The growth of Skoll Foundation and the social entrepreneurship field: interview with Sally Osberg

Posted on March 23, 2011


As Skoll World Forum 2011 rapidly approaches Rahim Kanani of World Affairs Commentary has conducted an in-depth interview with CEO and President of The Skoll Foundation, Sally Osberg. Being by the helm since 2001 Sally Osberg looks back, in retrospect, at the development of the field of social entrepreneurship in general and Skoll Foundation as an organization, growing from its first, founding donation into its current position as a widely acknowledged player within the field. She explains that there is no-longer a need to explain or argue for the concept of social entrepreneurship, but rather, today the main challenge lies in showing and proving that the social entrepreneurial work really matters and are creating vast impact.

“In partnership with many of the world’s most outstanding social entrepreneurs, we’re determined to address this skepticism, to prove that social entrepreneurs and their innovations can drive environmental and social progress at scale”, she states.

Sally Osberg points out the contemporary challenges facing the world and the social entrepreneurial work, but believes with utter conviction in the potential within social entrepreneurship as a partaker in providing sustainable solutions:

“(..) We work with many social entrepreneurs whose innovations have extraordinary potential to make real headway; what they need are what all entrepreneurs need—talented teams, great partners, serious investment, and supportive policies. Our job at the Foundation is to help deliver value that accelerates meaningful progress.”

At the last year’s Skoll World Forum she opened the event by quoting the poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me,” she writes, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

She wants to make us think, and perhaps reflect about our own innate change-maker potential. Read the insightful full interview here.