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Adequate preparation for, and access to, quality education unlock the economic opportunities that can allow someone to rise out of poverty. Conversely, a lack of education significantly increases a child’s chances of leading a life of hardship, little or no opportunity, and unrealized potential.

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Equipping Change Leaders to Reimagine and Reset Our Broken Systems
As I write, yet another new variant of Sars-CoV-2, Omicron is spreading concern and contagion around the world. Though we don’t yet know the implications of Omicron’s emergence, it’s a…
208864
Equity, Proximity, and Trust: How Philanthropy Measures Up to its Aspirations
Kathy Reich - Ford Foundation , Nidhi Sahni - Bridgespan , November 30, 2021
Every organization driving social change deals with resource and capacity limitations. Each is in a constant search for funding to implement its mission and develop its potential. During the pandemic,…
201701
Education Poses an Existential Threat to Extremism
May 20, 2021
Afghan girls and boys may lack books, pens and laptops, but in their thirst for education, they have plenty to teach the world. Indeed, one of the few things the…
201492
Solvers Episode Two | Alessandra Orofino | Democracy—There’s No App for That
Nguhi Mwaura - Dalberg , Courtney Martin - , April 28, 2021
If there’s one thing Alessandra Orofino won’t accept, it’s the status quo. She believes democracies can’t be healthy and thrive unless citizens roll up their sleeves and do the hard…
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Solvers Episode One | Rodney Foxworth | Community: The Driving Force Behind Economic Inclusion
Nguhi Mwaura - Dalberg , Courtney Martin - , April 21, 2021
Rodney Foxworth says the racial "wealth gap" is a misnomer because it implies something that’s achievable to close. "Wealth chasm" is more on the nose since we’re talking about disparities…
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2020 Annual Letter
March 30, 2021
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How Colombia Cuida Colombia Launched a Collective Movement to Address the COVID Crisis
Kathryn Spencer - Skoll Foundation , March 8, 2021
Colombia Cuida Colombia (CCC) is a national COVID response movement of over 400 organizations across civil society and the private sector. It launched in March 2020 to mobilize a coordinated…
199427
Connecting Communities TEDx Style: Pandemic Responses and Reasons for Hope
Michael Ryan - TED Conferences LLC , Claire Wathen - Skoll Foundation , March 3, 2021
In a year with lockdowns and border closures, TEDx Skoll Conversations took us around the world to hear how frontline workers and community leaders are responding to the pandemic. Virtual…
199190
EYElliance Brings Systems Change into Focus in Liberia's Schools 
Zach Slobig - Skoll Foundation , February 23, 2021
Systems orchestrators are leaders and organizations who shape transformational social change behind the scenes by connecting people, providing resources and support, and mobilizing collective, unified efforts. At the Skoll Foundation, we…
198808
Surviving a Pandemic with Grit, Innovation, and Creativity in South Africa  
Kelo Kubu - Gamatong , February 1, 2021
TEDxJohannesburg explores the issues with local innovators and social entrepreneurs.   Many countries in Africa were not adequately equipped to withstand the shock of the coronavirus pandemic. While the continent was…
198648
New Allies: How Governments Can Unlock the Potential of Social Entrepreneurs for the Common Good
Shivani Garg Patel - Skoll Foundation , January 19, 2021
In our journey at the Skoll Foundation of supporting social entrepreneurs and other social innovators, we collectively seek paths to scale impact beyond the footprint of a single organization or…
198358
Reflecting on 2020: Social Enterprise Leaders’ Advice for Navigating Crisis
Ellen Martin - SoJo , Kimberly Bardy Langsam - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship , Erin Worsham - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship , December 14, 2020
2020 has been a year filled with unprecedented challenges—a global pandemic, racial reckoning, deepening climate crisis, and more. And while 2020 comes to a close, we know that these will…
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How Skoll Awardees Faced the Pandemic with Innovation and Resilience
Jude O'Reilley - Skoll Foundation , December 7, 2020
Facing the historic global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Skoll Awardees and our larger portfolio of grantees have met this moment with empathy, determination, and innovation. “This is the moment…
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Resilience Beyond COVID-19 in West Africa
November 6, 2020
  In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about big changes for Tostan, the West Africa-based organization that has partnered with communities at the grassroots for almost 30 years to…
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How Radio Slowed COVID-19 in Burkina Faso
Zach Slobig - Skoll Foundation , October 12, 2020
  In the first weeks and months of the pandemic, as the Skoll Foundation aimed to support COVID-19 response across sub-Saharan Africa, we made an early grant to Development Media…
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Muzoon Almellehan on the Moral Imperative of Equality of Education Opportunity
Muzoon Almellehan - UNICEF , September 11, 2020
According the UNHCR, there are 25.4 million people currently registered as refugees, and over half of them are under the age of 18. These numbers will continue to grow as…
197042
Sherrie Westin on How Sesame Workshop Plants Seeds for Societal Change
Sherrie Westin - Sesame Workshop , September 11, 2020
Sherrie Westin is President of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. She leads the Workshop’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media…
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YouthBuild’s Formula for Wellbeing
Dorothy Stoneman - Opportunity Youth United , September 3, 2020
Where does the concept of individual and universal “well-being” fit in the future society we aim to create?   It is, of course, central to both the goals and to the…
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Collaborate Not Replicate: How Skateistan Scales Through Open Source Partnerships 
Jessica Faulkner - Skateistan , September 3, 2020
It’s spring 2020 and, like much of the world, skateboarders are on lockdown. Around the world, there are over 200 social skateboarding projects, each aiming to empower young people and…
196624
How Art Can Help us Heal and Make Sense of the World
August 31, 2020
Back in the early 1970s, artist John Baldessari did The Pencil Story. As he explained, his pencil was producing blurry and indistinct lines, but he revived it by sharpening it. He…
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Bringing Organizational Well-Being to Life
August 31, 2020
As the world faces the climate crisis, international protests for racial justice, a global pandemic, and an economic downturn, the social change sector is struggling. Organizations across the spectrum are…
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A Table for Two at Tostan: Organizational Wellbeing and Leadership Transition
Elena Bonometti - Tostan , Molly Melching - Tostan , August 3, 2020
For nearly three decades, Tostan has co-created and implemented human rights based-educational programs with communities across the African continent that inspire large-scale movements leading to dignity for all. Founder of…
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The Story of Hem Moktan: 152 Million Children Around the Globe Labor in Bondage
Nina Smith - GoodWeave , June 11, 2020
To be a hero is to take a risk. Hem Moktan does this every day, facing his brutal past as an enslaved child. He is featured in the documentary film Hem…
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Missing Puzzle Pieces: How Structures of Patriarchy and Notions of Motherhood Shaped My Social Change Work
One of my first childhood memories is of a never-ending sea of small yellow rooms, sprawling across a desert with not a single tree. Many people wore the same kind…
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Impact in COVID-19 Era: Lessons from Social Entrepreneurs on “Scaling Through Mass Disruption”  
Elyssa Lewis - Skoll Foundation , June 8, 2020
How do social enterprises and the funders that support them achieve impact at scale even in times of acute crisis?  This is the question that prompted the Scaling Pathways partners—Skoll Foundation, Mercy Corps…
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Fragile Futures for Hidden Workers When Consumers Stop Buying
Nina Smith - GoodWeave , May 26, 2020
With demand for toilet paper and other household items in the headlines, the COVID-19 crisis has made supply chains news, highlighting what disruptions mean to consumers, companies, and workers. This…
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Leveraging Government Partnerships
Kimberly Bardy Langsam - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship , Erin Worsham - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship , February 4, 2020
How can social enterprises prepare for and successfully partner with government to dramatically accelerate the scale of impact? Code for America on understanding the whole government ecosystem before engaging Jen…
189154
#GoodNews December: Highlights from Social Entrepreneurs in 2019
December 9, 2019
As the end of 2019 approaches, we’ve gathered up the good news: the progress and accomplishments of Skoll social entrepreneurs, hard at work on the world’s thorniest problems. We are…
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Darren Walker on Justice-Based Philanthropy
Darren Walker - Ford Foundation , December 2, 2019
In the summer of 1965, a government worker walked up a dirt road and onto the yard of a shotgun house in rural East Texas and told a young Darren…
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A Tech Bootcamp in Peru to Close the Gender Gap
Mariana Costa Checa - Laboratoria , October 30, 2019
When Mariana Costa Checa was bootstrapping a software development start-up with partners in Lima several years ago, finding the right talent for the team was a challenge. There simply weren’t…
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TEDx Skoll Conversation Series Comes to Jakarta With Focus on Governance and Resilience
Florentina Niradewi - TEDx , October 7, 2019
Two major events loomed large for the TEDxJakarta curatorial team as we began to think about this year’s event. First, were the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Palu, Sulawesi in…
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Pioneering Spirit of Chengdu on Display in TEDx Skoll Series
Changkun Shen - TEDx , October 2, 2019
Last month, we successfully organized the TEDxChengdu 2019 annual event, and celebrated the TEDx Skoll Conversations series in Chengdu, one of the biggest city in western China, with its unique…
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UNGA Week Calls to Action Span Climate, Health, Education
September 30, 2019
  Climate and health took center stage at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly last week in New York—the annual gathering of nearly 200 world leaders with a…
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CollaborAction: Lessons from Latin America in Sustainable Development
Sean McKaughan - Fundación Avina , September 23, 2019
Sean McKaughan chairs the board of Fundación Avina, which focuses on sustainable development through collaborative change processes in Latin America with the aim of large-scale positive impact. He recently published…
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2019 Social Progress Index: Measuring Real Things That Matter
Michael Green - Social Progress Imperative , September 18, 2019
We’re 43 years behind schedule in our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. That’s the sobering takeaway from the recently released 2019 Social Progress Index (SPI). The report gauges social…
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Don Gips on Designing New Systems and Innovative Multi-Sector Partnership
Don Gips joined the Skoll Foundation in early April, taking over leadership responsibilities from Interim President and COO, Richard Fahey. Don brings a wealth of experience in both the public…
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What Does "Large-Scale Change" Look Like? We Partnered With Freethink to Find Out
Phil Collis - Skoll Foundation , May 20, 2019
At the Skoll Foundation, our north star is to drive large-scale change by supporting the work of social entrepreneurs and other innovators. "Large-scale change" is a very high bar for…
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Community Entrepreneurship: Solving Problems and Weaving Society Back Together
Gurpreet Singh - Skoll Foundation , May 13, 2019
“The idea of ‘social entrepreneurship’ has struck a responsive chord. … Though the concept of ‘social entrepreneurship’ is gaining popularity, it means different things to different people. … The language…
187402
The Promise and Peril of ‘Tech for Good’
Grace Mzumara - Saïd Business School , April 24, 2019
How would you explain the world today, to the world that was, a hundred years ago? I imagine my wide-eyed self, sharing the marvels of modern day transportation and music from the…
187377
Lessons from the Oxford Foundry Fail Faire
Tulsi Parida - Saïd Business School , April 23, 2019
The much anticipated Fail Faire at the Oxford Foundry during Skoll Week brought out stories of the biggest challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. Earlier in the week I was at…
187338
Accelerating Systems-Level Change
Kathryn Spencer - Skoll Foundation , April 22, 2019
As we face a looming 12-year deadline on climate change, increasing threats to democracy, and a global refugee population of unprecedented size, effecting social change at a systems level has…
185905
The College Cheating Scheme and the Broken Mirror of Philanthropy
Edgar Villanueva - Schott Foundation for Public Education , March 26, 2019
You would be hard-pressed to pick up a newspaper, scroll through an online media platform, or check social media without being bombarded with stories on the U.S. college admissions scandal.…
185160
Introducing Our 2019 Skoll World Forum Emerging Leaders
Erin Harrington - Rosewood Family Advisors , Ariane Campbell - MasterCard Foundation , March 19, 2019
As we look forward to next month’s Skoll World Forum, the Skoll Foundation and the Mastercard Foundation are honored to introduce our 2019 Emerging Leaders! Launched in 2013, the Emerging…
182478
Co-Impact Announces First Funding Round: $80 Million for Health, Education, Economic Opportunity
January 15, 2019
  Back in the fall of 2017, the Skoll Foundation joined several other funders—Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Rohini and Nandan Nilekani—to commit $500 million for…
182522
Will Artificial Intelligence End Global Poverty?
Shashi Buluswar - Institute for Transformative Technologies , January 14, 2019
In short, no—at least when it comes to lower-income countries and populations, and not in time for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Even worse, it can be a major…
182330
How Social Entrepreneurs Brought Hope to 2018
Robyn Park - Skoll Foundation , December 21, 2018
Much of the news from 2018 doesn't paint a pretty picture of the world. But we won't dwell on that. Instead, we'd like to wrap up the year by turning…
182081
Now Is the Time to Chart a Path for AI in Education
Stavros Yiannouka - World Innovation Summit for Education , November 13, 2018
The world is both fascinated by and fearful of artificial intelligence (AI). Very few of us understand the technology behind it and even fewer can clearly articulate the implications of…
181845
Purpose and Progress: 2018 TEDx Skoll Conversations Continue in Bangalore
Sartaj Anand - TEDx , October 1, 2018
When I had the opportunity to convene my community for a TEDxBangaloreSalon event last month I immediately thought of the underrepresented narratives. I tried to think of those so busy…
181466
Safeena Husain on Breaking the Cycle of Illiteracy
Zach Slobig - Skoll Foundation , August 3, 2018
Educate Girls, an Indian NGO working to enroll out-of-school girls and increase learning for girls and boys, recently reached a major milestone: completion of the world’s first Development Impact Bond…
181164
Emerging Technologies: Shifting the Path from Poverty to Prosperity?
Bruce Lowry - Skoll Foundation , May 24, 2018
Neither technology determinists nor tech skeptics would have been wholly satisfied with the Skoll World Forum session, “Emerging Technologies: Shifting the Path from Poverty to Prosperity.”  But it was a…
177458
How to Stop a Practice Harmful to Three Million Women and Girls This Year?
Zach Slobig - Skoll Foundation , February 7, 2018
Some 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital cutting (FGC). Every year, three million more women are violated with FGC—a massive, mostly invisible health and human…
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#GoodNewsDecember: Impact Highlights from Social Entrepreneurs in 2017
Robyn Park - Skoll Foundation , December 18, 2017
After a year marked by natural disasters, refugee crises, and political turmoil, it can be a challenge to not become discouraged. But take a closer look, and you'll see the progress…
175493
A Seed of Maize: Kickstart on Storytelling for Impact
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 12 million people who rely on smallholder agriculture have improved their yields and income with the help of a single, simple piece of technology: a human-powered water…
174803
10 TED Talks by Women that Provoke, Empower, and Challenge the Status Quo
November 2, 2017
We’re excited to be in New Orleans for this year’s TEDWomen, where women from all over the world have convened to hear from innovative thinkers giving talks centering on the…
174543
We The Future Spotlights Bold Models for Sustainable Development Agenda
Lindsey Powers - Skoll Foundation , Jess Fleuti - Skoll Foundation , September 29, 2017
Last week, a group of social entrepreneurs, corporate pioneers, and policy innovators gathered at the TED Theater in New York during Global Goals Week for We The Future: Accelerating Sustainable…
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World’s First Development Impact Bond for Education: What Educate Girls Has Learned
Zach Slobig - Skoll Foundation , August 1, 2017
Two years into a pioneering three-year development impact bond (DIB), Educate Girls—which tackles gender inequality in India’s educational system, is showing promising results. With a DIB, a service provider receives…
174081
The Future of Learning: Personalized and Curiosity-led
Imagine that you only learned how to swim 75 percent? Or that you only learned how to ride your bike 75 percent? Or as a pilot, you only learned how…
173433
Field Notes: Inside a Pratham Classroom in Karnataka
Joony Moon - Skoll Foundation , Shivani Garg Patel - Skoll Foundation , June 23, 2017
In rural India, half of village children can’t read or understand math at a level appropriate to their age and grade. This disparity in education creates ripples through society; it…
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The Story of Gulafsa and Ruksar: Two Child Laborers Now Out of the Shadows
Nina Smith - GoodWeave , June 15, 2017
Millions of children are forced into labor each year. Consumers at the end of the supply chain often know nothing of the lives of those who made the product; it's…
173389
What Next in a Global Labor Landscape in Flux?
Kimberly Hogan - Skoll Foundation , May 22, 2017
“I see aspirations converging all over the world and I’m really worried about it because unless we move more quickly in fighting poverty, unless we move more quickly in creating…
173200
Highlights from the Social Progress Imperative 2017 Summit
Zach Slobig - Skoll Foundation , May 1, 2017
“What if sociologists had as much influence as economists?” That’s the provocation with which Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s 46-year-old Prime Minister of Iceland, set the tone for recent global summit of…
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Highlights from Skoll World Forum 2017
April 21, 2017
The annual Skoll World Forum was, as always, an inspiring, energizing, and at times dizzying week of conversations and celebrations in the hallowed halls and cobblestoned streets of Oxford. Stephan Chambers…
173041
Anatomy Of A Tiger: With all Eyes on Myanmar, See How Land Reform Shaped Asia's Tiger Economies
Roy Prosterman - Landesa , April 17, 2017
Asia’s Tigers, the collection of booming economies that emerged in the East following World War II, are often hailed as economic miracles. There was, though, no “secret sauce” behind that sustained…
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Fear Doesn’t Live Here: Fighting Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa
March 30, 2017
By: Fiona Mavhinga, Founder, Camfed’s CAMA alumnae network “I have seen girls suffer,” Mary told me. “And I knew I had to speak for them.” Mary was born poor and grew…
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#StandWithMe: Empathy Builds Gender-Inclusive Safe Spaces
Sonali Khan - Sesame Workshop India , November 24, 2016
I was moderating an open discussion at a program on “safety in public transport” in a college in the state of Haryana, India. The students had heard about how girls…
165075
As Rio Olympics Kick Off, SPI Data Shows Uneven Social Progress in Brazil
Joony Moon - Skoll Foundation , August 5, 2016
The opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics kicks off today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both the city and the country have been mired in controversies in the lead-up…
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South Asia: Skoll Awardees Drive Change in Health and Gender Equality
Last month I traveled to Nepal and India to meet with Skoll Awardees and partners and learn about their progress in deploying mobile health solutions, fighting gender bias, and expanding…
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Tackling the Access Gap: Nonprofessional Workforces Expand the Reach of Basic Services  
Joony Moon - Skoll Foundation , June 30, 2016
Comparing the recently-launched 2016 Social Progress Index to prior years, we can see what many already know—social progress takes time. As developing countries struggle to provide equitable access to important…
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Seizing the Future: Why Empowering Young People Will Build a Better World
Rob Wilson - Toast Ale , Ellen Goodman - Ashoka UK , April 13, 2016
The world is changing, and it’s changing fast—much faster than our education system has so far been able to keep up. In his TED talk titled “Do schools kill creativity?”…
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Field Visit: Camfed Succeeds Through Community Solidarity
Cindy Chen - King Philanthropies , February 13, 2016
Raymond Guthrie and I are in Zimbabwe visiting Camfed, one of our early Skoll Award winners (class of 2005), to learn more about their work within rural communities to support…
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The Outsourcing Sector’s Shift to Impact Sourcing as the New Norm
Alison Gilbert - Skoll Foundation , May 18, 2015
In a recent Huffington Post blog Skoll Awardee Jeremy Hockenstein—co-founder and CEO of Digital Divide Data (DDD)—posits, “Nowadays, almost every major company and institution outsources business processes offshore. Imagine the…
The Great Paradigm Shift
Eduarda La Rocque - Pereira Passos Institute , Paul Farmer - Partners In Health , Diana Good - Independent Commission for Aid Impact , Michael Porter - Harvard Business School , Michael Green - Social Progress Imperative , April 29, 2015
Unleashing Girls’ Power
Rebecca Winthrop - Brookings Institution , Graça Machel - Graça Machel Trust , Memory Banda - Girls Empowerment Network , Lucy Lake - CAMFED , Mabel van Oranje - Girls Not Brides , April 29, 2015
Is the Traditional Role of a Teacher Outdated?
Vicky Colbert - Fundacion Escuela Nueva , David Johnson - Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship , Ziauddin Yousafzai - Malala Fund , Pamela Hartigan - Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship , Madhav Chavan - Pratham , April 22, 2014
Artists as Activists: Using Creative Talent for Social Progress
Nancy Farese - PhotoPhilanthropy , Feliciano dos Santos - ESTAMOS Organização Comunitária , Naif Al-Mutawa - THE 99 , Jehane Noujaim - Noujaim Films , Camille Zamora - Sing for Hope , April 21, 2014
GDP Turns 80: SPI Turns 1
January 8, 2014
What does a successful country look like? 80 years ago, economist Simon Kuznets introduced GDP to the world, alongside a clear warning against using it to define the wellbeing of people.…
The Social Entrepreneur: That Rare Individual
September 8, 2013
Sally Osberg, CEO of the Skoll Foundation, describes "the social entrepreneur" as part of this special special series from the Skoll World Forum featuring social entrepreneurs and other innovators discussing…
Developing the Development Model: Reengineering Aid for the 21st Century - 2013 Skoll World Forum
Dambisa Moyo - Economist , Paul Boateng - Akyem Law and Advisory Services Ltd , Richard Feachem - The Global Health Group , Maura ONeill - University of California, Berkeley , Bunker Roy - Barefoot College , July 1, 2013