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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.

 
 

Recap: Leading with Authenticity

Sonal Bains

Co-Founder/Partner, Lux Digital

 

Recap: The ambitious power of AND

Lucy Bartlett

Social Media and Community Consultant, Independent

 

Taking an Open-Source Approach to Tackling Youth Unemployment

Rajeeb Dey

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Enternships.com

 

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

Ida Jeng

Director, Global Communication and Strategy, Refugees United

 

Recap: Building Movement Through Digital Storytelling

Ida Jeng

Director, Global Communication and Strategy, Refugees United

 

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: Corporate Intrapreneurs

Subathirai Sivakumaran

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

Inspirations from the Skoll World Forum

Catherine Brown

CEO, Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation

 

We Are All Malala

Carl Pope

Principal, Inside Straight Strategies

 
 

How to Solve a Problem Like Child Marriage?

Lakshmi Sundaram

Global Coordinator, Girls Not Brides

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

Subathirai Sivakumaran

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

 

Is the Traditional Role of the Teacher Outdated?

Lucy Bartlett

Social Media and Community Consultant, Independent

 
 

Are Intrapreneurs the New Rock-Stars?

Rajeeb Dey

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Enternships.com

My Modest Proposal...Why Not?

Jenny Bowen

Founder and CEO, Half the Sky Foundation

 

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

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

 

Cracking the Code on Social Impact

Cracking the Code on Social Impact

Lucy Bartlett

Social Media and Community Consultant, Independent

April 23, 2014 | 1637 views

 

Jason Saul, CEO of Mission Measurement, and Nolan Gasser, Chief Musicologist at Pandora, might, at first, seem like an unusual pairing for a session at the Skoll World Forum, but there again, what is usual for this event.

The duo took to the floor to launch Mission Measurement’s groundbreaking new social initiative, the Impact Genome. The inspiration behind the measure came from the observation other sectors have successfully used algorithm-based data to predict future behavior or outcomes.  The most notable examples being the 1990, Human Genome Project created to predict health outcomes and Pandora’s, 2000, Music Genome Project, revolutionary quantitative database designed to predict song choices and create enjoyable playlists.

The concept of the Impact Genome is to find a way to standardize, benchmark and thus enable comparisons in social impact programs. The challenge of social impact programs, however, is that it is often in the funding stages, pre-outcomes, that comparable data is necessary. So how is it possible to find a benchmark measure in the absence of actual data?

The answer, Jason, told us involves flipping the measurement paradigm from empirical, longitudinal, retrospective data to real-time, predictive, “synthetic” (created) genomic data.

Although it may sound like an impossible task to find a way to compare social enterprises, which are all very different, in fact using this “flipped” approach the team found that there is a useful, comparable, and finite data point  – outcomes.  There are precisely 132 different types of “outcomes” all social enterprises work toward.

For more on the math behind the model, how the team reached the number 132, and the factors which lead them to “outcomes” as the comparable data point, please check out Jason and Nolan’s Skoll World Forum post here and their SSIR piece.

Using these standardized “outcomes” as the comparable metric, we can then start universalizing social impact data and find a useful way to measure and compare projects. Most importantly, this standardization will allow “cost per outcome to be measured,” which will help funders and projects to align better.

This will bring about the end of social projects begging for grates and rather leave projects empowered to “sell” grants to organizations that know they want to “buy” them.

 
 
 

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