages the TED community’s resources and invests $1 million into a powerful, world-inspiring idea. 2014 TED Prize recipient Charmian Gooch will announce her wish live from the main stage at the annual TED Conference. The session will be broadcast globally for free on March 18 (6-7:45 pm PST): http://tedlive.ted.com/webcasts/2014

“Social entrepreneurs are, by definition, disruptors. Patrick, Charmian, and Simon’s leadership epitomizes great social entrepreneurship in Global Witness’s quest to expose global conflict, corruption, and environmental degradation, lifting millions out of poverty and protecting the environment. We are delighted to announce Patrick, Charmian, and Simon as among our 2014 Skoll Awardees,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation.

“Skoll and TED both connect and showcase inspiring, entrepreneurial, breakthrough innovators. We are thrilled to be working closely with our TED colleagues, who share our mission to catalyze social change.”

The Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship each year to transformative leaders who are disrupting the status quo, driving large-scale change, and are poised for even greater impact. Recipients of the Skoll Award gain leverage and scale through a global community of social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems. Global Witness’s Patrick Alley, Charmian Gooch, and Simon Taylor will be honored along with other 2014 Skoll Awardees at the 11th Annual Skoll World Forum in Oxford, April 9-11.

“Everyone at Global Witness is honored and thrilled to receive these two prestigious awards, from two remarkable organizations,” said Charmian Gooch, Co-Founder and Director of Global Witness. “They truly are a rocket boost to our work – making it possible for us to carry out even more cutting edge investigations, report on matters in the public interest, and launch hard hitting campaigns that challenge vested interests and change the system. I’m personally also very excited about the prospect of announcing the details of my TED Prize Wish live from the TED conference in March. This being our 20th Anniversary year, we couldn’t have wished for a better birthday present.”

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About Global Witness

Founded in 1993, Global Witness is a UK not-for-profit based in London and Washington DC.

Global Witness investigates and campaigns to change the system by exposing the economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction. The organization focuses on undertaking hard-hitting investigations into matters of profound public interest that expose the companies, the corrupt, the bankers, the corporate executives, and the middlemen of various kinds who willfully enable corruption to take place on a grand scale. Global Witness reports on these matters, and launches campaigns that change the terms of debate and set the global agenda.

Patrick Alley, Co-Founder & Director, Global Witness

Since posing as a timber buyer in Global Witness’s first investigation into the Thai-Khmer Rouge timber trade in 1995, Patrick has taken part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe and in subsequent advocacy activities. Patrick has focused on Global Witness’s campaigns on conflict resources, notably former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s ‘arms for timber’ trade, the minerals trade in Eastern DRC and more recently the Central African Republic, as well as providing strategic direction for Global Witness’ work on forest issues, especially challenging industrial scale logging and land grabbing in the tropics. In addition, he is involved in the strategic leadership of Global Witness.

Charmian Gooch, Co-Founder & Director, Global Witness

Charmian worked on Global Witness’s first ever investigation into how the illegal timber trade between Cambodia and Thailand was funding the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Subsequent to that, Charmian developed and launched Global Witness’s groundbreaking campaign to combat ‘blood diamonds,’ using detailed research and field investigations across Africa and Europe. Global Witness was nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on conflict diamonds, and in 2005 the organization received the Gleitsman International Activist Award. Charmian has wide-ranging experience advocating for international policy solutions to address natural resource-related conflict and corruption. In addition, she is involved in the strategic leadership of Global Witness.

Simon Taylor, Co-Founder & Director, Global Witness

Simon worked on Global Witness’s first ever investigation into how the illegal timber trade between Cambodia and Thailand was funding the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. After that, Simon launched and led Global Witness’s oil and corruption campaign in December 1999, after investigating companies and elite groups involved in this sector. This began the global call for transparency around payments by companies to governments for natural resources, leading to Global Witness’s conception and co-launch of the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) campaign, which now consists of over 790 civil society organisations worldwide. Simon has detailed expertise of natural resource-related corruption and extensive advocacy experience, and continues to be at the forefront of the push for a global standard of revenue transparency legislation, as well as being actively involved in Global Witness’s work to expose corruption in the sector.  In addition, he is involved in the strategic leadership of Global Witness.

For press inquiries: Andrea Pattison +44 7703 671 308

apattison@globalwitness.org

About the TED Prize

The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world – one wish at a time. The original prize: $100,000 and the TED community’s range of talent and expertise. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED community has evolved into an ambitious effort to spur global-scale change.

From Bono’s the ONE Campaign (’05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver ‘s Food Revolution (’10 recipient) to JR’s Inside Out Project (’11 recipient) and Sugata Mitra’s School in a Cloud (’13 recipient), the TED Prize has helped to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around the world.

For Press Inquiries: Erin Allweiss +1 202 446 8265/ Erin@thenumber29.com

About the Skoll Foundation & the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship distinguishes transformative leaders who are disrupting the status quo, driving large-scale change, and are poised for even greater impact. Recipients of the Skoll Award gain leverage and scale through a global community of social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

The 2014 Skoll Awardees will be honored at the 11th Annual Skoll World Forum in Oxford, April 9-11. Sign up to watch the live stream from Oxford here.

For press inquiries: Suzana Grego +1 650 331 1021/ sgrego@skollfoundation.org

 

The Skoll Foundation Announces Seven 2014 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

March 5, 2014 by
 
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Suzana Grego, Director of Communications, Skoll Foundation, sgrego@skollfoundation.org or + 1 650 331 1021

Recipients Should Be on Everyone’s Global Progress ‘Watch List’ 

PALO ALTO, CA, March 5, 2014—The Skoll Foundation today announced the seven 2014 recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

The Skoll Award distinguishes transformative leaders who are disrupting the status quo, driving large-scale change, and are poised to make an even greater impact on the world.

“These are not lifetime achievement awards,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “These are bets on the people who will create better futures for millions.”

The Skoll Award recognizes social entrepreneurs whose innovations have already had significant, proven impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems, and invests directly in the promise of even greater impact at scale. By investing in organizations when an innovation is ripe for accelerated and scaled adoption, the Skoll Awards help unleash the full global potential and reach of social entrepreneurs.

Each Awardee receives a $1.25 million, three-year core support investment to scale their work and increase their impact. They also gain leverage through their long-term participation in a global community of visionary leaders and innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

The 2014 Skoll Awardees represent seven organizations partnering with communities in 35 countries that are poised to crack the code on issues that matter the most to humanity.

“Ambition gives social entrepreneurs the vision and the fuel to do good things in smarter and better ways,” said Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation. “As they solve problems ranging from water and sanitation to health and global transparency, social entrepreneurs are driving toward creating a sustainable world of peace and prosperity.”

Driving transformation on a range of issues to maximize health, education, opportunity, transparency, and accountability in some of the poorest places on earth, these pioneers should be on the watch lists of everyone who cares about the future of the world:



B Lab

“Redefining Success in Business as Best FOR the World”

Co-founded by longtime friends and colleagues, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy, B Lab is fueling a global movement to redefine “success” in business, so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab is challenging the status quo by building a new sector, legal structure, and standards; empowering a community of certified B Corporations; and advancing public policies that enable companies to create financial, social, and environmental value for both its shareholders and for society. With 20 states having passed Benefit Corporation legislation, nearly 1,000 B Corporations certified, and 16,000 companies using its tools, B Lab is focused on accelerating the global adoption of this new model.


Fundación Capital

“Helping Millions Save Their Way Out of Poverty”

Half of the world’s adult population—2.5 billion people—are “unbanked,” lacking access to financial services. Founded by Belgian-born Yves Moury, Fundación Capital is a pioneer in inclusive finance innovation to help the poor save; grow and invest their assets; insure their families against risk; and chart a permanent path out of poverty. Already reaching three million people, Fundación Capital is working to reach eight million more in the next few years by expanding access to training, capital, and opportunity. Fundación Capital’s efforts to align advances in public policy, market mechanisms, and technology are building momentum and poised to reach 100 million poor families across three continents by 2030, enabling them to make their own financial decisions and live their ambitions.



Girls Not Brides

“Ending Child Marriage to Empower a Generation of Girls”

Every year 14 million girls are married as children, denied their rights to health, education, and opportunity, and robbed of their childhood. Mabel van Oranje has an inspiring vision of what the world could look like if there were no child brides, and initiated Girls Not Brides with the bold goal of ending child marriage in one generation. Child marriage traps girls and their communities in poverty. By ending the practice, the global community can start to address some of the most difficult challenges in development. Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 300 civil society organizations working across 50 countries. By joining forces and working at all levels—from grassroots to international—members of the global community can tackle this harmful social norm and end child marriage.



Global Witness

“Driving Transparency to Lift the ‘Resource Curse’ of Conflict and Human Rights Abuse”

Patrick Alley, Charmian Gooch, and Simon Taylor know that many of the world’s poorest people live in the most resource-rich countries in the world. Natural resources can incentivize corruption, destabilize governments, and lead to conflict and the looting of entire states. From 2002 to 2011, illicit money flows from corrupt deals in the developing world totaled nearly $6 trillion. Global Witness investigates and exposes the shadow networks underlying these deals that fuel conflict, corruption, and environmental destruction. They collect evidence and launch hard-hitting campaigns to find global solutions and end the “resource curse” by tackling corruption, protecting the environment, preventing conflict, and defending human rights.



Medic Mobile

“Building Mobile Communications Tools to Bring Health Care to Underserved Communities”

One billion people will never see a health professional in their lives. Yet 95 percent of the world’s population has access to a mobile signal. Josh Nesbit’s  Medic Mobile was created to improve health in underserved and disconnected communities using communication tools. Medic Mobile builds mobile applications for community health workers, caregivers, and patients to increase life-saving health care coverage. Across 20 countries, its tools support 8,000 frontline health workers and benefit approximately six million people with plans to double these numbers annually for a total of 200,000 health workers serving 100 million people by 2018.



Slum Dwellers International (SDI)

“Leading Slum Dwellers around the World to Improve Their Cities”

In 2008—for the first time in history—more people were living in urban than in rural areas. Today, more than one billion people live in slums. Founded by a collective of slum dwellers and concerned professionals headed by Jockin Arputham, a community organizer in India, Slum Dwellers International works to have slums recognized as vibrant, resourceful, and dignified communities. SDI organizes slum dwellers to take control of their futures; improve their living conditions; and gain recognition as equal partners with governments and international organizations in the creation of inclusive cities. With programs in nearly 500 cities, including more than 15,000 slum dweller-managed savings groups reaching one million people; 20 agreements with national governments; and nearly 130,000 families who have secured land rights, SDI has been a driving force for change for slum dwellers around the world.



Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

“Helping Cities Reach Everyone with Water and Sanitation Services”

Every five seconds, the world’s urban population increases by 10 people. Everyone needs access to clean water and sanitation, putting a huge pressure on city service agencies. In response, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor has turned the traditional charity model on its head by developing commercially-viable models to bring water and sanitation to nearly two million people in urban slums in six countries. Sam Parker, a former business manager, has led the organization since 2006. Offering a creative package of private-sector, nongovernmental-organization, and academic expertise, WSUP equips public and private service agencies with the capacity and incentives to serve all citizens in their city.

 

Over the past decade, the Skoll Foundation has invested more than $150 million in social entrepreneurs whose transformative innovations have disrupted the status quo, improved lives, and created a new social equilibrium.

The Skoll Award is a major milestone for social entrepreneurs and an investment in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, including: environmental sustainability, education, economic opportunity, health, peace and human rights, and sustainable markets.

The 2014 Skoll Awardees will be honored at the 11th Annual Skoll World Forum in Oxford, April 9-11. At the Forum, nearly 1,000 delegates from around the world will gather for three remarkable days of sharing, learning, and inspiration. While most delegates are practicing social entrepreneurs, a third of the community is made up of representatives from the public and private sectors—business, finance, media, academia, religion, the arts, philanthropy, and more.

Sign up to learn more and watch the Skoll World Forum live stream from Oxford here.

About the Skoll Foundation

Jeff Skoll established the Skoll Foundation in 1999 to drive large-scale change by connecting, celebrating, and investing in 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. By identifying the people and programs already enacting positive change throughout the world, the Foundation empowers them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and drive toward a sustainable world of peace and prosperity.

 

What will Crowdfunding Look Like in 2014? The Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge Raises the Bar

January 2, 2014 by
 
 

In recent years, crowdfunding models of the type that support a new product—like a prototype for a cool new watch, or a friend’s idea for a new genre of art, or an important cause, like a marathon runner’s mission to run in honor of a family member or friend—have swept the social change landscape.

With the successful close of the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, we saw crowdfunding embracing the age of the social entrepreneur. The Challenge raised $2.4 million—double the amount of any other Skoll Foundation crowdfunding campaign. Of the organizations participating, an average of $37,804 was raised. That’s more than three times the average raised by a charity participating in a CrowdRise Challenge.

Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge organizations are recipients of the “Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.” 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. Learn more about the winners here.

Embracing unique incentive structures, social media tools, and e-marketing strategies mimicking the most successful online retailers, CrowdRise Challenges like these have seen phenomenal leverage in turning seed money into an impact many times greater than even the best dollar-for-dollar matching campaigns. Skoll’s $250,000 prize money was leveraged 9:1 in the latest Challenge. Leverage and scale is not only important for enacting a socially disruptive idea, it’s also a growing way to drive financial support for those ideas. read more

 

The Skoll Foundation Mourns the Loss of Greg Dees

December 23, 2013 by
 
 

Greg Dees“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

 

Positioning local banks for success in smallholder finance

December 18, 2013 by
 
 

The Initiative for Smallholder Finance’s second briefing document, “A roadmap for growth: Positioning local banks for success in smallholder finance,” was published today. This briefing follows up on our first briefing in a series of knowledge products that will continue over the next few months. Here’s an excerpt of a blog about it by Tom Carroll of Dalberg:

“‘This demands action!’

That’s what we thought as we finished writing a report called “Catalyzing Smallholder Agricultural Finance,” authored in 2012 by Dalberg Global Development Advisors with support from the Citi and Skoll Foundations. Before the report, global development players of all stripes recognized smallholder farmers’ critical role in meeting the global demand for food and serving as stewards of vulnerable natural resources. Most also knew that the 450 million smallholders are a core component in pulling developing countries out of poverty, with large numbers of the world’s poorest people living in households dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

Yet, despite recognizing smallholders’ importance, many did not fully comprehend the significant unmet demand for smallholder access to finance.  Nor did they fully understand what efforts were underway, and more importantly, what more could be done with focused resources. The report paired its most startling finding – that only 2 percent of the estimated $450 billion global demand for smallholder financing is met by formal institutions – with guidelines for five strategic pathways that can most rapidly meet this demand.

Our interviews with players already involved in the sector, including banks, investors, donors, NGOs, and companies made us realize that, while there are many excellent efforts underway, making a serious dent in the financing gap would require a more structured approach. The report generated substantial interest. Sources such as AgriFin and NextBillion reported on the new findings, and groups from multinational corporations to regional banks expressed a desire to dig deeper into our research.”

Read the rest: https://skollworldforum.org/2013/12/18/initiative-smallholder-finance-building-pathway-scalable-smallholder-agricultural-finance/

 

New films bring community voices to the forefront on Human Rights Day 2013

December 10, 2013 by
 
 

In celebration of UN-recognized International Human Rights Day on December 10th, nonprofit organizations Tostan and Venice Arts, together with the Sundance Institute and The Skoll Foundation, will premiere a series of participant-produced films from community members in Senegal.

Through the three short films, which have been produced following training in participant-led media techniques and documentary filmmaking, community members share their own stories about how their lives are changing.

Earlier this year, Tostan was awarded a $20,000 grant by Stories of Change, a project of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP), supported by the Skoll Foundation, to train community members in participant-led filmmaking, which gives the power of the storytelling back to communities, providing them with the opportunity to share stories that are the most meaningful to them.

The training and technical support was undertaken by renowned filmmakers and trainers Venice Arts and additional funding for the project was received from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. read more

 

Remembering Nelson Mandela: CNN and BBC Interviews with The Elders

December 9, 2013 by
 
 

Nelson Mandela was the founder of The Elders, which Skoll Foundation Founder Jeff Skoll and CEO Sally Osberg sit on the Advisory Council of. Several of the Elders have been speaking about Mandela in the media since his passing. Here are two interviews we’d like to share today.

Mary Robinson remembers Mandela on CNN:

“I think it’s extraordinary that the thoughts on the world are on one man that most people who feel very acutely about haven’t met, and yet they know he was an extraordinary man. I hope we will think more about, ‘What is the compelling nature of our sense that this man was the best of us? Because he was.  He did represent those values. He also was great fun, had wonderful comic timing and was very humble.”

Watch the rest above.

Jimmy Carter interview with Justin Webb, who asks “Could the Mandela template properly be used elsewhere?” on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme:

“Nelson was very pleased with what we [as the Elders] tried to do. The last time he went out in public to meet with The Elders in Johannesburg and he came to our hotel so we would have a photograph together. Nelson carried to his grave his total commitment to resolve issues peacefully, forgive those who hurt him personally,  and try to look at the best side of people with whom he had differences.”

Listen to the rest at 1 hour and 16 minutes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03kp2rx#programme-broadcasts

 

The Skoll Foundation Mourns the Passing of Nelson Mandela

December 5, 2013 by
 
 

The Skoll Foundation mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela and expresses its deepest sympathy to his family.

“Madiba leaves behind a long legacy of compassion and an unwavering commitment to justice,” said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “He inspires us all to continue to drive toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.”

As advisory council members for The Elders—a group of global leaders founded by Mandela—Skoll Foundation Founder and Chairman, Jeff Skoll, and Sally Osberg have had the privilege of benefiting from and supporting Mandela’s vision for peace, justice, and human rights.

The Elders have issued a statement commemorating Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy.

See it here:

http://theelders.org/article/elders-honour-memory-their-founder-nelson-mandela

 

Financial Times: “Bill Strickland’s Education Revolution”

November 25, 2013 by
 
 

The Financial Times (FT)  just published a long feature profile on Skoll Awardee Bill Strickland. Our founder Jeff Skoll was also interviewed for the article, which chronicles Strickland’s journey of ”45 years doing what he says US state schools fail to do – getting disadvantaged kids excited about learning.”

An excerpt:

“His TED talk, ‘Bill Strickland Makes Change With a Slideshow’, accompanied by Herbie Hancock on the piano, has been watched more than 425,000 times. His book, Make the Impossible Possible, has sold more than 85,000 copies. His unconventional corporation has even attracted the attention of business academics and been written about four times by Harvard Business School. He also featured in the acclaimed 2010 documentary Waiting for ‘Superman’, which investigated the US public education system.

Backed by an impressive roster of local business leaders and charitable foundations, Strickland has opened another eight centres in the US and is aiming to found up to 100 within his lifetime. He is also in talks with potential partners in the Caribbean, Japan, Israel and the UK with a view to opening 100 more abroad. ‘I want to open in London yesterday,’ he says….

‘It costs a lot of money to keep people poor. We spend $7bn in Pennsylvania on welfare out of a $28bn budget. What I am saying is invest in young people and give them the chance to be productive citizens. You do not have to subsidise them,’ he explains. ‘We have doubled the graduation rate for inner city black and Hispanic kids. It is a methodology. We have figured this out. With all the presidential commissions and PhDs and Rand Corporation studies we still do not have the outcomes we want. But here is Bill Strickland and his arts programme with a way to double the graduation rates of kids.’”

 

Jeff Skoll Speaks on XPrize Insights: Video

November 6, 2013 by
 
 

In today’s one-minute video on XPrize Insights, our founder Jeff Skoll talks about a meeting with John Gardner that deeply influenced his life. XPRIZE Insights is a video series that highlights leading thinkers of our time. Skoll said that Gardner told him about “individuals who were dedicated to solving literacy or the health system, education, saving the rainforest… and they needed a different kind of backing and that was at the dawn of what became known as social entrepreneurship.”

 

What the Top CrowdRaise-rs Are Doing: Six Tips

November 4, 2013 by
 
 

As we head into the 6th week of the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge on CrowdRise, we wanted to give you an update on how the top organizations are leveraging their networks and coming up with creative ideas to raise funds.

The organizations that have raised the most—Center for Digital Inclusion, Pratham, Arzu, Half the Sky Foundation, International Bridges to Justice, and Root Capital—recently shared their tips on how to maximize donations to the Challenge:

• Get board members and advisory boards engaged—see if they can come up with strategies to raise awareness and raise funds.

• Encourage any expected donations to be made during the Challenge since the dollars will be leveraged.

• Have leaders reach out directly to potential donors. One social entrepreneur used her birthday as an outreach driver and got a great response.

• Email past donors, attendees from events and newsletter recipients. Create a direct message, highlight how funds will be used, and note the opportunity to leverage the $1 million Skoll Foundation match.

• Take advantage of in-person events—make a mention of the Challenge or email attendees afterwards with a link.

• Enlist fundraisers and personally reach out to them to set a fundraising goal. Some of the strategies fundraisers are using include auctioning off prizes per dollar amount raised, asking for donations in lieu of birthday presents, fundraising at events, and running a mile for every $100 raised.

For those of you that haven’t made a gift – we have only three more weeks to raise $1.5 million. Donate now so that you can stretch your donation even further with the Skoll Foundation’s $1 million match!

We’ve made it easy for you to donate to participating social entrepreneurs based on the issues they’re working on. Click on the organizations’ names below to go directly to their fundraising pages.

Environmental Sustainability

Amazon Conservation TeamBioRegional Development Group,EcopeaceForest Trends AssociationGlobal Footprint Network,Telapak Indonesia

Education

Afghan Institute of Learning,  Child and Youth FinanceBarefoot CollegeBenetechCamfedCollege SummitFundacion Escuela NuevaHalf the Sky FoundationISDP-PakistanNCAT,  Pratham,Room to ReadSonidos de la TierraThe Citizens Foundation,Youthbuild

Economic Opportunity

ArzuBuilding MarketsCenter for Digital Inclusion,  Digital Divide DataFriends International, Gawad KalingaINJAZ Al-Arab,International Development Enterprises-IndiaKashf Foundation,Landesa, NidanProximity DesignsRoot Capital,

Health

APOPOBasic NeedsCiudad Saludable, Gram VikasHealth Care without HarmMothers2MothersRiders for HealthSaude CriancaWater for PeopleWorld Health Partners

Peace & Human Rights

Independent DiplomatInternational Bridges to Justice,International Center for Transitional JusticeOneVoiceRoots of PeaceSearch for Common GroundTostanWITNESSVisayan Forum Foundation

Sustainable Markets

CeresFairTrade USAGoodWeaveVerite

 

Crowdfunding for Social Entrepreneurs: Raising the Bar

October 28, 2013 by
 
 

We are entering the fifth week of the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge on CrowdRise. So far, the organizations have raised more than $809,000—mostly from small-to-mid-sized donations.

In leading this Challenge, we are looking at what’s working best, to help organizations raise even more funds.

The top six organizations that have raised the most—Center for Digital Inclusion, Pratham, Arzu, Half the Sky Foundation, International Bridges to Justice, and Root Capital—account for more than 60 percent of the total raised so far. We’ve seen that the organizations that have reached out directly to their networks and supporters by sending short, targeted emails, have performed best.

So far, the Challenge has resulted in more than 2,600 donations made to participating Skoll social entrepreneurs. Individual donation amounts have averaged around $250—much higher than in the last CrowdRise challenge the Skoll Foundation co-organized, in which most donations averaged less than $100.

Haven’t checked it out yet? Click here to have a look, and let us know what you think via Twitter (@skollfoundation) or info@skollfoundation.org.

Also check out the Challenge blog series, co-produced with the Huffington Post, where Skoll Awardees share insights into their work, and show the impact that your money can have.

If you’re inspired, make a donation and share the Challenge with your networks.

If you’d like to see participating social entrepreneurs by the issues they’re working on, see below. Clicking on the organizations’ names takes you directly to their fundraising pages.

Only four more weeks to raise $1.5 million! Get ahead of the end-of-year giving rush and make your donation go even further by taking advantage of the Skoll Foundation’s $1 million match!

Environmental Sustainability

Amazon Conservation TeamBioRegional Development Group,EcopeaceForest Trends AssociationGlobal Footprint Network,Telapak Indonesia

Education

Afghan Institute of Learning,  Child and Youth FinanceBarefoot CollegeBenetechCamfedCollege SummitFundacion Escuela NuevaHalf the Sky FoundationISDP-PakistanNCAT,  Pratham,Room to ReadSonidos de la TierraThe Citizens Foundation,Youthbuild

Economic Opportunity

ArzuBuilding MarketsCenter for Digital Inclusion,  Digital Divide DataFriends International, Gawad KalingaINJAZ Al-Arab,International Development Enterprises-IndiaKashf Foundation,Landesa, NidanProximity DesignsRoot Capital,

Health

APOPOBasic NeedsCiudad Saludable, Gram VikasHealth Care without HarmMothers2MothersRiders for HealthSaude CriancaWater for PeopleWorld Health Partners

Peace & Human Rights

Independent DiplomatInternational Bridges to Justice,International Center for Transitional JusticeOneVoiceRoots of PeaceSearch for Common GroundTostanWITNESSVisayan Forum Foundation

Sustainable Markets

CeresFairTrade USAGoodWeaveVerite

 

“Social Entrepreneurs Challenge” Rewards Innovators and Crowdfunding Virtuosos

October 20, 2013 by
 
 

If you haven’t participated in our Social Entrepreneurs Challenge yet, there’s still about one month left. More than $683,000 has already been raised. When the challenge recently reached $500,000, that triggered an additional $250,000 in matching funds for these wonderful organizations.  We hope you donate today. Learn more from an Oct. 15 letter by Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg:

“On Tuesday, The Huffington Post and the Skoll Foundation launched the Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, a fundraising initiative for organizations striving to solve society’s most critical problems.

The challenge is hosted by crowdfunding platform CrowdRise and will award $250,000 through daily and weekly challenges, with $50,000 going to the most successful campaign. Participating nonprofits that raise the most funds receive donation money from Skoll. And an additional $750,000 is available in matching funds to be shared equally among all participants as organizations reach certain fundraising thresholds during the competition.

The participating social entrepreneurs are fighting human trafficking, empowering marginalized populations, improving education in developing countries and addressing other pressing social needs around the world.

The initiative is the third such competition run by The Huffington Post and The Skoll Foundation, following the JobRaising Challenge, which leveraged more than $1.2 million in donations for job-focused nonprofits, and the RaiseForWomen Challenge, which brought in more than $1 million in donations for women’s causes.

As of Tuesday evening, $121,000 had already been raised by the social enterprises, putting the competition on track to raise over $6 million if the current pace continues. The challenge will run until November 22 at 11:59:59am ET.”

For more information on the competition, click here or find out more about individual organizations below:

Environmental Sustainability

Amazon Conservation TeamBioRegional Development Group,EcopeaceForest Trends AssociationGlobal Footprint Network,Telapak Indonesia

Education

Afghan Institute of Learning,  Child and Youth FinanceBarefoot CollegeBenetechCamfedCollege SummitFundacion Escuela NuevaHalf the Sky FoundationISDP-PakistanNCAT,  Pratham,Room to ReadSonidos de la TierraThe Citizens Foundation,Youthbuild

Economic Opportunity

ArzuBuilding MarketsCenter for Digital Inclusion,  Digital Divide DataFriends International, Gawad KalingaINJAZ Al-Arab,International Development Enterprises-IndiaKashf Foundation,Landesa, NidanProximity DesignsRoot Capital,

Health

APOPOBasic NeedsCiudad Saludable, Gram VikasHealth Care without HarmMothers2MothersRiders for HealthSaude CriancaWater for PeopleWorld Health Partners

Peace & Human Rights

Independent DiplomatInternational Bridges to Justice,International Center for Transitional JusticeOneVoiceRoots of PeaceSearch for Common GroundTostanWITNESSVisayan Forum Foundation

Sustainable Markets

CeresFairTrade USAGoodWeaveVerite

 

Mercury-Free by 2020

October 11, 2013 by
 
 

As governments were signing a global treaty in Japan today to phase out mercury use and emissions, Skoll Awardee Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were launching an initiative to achieve this convention’s goal by 2020.

“I wanted to share this news with you directly, as the Skoll Foundation was so instrumental in our ability to make this happen,” HCWH President and co-founder Gary Cohen wrote in an email. “It’s not often we can celebrate a global treaty that advances our goals of creating a healthier and more sustainable world. Thanks to Sally Osberg and Jeff Skoll and the Skoll Foundation Board for believing in our vision and our ability to manifest it in the world.”

“Through this campaign, we have built a global ecosystem of collaborators that can now pivot to address the largest source of mercury emissions—coal-fired power plants—as well as continue their journey with us toward sustainable healthcare through the Green and Healthy Hospitals Network, powered by Cisco,” Cohen continued. read more

 
 

© 2014 Skoll Foundation.