Skoll World Forum Overview

Skoll World Forum Overview


We exist in relationship. We don’t exist in isolation. No human being really
reaches their full potential unless they are part of relationship
with others, community with others. The Forum, it’s a little microcosm,
if you like, of the way humanity could come together and work together. “It reminds me that
we all are one.” “United by our common values
and our common dreams.” The Skoll World Forum
was just us saying, “I wonder what would happen if we brought social
entrepreneurs together.” Each year, the Skoll
Foundation convenes and produces three magical
days in Oxford. Change-makers come from
all different sectors, from the media, from policy
making, academe; front-line social entrepreneurial ventures; investment; philanthropy.
To learn, to share, to strike up partnerships. It’s really an inspiring and hard-working
week in Oxford. Here you are, with thousands of people who are actually
tackling almost every challenge from
different angles, with different methodologies. They’re sharing resources, sharing information,
sharing skills. Sharing their ideas of how
to solve problems together. The place where we could
bring all these interesting parties together
under one roof for one week and say, “What could we all come up with
if we applied our energy” “and intelligence and our experience,” brought them to bare on solving some of the world’s
biggest problems. When we look at everything
as right versus left, we marginalize positions which
need to be mainstreamed in order to be successful
in an accelerated way. The greatest challenge
of the 21st century is a growing gap between
the rich people on Earth and the poor
people on Earth. The opposite of poverty
is not wealth. I believe the opposite
of poverty is justice. Why can’t we imagine a world, not a single person would
be a poor person. At the Skoll Forum, people have very diverse ways
of being change-makers. These are the real
working class doers. They have the long-term view, and they’re in for the long haul. Always remember
that the will to act is itself a renewable resource. It’s a week away from
what I’m doing, and it’s a window into
something that’s greater, and it reconnects me to that original
line of sight that I have. All that class caste hierarchy
falls apart and crumbles here, and it makes you think that
anything is possible. If the social workers in this room
work with the business world, and with politicians, we can just
rally together. We can get on top of most
of the problems in the world.

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