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Skoll Foundation Unveils Social Entrepreneurship Winners

Preventive care information for pregnant mothers in India, fair and secure voting processes in the United States, stemming violence in Central American schools, improving environmental performance of public transportation, and exposing crime and corruption are efforts recognized by the Skoll Foundation. The foundation bestowed $1.5 million to the winners of the 2020 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.

“The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship shines a light on emerging leaders who fearlessly work in their own way to create a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous world for all,” Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation, said in a press release announcing the award winners. “The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of this type of solutions-oriented global leadership, and of our common humanity,” he said.

Awardee organizations receive $1.5 million in core support investments to scale their work and increase their impact. Social entrepreneurs also gain leverage through their long-term participation in a global community of visionary leaders and innovators. The Skoll Awards distinguish transformative leaders whose organizations disrupt the status quo, drive sustainable large-scale change, and are poised to create even greater impact.

Each of the 2020 Awardees leads an organization that shows great promise of outsized impact:

  • Dr. Aparna Hegde of ARMANN, which leverages mobile technology to expand access to information and preventive health services for pregnant women, mothers, and children. Using a free mobile voice call service called mMitra, ARMMAN sends timed and targeted preventive care information weekly to mothers during pregnancy. In partnership with the Indian government, ARMANN also created a mobile academy to train frontline health workers in life-saving preventive health behaviors.
  • Tianna Epps-Johnson, Donny Bridges, and Whitney May of The Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which is the largest provider of free and low-cost trainings and tools for local election administrators in the United States. The center works to make voting more inclusive, fair, and secure; increase public confidence in the electoral process; and ensure that voters are able to cast informed votes. It publishes free, open-source civic datasets used in some of the most powerful tools to drive civic participation.
  • Celina de Sola and Ken Baker of Glasswing International, which leverages community resources to enable healing and interrupt cycles of violence in Central America. Its community schools approach integrates after-school programs focused on life skills development with community mental health interventions at public schools located in stigmatized and marginalized communities. These volunteer-led programs not only improve students’ academic performance and resilience while decreasing absenteeism and aggressive behavior, but also create healthier communities that offer viable alternatives to crime and violence.
  • Drew Kodjak of The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is responding to the urgent threat of climate change by providing first-rate, unbiased research and analysis to government officials and others to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of road, marine, and air transportation. ICCT works in the largest transportation markets across the globe as well as with international transportation organizations to help advance government adoption of transportation regulations.
  • Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu of The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) works to expose crime and corruption and provide the transparency necessary to drive justice and accountability. Aleph, a suite of tools and data developed in-house, allows journalists to search billions of records to trace and expose criminal connections and patterns. Journalists can efficiently and securely collaborate with other journalists, editors, and advocacy groups across borders to unearth evidence that enables law enforcement to act, drive investigations, and press for justice.

“These extraordinary leaders are working to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. They are bringing new and innovative solutions into healthcare, climate and transportation, corruption, violence prevention, and democracy,” Skoll Foundation CEO Don Gips said in a press release announcing the winners. “Each social entrepreneur brings a distinct approach, yet all are working toward a shared vision of a more just and sustainable world.”

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