Looking back at the Skoll World Forum
On the opening evening, my favorite section was when Pat Mitchell (former head of PBS) moderated Dr. Nafis Sadik, Karen Tse and Jody Williams. Dr. Sadik has worked on women's health for many years in the UN system and mentioned her unsuccessful audience with the Pope (I assume John Paul II) on some of the policies coming out of the UN's Population and Development conference in Cairo in the 1990s. Jody Williams was bold and outspoken (I assume, as usual) and funny: she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the campaign to ban landmines. And, Karen Tse, one of my fellow Skoll social entrepreneurs, gave such a dramatic and inspirational remark near the end that Pat Mitchell simply declared the session done and we floated out of the room looking forward to changing the world after being inspired by four powerful women!
Jimmy Carter's keynote was awesome. He pulled stories from his past that were completely on point for an audience of social entrepreneurs (although he's still grappling with the term, I'm sure he has it now).
Al Gore has been working with Jeff Skoll for years, and their partnership has led to the movie an Inconvenient Truth and now the Alliance for Climate Protection. The Alliance launched its media campaign shortly and Gore gave some previews of this when he met with the social entrepreneurs after the final keynote session (where Gore spokes and Paul Farmer was the fiery voice of the social entrepreneur). Gore was relaxed and funny as he and Jeff talked to us for over an hour. You can tell this is what he's really committed to doing: he's found his calling.
I look back at all this and think how lucky I am to be part of this community. Hearing directly from people who have accomplished so much more and being able to ask them questions is incredibly inspiring and motivating. I know I'll aim higher for Benetech and evangelize even more passionately for helping society!