Jeff Skoll

Jeff Skoll

Founder & Chairman, Skoll Foundation


Jeff Skoll is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. As founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, he is bringing life to his vision of a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world. Jeff was the first President of eBay, developing the company’s inaugural business plan and leading its successful initial public offering.  He also pioneered creation of the eBay Foundation through the allocation of pre-IPO shares. In 1999, Jeff launched the Skoll Foundation – the world’s leading foundation for social entrepreneurship – and in 2004 he founded Participant Media.  Participant’s films are accompanied by social action and advocacy campaigns to engage the public, and its 43 films to date have collectively received a total of 7 Academy Awards® and 35 nominations. Some of the films include, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth, The Kite Runner, The Cove, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for Superman, and Food, Inc.     In 2009, Skoll founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund.  Its initial focus will be on five global issues that, if unchecked, could bring the world to its knees: climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict. Skoll holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Skoll was previously a member of the 21st Century Council, LA Committee, and The WorldPost Advisory Council.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.