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Skoll Foundation Launches $1 Million Partnership with Leading Think Tank, SustainAbility LTD.

Published 03-28-00

Submitted by SustainAbility

PALO ALTO, Calif. --The Skoll Foundation, dedicated to advancing the work of social entrepreneurs around the world, has announced a $1 million, three-year field-building partnership with SustainAbility Ltd., a for-profit think tank and consultancy that promotes sustainable development. The partnership supports the Skoll Foundation's strategy to focus on high-level, multi-year partnerships with experts who can advance the foundation's work in the field of social entrepreneurship. The partnership also signals a significant evolution in the work of SustainAbility, and its co-founder, John Elkington, who is widely recognized as a world authority on corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.

Since its establishment in 1987, SustainAbility has consulted with some of the world's leading multi-national companies as they have worked to establish responsible business strategies with emphasis on the economic, social and environmental impact of their products. SustainAbility also has been a major force in advancing triple bottom line reporting. While SustainAbility has been a longtime promoter of the importance of capital markets to facilitate social change, the three-year Skoll Foundation partnership will allow SustainAbility to focus increasingly on identifying, developing and promoting more innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to the world's greatest social and environmental challenges.

"SustainAbility is uniquely positioned to leverage its 20 years of experience and its global network to share the stories, the impact and the potential of social entrepreneurs with the global business community," said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "Having someone of John Elkington's stature and experience advancing social entrepreneurship underscores the global reach and success social entrepreneurs have demonstrated in promoting sustainable, positive change in both developed and emergent economies."

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Skoll Foundation in this critical area," said John Elkington, Co-Founder of SustainAbility. "Our work with major companies and financial institutions continues, but we see huge potential in social entrepreneurship. Our interests and priorities converge with those of the Skoll Foundation on many fronts, but most particularly in our shared belief that social entrepreneurs have the potential to drive positive, large-scale social change."

This unique public/private partnership seeks to accelerate the development of the field of social entrepreneurship by building bridges between social enterprises, businesses and financial markets. Specifically, the award will fund:


  • Production of a co-branded "state of social enterprise" survey on the contribution of the social enterprise sector



  • White papers and workshops on bringing best practices within the social enterprise arena and wider business community to the scale needed to meet the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals



  • Building awareness of social entrepreneurship through research with the business and financial communities on the scale of social markets and the contributions made by social enterprises


    About the Skoll Foundation

    Headquartered in California's Silicon Valley, the Skoll Foundation was founded to advance systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs--individuals dedicated to pioneering new solutions that result in lasting improvements to complex social problems. The Skoll Foundation invests in social entrepreneurs through the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. It connects them through Social Edge, an online community at and via the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Said Business School, University of Oxford. It celebrates social entrepreneurs through projects such as The New Heroes, a public television documentary series that tells 12 dramatic stories of social entrepreneurs who bring innovative, empowering solutions to intractable social problems around the world. For more information, visit

    About SustainAbility Ltd.

    Established in 1987, SustainAbility Ltd. ( combines an independent strategy consultancy with world-class research capabilities. With offices in London, Washington, D.C., and Zurich, the company helps clients understand and respond to business risks and market opportunities driven by the rapidly evolving corporate responsibility and sustainable development agendas. It also helps create those agendas, having shown leadership in such areas as green consumerism, triple bottom line strategy, corporate reporting, lobbying and tax policy. Clients and partners include Canon, Deutsche Telekom, Ford, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, Shell, Standard & Poor's, Starbucks and the United Nations Environment Programme.

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    Independent think tank and strategy consultancy. Experts in corporate responsibility and sustainable development. Advisors on market risks and opportunities.

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