SF Recap: Changemaker Chat with Sarah Zak Borgman

unnamed (51)Thank you you to everyone who joined us for Monday’s Changemaker Chat with Sarah Zak Borgman – Director and Curator of Skoll World Forum at Skoll Foundation.

Also, a huge Thank You to Campari for hosting us in their lovely SF office!

We’ve included some highlights from the evening with Sarah (below), and we look forward to seeing you at our next chat!


Sarah Zak Borgman is Director and Curator of Skoll World Forum at Skoll Foundation. She joined us for a Chat on Monday evening at Gruppo Campari’s lovely offices in San Francisco.

What we loved most about Sarah was her passion, humility, candor and humor. Between personal anecdotes of how she has grown her career and confronted her fears, to curating one of the world’s most prominent global forums – it was hard not to want Sarah to be your friend, your boss, and mentor all in one!

Here are some highlights from our Chat with Sarah:

  • Battling unconscious bias: Next time you hear someone exclude a woman from an opportunity, like “she probably doesn’t want to travel and speak at that conference because she has two young kids,” stop and ask yourself if that’s really true. It is our duty to try and understand one another because one day we will need to count on others to do it for us, too.
  • Just say Yes… not to the dress, but when it comes to your career, positioning yourself for greater opportunity will come when you say YES to as many open doors as possible – even when you’re not 100% qualified on paper.
  • Engineered Serendipity: We can all drive impact from very small actions – smiling at someone on the elevator, offering help to family, friends or colleagues. On a larger scale, you can drive impact by engineering serendipity: curate a room of people, plant content at the center for them to engage, and enable them to drive impact or change together.  This is a large part of how Sarah drives impact through her work at Skoll World Forum. Want to learn more? Read Sarah’s new article here, The Power of Convening for Social Impact.
  • The company you keep: We’ve all encountered the woman who is tougher on other women than men. The solve: keep the company of great women, be a great one yourself through genuinely supporting others, and steer clear of those who don’t.
  • Sheryl said it: and so has Sarah, Sukhinder, and many other Changemaker Chat speakers— the most important career decision in life is the partner you choose. Select someone who loves you for your whole. authentic. self. period. With all of your ambition, quirks, loves and dislikes.
  • On knowing when to leave: When the learning curve flattens out, when your inner red flag is going up, and your motivation begins to wane – it’s a good sign it’s time to move on.
  • Full house: With three children under the age of seven, Sarah shared the importance for other mothers, and would-be moms, not to beat yourself up over missing some things or not getting your “balance” exactly right each week. Step back, be in the moment and savor the time with your children. If you can, keep your eye on the prize for upcoming trips or play time with your family. Forgive yourself, and remember that you are doing great.
  • Reservoirs of grace: On role models, Sarah is inspired by those with deep levels of grace, humility, and love: the Dalai Lama, Malala Yousafzai, Bishop Tutu, Martin Luther King, Jr. and people in this vain.
    Oh, and Murphy Brown of course!

Thank you, Sarah, for walking the journey a few steps ahead and taking the time to reflect and share back what you’ve learned along the way.


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