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'Si, se puede,' says Jeff Skoll

"Si, se puede", says Jeff Skoll, determined to grow his social mission film company

By Astrid Zweynert

Thomson Reuters Foundation - April 10, 2014

Jeff Skoll doesn't do things by halves. He made his billionaire fortune with eBay, he is the executive producer of Oscar-winning movies, he hosts one of the world's largest gatherings of social entrepreneurs every year - to name just a few of his endeavors.

His latest plan: to make Participant Media, his film company with a social mission, the most important company in the world of its kind.

“We have big ambitions for Participant…our goal: nothing less than to be the most important media company in the world,” to rival the likes of Sky, Warner Brothers and Walt Disney, Skoll told delegates at the opening plenary of the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, England, on Wednesday evening.

Participant Media plans to expand into local language services with television shows around the world and to grow online so that it can reach more people with its social message.

Making your dreams come true and building a successful company is all about having a "si, se puede" (yes, it can be done) attitude, Skoll explained, evoking the iconic slogan coined by United Farm Workers trade union leaders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the United States.

“Cesar Chavez”, the movie released this month, is the latest of 52 films made by Participant Media in its 10-year history. "

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.