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The 2015 Skoll World Forum

MFG Archive, Profiles

For our first post of the week, the team at Markets For Good shares some of the highlights from the Skoll World Forum, which took place in Oxford, United Kingdom, last week.


For those of us who were able to attend the Skoll World Forum last week, there is much to be done in the way of reflection: what we learned, the wonderful people we met, and the possibilities of new business. For those unable to attend this year’s Forum, which was set to the theme of Belief, allow us to share with you some of the very best highlights.


The Skoll World Forum is the brainchild of Jeff Skoll, former president of eBay turned philanthropist and a keen investor in social enterprise. The format is a well-structured balance of learning sessions, working lunches, plenaries, and of course, networking. Indeed, unique opportunities and new connections are forged in the networking time. Having met many potential new contributors, we look forward to sharing their ideas with you in the future.


For now, we encourage you to make use of the Skoll Foundation’s YouTube channel where you can find all the keynote sessions from the Forum. The Opening Plenary is an obvious starting point. It’s filled with honesty, compassion, and insights into a belief shared by all social enterprise and charity practitioners that we can create a better world. An interview with Jeff Skoll was followed by a show-stealing panel discussion with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at his very best. His fellow panelists, all exceptional in their own right, included his daughter Mpho, a reverend and co-author of their joint effort ‘The Book of Forgiving”; Ophelia Dahl, daughter of Roald Dahl and director of the nonprofit health organisation Partners in Health; and Zak Ebrahim, peace activist and son of a renowned terrorist.


Perhaps the standout session for data nerds around the world was ‘The Great Paradigm Shift,’ where Harvard Business School economist Michael Porter introduced the Social Progress Index. The Social Progress Imperative “creates a shared language and common goals to align different organisations and achieve greater social impact.” Enjoy this fascinating exposition of their work, their index, and what it can achieve, below.



Some of the other notable sessions which you can read about or watch include: ‘Unleashing Girls’ Power,’ ‘Leveraging New and Old Technologies,’ ‘The Dark Side of M&E’ and ‘Accelerating the Pace of Social Change.’


Notably, the theme of “belief” tied everything together at this year’s Skoll World Forum. Across a diverse range of presentations, discussions and conversations, we saw an inspiring level of belief in the programmes and solutions that over 1,000 attending social entrepreneurs and actors in our space are working to build – all for the sake of making the world a better place for each and every one of us.

Stay tuned for further articles and features featuring the work of some of those attending the Forum.


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