Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jeff Skoll: Making movies that make change

Jeff Skoll: Making movies that make change is a TED talk by entrepreneur and former eBay president Jeff Skoll.  Basically, he is the guy who funded An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night and Good Luck, The Kite Runner, Fast Food Nation, and Charlie Wilson's War. First of all, I had no idea someone was actively funding all of these movies I liked and was interested in. On purpose. I mean, on a purpose besides making money... Like consciously orchestrating it. Second of all, it's the eBay guy!? Alright, awesome. 

He's on to something.  This is a powerful way to change social opinions and debate. I thought this talk was totally going to bore me, and it didn't.  Perhaps that sounds like less of an enthusiastic endorsement than I had in mind, but you get the idea. He got a few chuckles out of me. 

According to TED,

"His production company, Participant Productions, is what Skoll calls a 'pro-social media company,' making features and documentaries that address social and political issues and drive real change. His film North Country, for example, is credited with influencing the signing of the 2005 Violence Against Women Act. Participant's blockbuster doc, An Inconvenient Truth, is required viewing in classrooms around the world, and has unquestionably changed the debate around climate change. Upcoming for Participant are two films about Afghanistan, and a documentary about Jimmy Carter's controversial 2006-7 book tour."

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