Jeff Skoll was the first president of eBay; he used his dot-com fortune to found the film house Participant Productions, making movies to inspire social change, including Syriana; Good Night, and Good Luck; Murderball; An Inconvenient Truth ...

Why you should listen

Jeff Skoll was eBay's employee number 2 and president number 1. He left with a comfortable fortune and a desire to spend his money helping others.

The Skoll Foundation, established in 1999, invests in, connects and celebrates social entrepreneurs -- offering grants to people who build businesses, schools and services for communities in need. Every year, it presents the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford, and runs Social Edge, a networking site for social entrepreneurs.

His production company, Participant Productions, is what Skoll calls a "pro-social media company," making features and documentaries that address social and political issues and drive real change. His film North Country, for example, is credited with influencing the signing of the 2005 Violence Against Women Act. Participant's blockbuster doc, An Inconvenient Truth, is required viewing in classrooms around the world, and has unquestionably changed the debate around climate change. Other Participant films include The Kite Runner, The Visitor, Food Inc., The Cove, and the recent Earth Day release, Oceans.

What others say

“He tells me film can change the world. He tells me you can build companies based on trust. He speaks softly.” — Stephen Gaghan in Time

Jeff Skoll’s TED talk

Jeff Skoll on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 2 at TED2014

March 19, 2014

So what went down at TED on day two? Well, a lot, as it happens. As curator Chris Anderson commented rather tiredly later, “that was the most intense day of TED I can remember, ever.” Here, a lightning round-up of some of the day’s key moments. Edward Snowden trundles onto stage The first big surprise […]

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News

Charmian Gooch of Global Witness wins the TED Prize; will reveal wish for the world at TED2014

March 5, 2014

“It’s easy to think that corruption happens somewhere over there, carried out by a bunch of greedy despots,” says anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch in her blistering talk from TEDGlobal 2013. “The reality is that the engine of corruption exists far beyond the shores of countries like Equatorial Guinea or Nigeria or Turkmenistan. This engine is driven […]

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Entertainment

TED speakers who’ve won Oscars

February 24, 2013

Think quick: what was the best film of 2012? Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook or Zero Dark Thirty? This question will be decided tonight at the 85th annual Academy Awards. As you prepare your Oscars ballot and debate whether Seth MacFarlane will […]

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Quotes from Jeff Skoll

Someone, at some point, came up with this very bad idea that an ordinary individual couldn’t make a difference in the world. I think that’s just a horrible thing.
Jeff Skoll
TED2007 • 517K views Aug 2007
Inspiring, Informative
The surest way to become a millionaire is: Start by being a billionaire and go into the movie business.
Jeff Skoll
TED2007 • 517K views Aug 2007
Inspiring, Informative