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LIVE from the 2014 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship

Building off the advance series collection of articles written by delegates and speakers of this year's Skoll World Forum, this section will feature live blogs and pieces from the event in Oxford. We will be covering a wide variety of sessions, panels and discussions on-site. View the live-stream on the homepage, and watch here for real-time articles all week!

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Each year at the Skoll World Forum, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, key thought leaders and strategic partners gather at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to exchange ideas, solutions and information.

Learn more about the 2014 Skoll World Forum, sign up to our newsletter to be notified of the live stream, view the 2014 delegate roster and discover what themes and ideas we'll be covering this year at the event. Also, read about the seven recipients of this year's Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

 
 

Taking an Open-Source Approach to Tackling Youth Unemployment

Rajeeb Dey

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Enternships.com

Introducing the Impact Genome Project

Jason Saul

Founder and CEO, Mission Measurement

Nolan Gasser

Architect of Music Genome Project, Chief Musicologist Emeritus, Pandora

 

Skoll World Forum Review: Service Delivery Innovation for the Very Poor

Subathirai Sivakumaran

Team Lead (Impact, Knowledge and Communications), United Nations Development Programme

 

Skoll World Forum Review: Measuring Impact by Cost-per-Outcome

Subathirai Sivakumaran

Team Lead (Impact, Knowledge and Communications), United Nations Development Programme

Recap: Big Business, Bigger Impact: The Pursuit, Peril, and Power of Partnership

Ida Jeng

Director, Global Communication and Strategy, Refugees United

 

How to Solve a Problem Like Child Marriage?

Lakshmi Sundaram

Global Coordinator, Girls Not Brides

 

Is the Traditional Role of the Teacher Outdated?

Lucy Bartlett

Social Media and Community Consultant, Independent

 
 

Recap: Leading with Authenticity

Sonal Bains

Co-Founder/Partner, Lux Digital

 

Skoll World Forum Review: Corporate Intrapreneurs

Subathirai Sivakumaran

Team Lead (Impact, Knowledge and Communications), United Nations Development Programme

 

Is developing the gift economy the key to transformative scale?

Rajeeb Dey

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Enternships.com

Are Intrapreneurs the New Rock-Stars?

Rajeeb Dey

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Enternships.com

 

Recap: The ambitious power of AND

Lucy Bartlett

Social Media and Community Consultant, Independent

Cracking the Code on Social Impact

Lucy Bartlett

Social Media and Community Consultant, Independent

 

We Are All Malala

Carl Pope

Principal, Inside Straight Strategies

 
 

Recap: Building Movement Through Digital Storytelling

Ida Jeng

Director, Global Communication and Strategy, Refugees United

 
 
 

My Modest Proposal...Why Not?

Jenny Bowen

Founder and CEO, Half the Sky Foundation

 

Inspirations from the Skoll World Forum

Inspirations from the Skoll World Forum

Catherine Brown

CEO, Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation

April 18, 2014 | 654 views

 

It was humbling to listen to the winners of the Skoll World Forum Awards for Social Entrepreneurs speak at the awards ceremony. Courageous people working to bring clean water and proper sewage to slums, giving people living in poverty access to banks and savings, ensuring that girls across the world receive an education with all the opportunities and knowledge that brings. The final oration by Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban two years ago for promoting the right of girls to attend school, was moving. What a leader she is and will be!

The theme for this year’s Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurs is ‘ambition’. Not personal ambition but ambition to make the world a better place. At the opening plenary, Jeff Skoll (founder of eBay and Participant Media, amongst other companies) used words like audacity and aspiration, creativity and imagination, to describe social entrepreneurship. He also said that, while there were no silver bullets to overcome poverty, investing in girls’ education came close. Education often leads to women having more knowledge about health and family planning, and gaining skills that lead to more sustainable farming or business enterprises.

The Skoll World Forum gathered nearly 1,000 delegates from 60 countries together to share ideas; one delegate from Brazil said he had come to the Forum for ‘ideas shopping’! It is possible to make quantum leaps through sharing experiences and ideas with others working on social change whether they are from non-government organisations, philanthropy, media, social investment and research. It was wonderful to spend time with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds full of hopefulness and determination.

The exchange of ideas has given me renewed commitment to a thoughtful approach to supporting social enterprises (not for profit model) within the Foundation’s impact areas, especially youth, older women, food security and health.

Philanthropic investment can be critical at the start-up and scaling-up phases of social enterprises, as can access to other capital, mentoring, sharing knowledge through networks, training in the relevant industry and in the use of social and mobile technology. Unlocking the entrepreneurial ambition of women was a great session. While the panel focused on social enterprises in Ghana, Kenya and India, there were some good lessons for supporting disadvantaged women and girls in our own Australian communities.

There is a growing interest in B Corporations in California and a number of other US states. These are benefit corporations that are for-profit companies with a social purpose. Profits are held to help the company achieve its social mission and not returned to shareholders as dividends. This model is gaining interest around the world.

Skoll, Rockefeller and Avina Foundations have funded the development of the Social Progress Index. This measures access to basic needs, wellbeing and the opportunity for citizens to fulfil their potential using agreed indicators that can be reliably measured in the 132 countries studied. This is then compared with GDP and areas where countries are under or over performing their peer countries can be examined.

Australia is rated 10 on both GDP and SPIx so we are quite aligned. However we still have several areas for improvement, including shelter – affordable housing is one of the Foundation’s initiative areas. The Australian National Development Index (ANDI), which has recently been launched to philanthropy, should complement this work. Paraguay presented on how its Government used the Social Progress Index findings to influence policy and planned actions to address underperforming areas, such as early childhood nutrition.

I was taken with the explanation in the session on Strategic Identity that philanthropy is interested in HOW problems can be solved and is able to deal with complexity. By contrast, it was argued that general fundraising engages people more around the social or environmental issue itself (the WHAT). Funding is required at many levels for social change programs to succeed.

The use of film and digital media for telling stories to educate and help overcome issues such as racial and gender discrimination and disability access is powerful. Many examples were screened including ‘When I walk’ by Jason de Silva. His film documents his life as a young man diagnosed with MS as his disability increases due to the progression of the disease. It was utterly moving. Despite his increasing disability he has recently developed an APP called ASX which will enable people with physical disabilities to rate buildings for their accessibility.

21st century social change happens increasingly through hybrid approaches that use traditional program planning with collaborations across sectors and with sometimes surprising partners; together with the use of social media and new technology to empower communities.

We are facing big issues but have new tools and people with a complete commitment to solving poverty, environmental degradation and a fairer sharing of resources.

Thank you to Jeff Skoll and everyone at the Skoll Foundation for hosting this important opportunity to move our thinking forward.

 
 
 

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