The Skoll World Forum is an annual gathering of leading social entrepreneurs and funders worldwide, supported by the Skoll Foundation.  Held every March in Oxford, in the United Kingdom, this event brings together educators, philanthropists, journalists, and change agents.  It’s been interesting to watch conversations and presentations at the event frequently circle back to education. Two of the winners of the entrepreneurship awards last night were educators: Ellen Moir from the New Teacher Institute in the United States, and Madhav Chavan from Pratham in India, a new 10x10 partner.

Perhaps the most compelling celebration of education came from Baaba Maal in his introduction to his song Bayou (Orphan) - he spoke intently about how education can provide African children a path towards economic self-sufficiency and pride.

10x10 is happy to be here with several of our partners, including Room to Read, a Skoll grantee. We’ve made incredible connections with people implementing innovative education programs - schools, mobile education programs, and teacher capacity-building.  There are organizations working to end trafficking of Filipina girls into domestic service and sexual slavery ( Visayan Forum Foundation) and corporate leaders investing in development and education, like the Mastercard Foundation who announced a $45m donation to BRAC to support new work in Uganda.

There’s been lots of discussion of how the power of storytelling is essential for creating the emotional engagement that leads to change - the core proposition of the 10x10 project.  I participated in a session yesterday facilitated by our friends from the Sundance Institute, with delegates from all aspects of storytelling, from small independent filmmakers to folks from Disney.  It’s great to see so many people making the connection between compelling content and connections to action, the foundation of the 10x10 film and social action campaign.

Lead by Cara Mertes, who directs the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, the session featured small group discussions to uncover strategies for effective collaboration.  Wendy Levy, Creative Director at the Bay Area Video Coalition, discussed a new technology platform that will allow filmmakers to visualize the impact of their films in real time. John Marks from Search for Common Ground talked about the goals and production of “The Team” a television program produced in 6 countries that uses the global love of football to address racial/ ethnic tensions via a soap opera format (the second film completed through the Sundance- Skoll Foundation partnership is about the making of  “The Team”).  The participants ranged from independent producers and directors, to social responsibility experts from major networks and entertainment companies, to foundations, to technology companies.  We all had the power of storytelling reinforced – by hearing each other’s stories, and talking about examples of storytelling creating global impact.

10x10 is proud to be part of the global community of social entrepreneurs and storytellers making a difference worldwide.