Fueling Innovation with eBay Fortune

Fueling Innovation with eBay FortuneCanada has eighty-one billionaires, but only one who has pledged to give it all away.

On Saturday the Globe and Mail reported that Jeffrey Skoll, past president and first fulltime employee of eBay, signed the Giving Pledge – a commitment to give away the majority of his money to philanthropy. In so doing he joins an esteemed crowd that includes T. Boone Pickens, Ted Turner, Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jean and Steve Case, Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas, and over 100 others.

Skoll has already dedicated over half of his wealth to social causes and plans for 95% to be given before he is done. “There’s really only so much that you need, or your family needs,” he said. “I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, there’s only so much I think they should have. They can make their path their own.”

In their story the paper reported that he embraced social entrepreneurship in the early days “and took a novel approach to fostering its growth by providing long-term funding and freedom to innovate rather than annual grants tied to specific conditions.”

“Me being an entrepreneur, I realized that’s the surest way to stifle innovation. So we decided to focus on social entrepreneurs in the field, make long-term unconditional grants to them and their organizations, connect them together so they could have opportunities to meet and share and collaborate and to tell their stories … to inspire others.” - Jeffrey Skoll

His foundation, The University of Oxford’s Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, is now the largest of its kind, supporting 74 entrepreneurial organizations in about 100 countries.

His latest venture, Participant Media, has produced a number of well known films including academy award winners, The Help, An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, and Syrianna.

And he’s only just begun!

image credit: news.change.org

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Seth KahanSeth Kahan is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Marriott, Prudential, Project Management Institute, and NASA. His book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, is a Washington Post bestseller. Visit GettingChangeRight.com for a free excerpt.

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