Powerful Opening Plenary Sets the Tone for Skoll Week
In a world transformed by immediate digital connectivity, physical nearness—proximity—has never been more critical to crafting solutions and creating lasting social change. “Problems are not solved in isolation,” Stephan Chambers of the London School of Economics reminded the nearly 2,000 social entrepreneurs and innovators gathered in Oxford this evening to mark the beginning of the 15th Skoll World Forum. From the struggle for gender and racial equality to the power of proximity in galvanizing collective will to confront climate change, the opening plenary crystalized the themes of the week ahead.”We have to be willing to do uncomfortable things, to do inconvenient things—that’s when the world changes,” said Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, rousing the crowd with a call to act with hope.
Accepting this year’s Skoll Global Treasure Award, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter insisted that close proximity to those with whom you disagree is a prerequisite to lasting peace. “We can move towards peace if more women are in Parliament or in the presidency,” he said in conversation with the Skoll Foundation’s Sally Osberg.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of UN Women echoed President Carter’s sentiments in her remarks on the rising tide in the struggle for gender inequality. “We need everybody to be part of finding the solution,” she said. “We can’t leave the next generation in this situation.”Christiana Figueres of Mission 2020 joined Tara Houska of Honor the Earth in a conversation about the critical need for inclusivity in climate action—a cause around which we all must unify. “I would like to burst the bubble that addressing climate change is someone else’s problem,” said Figueres.”Indigenous people are impacted first and worst by climate change. We are all in this together, my problems are your problems,” said Tara Houska. “We can stand for a unified cause, and that cause is humanity.”
Tune in Tomorrow
Livestreaming on skoll.org/live, Wednesday, April 11:
All times GMT+1
News That Serves with Pat Mitchell, Rachel White, Jeanne Bourgault, Edith Chapin, Laura Flanders, Cristi Hegranes, Oluseun Onigbinde, and Alvin Starks.
Democracy in Crisis? Populism, Polarization, and Civic Engagement with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ebrahim Rasool, David Simas, and Ece Temelkuran.
Beyond #MeToo: The Global Movement Against Sexual Assault and Harassment with Lara Setrakian, Sohini Bhattacharya, Amanda Nguyen, and Monica Ramirez.
2018 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship with Sally Osberg and the recipients of the 2018 Skoll Awards: Lesley Marincola, Jess Ladd, Jennifer Pahlka, Barbara Pierce Bush, Anushka Ratnayake, and Harish Hande. Featuring musical performance by Aloe Blacc.
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