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Reflections from the 2017 Skoll World Forum

Skoll Wf2017

April 24, 2017

Author: Josh Nesbit

Above: Amanda Yembrick (center), Medic's Director of Impact, with this year's cohort of the Emerging Leaders Initiative at Skoll World Forum.

Many of us at Medic Mobile have been inspired by community health workers, or CHWs. There is immense potential in their compassion for their neighbors, understanding of their neighborhood, eagerness to learn, and willingness to try new things to improve health in their communities. Although the status quo is that CHWs are isolated and left without real support systems, we envision a world where every health worker knows and feels that the world and its resources are with them.

The Skoll community makes that ideal end state seem possible – and even likely. The entrepreneurs, activists, investors, and corporate and government intrapreneurs that gather in Oxford show up with a rare disposition, ready to help how they can. Put simply, conversations with individuals and small groups at the forum can move a mission forward. By the end of the week, we could visualize more people, companies, and ideas lined up alongside CHWs.

Also, we know that global health equity will not be achieved in a systems vacuum and a quick look at the wicked problems addressed by this year’s award winners makes that clear: The built environment should save lives, food security and peace are central to health and wellbeing, and justice demands an end to human trafficking and slavery. And of course, we were thrilled to celebrate the inspiring efforts and accomplishments of Last Mile Health – their team and frontline health workers have summoned imagination and grit to deliver health care in the most remote and poorest communities.

This year, we also had the pleasure of participating in the Emerging Leaders Initiative, a cohort made up of individuals from 12 organizations, designed to create a community of deeper relationships, sharing successes and learning from each other’s challenges. Conversations focused on building common ground and in the room of Emerging Leaders, it was clear that we are all working towards the same goals of building just, healthy and thriving communities around the world. It was inspiring to hear each member’s story and build upon our common experiences, and we walked away with many new ideas and collaborations that will further our impact. 

Many thanks to all who made this year's Skoll World Forum possible! We are grateful to be members of this inspiring community.

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