Skoll | Rethinking Possible

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a photo of a woman and a man in a circle with the earth in the middle.
The Skoll Foundation’s vision is to live in a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for all.

To solve the world’s most pressing problems, we need to trust those closest to the challenge. These are the solutions, people, and organizations making our world a better place for everyone.

This is Rethinking Possible, a collection of real stories developed by Skoll Foundation and brought to life by Freethink.

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Could wastewater surveillance unlock early warning systems for future pandemics? In India, where one-third of wastewater flows openly, this age-old technique is being resurrected with promising results. Varsha Shridhar and Dr. Angela Chaudhuri, with backing from the Skoll Foundation, are testing sewage for pathogens, tracking illnesses in real-time before symptoms emerge.

a woman in blue medical gear sitting on the edge of a lake.

The Amazon jungle is a delicate ecosystem responsible for capturing around 600 million tons CO2 per year. But that system is under attack. That’s why a coalition of NGOs, universities, and tech companies are using satellite imagery to track and report illegal deforestation in Brazil to fight not only climate change and environmental destruction, but also crime.

Systemic injustices, discrimination, and lack of civic engagement have created a pressing challenge for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs): underrepresentation in positions of power. Today, there’s a  movement to harness unique experiences and perspectives within the AAPI community to create a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for all.

We have this tragedy where the interests of very few people are creating a problem for everybody else.
- Tasso Azevedo
Racial equity has everything to do with economic recovery. 
- Michael McAfee
We know from every example across history of where we’ve really seen change in the longer term, it’s required collaboration across sectors.
- Olivia Leland
I think we’re giving back children their childhood. That’s the Teaching at the Right Level.
- Madhav Chavan
The community health worker is a trusted neighbor. The program is cheap and yet the impact is immense. 
- Liz Jarman
If every country in the world invested in their own community health work forces, we could save 2.5 million lives annually.
- Raj Panjabi
I’ve always felt nagged by the gap between democracy as it is, and democracy as we wish it would be.
- Tiana Epps Johnson
Climate change is fundamentally a public health issue.
- Dr. Aparna Bole
Civic engagement is so important because it challenges so many stereotypes. We’re the group you didn’t bet on that are really engaged, and we are dedicated to this because we live here. This is our home. We want it to be better.
- Stephanie Cho
Tasso Azevedo
General Coordinator, MapBiomas
Michael McAfee
President & CEO, PolicyLink
Olivia Leland
CEO of Co-Impact
Madhav Chavan
Co-Founder & President, Pratham
Liz Jarman
CEO, Living Goods
Raj Panjabi
Last Mile Health
Tiana Epps Johnson
Co-Founder, Center for Tech and Civic Life
Dr. Aparna Bole
MD, Pediatrician, UH Rainbow Babies  & Children’s Hospital
Stephanie Cho
Executive Director, AAAJ-Atlanta
Listen to the Podcast

Rethinking Possible’s companion podcast is a radically honest and fresh conversation about how transformational social change actually gets made and who makes it. Hosted by Courtney E. Martin and Nguhi Mwaura, and brought to you by the Skoll Foundation in partnership with Aspen Ideas.

The Skoll Award

The Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Innovation each year to a select group of social innovators whose work targets the root causes of societal problems that are ripe for transformational social change.

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