OXFORD, England, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Skoll World Forum is the leading international platform for accelerating entrepreneurial approaches and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing social issues. The theme for the 2011 Forum is 'Large Scale Change - ecosystems, networks and collaborative action.'

The programme covers a wide variety of complex global issues such as water, energy, food security, climate change, peace and security, social equity and emerging collaborative business models. 800 invited leaders, thinkers and practitioners from the social, academic, finance, private and policy sectors around the world, will discuss a range of key issues including:


What will the next 25 years bring? Developments in the global economy, business, demographics, science and technology will define what the world looks like in 25 years. How will these trends shape the complex environment for those working to create large scale change? A panel of leading thinkers and futurists will explore the issues.

Creating Shared Value

Mark Kramer, co-author with Michael Porter of influential HBR article will join a conversation about how more enlightened mainstream companies are finding innovative ways to rethink their supply and distribution chains for responsible corporate practice. How does this re-engineering affect their bottom line in the short, medium and longer term?

Finance track

Six sessions will explore how social ventures can be financed, particularly as government funding dries up, and how commercial models are coming to the fore with grants, for instance, structured like conventional business loans (with deliverables over time frames, requirements in terms of productivity, efficiency and impact - and an agreed financial return).

A keynote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu will contribute to a discussion on leadership with insights from his experience of community leadership and of leading leaders through his work with The Elders.

Solutions for an energy greedy planet

Pioneers in renewable energy will discuss the government's carbon plan, oil dependency, the necessary measures to incentivise industry to develop renewable energy and the failure of conventional finance to support this sector adequately.

A call for a new legal structure in the UK

Leading figures are calling for a social enterprise limited liability partnership - to provide a framework for organisations and individuals who want to invest in social ventures for a return, with appropriate tax incentives.

The greying of the population

The Ageing population and demographic changes will be discussed and the innovative approaches many firms are using to capitalise upon the skills of a mature workforce. This session will also explore intergenerational tensions and how these might develop as the young are increasingly asked to fund the old. It will also look at business opportunities with this sizeable mature market.

Filling the talent gap

Companies should think more creatively in filling the talent gap by using disabled or 'differently-abled' people with particular skills sets. The mission of the Specialist People Foundation is to place 1 million autistic people in employment internationally. Should big companies seriously explore this potential labour pool?

Global perspectives

A session on China will discuss how it is opening up to social ventures and other forms of entrepreneurship and the changing attitudes of the government there. The speakers will provide insight for entrepreneurs seeking to enter China who are interested in these opportunities.

Others will be talking about the Middle East and in the light of recent events will think about the part entrepreneurship can have in economic empowerment.

The role of the media

Three sessions will focus on the use of communications and media tools. Soap operas, animations and books are among the media being used successfully to address issues of prejudice, repression, ethnic, religious and social rivalries. John Marks, the producer of a very successful TV series based on a local football team (produced in 17 countries and expanding quickly), will explain his work. Dr Naif Al-Mutawa will discuss the creation and impact of his hugely popular cartoon superheroes The 99 based on Islamic traditions but global human values. Others will explore the impact of science journalism on public understanding of issues such as global warming.

Using technology in humanitarian crises

How mobile technology is being used to mobilise resources in disaster zones and crisis areas using social networking platforms and free, open source software to create live crisis maps utilizing feeds from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, SMS, RSS and others, collated in real-time to provide detail of how a crisis is evolving and rapid decision-support.

The full programme is at http://www.skollworldforum.org/forum-2011/schedule-overview

Many speakers are available for comment, interview or can make editorial contributions.

Follow us on Twitter: @skollworldforum

Notes for editors

1 The Skoll Foundation was created to pursue a vision of a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world. Led by CEO Sally Osberg since 2001, the Skoll Foundation's mission is to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world's most pressing problems. http://www.skollfoundation.org

2 The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford is a leading global entity for the advancement of social entrepreneurship that fosters innovative social transformation through education, research, and collaboration. Led by Dr. Pamela Hartigan, the Skoll Centre focuses on influencing future business leaders to create more values-based markets that uphold human dignity and respect the planet. http://www.skollcentre.org

3 About Saïd Business School

Established in 1996 the Saïd Business School is one of Europe's youngest and most entrepreneurial business schools with a reputation for innovative business education. An integral part of Oxford University, the School embodies the academic rigour and forward thinking that has made Oxford a world leader in education and research. The School has an established reputation for research in a wide range of areas, including finance and accounting, organisational analysis, international management, strategy and operations management. The School is dedicated to developing a new generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs and conducting research not only into the nature of business, but the connections between business and the wider world. In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2010) Saïd is ranked 11th. It is ranked 15th worldwide in the FT's combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2010) and 27th in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2011). In the UK university league tables it has ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business in eight of the last nine years in The Times. For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/

You are invited to join this event. Please register now with the press office Clare Fisher, Head of Public Relations, Saïd Business School Direct telephone: +44(0)1865-422713, Mobile: +44(0)7912-771090 Email: clare.fisher@sbs.ox.ac.uk Josie Powell, Public Relations Coordinator Direct telephone: +44(0)1865-422573, Email: josie.powell@sbs.ox.ac.uk pressoffice@sbs.ox.ac.uk