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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

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Session Description


Proximity is a nearness not just in place, but in time. Seated in this very theater are the social entrepreneurs who take the risks to right the most unjust systems during this moment of our collective experience. Tonight we honor those leaders, and we celebrate a fundamental tenet of their work: with nearness comes understanding. With understanding, we chart a path forward.

Sally Osberg, President and CEO, Skoll Foundation

Lesley Marincola, Angaza
Jess Ladd, Callisto
Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America
Barbara Pierce Bush, Global Health Corps
Anushka Ratnayake, myAgro
Harish Hande, SELCO

Aloe Blacc

Doors open at 3:30pm and seating is general admission.

Plenaries are free for Skoll World Forum delegates, and no additional ticket is necessary. Members of the general public can purchase tickets in advance here.

When | Where

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Wednesday, April 11 New Theatre



Session leaders

  • Jess Ladd Speaker
    Founder & CEO, Callisto
    Jess Ladd grew up in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS epidemic, an experience which brought to light the importance of sexual health, rights, and fighting for justice. As a sex education teacher throughout high school and college, students and friends came to Jess with stories of sexual abuse. It was during her college years that Jess herself experienced the trauma of sexual assault — and the subsequent reporting process, which was, in Jess’ words, “more traumatic than the incident itself.” Jess’ work as a FemSex facilitator and campus educator during college showed Jess that her experience was not unique — that many survivors of assault feel doubly traumatized by flawed reporting processes. After graduation, Jess worked as a federal HIV policy advocate and interned at the Obama White House Domestic Policy Council. After completing a Master’s in Public Health at Johns Hopkins, Jess was determined to address the failings of reporting assault, harnessing technology for the purpose. In 2015, she launched Callisto, the site she wished existed when she was in college. Callisto’s trauma-informed reporting platform allows survivors to create a time-stamped record of their experience, report at a time and place that feels safe to them, or enter the name of their perpetrator under the precondition that this information is not released unless someone else names the same individual.
  • Aloe Blacc Performer
    Musician, Invidividual
    A Southern California native born to Panamanian parents, Blacc was raised on boundary-pushing hip-hop acts like Public Enemy, The Pharcyde, and De La Soul, and developed a fierce admiration for such soul musicians as Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and folk-rock singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. “I got interested in folk and soul because of the songwriting,” he says. “Especially with folk, I was really drawn to the way those artists turned their songs into storytelling.” Carefully crafting lyrics to create impactful music has been essential to Blacc since high school, when he first broke into the indie hip-hop scene. Back then Blacc and his partner DJ Exile formed a duo named Emanon and quickly became cult favorites in Los Angeles, largely due to their heavy inventiveness in working with jazz samples and breakbeat loops. Going solo in 2003, Blacc soon signed to indie label Stones Throw and transformed from rapper to singer—albeit without shedding his hip-hop spirit or sense of social consciousness. Three years after the release of his solo debut Shine Through, Blacc began work on the record that would change his life and career: Good Things, an album certified gold in the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, among other countries. “Wake Me Up” having sold more than 2.8 million copies in the U.S., Blacc notes that one of his main ambitions is to use his surging popularity to affect social change while continuing to infuse his music with a mindful positivity. “What it comes down to in my songwriting is trying to tell the story of the underdog and all the obstacles they have to overcome in this life,” says Blacc of the songs that make up Lift Your Spirit and his overall body of work. “The stories in my songs are about the common individual and all the struggles they’re dealing with everyday, and also all the hopes and aspirations that they have. It’s about reflecting all of that, and at the same time getting people to sing along and feel good."
  • Sally Osberg Moderator
    As the first President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, Sally Osberg helped build it into the leading philanthropy in the field of social entrepreneurship. During her tenure, the Foundation supported more than 100 entrepreneurial organizations driving equilibrium change on many of the world’s most pressing problems and developed innovative platforms for connecting civil society, government and private sector leaders with societal problem solvers. Among these platforms are the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, the Skoll Centre at Oxford University’s Said Business School, and the Sundance Institute’s “Stories of Change” initiative. In 2015, Sally and Roger Martin published Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works, which articulates a theoretical framework for social entrepreneurship and distills lessons for practitioners, academics and impact investors. Her thought pieces have appeared in leading social impact and business journals and books; in 2015, she and Roger Martin were honored by Thinkers 50 for their intellectual leadership in the field of social enterprise. Prior to joining Jeff Skoll and the Skoll Foundation, Sally served as the founding Executive Director for Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, a pioneering institution in the field. Sally currently serves as the Chair of the Camfed (the Campaign for Female Education in Africa) USA Foundation, on the Philanthropy Advisory Council of the Royal Bank of Canada, on the Advisory Council of the Elders, and as a board director of the Social Progress Imperative and the Palestine-based Partners for Sustainable Development. She is also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School of Oxford University. She received her M.A. in English and American Literature from the Claremont Graduate School and her B.A. in English from Scripps College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Born in Boston, Sally grew up on the east coast but has spent most of her adult life in California. She now lives outside Philadelphia, in Wayne, Pa., within walking distance of her two grandchildren.
  • CEO, Angaza
    Lesley Marincola is the Founder and CEO of Angaza. Angaza's Pay-As-You-Go technology platform enables businesses in emerging markets to extend flexible solar payment plans to the billion individuals without access to grid electricity. A product designer (B.S.) and mechanical engineer (M.S.) from Stanford University, Lesley has also worked as a design engineer on the Amazon Kindle team, and at Bay Area design consultancy D2M Inc., with clients including DirecTV, Genentech, Qualcomm, and Volkswagen. Lesley is a Tech Awards Laureate, in recognition of Angaza’s Pay-As-You-Go technology, was named a Forbes "30 Under 30" Entrepreneur, and is an Echoing Green Fellow. Lesley’s vision is to solve the world’s most widespread problems – like energy access – with market-driven technology innovation developed with a human-centered design approach.
  • Jennifer Pahlka Speaker
    Founder and Executive Director, Code for America
    Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America. She recently served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she architected and helped found the United States Digital Service. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and is the recipient of several awards, including MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award, the Oxford Internet Institute’s Internet and Society Award, and the National Democratic Institute’s Democracy Award. She spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine,, and the Independent Games Festival. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, California with her daughter, husband, and seven chickens.
  • CEO and Co-Founder, Global Health Corps
    Barbara Bush is CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps (GHC), which mobilizes a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity. GHC was founded in 2009 by six twentysomethings who were challenged by Peter Piot at the aids2031 Young Leaders Summit to engage their generation in solving the world’s biggest health challenges. Barbara and her co-founders believe health is a human right and that their generation must build the world where this is realized. Since that time, GHC has placed almost 1,000 young leaders from more than 40 countries with non-profit and government health organizations like Partners In Health and the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and the United States, developing them as creative, effective, and compassionate leaders along the way. Prior to GHC, Barbara worked in educational programming at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, where she supported design-thinking programs for high school students and faculty across the US. She has worked with Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa and UNICEF in Botswana, and has traveled with the UN World Food Programme, focusing on the importance of nutrition in ARV treatment. Barbara is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and the UN Global Entrepreneurs Council. She sits on the Board of Directors for Covenant House International, PSI, Friends of the Global Fight for AIDS, TB, and Malaria. She is a Draper Richards Foundation Social Entrepreneur, a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and a fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation. In 2011, Barbara was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year, in 2013 she was recognized as one of Newsweek’s Women of Impact, and in 2015 she was named to Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list. Barbara graduated from Yale University with a degree in Humanities in 2004.
  • Founder & CEO, myAgro
    Anushka is the Founder and CEO of myAgro, a nonprofit social enterprise working with smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has worked in rural Africa since mid-2008, helping to increase food security and market access for small-scale farmers. Prior to starting myAgro, she developed key components of One Acre Fund’s core operation model, created management-training programs and traveled across Africa and South Asia in search of innovations in the microfinance and agricultural sectors. Before joining One Acre Fund, Anushka was an early employee of and created the Kiva Fellows Program. Anushka received her BA in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz and her agricultural training from smallholder farmers in Bungoma, Kenya. Anushka is a 2018 winner of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a 2018 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a 2011 – 2013 Rainer Arnhold Fellow, a 2013 DRK Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, and a 2012 Echoing Green Fellow.
  • Harish Hande Speaker
    Harish Hande is an engineer and renewable energy entrepreneur with over 23 years of grassroots experience in meeting requirements of underserved communities. He is the co-founder of SELCO Solar Light Pvt Ltd and is presently the CEO of SELCO Foundation. Today SELCO’s interventions have impacted more than 500,000 poor households across 6 Indian states, while focusing on Innovation and Ecosystem building, for which Harish was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 2011 Harish, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a Masters and PhD from University of Massachusetts, US. He co-founded SELCO in 1994-95 after experiencing benefits of solar energy in rural areas of Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka. Harish is recognized as a pioneer of rural energy service across the globe. He and his company have received many national and international awards including the reputed Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2018 and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship – 2018.