Impact Report: Skoll Scholarship and Impact Lab
A major study into the work of the Skoll Centre has revealed that 91% of its scholars have created an initiative that is aiming to address a complex challenge.
72% have also generated funding that has contributed to supporting social impact initiatives. Alumni have also been involved in leading strategic social change projects within organisations. Based on a study designed and undertaken by Openwell, the report explores how the Skoll Centre as well as the Skoll Scholarship programme and Impact Lab affect alumni careers and contribute to wider societal impact.
The Skoll Centre has been an integral part of Saïd Business School for nearly two decades, developing the idea of social entrepreneurship.
The Skoll Centre’s social impact programmes and activities, including Map the System and GOTO, provide important learning opportunities. Such work on systems thinking was identified by alumni interviewed for the impact report as being influential on their careers.
The impact study shows that students of the Centre have been influenced by its teaching and have gone out into the world and created lasting positive change. 74% of all alumni have spoken about social impact at conferences or events not connected to the Skoll Centre: a sign that scholars are encouraging uptake of the concept in wider business culture and society.
Furthermore, the report had positive things to say about Impact Lab, a co-curricular programme that offers what the report describes as a formal space ‘outside the MBA.’ Created in 2018, in response to increasing demand for skills for impact careers, it has played an important role in attracting and nurturing talent at the School, and, by extension, amplifying societal impact upon graduation. 76% of Impact Lab Alumni agreed that the Lab community was a hub for social impact conversations around the School.
The report revealed several other key features. The Skoll Centre sees the Alumni Network as a vital part of its community. This is now a global community, including graduates of over 30 nationalities, all of whom have benefited from the Skoll Centre for key introductions.
Every scholar who attended the School said that the Centre enabled them to make connections with people and organisations they would not have otherwise been able to. All 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being addressed by alumni of the Impact Lab and Skoll Scholarship in their work, many work across multiple goals.
57 alumni participated in the Scholars’ survey, representing 75% of the total Scholar alumni population. In addition, a quarter of all scholars participated in finer grained research: focus group discussions and individual interviews. 49% of the total Lab alumni network since 2018 were interviewed.
Skoll Centre director, Dr Peter Drobac expressed heartfelt gratitude towards the Skoll Centre team. ‘Many thanks to my extraordinary colleagues at the Centre – past and present – whose passion and creativity make the Centre a magnet for changemakers around the world,’ he said. ‘I’d also like to offer special thanks to our friends at the Skoll Foundation, who have been with us every step of the way and whose support and thought leadership continues to make this important work possible.’