Posted by: Kristin | March 26, 2009

The Skoll World Forum Trends – A Four Year Perspective

I was interviewed this morning by South African Ashoka fellow & TV host Nadine Naidoo on my reflections of having attended the Skoll World Forum for the past four years.

This video below is a short clip from the interview.

I went on to say that in the first year I was here, I felt the field of “social entrepreneurship” was just being defined and there was still a lot of confusion from the outside world (foundations, world leaders, academia, etc.) on the difference between a social enterprise vs. a non-profit, charity, etc.

In just four short years, I’ve experienced the rapid expansion, recognition of the field, and growing institutionalization in academia. Of course, the Skoll Foundation has been instrumental in celebrating the best of the innovators at this annual event, culminating with an inspiring awards ceremony parallel to what I call “the Oscars for Social Entrepreneurs”.

In less than an hour, seven changemakers will be highlighted for another all-star ceremony back at the Sheldonian Theater.

The biggest change I’ve noticed in the past four years of attending the Skoll World Forum is a sense of realization and excitement from the leaders of this movement, such as Jeff Skoll (founder of the Skoll Foundation) and Bill Drayton (Founder of Ashoka and Pioneer of Social Entrepreneurship), that our time has come – even sooner than we all expected!

In this unprecedented global economic crisis and as outdated institutions and systems are falling apart, people are actually looking to social entrepreneurs to solve these problems with the most innovative approaches (since our old ways of doing things clearly aren’t sustainable).

Even President Obama wants to develop a Social Entrepreneurship Agency for Nonprofits!

In short, social entrepreneurs see these crises as our opportunities to shine and offer a completely new possibility… and remember, we can all be changemakers – if we just believe it!


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