Inspiration Abounds at the 2019 Skoll World Forum

I was honored and privileged to represent Health eVillages as a delegate to the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship this month in Oxford, England. The Forum is a five-day gathering of 1200 advocates and social entrepreneurs from around the world who are working to address the world’s most pressing problems.

Sponsored by the Skoll Foundation, their mission is “to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by uniting them with essential partners in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change.”

This year’s theme was “Accelerating Possibility” and featured speakers included activists Ai-jen Poo from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Kumi Naidoo who is the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, futurist Anab Jain, CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour and award-winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

I participated in sessions on scaling for impact, working with governments, health tech and community-based care, rural healthcare disparities and more. Each session spurred new ideas, discussion and connections with new friends.

Connecting with our Health eVillages partners while in Oxford – Last Mile Health, Lwala Community Alliance and Partners in Health, was a treat as well. Each time we spend time together, learning from each other and making connections reinforces how important Health eVillages is to their work and how we help them make a difference in their own communities.

Merrill with Julius Mbeya, Managing Director of Lwala Community Alliance and Health eVillages partner since 2012

I enjoyed meeting new friends, as well, including Medic Mobile, Global Health Corps, Village Health Works,, Co-Impact, Project Echo and many more.

The highlight was learning about the work of the 2019 Skoll Awardees for Social Entrepreneurship: Crisis Text Line, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, mPedigree, mPharma, and Thorn. You can learn more and be inspired by watching these videos about each organization at


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