Sunday, 29 April 2007

Skoll Foundation Awards Ceremony

• Back at the Sheldonian, we had an evening dedicated to celebrating the stories of many of the leading social entrepreneurs gathered at this Forum. The evening started with music from the Pakistani musician Salman Ahmad, followed by speeches from Jeff Skoll, Muhammad Yunus and Peter Gabriel.

The 2007 Skoll Awards were then presented to ten recipients who will each receive $1 million, over the next three years, to target social issues in need of urgent attention and to bring their projects “to scale”.

What struck me during the Awards ceremony was the relative youth of so many of these recipients — many were in their 30s and 40s. Their stories and projects so far are already extremely successful, and there is obviously such great potential still ahead for all of them.

Sebastion Marot (centre) of Friends International receives his 2007 Skoll Award, with Sally Osberg, Peter Gabriel, Muhammad Yunus and Jeff Skoll — photo Fruchterman
Vicky Colbert of the Foundation Escuela Nueva, which started in Columbia fostering education for underserved children through a more flexible approach and stronger school-community ties. This has grown into an international movement reaching 5 million pupils in various Latin American countries, Uganda, and the Philippines.

Craig and Mark Kielburger of Free The Children. They started this group in their early teens as a classroom fundraiser and grew it to become an international organization with 1000 chapters in schools across the US and Canada fighting poverty, exploitation and powerlessness among children around the world.

Sebastien Marot of Friends International, an initiative to take Cambodian kids off the streets and help them reintegrate society.

Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel of the Global Footprint Network, developers of the Ecological Footprint, a tool that tracks the extent to which human demand on nature exceeds what the planet can regenerate. This measure, applied by countries, hundreds of cities and organizations across the world, has become a leading sustainability indicator.

Joe Madiath of Gram Vikas, an organization helping develop the state of Orissa, one of the poorest regions in India.

William Strickland of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation, which introduces young people in poor urban environments to arts and career education.

Roshaneh Zafar of the Kashf Foundation focusing on microfinance for women in Pakistan. Started in 1996, the Foundation made 228,000 loans in 2006, has 135,000 clients and a recovery rate of 99.9 percent.

Rupert Howes of the Marine Stewardship Council, focusing on reversing the decline in global fishing stocks through a marine certification and an eco-labeling program.

Dan Viederman of Verité, which works on improving working conditions around the world.

Dorothy Stoneman of YouthBuild USA, an alternative school where dropout youths re-enrol, complete high school, and at the same time work to build affordable housing for the homeless.
• The evening finished with two songs from Monica Yunus (daughter of Muhammad) who is a promising young soprano based at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Forum participants then went on to a celebration and reception hosted in a marque at Trinity College.
— Streaming video of the “Skoll Foundation Awards Ceremony” featuring Jeff Skoll and Sally Osberg with Peter Gabriel, Muhammad Yunus, Salman Ahmad and Monica Yunus (Real Player required) 1 hour 44 mins
— YouTube video of the ten recipients of the 2007 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship
short profiles of the 10 grantees
Monica Yunus singing at the 2007 Skoll Foundation Awards Ceremony — photo Fruchterman

• Some Quotes from the Skoll Forum:
“Every truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third it is accepted as being self-evident.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher

“There is no change without individuals, and nothing sustained without institutions.”
— Jean Monnet, the architect of the European Union

“Live like you will die tomorrow, but learn like you expect to live forever.”
— Mahatma Ghandi

“ It’s amazing what you can achieve if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
— Harry Truman, US President

“Skoll Foundation Awards Ceremony” featuring Jeff Skoll and Sally Osberg
with Peter Gabriel, Muhammad Yunus, Salman Ahmad and Monica Yunus
(Real Player required) 1 hour 44 mins