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Echoing Green at the 2024 Skoll World Forum

Cheryl L. Dorsey as co-emcee of Skoll World Forum. Credit: Skoll Foundation.

In April, leaders across the social innovation community gathered at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, UK for four days of learning, networking, independent events, and performances. This year’s Forum focused on exploring opportunities to unite and drive enduring change. Speakers shared their perspectives and expertise on a variety of important topics, including protecting democracy, measuring systems change, and making anger actionable.

Cheryl Dorsey Co-Emcees Forum and Facilitates Marmalade Festival Event

Echoing Green President and Skoll Foundation Board Member, Cheryl L. Dorsey, was a co-emcee of this year’s Forum alongside Celina de Sola, Co-Founder and President of Glasswing International. At one point, she even shared the stage briefly with Echoing Green Fellow and Board member, and her fellow Skoll Board Member Dr. Raj Panjabi ‘11.  From her warm remarks and introductions to the infectious energy she brought to the room, Cheryl played an important role in setting the tone of the event and engaging the audience throughout a packed week.

In addition to being a co-emcee, Cheryl facilitated a fireside chat at the Marmalade Festival, one of the many independent events happening concurrently to the Forum. In “From the Womb to the World: The Intergenerational Impact of Racism on the Body and the Brain,” Dr. Olajide Williams of Hip Hop Public Health joined Cheryl to discuss the individual effects of structural, interpersonal, and internalized racism on the body and the brain, along with the intergenerational impact and epigenetic changes.

The Skoll World Forum offers ample opportunities for learning and exposure to systems thinking and social innovation — dissecting issues to identify areas where the field is expanding the bank of solutions. For example, Dr. Williams shared his perspective on how mental health interventions could transform maternal and infant health, saying: “I believe that if you educate a woman, you educate a nation. [In pregnancy], do you know what we screened for routinely?  Diabetes, gestational diabetes. You know what we don’t screen for? Mental depression, mental health. And yet, the mental health disease is more detrimental to that mother and her baby than the gestational diabetes. Maternal health, maternal interventions, translate to family interventions, especially to children.”

Piyush Tewari Receives Skoll Award

At the 2024 Awards for Social Innovation Ceremony, Piyush Tewari ‘12 received a Skoll Award for his transformative work with SaveLIFE Foundation. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SaveLIFE Foundation, Piyush was one of four influential leaders selected to receive $2 million in unrestricted funding and flexible support to scale their work and increase their impact.

Piyush Tewari at Skoll Award Ceremony. Credit: Skoll Foundation

“As talent spotters, it is our hope that our early support is the first of many investments in transformational leaders like Piyush to catalyze and scale transformative change. We’re thrilled that the Skoll Foundation has selected SaveLIFE as a Skoll Award for Social Innovation recipient.” said Cheryl Dorsey in Echoing Green’s announcement. With this exciting win, SaveLIFE is the fifteenth organization founded by an Echoing Green Fellow to win a Skoll Award.

Sharyanne McSwain on PlayFull podcast

Sharyanne McSwain, Echoing Green’s Chief Operating Officer, joined a live recording of the PlayFull podcast. The PlayFull podcast brings fun to the serious work of changing the world. In the two-part episode, Sharyanne talked about the importance of believing in your work, her two stints on Wall Street, and being inspired by public figures that she admires, such as Shirley Chisholm and Michelle Obama.

Sharyanne McSwain with other Playfull podcast guests and host Kristine Michie

While speaking on Echoing Green’s fellowship program and its unique people-first approach, Sharyanne said:

“We go ahead and support [Fellows] throughout their lives. And that’s something that I want to emphasize is that we’re with them from the beginning until they don’t need us anymore, which is very good.”

Listen to part one of the podcast here.

Fellows Reunite and Showcase Their Work

One of the best aspects of events like Skoll World Forum is connecting with new friends, as well as old ones. Over 40 Echoing Green Fellows attended the Skoll World Forum and side events, convening throughout the week and at an Echoing Green hosted reception. Many Fellows also had opportunities to formally showcase their work during the Forum. Okong’o Kinyanjui ‘12 hosted the launch of a new Queer African Network project — Funding Beyond Crisis: Fostering Queer Futures and Innovation. Additionally, Alloysius Attah ‘14 was featured in a dynamic panel on youth and climate positive economic growth in Africa.

In what became a small spontaneous reunion, several Echoing Green Fellows from the 2012 class caught up and celebrated Piyush’s Skoll Award.

2012 Echoing Green Fellows meetup at Skoll World Forum. Back row: Daniel Tomlinson, Taylor Downs, Anushka Ratnayake, Akshay Saxena, Chris Turillo, Rey Faustino, and Piyush Tewari. Front row: Neil Buddy Shah and Esther Wang.

As Sharyanne said during the podcast, Echoing Green supports Fellows throughout their journeys, and one of the ways we do so is by fostering community. Whether planned or spontaneous, it’s such a joy to see Fellows in community together – especially twelve years after their fellowship!

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