Partnerships are critical for scaling effective innovations to effect large-scale equilibrium change. To this end, the Skoll Foundation partners with aligned institutions in all sectors that share a passion for driving change on the critical issues of our time. Partners bring a wealth of capabilities to bear—from storytelling, funding, and strategy, to the sourcing and support of innovators around the world.
By aligning our respective assets and capabilities, we can accomplish much more together than any one organization could on its own.
By selectively working with high quality storytelling partners across multiple platforms, the Skoll Foundation can drive broad awareness of social entrepreneurs and their innovations, engage influential audiences, spur conversation, and drive action—and thereby accelerate large-scale impact addressing the world’s most pressing problems.
Stories of Change is a multi-year initiative of the Sundance Institute and the Skoll Foundation that brings together the power of storytelling with the impact of social entrepreneurship. Its mission is to connect and engage independent storytellers with renowned social entrepreneurs, foster the enhancement of story skills and networks among these communities, and support the creation of compelling films about solutions to urgent social issues that enlighten and inspire audiences. The program was launched in 2007 with a $3 million grant over three years. In January 2015, the initiative expanded with an additional $2.5 million grant from the Foundation to include support for narrative filmmakers, new media artists, and continued support for documentary storytelling. In addition to funding the creation of new projects highlighting the work of global change-makers addressing the world’s most pressing problems, the initiative brings together leaders in both independent filmmaking and social entrepreneurship at key gatherings globally, including the Skoll World Forum (SWF), the Sundance Film Festival, and intensive workshops at the Sundance Resort.
Featured Stories of Change films:
The partnership between NPR and Skoll Foundation aims to expand coverage of social entrepreneurs with compelling solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. In 2010, NPR launched its first social entrepreneur stories with the series “Social Entrepreneurs: Taking on World Problems” and has continued integrating coverage of social entrepreneurship throughout its reporting, sharing the personal stories of individuals tackling and making a mark on significant world issues. NPR’s Audience Insight team has fielded numerous audience surveys regarding listeners’ understanding of and perceptions about social entrepreneurs, which have helped the Foundation further refine its outreach strategies.
Public Radio International’s engagement with social entrepreneurship started with its “Global Change: Informing America” initiative providing sustained coverage of social entrepreneurs on multiple programs. It continues with ongoing podcasts and stories developed for PRI’s The World. Since 2007, PRI has developed more than 200 stories for broadcast or podcast.
PBS NewsHour and Skoll Foundation partner on the NewsHour series “Agents of Change” and ongoing broadcast and digital coverage of social entrepreneurs with compelling solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. PBS NewsHour has been committed to social entrepreneurship reporting since 2008, producing in-depth stories that examine social issues and the impact of social entrepreneurs and their work around the globe.
In 2012, the Skoll Foundation launched a partnership with HarperOne to publish co-branded narrative nonfiction books. Written about or by recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the books tell dramatic first-person stories about individuals driving large-scale impact on the world’s most pressing problems. HarperOne has a long track record of publishing award-winning nonfiction by leaders in social and personal transformation.
Featured publications include:
- However Long the Night, by Aimee Molloy, telling the story of social entrepreneur Molly Melching’s dedication to the rights of women and girls across Africa.
- Wish You Happy Forever, by Jenny Bowen, a social entrepreneur committed to improving the lives of girls in China’s orphanages.
Jointly funded by the Skoll Foundation and the Ford Foundation, Doc Society is launching a new film fund that offers second stage funding for joint social entrepreneur and filmmaker projects that are well positioned to further, widen, or deepen their impact and projects that explore new arenas of experimentation informed by rigorous data and evidence. Doc Society has developed deep expertise in the translation of art into social change. They are best known for direct funding of award-winning documentaries and for “Good Pitch” events, which bring promising documentary filmmakers together with potential partners to harness the power of film for social change. Doc Society will select 4-5 storytelling initiatives serving common grantees of both the Ford Foundation and the Skoll Foundation and provide them with financial support, expertise, and connections to ensure the highest likelihood their films will create true impact.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Skoll Foundation are collaborating to give a global platform, in English and appropriate vernacular languages, to stories illustrating how individuals in developing countries are taking direct action and seeking to transform existing systems. Entitled Changing the Rules, this eight-part text, video, and audio series taps into the developing world’s potential to deliver innovative solutions to major challenges, inspiring global audiences to see their own creative potential to solve the problems around them. The series features pairs of innovations in different geographies addressing similar issues. The series launched digitally in May 2016 and will continue to be expanded to a global broadcast audience.
The Skoll Foundation works with other funding organizations to harness intellectual, social, and financial capital to inform, fuel, and accelerate joint initiatives to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems at scale.
The Skoll Foundation seeks not funds but alignment—selectively identifying partners aligned in principles, purpose, and practice.
We currently work with a few dozen leading individuals and institutions to coordinate capital placement, source exemplary solutions, and contribute thought partnership on opportunities to change the world.
Strategic partnerships aim to cultivate relationships that leverage partner assets and capabilities to inform and fuel Skoll Foundation programs, strategy, and impact.
The Skoll Foundation partners with the Skoll Centre to demonstrate and accelerate the impact of social entrepreneurs by generating knowledge and advancing research with practical applications, developing leaders with business acumen and social innovation, and connecting social entrepreneurs with global leaders to enhance social impact.
Ashoka and Skoll Foundation are partnering to achieve their shared goal of cultivating a pipeline of leading social entrepreneurs addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Ashoka’s core competencies of identifying, selecting, and supporting early stage social entrepreneurs is complementary to Skoll’s support to scale the impact of mid-stage “mezzanine” social entrepreneurs. The partnership also seeks out opportunities to share networks, knowledge, and resources to serve social entrepreneurs and changemaking around the world.
SPI and the Skoll Foundation partner to advance social progress. Building on their complementary assets, SPI cultivates a network of leaders in countries, cities, and communities to prioritize development needs and to measure progress. This creates an enabling environment and demand for innovative solutions. The innovations of Skoll social entrepreneurs offer solutions to address these development needs.
TED and the Skoll Foundation partner to highlight and tell the stories of inspiring and innovative social entrepreneurs throughout the world so that their ideas are heard and have the opportunity to be adopted. TED’s global platform with strong in-country networks and convening attracts social innovators and builds community.