Uncommon Heroes. Common Good.

I like the montra of the Skoll Foundation: “Uncommon Heroes. Common Good.” It says a lot about those uncommon individuals who have done extraordinary things to make a positive impact on the world.

Christy Chin of the Skoll Foundation was the guest speaker at the Social Entrepreneurship class today. A venture capitalist with Harvard MBA, Christy is now a senior progrom officer at a philanthropy foundation. When asked how she feels about these seemingly very different fields, Christy said the work itself is not that much different, except she enjoys her current work much more as every day she interacts with people who are doing things that are truly transformative and inspiring.

Christy mentioned some characteristics of social entrepreneurs:

  • social entrepreneurs see and seize the opportunities to produce large-scale positive social changes.
  • social entrepreneurs demonstrate all the characteristics of business leaders: they are innovative, driven, focused and relentless in their determination to produce results.
  • social entrepreneurs are exceptionally skilled to mobilizing resouces.

The Skoll Foundation was founded by Jeff Skoll – the first employee of eBay. As stated in its mission statement, the Skoll Foundation advances systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs. Their work falls into the following three parts:

  1. Invest: Skoll Awards for Innovation in Sillicon Valley; Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneursship.
  2. Connect: Social Edge; Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurs (MBA program at Oxford); Skoll World Forum, March 30 – April 1, 2005.
  3. Celebrate: public TV documentary “The New Heroes.”