Day 91: Jeff Skoll makes movies that matter

Jeff Skoll was once better known as one of the founders of EBay than as a film producer but he uses this 2007 talk to discuss the founding of his company, ‘Participant Media.’
Skoll believes that each of us have the power to make a difference. Growing up, Skoll’s aim was to write stories that connected everybody in the world. As an adult, he had a pivotal meeting with John Gardiner, the architect of the great society program’s under Lyndon Johnson’s government. Gardiner told him to bet on good people doing good things, causing Skoll to begin a period of backing numerous philanthropic pursuits.
After some time, Skoll considered his dreams of telling a story. This time he decided to think bigger. He spoke to people in Hollywood about setting up a film company and despite advice against it, in 2005 Participant Productions released three movies, which were nominated for 11 Oscars.
To date, Participant have produced movies of the calibre of ‘Lincoln’, ‘The Help’, ‘Syriana’ and ‘Murderball.’ Skoll never imagined his efforts would be anything other than an exercise in philanthropy, yet he has proved his doubters wrong.
Skoll’s story is a personal and inspirational one. He is driven by a vision of a world of peace, prosperity and sustainability. There are hundreds of ways to make a difference; one can be a technology person, an entertainment guru, a media mogul. Together, he believes, we can create Humanity 2.0.


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